Representative of RAIPON in Public Chamber

Galina Diachkova, from Russian Newspaper, 1 July 2005, and Aborigen Kamchatki, No. 11, 22 November 2005

One of the events of the last autumn was the nomination of RAIPON’s 1st vice-president, Pavel Sulyandziga, as a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. This event indicates the significance of RAIPON in the Russian state. Pavel Sulyandziga’s role will be to represent the interests of indigenous peoples in one of the new federal state institutions, which can influence the country’s legislation. The Public Chamber is also one of the channels for the expression of public opinion about various issues in the country.

Nominations to the Public Chamber consist of several levels: First, the President of the Russian Federation nominates by decree 42 members. Second, another 42 members are included according to recommendations from nation-wide public organizations. Third, 6 members from each of the seven Federal Districts join. [In November 2005 a conference of delegates of the Far Eastern Federal District took place in Khabarovsk, at which 10 members were proposed on the basis of recommendations from regional public associations.] The entire Chamber consists of 126 members.

Back in 2004 the President of the Russian Federation, V.V. Putin, announced the necessity of creating a state institution: “I am considering to form a Public Chamber as a platform for a wide dialogue, where civil initiatives could be presented and discussed in detail. Not less important, such a chamber should become a place of carrying out public evaluations of key state decisions, first of all legislative bills, that concern the development of the country and that have national significance.”

The law “On the Public Chamber” came into force on 1 July 2005. The status of the Public Chamber is that of an official institution. Among the important functions of the Public Chamber is the control of legislative activity of the state authorities and the maintenance of a dialogue between citizens and the state.