Situation of Fenno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples

Doc. 10314
5 October 2004

Motion for a resolution
presented by Mrs Saks and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

            The aim of this motion is to draw the attention of the Council of Europe to the situation of the Fenno-Ugric and Samoyed indigenous people living in the Russian Federation. According to the census data from 2002, the total number of the Fenno-Ugric population has decreased dramatically since the 1989 census, from 3,3 millions to 2,7 millions. The number of people speaking Uralic languages has decreased to less than 2 millions. Fenno-Ugric and Samoyed people have a long historical culture, extending over the past ten or twenty thousand years, which deserves to be preserved and multiplied.

            The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted in 1998 the Resolution 1171 “Endangered Uralic minority cultures”. While being already then worried about the situation, the Assembly encouraged the countries where the Uralic linguistic minorities live and in particular the Russian Federation in their efforts to guarantee a living future of these minorities.

            The IV World Congress of Fenno-Ugric people in August 2004 stated with great concern that the population of the Fenno-Ugric and Samoyed people had diminished considerably over the past few years and the use of their languages had narrowed. These trends have affected mostly the young generation since the possibilities of socializing within native cultures have decreased over the time. The Congress emphasized that the protection of human rights, including the rights of indigenous people, is not merely a matter of domestic importance but a concern for the whole international community. International organizations, especially the Council of Europe and OSCE, have a special role in encouraging further co-operation in the field of protecting endangered Fenno-Ugric and Samoyed people.

            The situation of Uralic minority cultures remains worrisome and even critical for many of these people. It is therefore necessary to analyse the impact of efforts made so far and if needed to go beyond.

            Taking into account the concerns expressed by the Delegates of the IV World Congress of Fenno-Ugric people, the Parliamentary Assembly should introduce the process of periodical reports or draw up a follow-up report on the implementation of the Resolution 1171 (1998) on Endangered Uralic minority cultures and to present updated information of measures undertaken.

Signed [1]:
SAKS, Katrin, Estonia, SOC
ANTTILA, Sirkka-Liisa, Finland, LDR
BERZINŠ, Andris, Latvia, LDR
BINDIG, Rudolf, Germany, SOC
BOKERIA, Giorgi, Georgia, EDG
BRAUN, Márton, Hungary, EPP/CD
CEKUOLIS, Jonas, Lithuania, LDR
ÉKES, József, Hungary, EPP/CD
ELO, Mikko, Finland, SOC
EÖRSI, Mátyás, Hungary, LDR
GROSS, Andreas, Switzerland, SOC
GRUBER, Attila, Hungary, EPP/CD
HERKEL, Andres, Estonia, EPP/CD
HÖGMARK, Anders G., Sweden, EPP/CD
HURSKAINEN, Sinikka, Finland, SOC
IVANOV, Sergei, Estonia, LDR
KALANDADZÉ, Nino, Georgia, NR
KASTENS, Oskars, Latvia, EPP/CD
KURDADZÉ, Irine, Georgia, NR
KVAKKESTAD, André, Norway, EDG
LINTONEN, Minna, Finland, SOC
MAGNUSSON, Göran, Sweden, SOC
MIHKELSON, Marko, Estonia, EPP/CD
NADIRADZÉ, Maia, Georgia, NR
NAKASHIDZÉ, Nino, Georgia, LDR
NÉMETH, Zsolt, Hungary, EPP/CD
REPS, Mailis, Estonia, LDR
ROCKENBAUER, Zoltán, Hungary, EPP/CD
SASI, Kimmo, Finland, EPP/CD
SCHREINER, Bernard, France, EPP/CD
SEVERINSEN, Hanne, Denmark, LDR
TEVDORADZE, Elene, Georgia, EDG
TOSHEV, Latchezar, Bulgaria, EPP/CD



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