Fwd: RFE/RL: Latvia Discusses Ratification of Ethnic Minorities Convention

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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 15:36:03 +0300 (EEST)
Message-Id: <3BAB318A.76A67211@mailbox.riga.lv>
Subject: Fwd: RFE/RL: Latvia Discusses Ratification of Ethnic Minorities Convention

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Snjezana Bokulic <multiethnic-owner@yahoogroups.com>

Fwd: RFE/RL: Latvia Discusses Ratification of Ethnic
Minorities Convention

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 178, Part II, 19 September 2001
Center for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies Director Nils Muiznieks
declared in Riga on 18 September that the ratification of the Council
of Europe convention on the protection of ethnic minorities would be
beneficial to Latvian foreign policy, BNS reported. Latvia signed the
convention six years ago, but the parliament has yet to ratify it.
Muiznieks suggested that Latvia should avoid increasing political
tension by following the example of most countries that ratified the
convention and not define what constitutes an ethnic minority.
Parliament Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee Chairman Antons
Seiksts opposed this, asserting that such a definition is needed to
prevent some people from manipulating the notion of
"Russian-speakers," which should not be regarded as an ethnic group.
Even though Latvia and Turkey are the only EU candidate countries not
to have ratified the convention, it is unlikely that there will be any
great demands for them to do so, as EU member countries France, Spain,
and Germany have also not ratified it. SG

>From the moderator: It is a pity that the info above contains some
inaccuracies. Spain ratified the FCNM in 1995, and Germany in 1997.
Other EU member states did not, eg Belgium (just signed in July 2001),
Greece, the Netherlands. For details, see

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