The speech of the Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, MP of Ukraine Mustafa Jemilev on the Parliamentary hearing in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, titled: “Ethnic and National Policy of Ukraine: Achievements and Prospects”
January 11, 2012
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Session Hall
Dear Chairman! Dear participants of the Parliamentary hearing!
The topic, we discussing today is very sensitive, because the promotion and ensuring of the rights and freedoms of the citizens, representatives of different nationalities is one of the main obligations of the state.
One could agree with the fact that the legislative basis that was formed for the years of Ukraine’s independence promote to some extent to the creation of the conditions for the implementation of the ethnic and national state policy.
But, the truth is that the existence of a range of unsolved issues in this field, in particular, the further ignoring of the necessity of solving of the problems, related to the return, resettlement and restoration of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people is an essential barrier on the way of development of the democracy in Ukraine, strengthening of the basis of humanity and democracy in the Ukrainian society, ensuring the comprehensive development of every individual and ethnic communities, and forming of the Ukrainian political nation.
I know that many of my colleagues – members of the Parliament and Government officials proceed from the fact that the solution of the social and economic problems and improvement of life conditions would automatically result in elimination of the problems in the interethnic and interreligious spheres.
This is a wrong opinion and this could be testified by the experience of other highly developed countries that nevertheless had to return to the solution of the issues promoting interethnic consent on the basis of the inalienable human rights and peoples’ rights.
Thus, adoption of the State Concept of the ethnic and national policy for Ukraine with its multiethnic population is very necessary. At this, the main task of this Concept must be providing the common understanding and aims of the state ethnic and national policy to the legislative and state officials. Only this way one could prevent the manifestations of the contradicting provisions in the laws and, in particular, in the bylaws and arbitrary interpretation of the essence of the state policy on the local level, concerning the state-forming Ukrainian nation, indigenous peoples and national minorities.
One should note, and Oleg Zarubinsky, the Chairman of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on Human Rights, national minorities and interethnic relations have made a very right statement that the adoption of the laws of Ukraine on the particular national problems is impossible without the adoption of the Concept of the state ethnic policy.
I would like to note as well that the electronic base of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine since 2005 has the draft Law on the Concept of the state ethnic and national policy of Ukraine that was prepared and registered by the MP of Ukraine Refat Chubarov along with the collective of authors, made up of the leading experts of Ukraine.
This draft Concept contains the terminological instrument, analysis of the modern situation of the ethnic-social and ethnic-political development of Ukraine, definition of the principles, goals and objectives, main ways of the state ethnic and national policy of Ukraine and is aimed at the legislative development of the corresponding articles of the Constitution of Ukraine, in particular, Articles 11 and 92 that contain the obligations of the state before the Ukrainian nation, indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine.
In due time this draft law received the positive opinion of the Main Scientific-Expert Board of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and was recommended for a basis. I’d like to remind you that this draft law was supported by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.
I have addressed to the authors of this draft law and received their consent for its re-registration on behalf of the MPs, members of the Committee on Human Rights, national minorities and interethnic relations.
I would like to drew your attention to the provisions of the last report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concerning Ukraine, adopted three months ago, on September 14, 2011, to be more precise. This document along with the measures that should be taken by Ukraine in order to restore the political, cultural and social rights of the Crimean Tatar people and certain ethnic groups, living in Ukraine also expresses concern about the lack of the legal act in Ukraine that would guarantee the ensuring by Ukraine of the rights of the indigenous peoples in compliance with the Constitution Ukraine, in particular, Articles 11 and 92.
In light of the practical implementation of the issues, mentioned above, I would like to announce the initiative of the national convention of the Crimean Tatar people (Qurultay), concerning the International Forum on the restoration of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people to their homeland, its security and guarantees of development in Ukraine to be held in Ukraine under the aegis of the OSCE. Carrying out of this Forum will promote the raising of the problem to the high International level that would assist our state to solve such difficult tasks as the restoration of the historical justice and ensuring of the rights of the citizens and peoples together with the international community.
I also agree with Mr. Nikolay Tomenko, chairing at the Parliamentary hearing and MPs of Ukraine who spoke here about the necessity of urgent restoration of the State Committee on Nationalities and Religions.
In conclusion I would like to drew your attention to the self-evident truth – Ukraine’s success, its future and Ukrainian society, the prospects of the democracy are fully depend on how fully we will be able to ensure the inalienable rights of all ethnic and religious groups of our society.