THE CONGRESS OF THE FINNO-UGRIC PEOPLES
Congresses of the Finno-Ugric peoples, as a form of uniting the kindred nations on a socio-political level, emerged at a specific stage of historical development of the Russian Federation in a changing international environment.
Swift consolidation of the Finno-Ugric nations in Russia, on the one hand, and leaving the "closed society" behind by the Russian Federation to become an independent state on the international arena, on the other hand, have become those trends that turned the idea of spiritual unification of all of the Finno-Ugric nations into reality.
The yearning for unity was so strong that the congress in Izhevsk passed a resolution to hold the World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples in Syktyvkar in late 1992. It is no coincidence that the venue of the Congress was chosen there. In 1992 the Republic passed the language law and the law of the status of the Congress of the Komi people, this being quite a remote prospect for the other Finno-Ugric regions. The Komi People Revival Committee was initiating close contacts and the dialogue process with the Republic's authorities.
The congress organizers found specific assistance and support from Finland-USSR Friendship Society (General Secretary: Merja Hannus) and Gyorgy Nanovsky, Hungarian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in RF.
I World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples
1-3 December 1992, Syktyvkar, Russia
The Congress was attended by 14 delegations of Russia, Hungary, Finland, Estonia and three parliamentarian organizations. 278 delegates participated in the Congress. The Russian Federation was very widely represented with delegates from Komi, Karelia, Udmurtia, Marij El, Mordovia, Komi-Permyak, Nenets, Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous okrugs, and Kirov, Perm, Tyumen, Leningrad, Vologda and Sverdlovsk oblasts.
The Congress's major theme was "The Finno-Ugric World: the reality and prospects". The delegates passed the Declaration of Major Principles, Goals and Challenges of Cooperation between the Finno-Ugric Peoples. The declaration stated that the World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples was a voluntary association of the equitable kindred Finno-Ugric peoples open worldwide who intend to defend their vital interests based on the principles of the European humanism and law of nations.
The Congress decided to establish the Consultative Committee of the Finno-Ugric Peoples. Valery Markov was elected as the chairman. The task of the Consultative Committee is to coordinate the efforts of the national organizations to meet the common goals and protect the interests of the Finno-Ugric Peoples in international organizations and for a including the UN.
II World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples
17-20 August 1996, Budapest, Hungary
The congress venue was chosen due to the fact that Hungary was celebrating then its 1,100-year anniversary since the Hungarians made the country their home.
18 delegations of the peoples attended the II Congress. Apart from plenary sessions, six workshops were arranged: on politics, economy, culture, demography and health, mass media, and youth (the Council of Youth Association of the Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN) had its session). The Congress drew out the workshop recommendations and the Resolution, its final document.
The Congress affirmed that it was very important for the Finno-Ugric peoples to secure the right to self-determination in accordance with the universally recognized international rules and principles.
III World Congress of the Finno- Ugric Peoples
11-13 December 2000, Helsinki, Finland
Over six hundred delegates attended the Congress. There were representatives of the Finno-Ugric nations, official government authorities and international organizations. Twenty one delegations came in Helsinki, three delegations more than at the congress in Budapest. Tarja Khalonen, President of Finland, Ferents Madl, President of Hungary and Lennart Meri, President of Estonia participated in the Congress. RF President Vladimir Putin's address to the participants was read out at the Congress. It was the first time ever when the Congress was attended by official representatives of such European agencies as UNESCO, the European Union and the European Parliament.
The major theme of III Congress was "The Finno-Ugric World in the third millennium - the development prospects". There were four workshops arranged at the Congress: on politics, culture and education, environment and health, and mass media and information systems. A concurrent session of Youth Association of the Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN) took place in Helsinki.
As part of the Congress, there was a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Finno-Ugric Peoples with Valery Markov being reelected as the chairman for the third time in a row.
IV World Congress of the Finno- Ugric Peoples
16-19 August 2004, Tallinn, Estonia
The main goal of the Congress was to preserve and promote development of the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples and their cultures as part of the entire mankind heritage. The World Congress affirmed its recognition of the fact that solving assimilation and national identity loss problems depended primarily upon the state policy and the way the youth take their culture, language and history.
There were four workshops at the Congress: on mass media and information systems, culture, health, demography and environment, and language and education.
2004 saw the increase of the number of the consultative committee members. In April 2004, the Kvens in Norway and the Setus in Estonia) who previously enjoyed an observer status received full membership at the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Finno-Ugric Peoples in Vyru.
The Congress found it encouraging that Estonia and Hungary had become the EU members. The delegated declared that now that the dialogue developed between EU and the Russian Federation new cooperation prospects would appear for all the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples. Active involvement of the youth in those processes would give a new impetus to the entire movement.
V World Congress of the Finno- Ugric Peoples
27-30 June 2008, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
On 28-30 June 2008, V World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples was held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Khanty-Mansiysk AO (Yugra), the Russian Federation.
Over 300 delegates representing 21 Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples as well as government agencies and international organizations, mass media, scientists, cultural and art workers attended the Congress. The presidents of Hungary, Russian Federation, Finland and Estonia took part in the Congress. It was a striking illustration of the importance of the Finno-Ugric cooperation.
The major theme of this Congress was "Identity and the changing world". The Congress work was organized in five workshops: on ethnic politics and the law, culture, languages and education, mass media, health, demography and the family.
The Congress revealed urgency and constructiveness of the policy line chosen to preserve and develop the Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples along with their cultures as a part of the entire mankind heritage.
The Congress events included the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Finno-Ugric Peoples when Valery Markov was reelected again as the committee chairman.