Address by Margaretha MICKWITZ,
Director-General, International Relations, Ministry of Education
Vice-Chair, Executive Board, UNESCO
It is an honour and a pleasure for me as Vice-Chair of the Executive
Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization to represent the Organization and to read out its
message in support of the III World Congress of the Finno-Ugric
One of the most important advances of the past century is without
any doubt the recognition and understanding of the plurality of
the world's peoples and their civilizations, cultures and languages.
We are adapting to modernization, new technologies and development
in general while endeavouring to keep our traditions without giving
up our identity. All ethnic groups of the world, including their
cultures and languages, are in principle being regarded as the
heritage of humanity, and, yet, further progress has to be made
in this specific field. The role of UNESCO, which has always worked
in favour of the promotion and respect of diversity in all its
fields of action, has thus become crucial. Language is one of
the most important factors for the preservation and promotion
of cultural diversity.
You are assembled here because you have links that make you belong
to one family - the Finno-Ugric family - but you have, as individuals,
your characteristics that make each of you unique.
You have been able to preserve your differences and your common
features and your cultures have influenced and enriched one another
and will hopefully continue doing so.
I hope that this Congress will be paving the way further in that
direction in this new century, so that we can all enjoy and share
our diverse cultures in harmony and peace.
On behalf of UNESCO I wish the world Congress every success.
Source: III World Congress
of the Finno-Ugrian Peoples.
Helsinki, 2000 [Joshkar-Ola, 2001], p22.