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.
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
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.
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
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
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