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Decree of the President of the Russian Federation
"On the Structure of the Federal Bodies of the Executive Authority"
"With the view to form the effective structure of the federal bodies of the executive authority, according to Article 112 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the federal Constitutional law “On the government of the Russian Federation,” I decree:
1. To confirm the enclosed structure of the federal bodies of the executive authority.
2. To abolish: The Ministry for the affairs of the Commonwealth of the Independent States; the Ministry for Science and Technology; the Ministry for Commerce; Economy Ministry; the State Committee for the Problems of the North; the State Committee for Land Policy; the State Committee for Cinematography; the State Committee for Environmental Protection; the State Committee for the Problems of Youth; the Federal Service of Air Transport of Russia; the Federal Migration Department; the Federal Department of Russia for Currency and Export Control; the Russian Road Agency.
3. To form: The Ministry for Economic Development and Commerce of Russia having delegated to it a part of the functions of the abolished Ministries for the Affairs of CIS, Commerce, Economy, the State Committee for the Problems of the North; the Federal Service for Currency and Export Control and reformed Ministry for Physical Training, Sport and Tourism; the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies having delegated to it the functions of the abolished Ministry of Science and Technologies and also a part of the functions of the abolished Ministries for Commerce and Economy; the Federal Service of the Land-Survey having delegated to it a part of the functions of the abolished State Committee for Land Policy.
4. To delegate: to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a part of the functions of the abolished Ministry for the Affairs of CIS; to the Ministry of Culture the functions of the abolished State Committee for Cinematography; to the Ministry of Education the functions of the abolished State Committee for the Problems of Youth; to the Ministry of Natural Resources the functions of the abolished State Committee for Environmental Protection and Federal Service of Forestry; to the Transport Ministry the functions of the abolished Federal Service of Air Transport and Road Agency; to the Finance Ministry a part of the functions of the abolished Federal Service for Currency and Export Control.
5. To reform: The Ministry of State Property to the Ministry privity having delegated to it a part of the functions of the abolished State Committee for Land Policy; the Ministry of Physical Training, Sport and Tourism to the State Committee for Physical Training, Sport and Tourism; the Ministry for Affairs of the Federation and Nationalities to the Ministry for the Affairs of Federation, National and Migration Policy having delegated to it a part of the functions of the abolished Federal Migration Service and a part of the functions of the abolished State Committee for the Problems of the North; the Agriculture and Food Ministry to the Ministry for Agriculture; the Ministry of Fuel and Energy to the Ministry of Energy. The State Courier Service attached to the Government of Russia to the State Courier Service; the Federal Service for Special Building attached to the Government to the Federal Service of Special Building.
6. To determine that the Chairman of Government has 5 deputies including the Deputy Chairman of the Government - Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Chairman of the Government - Finance Minister.
7. To determine that the co-ordination of the work of the federal ministers, heads of other federal bodies of the executive authority and the control over their activity are realized by the Chairman of the Government and his deputies according to the allocation of the responsibilities between the deputies Chairman of the Government. To determine that in case the Chairman of the Government is absent temporally, the fulfilment of his responsibilities is laid upon one of his deputies according to the allocation of the responsibilities.
8. The government of Russia is to allocate the functions of the abolished federal bodies of the executive authority depending on the Clauses of the present decree within a month; to confirm the instructions about the newly formed and reformed federal bodies of the executive authority within 2 months; to confirm the ultimate number and the wage fund of the members of the central staff of the federal bodies of the executive authority within a month; to provide for the holding of the liquidation procedures and rendering the facilities and compensations to the dismissed members according to the legislation of Russia; to submit the proposals on the introduction of the corresponding alterations to the acts of the President about the federal bodies of the executive authority within a month; to bring the acts into accord with the present decree.
9. The Chief state and legal department of the President is to submit the proposals on bringing the acts of the President into accord with the present decree within 2 months.
10. The present decree comes into effect from the date of its publishing."
Decree no. 867, signed on 17 May 2000
International Workshop on Key Problems of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North: Conclusions And Recommendations
RAIPON, Moscow, 17-18 September, 1999
The International Workshop on Key Problems of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North was organised by the International Arctic Science Committee, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the support and active participation of the Russian Ministry of Regional Policy (restored now as the State Committee of Russian Federation for Northern Affairs). The workshop coincided with, and was coordinated with, the Third Summit of Arctic Leaders (Associations and Organisations of Indigenous Peoples of the North) that took place on September 14-16 and was dedicated to health problems faced by indigenous peoples with special attention to the Russian North, Siberia and the Far East. This timing provided a unique opportunity to fully integrate the representatives of regional RAIPON branches into the workshop. There was also an opportunity for the foreign guests to participate in the workshop’s discussions.
Workshop organisers forwarded the following research topics for discussion:
1) Legal regulation of natural resource use and land tenure in areas where indigenous peoples of the North live.
2) Analysis of socio-economic conditions and their impact on the livelihood of indigenous peoples.
3) Physiological and psychological aspects of alcoholism and the modern methods used to combat negative social tendencies.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
1) Analyze current conditions using materials gathered in the field;
2) Assess leading, currently used approaches to look for ways to reduce underlying causes of the problems discussed at the workshop;
3) Identify issues requiring additional methodological and scientific research and to suggest approaches to solve these problems at both the federal and regional levels.
A total of 112 people, including 33 foreigners, participated in the workshop. The Russian Academy of Sciences was represented by members from Moscow, St-Petersburg, Syktyvkar, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Magadan, Murmansk, Norilsk and Yakutsk. Regions were extremely well represented as well. In addition to regional branches of RAIPON, the workshop's organising committee also invited land tenure and natural resource use specialists to the summit. Physicians, lawyers, and teachers whose professional activities are directly linked to the problems (legal, employment, health, education and culture) faced by indigenous peoples were also invited. Scientists from the USA, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Finland were among the foreign participants. These countries also sent representatives from both their federal and regional level administrative structures, people who are responsible for making decisions affecting native peoples.
The workshop participants remarked on how well the workshop discussions were organised. Four plenary reports had the form of a draft decree, and those present were introduced to the range of issues to be discussed. All those present were give a chance to make a presentation, ask questions and obtain answers. High quality, professional, synchronic translation made it possible for all participants to engage one another during the two-day workshop.
DISCUSSION TOPIC ONE
The following issues were discussed in the context of discussion topic one:
a) Relations between local and federal authorities on land tenure and natural resource use issues;
b) Appropriate legal measures to protect the most important natural resource use rights of indigenous peoples of the north;
c) Directive on the legal status of associations of indigenous peoples of the North and the law on representative bodies that are legally binding;
d) Development of conciliatory and contract terms;
e) Effectiveness of foreign legislation to resolve problems faced by indigenous peoples of the North and their adaptation to Russian conditions.
Regional RAIPON representatives made presentations on the most acute problems in their regions, districts, and villages affecting the lives of indigenous peoples.
Based on a discussion of these issues, the workshop participants identified the following areas that are in need of special scientific study:
1) Assess the current conceptual basis of, and develop new terms and criteria for, determining the ethnic affiliation of individuals to specific groups of Russian peoples that are currently designated as "indigenous peoples of the North", in accordance with Russian experience and international practice; this should include standardization of the terms used in legal acts regulating the activities of this group of the populace.
2) Standardize the term "territory of traditional nature use" (TTP) by establishing a conceptual basis for this kind of territory: status of TTP and the rights of indigenous peoples of the North; the procedure for defining boundaries and for changing possession; acceptable types of economic activities; management principles; ethnic composition.
3) Develop model projects emphasizing sustainable, ethno-ecological territories and models for self-management bodies for indigenous peoples of the North in view of the historical, socio-economic, cultural and regional features of their life-style.
4) Support establishment of an Indigenous Training Law Institute in the Russian Federation. The objective of this initiative is to promote the implementation of existing laws and to ensure the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in the Russian Federation by providing training, textbooks, and exchange visits.
The TTP should be considered the basic land holding for indigenous peoples of the North and it is essential to introduce this term into several laws at once. Even more daunting is the task of putting the procedure into practice. The most immediate and demanding issue is coming up with a scientific formulation for the very notion of a TTP and a single procedure for using these holdings in all areas where indigenous peoples of the North live. This research is also connected to the question of integrating scientific and traditional knowledge on nature use and requires obligatory follow-up ethno-ecological monitoring. The workshop's discussion of the legal status, as well as other aspects of the TTP question, showed that there are large differences in views and approaches on the issue of how to resolve land tenure among indigenous peoples of the North. Scientists and local specialists expressed contradictory, and often conflicting views on the topic.
Further study is needed to prepare materials for federal laws on "Lands for Traditional Nature Use" and on "Reindeer Herding", as well as to prepare comments and other legal acts for already existing Russian Federation laws "On Guarantees of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples", on "Production Sharing Agreements", "On Minerals", as well as for inclusion in all the charters of autonomous regions and other Federation relations on whose land live indigenous peoples of the North.
DISCUSSION TOPIC TWO
The second discussion topic - living conditions and quality of life – highlighted the continuing decline in the quality of life and a sharp worsening of all demographic indicators. A decline in the life span, especially among indigenous males, and an increase in suicides among young and middle age people are also observed.
Extremely unfavorable socio-economic conditions for indigenous peoples of the North serve as a basis for these negative trends. The workshop participants developed a basic list of research on circumpolar living conditions for indigenous peoples. A first step is international scientific research planned by RAIPON together with foreign researchers on the Kola Peninsula and on Chukotka.
In their report, RAIPON pointed out that the declines observed among indigenous peoples of the North cannot be explained by unfavorable socio-economic factors alone. The reason is more obviously the continuing degraded state of other aspects of society that are having an impact on the way of life of people of the North. The workshop's foreign participants pointed out that the problem is significantly more complex than often thought and that it cannot simply be explained away by impoverished economic conditions. Suicide remains a serious problem even in those Acrtic countries (USA, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavian countries) where land tenure for indigenous peoples has been resolved and where federal financial support is provided to address underlying causes. In this context, the issue of "Ethno-Sociological and Psychological Reasons for the Growth in Suicide among Indigenous Peoples of the North" requires special research that would be best carried out through joint scientific efforts from Arctic countries.
Changes in diet have a negative impact on northern peoples. The result of government policy and market oriented structures is that unfamiliar food products are being foisted on indigenous peoples when at the same unjustified restrictions in the use of a traditional diet - fish, wild game, birds and marine mammals - are being put into place. This has a pernicious impact upon the health of indigenous peoples, their resistance to illnesses, on the adaptive capacities of the organism to deal with extreme natural and climatic conditions. This problem is so vital to preserving the health of current and future generations of indigenous peoples that the scientific study of their nutritional needs must be a part of any study of the conditions affecting the way of life of indigenous population and is an area that requires special research.
The collapse of traditional economic activities and the shift of a part of the indigenous population, especially young people, to urban settings are at the root of a number of social and economic problems. One problem is that indigenous peoples have trouble finding work in non-traditional areas. It is the opinion of the workshop participants that it is essential to conduct research to advance new views among indigenous peoples on their position in modern society and the economy, with an orientation on the need for both a renaissance and adaptation of traditional economic areas, and on opportunities to find a satisfying lot in life. This research should lead to radical changes in social policy at the regional and local levels, and also to new understandings that will help in finding ways to solicit federal financial support.
The issues of living conditions and alcoholism are closely related and combining them for discussion at one workshop provided an opportunity for various specialists to present their views on this complex problem. The problem of alcohol abuse in Russian society is a generally known fact, however, this problem is also very acute in other countries and so it is expedient to combine the efforts of scientists and specialists of various countries to work on ways to reduce the impacts of alcohol abuse on indigenous peoples.
DISCUSSION TOPIC THREE
The third topic at the workshop was dedicated to a discussion of alcoholic abuse and the specific features of this illness among the indigenous peoples of the North. Workshop participants supported the view that the problem is extremely important both as a medical and a psychological issue. It is paramount that scientists find out more about the results of various programs being carried out to combat alcoholism. The assessment made by practicing physicians and scientists was to recommend a further exchange of opinions to make programs more effective. Coercive hypnotism and vitaminization of food products as methods to combat alcoholism are viewed in different way by native peoples, especially when the results of psychological methods have a more successful and long lasting effect. A close tie between alcoholism and increasing incidents of suicide and violent death was shown. This problem, in the opinion of the Russian and foreign participants, requires further comparative study in different parts of Russian Federation and abroad. Simultaneously, research on exclusively medical aspects of the disease must be accompanied by study of a broad spectrum of social and economic issues: employment and unemployment, social position and political status, the freedom, on the one hand, to express ones ethnic-cultural heritage while, on the other, the ability to adapt to the new demands of life, a claim to individuality in society, etc. Only an integrated, systemic study of chronic and universal tendencies will put society on track. All that can be confirmed for the time being is that there is a rather simplified understanding of what is an extremely complex issue and that there is a limited understanding of the real reasons underlying alcohol abuse. So the issue "Socio-Political and Medical-Biological Aspects of Alcoholism Among Peoples of the North: Comparative Research in Arctic Countries" was acknowledged by workshop participants as an urgent topic that needs the active involvement of scientists of various countries.
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