III World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples

Helsinki (Finland) December 10–13, 2000


Brief information


Speeches of the peoplesí representatives




List of participants

Consultative Committee
of the Finno-Ugric Peoples


Final report of the Political Section

The III World Congress of Finno-Ugric peoples signified the stabilization of the Finno-Ugric community. During the exchange of opinions, which took place in the political section it was more than once emphasized how important it is to preserve and develop the originality of indigenous peoples and national minorities, a factor which enrichens the whole mankind. The role of the mother tongue in the preservation of the national identity is considered of special importance.

Some 100 persons took part in the work of this section. 34 participants took the floor. Speeches were made by the members of Parliaments of Finno-Ugric countries and of Russia, representatives of the federal and regional authorities of the Russian Federation, leaders of NGO's as well as participants and observers of the congress. In many speeches it was noted that during the period between congresses positive changes had taken place as to the creation of a legislative basis for protection of indigenous peoples and national minorities.

Russia ratified in 1998 the skeletal agreement of the Council of Europe on protection of national minorities, and in 1999 a federal law was adopted on the "Guarantees of the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation". During the said period the languages of the indigenous peoples were given in some republics of Russia the status of an official language. The Finno-Ugric cooperation has furthered the adoption of special decisions defending the Finnish population in Sweden and the Hungarian minorities living outside the borders of Hungary. The Finno-Ugric movement has acquired a positive significance in the protection of Finno-Ugric peoples also beyond the Finno-Ugric world, as was noted in the speeches of the representatives of the Kvens of Norway and the Finnish minority in Sweden.

At the same time in many speeches it was however emphasized that the achieved legislative basis has often not been put into effect. Many speakers were of the opinion that one of the reasons for this is the limited participation of the peoples of Russia in power structures at all levels. At the same time the speakers referred to the passivity of NGO's in the protection of the interests of the different peoples. Furthermore reference was made to the insufficient proportion of the state institutions in the solution of many national problems and the inadequacy of the laws adopted. Unfortunately even international obligations are not fulfilled in every respect. In most speeches it was noted that changes have to be achieved in the present situation, which is possible by way of a well-balanced development of the cooperation between organizations safeguarding the interests of the indigenous peoples and national minorities and the power structures and by way of a direct participation in the activities of the power structures.

Many suggestions were made during the meeting of the political section as to the improvement of the conditions of life of Finno-Ugric peoples and mapping out of their ways of development. The basic suggestions were as follows:

1. The members of parliament of the Finno-Ugric peoples should form a parliamentary council in order to elaborate and develop a legislative basis for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities.
2. Information activities have to be intensified by way of use of modern technologies in order to illustrate problems of Finno-Ugric peoples and create a positive general opinion.
3. The international cooperation, which is being carried out within the framework of the «Northern Dimension», should be applied for the benefit of the development of the indigenous peoples of the North.
4. Special funds should be established using the assets received from the use of the natural resources of indigenous peoples in order to further their ethnic development.
5. In order to secure the prospects as to the development of the Finno-Ugric movement, the cooperation between the international consultative committee of the Finno-Ugric peoples and MAFUN shoul be intensified.
6. Development of representation and democratic procedures in the Finno-Ugric NGO's.

Jussi-Pekka Alanen

Vice chairmen
Zinaida Strogalshtshikova

Mikhail Mosin

Tarmo Hakkarainen


I - Syktyvkar, 1992
II - Budapest, 1996
IV - Tallinn, 2004