Consultative Committee
of Finno-Ugric Peoples

Report on the work of the section "Ethnopolitics and law"

The section "Ethnopolitics and law" with the topic "From participation in the decision-making to implementation of norms of internationallaw" was held from Tuesday, 17. August to W ednesday, 18. August, 2004. The chairman of the section was Heikki Talvitie and the co-chairman Alexey Konyukhov.

The discussion was divided into 4 sub-topics.

  1. Functioning ofmother tongues and implementation of the Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities and the european Charter for regional and minority languages.
  2. International cooperation in implementation of internationallaw on human rights and minority rights in national legislations.
  3. European Union and the Finno-Ugrians.
  4. Opportunities for participation of minority peoples' representatives in public decision-making process.

There were about 30 reports and presentations. To sum up the work of the section following proposals can be made to the plenary session.

  • The Congress urges the Governments and the States with Finno-Ugrian population to implement the laws on minorities and minority languages.
  • A co-operation between the representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples and the Council of Europe has to be improved.
  • The development between the Finno-Ugric peoples and international organisations, which deal with human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities, has to be promoted, primarily by sending periodical reports on the situation of the Finno-Ugric peoples to the Council of Europe and the UN.
  • Make it a task of the Consultative Committee of the Congress to accept observations from the representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples, who take part in the Congress, concerning violations of human rights and rights of ethnic minorities. The Consultative Committee should make annual reports to the Congress about the work done, based on the given information about the most serious violations of human rights and rights of ethnic minorities presented by the member countries. The communication between the Consultative Committee and the representatives of the member states should be improved.
  • The Congress should recommend to the Government of the Russian Federation to reconstitute the Ministry of National Affairs.
  • The higher authorities of the Russian Federation should be given a pledge in the name of the Congress to stop the abolition of national ethnic territories by consolidation of federal regions.
  • To propose to the regional authorities of the Russian Federation to establish offices of protection of human rights and rights of national minorities.
  • The Governments of the States with Finno-Ugrian minorities are asked to preserve the historical territories of habitation of indigenous peoples and also to protect the ecological environment.

The chairman of the section Heikki Talvitie would like to thank the representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples and those of international organisations for their contribution to the work of the section.

Tallinn, 19 August 2004