RAIPON Youth conference
Moscow, 14-17 February 2002
RAIPON / TGK Consult
The RAIPON Youth Conference held in Moscow, February 14-17, 2002 had more than 120 participants, both from the regions, Moscow, St. Petersburg and from abroad. The conference had a very intensive programme, ranging from discussions on youth and indigenous peoples in sustainable development, the Arctic Council-project "Future of Children and Youth of the Arctic" over education and information problems to practical decisions on the future work. Working relations with the secretariat of the University of the Arctic was established and the RAIPON youth chose an intern to go to Rovaniemi to work in order to improve the connections between the University and the Russian part of the Arctic. Only Western students have had benefit of the University of the Arctic so far. In the conference resolution the youth representatives pointed at the lack of access to information and the inequality - which is a result of that - as the most acute problem of the youth today. Darija Kudrjashova was chosen as co-ordinator of the RAIPON youth programme.
In September 2000, RAIPON and TGK Consult held a youth conference in Tomsk, Siberia with participants of all of the regional chapters of RAIPON. The conference had the goal to give "50 representatives of the young generation and overview of the environmental problems of the North" and to present "industry, local authorities and the press to the results of the Arctic Council-reports" and to "adopt a resolution on future actions and distribute it in Russia". Besides, courses in project management and LFA were carried out and a youth program adopted. A working group was formed to follow up on the resolution and the youth programs. During year 2001, local initiatives have been taken in Kemerovo, Nenetsky AO, Yakutia, Tomsk and Kamchatka. A broad program for the future youth activities has been compiled by the Vice-president for Youth Issues, Irina Shafrannik.
In Autumn 2001 RAIPON proposed to follow up with a conference, held in Moscow where co-operation with partners could be strengthened and resource persons for the future work could be pointed out
In December 2001, Darija Kudrjashova (RAIPON) and TGK Consult compiled a preliminary program with focus on preparations for the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development and the Arctic Council-project on Future and Children of the Arctic, and as well representatives for Russian NGOs, educational institutions, federal authorities and international NGOs were invited to participate and contribute to the conference. During January, different approaches were considered to reach priorities for the future work based on existing knowledge and the priorities of the youth that would be present at the conference. It was decided to work on three levels: 1)A plenary session with participation of RAIPON partners should give a presentation of the problems faced by indigenous youth and the work of RAIPON in Russia and abroad, 2) group sessions should allow partners and youth to discuss possible further actions and 3) the conference should adopt a resolution and an questionnaire analysis of the main problems. Results of the questionnaire and the resolution are enclosed. Furthermore, the conference should have an education component with a course on methods to political and administrative leadership. A steering group consisting of five regional representatives was appointed. The participants list was adjusted according to the level of interest and practical possibilities to participate in the conference which allowed some budget changes covering participation by more than the planned 50 participants.
1) the Resolution
2) Analysis of questionnaire
3) Election results
Resolution (translated from Russian)
International youth conference "Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North: Present and Future"
we state the fact that the main task facing youth today is to overcome the unequal access to information.
Today indigenous youth of the numerically small peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East only in 9 out of 34 regions have access to the information resources of the Internet, and in most cases only indigenous youth in living in towns have access to the Internet whereas the youth of the small communities lack every kind of information.
Taking into consideration all the difficulties connected with the limited access to information, we propose to create a youth network of the Russian Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, using existing resources in the regions, resources at education institutions, in the offices of the regional branches of RAIPON, Internet-centres, and to search for additional funding for organising the network.
Planning future activities of the work with youth, we recognise the demand to strengthen the activities in the regions by holding conferences and seminars there.
we express the need to carry out language and computer courses for representatives of the youth of the numerically small indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East with subsequent international internships and decide to give much attention to the education component of the program as it is its first priority.
Analysing the documents of the youth conference, held in September 2000, we recognise that the program adopted in Tomsk, as of today, has not been fully implemented, and we propose to create a youth section of RAIPON to make the work on the youth program of RAIPON simpler, and we also propose to elect a co-ordinator of the youth program of RAIPON and give the co-ordinator the right to appoint and dismiss assistants based on a written explanation of the reasons for his/her decision.
On the basis of this resolution we give the co-ordinator the task to prepare a youth program for 2002 - 2005 and implement it within that period. In the implementation period of the program for 2002 - 2005 regular meetings and seminars should be held. The next youth conference should be held in 2005.
Analysis of questionnaire (translated from Russian)
Distributed at the international youth conference "Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North: Present and Future" Moscow, February 14-17, 2002.
The participants of the conference were asked to choose the most acute problems for the youth of the Russian numerically small peoples at the present time, needing to be solved. 21 persons from 15 regions of Russia were interviewed (Amurskaya Oblast, Kamchatka, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarskiy Kray, Magadanskaya Oblast, Nenetskiy AO, Primorsky Kray, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya), Sakhalinskaya Oblast, Tomskaya Oblast, Khabarovskiy Kray, Khanty-Mansiyskiy AO, Chitinskaya Oblast, Chukotskiy AO, Yamalo-Nenetskiy AO.
The questions were chosen from priorities of the document on youth of ECOSOC (E/CN.17/2000/PC.2/6/Add.2) and the youth program by Irina Shafrannik.
1. Unsustainable consumption and way of life: 10 answers
2. HIV/AIDS: 11 answers
3. War, conflicts and security: 4 answers
4. Trade and strategy in the struggle against poverty: 10 answers
5. Climate change: 3 answers
6. Improvement of the professional level of leaders of the public organisations of the numerically small indigenous peoples: 14 answers
7. Creation of a united information network for the youth of the numerically small indigenous peoples: 18 answers
8. Creation of a basis for realisation of indigenous culture and improvement of the education level: 22 answers
9. Prevention of diseases and promotion of a healthy way of life: 17 answers
10. Other - the youth representatives from the different regions mentioned the following:
a) the lack of a spiritual basis leading to a loss of orientation and goals (Nenetskiy AO)
b) employment and self-realisation (Chitinskaya Oblast)
c) preservation of language, traditions (Primorskiy Kray)
d) creation of indigenous self-recognition, exchange of experience (Khabarovskiy Kray)
e) alcohol and drug abuse (Nenetskiy AO)
f) training in indigenous languages, employment after the training (Yamalo-Nenetskiy AO)
g) drug abuse (Nenetskiy AO)
h) land use, drug abuse (Khanty-Mansiysky AO)
i) alcohol abuse and unemployment among youth, preservation of culture (Chukotka)
j) protection and conservation of the territories of traditional occupations and land use from abuse (Khanty-Mansiysky AO)
The problem of drug addiction among youth was especially highlighted by five participants of the survey.
The goals of the conference were met, as the basis of a future youth program was identified. A detailed report by Dariya Kudryashova, commenting the speeches and round table sessions, is available in Russian. Minor organisational problems could not be avoided, but in general the conference was carried out as planned.
An important achievement of the conference was the establishment of working relations with the University of the Arctic. Universities in the Russian provinces could be strongly involved in a process that would help overcome the information and language gap, identified as one of the biggest obstacles for indigenous youth participation in solving common problems of the Arctic countries. This could also be used as a link between the Arctic Council initiatives, RAIPON and youth in the provinces.