Declaration regarding the juridical status of people belonging to the ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in the context of the present armed conflict in the eastern part of the Republic


The Republic of Moldova as a sovereign and independent state strictly observes the international documents regarding the human rights and guarantees their implementation without any deviations and discrimination.

As a consequence of an assimilation policy carried out throughout history today except Moldovans who constitute 64.5% also Ukrainians (13.8%), Russians (13%), Gagausians (3%), Bulgarians (1.5%) and other nationalities (2.2%) live on the territory of our republic. Taking into consideration this reality the Parliament of the Republic considers that the problems of the ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities can find a solution only within a democratic political system, in a law-governed state, where the juridical system activates exclusively on the basis and in the name of Law (The Copenhagen Convention for human problems of the Council for Security and Cooperation of Europe dated June 29, 1990, page 30 to which Moldova has adhered on September 10, 1991).

Immediately after the proclamation of the sovereignty of the State the Parliament has created premises for a law-governed activity of the state on the entire national territory. Also it adopted laws granting the fundamental rights to people in compliance with the respective international documents. The Parliament has adhered to the most relevant international juridical instruments referring to human rights, thus expressing its entire acceptance of the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of the international Pacts on human rights, of the Council of Security and Cooperation of Europe as well as other documents. The parliament considers of primary importance article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in conformity to which all human beings are born free and equal in their dignity and rights and as rational and conscious beings are obliged to show a fraternal behavior towards each other. Such a principle is of a perennial value in the organizing of the world community. In view of this principle and in conformity to the international Pact concerning the civil and political rights (article 27) in a certain state people belonging to the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities should not be deprived of the right to have their own cultural life, to profess and to practice their own religion and to use their native language similar to other members of the society. Besides accepting highly significant international instruments Moldova took a number of distinctive legislative measures which secure the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities the right to express, preserve and develop in full freedom their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity as well as to maintain and develop their own culture in every form, preventing any attempts of assimilation against their will (The Copenhagen Document, p. 32). The entire legislation ensuring the protection of persons belonging to the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities satisfies the principle of nondiscrimination stated in a number of international documents. In conformity to this legislation any differentiations, exclusions, restrictions or preferences aimed to violate or discredit the application of the Law of human rights and liberties in the political, economic, social or cultural spheres or in any other spheres of public life are prohibited.

In view of these imperatives on September 1, 1988 the Parliament: adopted the Law regarding the functioning of spoken languages on the territory of the Republic of Moldova meant to ensure the citizen belonging to the ethnic and linguistic minorities a free usage of their mother tongue both in private and in the public life, fact confirmed by concrete realities and by the development of events in the public life.

The Parliament acknowledges the right of people belonging to the ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities to dispose of their own educational, cultural and religious institutions, organisations or associations entitled to express and develop their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity. There exist no legal acts preventing the minorities to profess and to practice their religion or faith. There exist no restrictions as to the use of the objects of worship or to a free manifestation of their belief by Orthodoxes, Roman-Catholics, Baptists, Adventists, Pentecostals, mosaic community and the Armenian community.

On basis of the Document of the Copenhagen Convention the provisions of which state that apart from the necessity to learn the state official language the ethnic minorities should have the possibility to learn their mother tongue or get education in it, the Parliament of Moldova guarantees to persons belonging to the minorities the right to benefit from an education in their mother tongue.

By virtue of this provision the following educational institutions function on the territory of the Moldova Republic.
a)pre-school institutions: 614 with the teaching process in Romanian, 1333 in Russian, 373 in Russian-Romanian and 1 in Jewish;
b)high schools: 1032 with the teaching process in Romanian, 429 in Russian, 132 in Russian and Romanian, 11 classes in Bulgarian, 44 classes in Gagauzian, 174 classes in Ukrainian and one school in Jewish.
c)higher education institutions: about 1/3 of the students from the existing 11 higher education institutions study in Russian, whereas out of the total number of lecturers (4257) 783 are Russians, 395 Ukrainians, 56 Bulgarians and 41 Gagauz.

The Parliament ascertain the absence of any legislative or other obstacles able to hinder the persons belonging to the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities to participate to the public affairs. On the contrary their participation in all spheres of public administration is encouraged. Thus, in conformity to the principle of the proportional representation out of 356 members of the Parliament 257 are Moldovans, 49 are Russians, 32 are Ukrainian, 10 are Gagauz and 8 are Bulgarians. In the Government and in the executive of the public administration the Russians have 4 representatives, Ukrainians-3, Gagauz-1 and the Jews-one. In the local self-administration bodies Russians constitute 4.9%, Ukrainians 11.9%, Gagauz-3.2% and Bulgarians 2.5%. There could be deviations from these figures in certain regions, towns or communities depending on the prevalence of one nationality or another in the total number of population.

In conformity to the provision of the Document of the Copenhagen Convention, stating that the persons belonging to minorities should have the right to disseminate and to exchange information in their own language and at the same time should be secured an access to such an information, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova states the following state of affairs for the 1992: there exist three newspapers in Romanian, 4 in Russian, and 5 bilingual (Romanian and Russian) which are published and disseminated on the territory of the republic along with 16 magazines in Romanian, 3 in Russian, 2 in Ukrainian, 2 in Gagauz, 1 in Bulgarian, 14 in Romanian and in Russian, one in Yiddish and Russian and one in Russian and Gagauz. One should add to this the newspapers published in Russia and Ukraine which circulate on the territory of the Republic of Moldova without any restrictions. In respect to the book publishing business one can see that in 1991 402 books were published in Romanian with a circulation of more than 9 millions, 107 books were published in Russian with a circulation exceeding 6 million and 11 books were published in Gagauzian with a circulation exceeding 100 thousand copies.

Out of a daily 15 hours programme of the National TV 5 hours are in Russian, 3 hours per month are reserved for the programmes in Ukrainian, Gagauz and Bulgarian languages and 1.5 for Yiddish. The situation is similar in respect to the Radio programmes.

The provisions of a number of international documents including the final document from Copenhagen state the right of people belonging to the ethnic minorities to benefit from the establishment and maintenance of free contacts both within their country and abroad with the citizens sharing their own ethnic or national origin, their cultural heritage or religious beliefs. These provisions have materialized in the possibility of citizens who belong to the ethnic minorities to make unrestricted trips to their respective countries as well as in the possibility to make numerous international contacts and information exchanges.

The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova is fully aware of the fact that the changes that have taken place in our state after the disintegration of the former soviet empire generate a number of negative phenomena in the entire social, economic and political life affecting even the status of the ethnic linguistic and religious minorities. The state has taken measures to make the social impact of this transition less painful as well as to bring the juridical regulations in compliance with the demands of the process of the development of democracy in the Republic. Nevertheless due to the internal tension or the external one there were moments when the ethnic problem became a steering political principle.

From the experience of the states from the Central and Eastern Europe which have switched from a dictatorial political regime to a democratic one it is known that the alignment of the internal legislation on human rights to the international standards is the only mode able to consolidate the democratic processes and to ensure the legitimate rights of persons belonging to the ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities to protect and develop their identity. All the efforts undertaken by our state so far have followed this principle and the progress we have attained is in no way inferior to the one attained by the other above mentioned states. However attempts are still being made to present the conflict in Transnistria as having been generated by ethnic dissensions, by the violation of human rights of the ethnic and linguistic minorities. In reality this is nothing else than an attempt to undermine the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Moldova disguised under the ethnic pretexts or alleged violations of the human rights. Such pretexts, however, are rejected not only by the economic, social, political and juridical realities in this part of the country but also by the conclusions made by the representatives of different international for a dealing with the human rights. The latter after having visited Moldova gave a positive appreciation to the process of democratization under development and to the multiple measures undertaken for the consolidation of a law-governed state, for the security and protection of human rights inclusively for the promotion of the minorities’ identity.

The Parliament expresses its full readiness to do away with the real causes that have led to the conflict in Transnistria but is determined to do it starting from the idea that Moldova’s external political interests can be substituted by no internal pseudo-problems even when they are connected with the minorities. The Parliament is fully aware of the fact that the problems facing the persons belonging to the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities can be efficiently solved only by the Republic of Moldova itself. In view of this, except the legislative and organizational measures taken so far, the parliament is willing to find other constructive solutions which would ensure an observance of human rights and the protection of the minorities under discussion as full as possible. In order to achieve this goal efforts will be made to broaden the organizational and functional framework of the local self-administration. This will require a new law regarding the administrative organization of the Republic the provisions of which would envisage the creation of larger administrative territorial units, the counties. The principal towns of the country would have to be granted the status of a city. Also the creation of new structures of local self-administration would be necessary. The latter will have to include representatives of the communities elected in conformity to the principle of the proportional representation and in conformity to the wish of the electorate expressed by secret vote.

At the same time the Parliament is sure that the adoption in the nearest future of the law concerning the right of persons belonging to the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities will ensure a new possibility for a peaceful coexistence of Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians, Gagauzians, Bulgarians, Jews and other people of the country.

In conclusion the Parliament considers necessary to accelerate the adoption of a new Constitution which will serve as basis of the legislative process and of the Law and order in the country in conditions of democracy, of a Law-governed state and of an observance of the unanimously accepted norms of the international Law. We consider it necessary for the draft of the new Constitution to be subjected to a thorough examination which will meet the present political and scientific exigencies. Also it will be necessary for the new draft of the Constitution to be validated by the competent international for a, in the first place by the specialized bodies of the Council of Europe.

Chisinau
May 26, 1992
No 1039-XII
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