SPEECHES OF THE PEOPLES' REPRESENTATIVES
secretary of executive committee of the Komi people's Congress,
Pyddi puktana kongressvyvsa delegatyas da korom yoz!
Dear delegates, participants and guests of the Congress!
I should like to greet you and wish all the success to the work of the Congress on behalf of the Komi people and its Executive committee!
Our Congress is carded out between two centuries. This lends a particular responsibility to all of our decisions and obliges us to deeply realize historical, cultural, economical and political processes in which our nations are involved. How our peoples have changed under the influence of the centuries-old history, what is happening with us now and what future waits for the Finno-Ugrian peoples?
In October the VI Congress of the Komi people organized in Syktyvkar which struck a balance of our work in the past three years. The delegates discussed problems of political life, economics, ecology, science, culture and education which directly influence the present day life of the Komi people. Some achievements were noticed as well. In the Komi republic a legal field is created that regulates nationality relations, mush is being done to preserve and develop the Komi language and culture, a special attention is paid to the children - they are future of the republic. In the republic an effective and working model of interaction of the Komi Congress and the state was created. Upon the results of the Congress normative documents are enacted on the levels of republic-wide and local authorities to realize decisions of the Congress. Annually conferences of the Komi people are carried out in towns and villages of the republic.
At the same time we have unsolved problems which we shall to work at. These are issues concerning social-economic situation with the aboriginal people. The position of the countryside - where the Komi live in the main - is especially trying. The republic faces urgent demographical problems, the health condition of the population is worsening which is to be explained, particularly, by unfavourable situation of the environment.
Issues of demography, family and health of our children are problems of all the Finno-Ugrian peoples without any exception. They are determined by many a factor. We can only wish to the future composition of the Consultative committee that it will pay attention of higher-priority to these matters in its plans and in coordination of our activities. This includes propagation of traditions, new approaches to the way of life of the peoples. It could be conferences, positive settlement of social problems etc. We must exert ourselves to create reliable and effective channels of information exchange within the Finno-Ugrian community. It is especially important for the peoples of the Russian Federation. In the beginning of the next year, we are ready taking into consideration the existing experience and technical schemes to host the specialists who practice information technologies to tune up and set up of such an exchange.
We are worried by the actions of the federal centre to curtail the rights of
its subjects including the right for financial self-determination. The Komi
people's Congress stated that today they have forgotten the wise word cementing
"Strong regions - strong Russia". We hope that these problems will be solved and the role of the regions will be valuated appropriately in the political life of Russia. This will both strengthen concord among the nationalities of the Russian Federation and remove a state of mistrust which, regrettably, still continues to exist.
The Komi people's Congress attaches much significance to international cooperation, in the first place among the kindred Finno-Ugrian peoples and countries. We hope that the III Congress of the Finno-Ugrian peoples will give a new impetus to the progress of this cooperation and enrich it with new forms. From our side on errand of the Komi people's Congress our delegation proposes the Congress of the Finno-Ugrian peoples should turn to governments of Finland, Hungary, Estonia and Russia and leadership of the Finno-Ugrian regions to initiate a Decade of the Finno-Ugrian peoples in the near future in parity with the Decade of the aboriginal peoples which is now carried on by UNO. By that we accept and develop the relay of language and culture cultivation and of that of all forms of cooperation of the Finno-Ugrian peoples. And not only cooperation of our peoples - we shall try and confirm the image of being constructive and conflict-free and good neighbours in the poly-ethnic world. Thank you for your attention and may our work will be fruitful.
Source: III World Congress of the Finno-Ugrian Peoples. Helsinki, 2000 [Joshkar-Ola,2001], pp 45–46.