«Jewish Observer»
December 2001
5762 Tevet

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The Conference of 11 national organizations that took place December 7 - 8 in Kiev made a decision to create the Congress of National Communities. Over 100 delegates from 20 regions of Ukraine established already the fifth interethnic association. Georgy Mozer and Stanislav Nostsky who head the German and Polish community respectively were elected the Congress Co - Chairmen. The elected Board of Trustees included Ivan Plachkov, Alexander Feldman, Alexander Mashkevich, Ezhy Konek, Mikhail Yuris and Ivan Leisle. The Chairman of the Vaad of Ukraine, Executive Vice- President of the Jewish Confederation Yosif Zisels was elected Executive Vice - President.

The first issue of the Congress newspaper "Forum of nations" (in Ukrainian) was timed to coincide with the Conference.

- We were thinking about the perspectives for the future, - said the people's deputy Ion Popesku representing the Romanian community. He was elected the Chairman of the Congress Interregional Council. Each community will decide what political party it will support at the coming elections. In this case we will be able to demand from political parties to adopt the Law on Election that would presuppose quotas for the representatives of national minorities as is the case, for instance, in Croatia, Romania, Poland. If we speak about culture and not about politics we are to concentrate our attention on the cultural autonomy.

- Today's event, - underlines Yosif Zisels, - is, undoubtedly, remarkable. Why do people and structures unite in general? It is clear that weak organizations, and we represent weak communities for we live in difficult times in the country that experiences considerable difficulties, get together to try to solve problems common to them. Similar structures already exist.. There is nothing strange here. A civil society is characterized by the existence of various public structures.

It is another question whether they fulfil their tasks. Will a new structure be able to solve the problems it faces? We don' t have such confidence. Nonetheless, there is a hope that in the Congress we shall cope with new tasks on a higher level taking into consideration a high professional level of the events we have organized during recent years (conferences on the problems of national education, social protection, interethnic tolerance, topical round tables).


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