of the III World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples
In today’s world, the Finno-Ugric community has
formed itself as a force, which can express and protect the values and ideals
common to all humanity, that is:
- Preservation of the priceless historical and cultural
heritage of all peoples for future generations;
- Harmonious combination of the development of civilisation
and traditional folk spirituality;
- Raising the young generation in the spirit of respect
and love in regard to the historical heritage of their ancestors.
- Since the time of the I (Syktyvkar) and the II (Budapest)
World Congresses of Finno-Ugric Peoples, some significant changes have taken
place and are still continuing inside the Finno-Ugric world itself, namely:
- the Finno-Ugric world has became a real factor, consolidating
our peoples and playing an even more constructive role in the sphere of relations
between the states;
- the development of all-round relations has led to
the rapprochement of Finno-Ugric peoples. Most clearly it manifests itself
in the spiritual sphere: in culture, education, and science; there is deeper
understanding of all the things in common that bring our peoples closer together;
- our peoples have acquired the experience of solving
vitally important issues of self-determination in the process of dialogue
with and participation of all the stakeholders - both governmental bodies
and non-governmental organisations involved in the process;
- special attention has been paid to the processes
of reviving and developing cultures and languages, and to national self-consciousness
of Finno-Ugric peoples; systems of national education are being expanded;
mass-media is being developed; the number of Finno-Ugric languages, which
are protected by law, is increasing;
- the Consultative Committee of Finno-Ugric Peoples
has become the co-ordinating centre of the Finno-Ugric community and has managed
to create a broad network of relations with different governmental and non-governmental
organisations that makes it possible, in particular, to protect the rights
of indigenous people and linguistic minorities through assistance rendered
by international structures.
Current tendencies at the global and European levels are generally positive,
enabling ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples to implement their rights.
Noteworthy in this context are certain regional legal instruments: the Framework
Convention on the protection of ethnic minorities’ rights (1992); the
Chart of the Council of Europe on regional languages and languages of ethnic
minorities (Strasbourg, 1992); Convention No. 169 of the International Labour
Organisation. The Congress appeals to all the States where Finno-Ugric people
live traditionally to ratify those documents.
At the same time, during recent years, in some regions
of traditional residence of Finno-Ugric peoples, one can observe the deterioration
of their social and economic conditions, which, in its turn, has a negative
impact on the general situation, reproductive factors and self-development of
these peoples. The problems of demographic development are especially serious.
Due to certain unfavourable processes (assimilation, negative natural increase
of population, etc.), the absolute number of some peoples is decreasing.
The matters concerning protection and development of
Finno-Ugric languages must be given more support and encouragement. People who
forget their language, eventually, are assimilated by and absorbed into the
dominating cultural milieu. Today, there are few Finno-Ugric diasporas which
are able to develop or, moreover, modernise their culture just in their own
communities, being separated from the ethnic cores of their ancestral homelands.
With the objective of further all-round development
of related peoples, the III World Congress of Finno-Ugric peoples hereby resolves:
I. To assist all Finno-Ugric peoples to exercise their
right to self-determination in accordance with generally recognised international
norms and principles, taking into consideration the opportunities and status
of each nation existing in reality.
II. To contribute to and facilitate the development
of living cultural traditions and traditional world-outlooks, the creation of
modern urban cultures of related peoples, new approaches and methods enabling
to combine the traditional spirituality with modern forms of perceiving the
surrounding reality of life by the younger generation of Finno-Ugric peoples,
aiming to resolve the problems of bringing up the young people and to create
proper conditions for their physical, mental and spiritual health, through their
introduction to the traditions, culture and languages of the Finno-Ugric peoples.
III. Based on the principle that every human being has
the right to get education in its own mother tongue, it is necessary to continue
to support the establishment of educational facilities which apply mother tongue
in the educational process (from basic to higher) and to expand their educational
opportunities. Having this objective in mind, it is necessary to develop the
terminological basis of the language, to assist in elaborating and publishing
of educational materials in the mother tongue as well as to train teachers.
In order to increase the survivability of the language – to insist on
its application in all spheres of communication, including electronic and traditional
mass media. To support the return of the mother tongue to the family life and
to the youth community.
IV. To pay special attention to the issues of developing
the cultures and languages among the diasporas of Finno-Ugric peoples, because
each of them is an integral part of the historical and cultural heritage common
to the entire national community.
V. To carry out series of scientific investigations
aimed at the study of the conditions of and the environmental influences on
people’s health, the conditions conducive to population reproduction and
family problems in the areas where Finno-Ugric peoples reside compactly.
VI. To continue the work on the further improvement
of state legislation in the field of indigenous peoples’ rights, including
the rights of numerously-small peoples, as well as national minorities. To strive
to pass special acts, which will secure the legal status of these peoples and
their representative bodies in socio-political and governmental structures,
will protect the territories they inhabit, as well as will safeguard the social,
economic and cultural basis of their existence and development.
VII. The Consultative Committee should support the adoption
of the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People, elaborated by the UN.
VIII. To ask Hungary, the Russian Federation, Finland
and Estonia to initiate together the process of declaring the Decade of Finno-Ugric
IX. To declare the Saturday of the third week of October
as the Day of Related Finno-Ugric Peoples.
X. The Consultative Committee of Finno-Ugric Peoples
must play a co-ordinating role in the process of implementation of the current
Helsinki, December 13, 2000