FLNCA and UNPO — 5 years together
Review of the Unrepresented nations and peoples organization and history of cooperation with the Lezghin Autonomy
This year marks the fifth anniversary of FLNCA’s membership within the Unrepresented nations and peoples organization. In this regard, we have decided to cover the general aspects of UNPO and the history of cooperation between the two.
UNPO is an international democratic organization that advocates peaceful resolution of all conflicts. Its members are indigenous peoples, minorities, unrecognized states and the occupied territories, which have united to protect their political, social and cultural rights, preserve their environment and promote their own right to self-determination.
While the aspirations and goals of the member states may differ from each other, they are all united by one common provision condition — insufficient representation in major international forums such as the UN. As a consequence, their ability to assert themselves in the international arena is significantly limited, as well as the ability to access and enjoy the support of similar organizations that could fully protect their rights.
The founders of the UNPO were representatives of the national movements of Estonia, Latvia, Tibet, Crimean Tatars, Armenia, Georgia, Tatarstan, East Turkestan, East Timor, Australian Aborigines, Cordillera, Greek minority in Albania, Kurdistan, Palau, Taiwan and West Papua.
They chose the location of their headquarters to be in Hague (Netherlands) in 1991, since at the time it was on the verge of becoming an international city of justice, and major bodies, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, were established there.
UNPO has an office in Brussels, a representative office in Geneva and a network of consultants around the world. The organization is financed exclusively by contributions from members and donations from individuals and foundations.
In today's world, where more than 90 percent of conflicts are intra-state, UNPO carries out its activities to fill the internal gap, ensuring the existence of an international platform through which its members can become effective participants in the international community.
Thus, it conducts its activities in order to eliminate the consequences of marginalization, to work with its member states and members among minorities to promote their democratic aspirations, provide information and formulate creative and peaceful strategies for progress, but above all, the organization is working to ensure that their votes are heard.
At the moment, the UNPO has more than 40 members from all over the world and it is constantly adapting to solving their problems in accordance with political climate in the relevant regions of the world. Each participant has to observe the five principles enshrined in the Organization's covenant: the principle of non-violence, human rights, democracy, self-determination, environmental protection, and tolerance.
In order to comply with these principles, UNPO trains its members in the field of international law, international organizations, diplomacy and public relations. Like Amnesty International, its methods include sending out warnings about actions and acting as an objective source of information.
Once a year delegates from the Unrepresented
nations and peoples organization meet for an annual forum. It is similar to the UN, only for groups that are ignored or persecuted in their ñountries by the ruling majority.
Collaboration with FLNCA
In 2012, the Federal Lezghin National and Cultural Autonomy officially joined UNPO as a representative of the Lezghins as a national minority and an indigenous people in Russia and Azerbaijan.
On the official website of the organization, you can find a brochure about the people, which, in addition to basic information, the political situation and history, describes the approach of the UNPO on solving the Lezghian problems.
UNPO is strongly committed to peaceful and non-violent policies to ensure that the Lezghian people is recognized as an ethnic group with a legal status, language and political rights, as well as the restoration of the inalienable rights of the people as a separate historical community and nation in their traditional place of residence.
Of great significance was the arrival of the European Parliament delegation to Dagestan and Azerbaijan organized by
FLNCA. Its purpose was to study the situation of people living in these regions, primarily the Lezghin peoples.
This mission found support in the leadership of the European Parliament and UNPO, as well as from Russia. On behalf of Europe, the delegation was represented by members of the EP, representatives of the UNPO, experts in the field of protecting the rights of national minorities.
Deputies of the European Parliament, journalists and researchers had an opportunity to see firsthand how the rights of national minorities in Russia were realized based on the example of the most multinational republic, Dagestan, and compare the situation in the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan.
In September they presented a Report on the search mission to the European Parliament. Recommendations were made to the EP, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, European political parties and international human rights organizations. Russia's experience in working with ethnic minorities was highly appreciated.
In 2016, the European Parliament hosted three stages of an educational program to train public diplomats from among civil society activists to work with the UN and the European Union. UNPO played an important role in the preparation of diplomats from unrepresented nations.
Cooperation with such an organization has become very important for the Lezghin people. Thanks to the membership in UNPO, FLNCA has been able to achieve the certain degree of actualization of the Lezghian question at an international level, which previously seemed unattainable.
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