October 4, 2012

International summit on the problems of protecting the rights of national minorities took place in Kyiv

Achievements of our country are the contribution to the world treasury 

The purpose of the summit “Experience of Ukraine for the World”, which took place in the National Palace of Arts “Ukraine”, is to spread the achievements of our country in the area of ethnic and national development, as they may become the considerable contribution to the world treasury of protection of the rights of national minorities. 

The significant task of the meeting is to show Ukraine’s observance of the principles of democracy and adherence to the course of European integration in relation to solving of the problems of national minorities. 

The Summit, the participants of which were the leaders of national and cultural communities and religious societies, was carried out on the initiative of the Institute of Human Rights and Prevention of Extremism and Xenophobia (founded by the member of the parliament Oleksandr Feldman), Association of National and Cultural Unions of Ukraine (ANCUU), and with the support of the Cabinet of Ministers. 

The date for the event was chosen not accidentally. 20 years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych; the Member of the European Parliament, the Member of the Committee on International Relations Oleksandr Myrskyi; the Member of Hungarian Parliament Tibor Szanyi; Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine R.V. Bogatyrova; Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Anna German; as well as the representatives of national and religious communities living in our country took part in the Summit, in particular, the Head of the Hungarian Democratic Federation in Ukraine, Berehove mayor Istvan Haidosh; the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Mustafa Jemilev; the Head of the Association of Bulgarian National and Cultural Organizations and Unions in Ukraine Anton Kisse; the Head of the Federation of Greek Communities of Ukraine Oleksandra Protsenko-Pichadzhi; the President of the All-Ukrainian Union of Public Organizations “Roma Congress of Ukraine” Petro Hryhorychenko, and many others. 

“We have all conditions for the development of national communities” 

The first speaker of the Summit was Viktor Yanukovych, who assured that Ukraine has all conditions for the development and strengthening of national and cultural identity of all nationalities without exclusion. He reminded that our state joined all main international documents adopted in this area, for example, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. 

‘The state undertook to assist in all areas, including provision of financial support of public organizations dealing with maintenance and development of traditional national cultures, the President noted. The experience of co-existence in the dialogue of different religions formed in Ukraine during centuries. During the recent time, this was significantly favoured by the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations. I am sure that this dialogue will become more profound, and I, as the President, will do my best to contribute to this. The currently existing cultural diversity is the real value of Ukrainian society, the pledge of its unity, the obstacle for spreading of xenophobia and extremism, which become more and more alarming phenomenon in different places of the world. 

“You will not speak about ‘Yids’ in Your parliament” 

‘By the level of tolerance, Ukraine leaves behind some European states,’ says the Member of the European Parliament Oleksandr Myrskyi. ‘I represent Latvia in this body. Once, the dispute started in the Latvian parliament, whether it is correct to call Jews “Jews”. Perhaps, we should call them “Yids”. This shame lasted during an hour and a half. I am sure that the similar dispute is impossible in the Ukrainian parliament.’ 

The words of the Member of the European Parliament were confirmed by the member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Feldman. 

‘Ukraine may serve as the example of successful ethnically stable state for the European countries, covered with ethno-cultural and religious conflicts, Mr. Feldman considers. The reasonable ethno-national policy of Ukraine is the serious achievement, as absence of conflicts of ethnic and religious grounds creates the basis for the internal stability of the state. Fortunately, peaceful co-existence of many ethnic and religious communities in our state became the natural choice of the development, supported by the constant dialogues with the authorities. The policy of multiculturalism may be efficient and peacekeeping, despite the statements of the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel about the fact that this course suffered a defeat in the European countries. 

The world policy is changeable: first, there are attempts to unify everyone by way of globalization, then, there is the turn to cultivation of diversity through multiculturalism. And the conclusions about inefficiency of one or another course are made on the ground of “fast” results, which are impossible in this particular regional and social area. Ukraine represents the successful example of ethnically stable and multicultural state for all countries of Europe, that is why, no need to attaint multiculturalism.