VINIUS (QHA) -

Adopted after a 3-day meeting of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, the Declaration states that Crimea’s fate will be decided solely by the Crimean Tatars. According to the Declaration, any decision made against the will of the Crimean Tatars shall be deemed unjust. The Congress’s participants assured the international community of their readiness for dialogue at the international level and called on the nations of the world to do more for de-occupation of Crimea.

The full and unabridged text of the Declaration is provided below:

The Executive Board of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars convened in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, on 11-13 April 2016. With reference to the General Assembly Resolution of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars and the declarations made by the participants of the international conference on the “Human Rights Violations in Crimea” at the first session of the meeting;

1) The right to self determination of the Crimea belongs to the Crimean Tatar People, being the indigenous people of the Crimea. Any decision neglecting the will of the Crimean Tatars on the destiny of the Crimea cannot establish the justice.

2) Nevertheless, on the destiny of the Crimea, the Crimean Tatar People is open to all types of international dialogue providing the invasion of the Crimea be immediately stopped. The international community should also show much more effort than current policies toward the realisation of this condition for dialogue. The main purpose of this dialogue is to defend and reestablish the rights of the Crimean Tatar People.

3) Again today, the world is going through difficult times, which peace, democracy and human rights are threatened. World and European leaders should take brave decisions in order not to allow the humanity to live through the dark days of the very recent history once again. From this point of view, the World Congress of Crimean Tatars calls for;

1) That the European Union, the European Parliament and all national parliaments of the world respecting human rights, freedoms, peace and democracy recognize that the Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people of the Crimea and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatar People, and develop cooperation mechanisms with the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People,

2) That, to convict the crimes committed against the Crimean Tatar People in the conscience of humanity and history, the big deportation of the Crimean Tatar People on 18 May 1944 be recognized as a genocide by the European Parliament, all national parliaments and institutions,

3) That the provisions concerning the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Constitution of Ukraine be drawn up to acknowledge the will and rights of the Crimean Tatar People, the autonomy of the Crimean Tatars based on geographical, administrative and national state in Crimea,

 4) Lastly, that the Ukraine government enact the necessary laws to recognize the National Qurultai of the Crimean Tatar People and the National Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People elected by the former as the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars.

The World Congress of the Crimean Tatar people (WCCT) is an organization bringing together Crimean Tatars living in their historic homeland of Crimea, as well as in Turkey, Romania, Poland, USA, Canada, Lithuania, Western Europe and Central Asia.

A first meeting of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, held in Simferopol /Aqmescit on May 9, 2009, was attended by 420 delegates from 13 countries. At that meeting, Refat Chubarov was elected the organization’s Chairman.

A second meeting of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, held in Ankara on August 1-2, 2015, was attended by 180 members of Crimean Tatar NGOs from 12 countries, as well as authorized representatives of government circles, NGOs and media. The meeting’s participants decided to establish an international non-governmental organization called ‘the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars" in order to promote Crimean Tatar self-governing bodies internationally. Refat Chubarov was re-elected Chairman of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars at that meeting. Members of the Congress’ Executive Committee, comprised of 21 representatives, as well as members of the Audit Commission, were also elected during the meeting.

Three meetings of the Executive Committee were held in Romania and Ukraine - in Kiev and in the village of Chongar, the Kherson region.

The fourth meeting took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, and went on from April 11, 2016 till April 13, 2016. The 3-day event was attended by Mustafa Jemilev, Leader of the Crimean Tatar People, Advisor to the Ukrainian President for Crimean Tatar Affairs and Ukrainian MP and Refat Chubarov, Mejlis Chairman, Chairman of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatar people, Loreta Grauzhinene, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas, former Belorussian president Stanislav Shushkevitch, Ukrainian and Lithuanian ambassadors, members of Ukrainian and Russian human rights groups, as well as 21 representatives of the World Crimean Tatar Congress from Bulgaria, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA. Participants of the Congress were welcomed by US Senator John McCain, who delivered a pre-recorded welcoming address.

On April 12, 2016, Mustafa Jemilev and Refat Chubarov met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. The meeting was also attended by Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Community in Lithuania Adas Jakubauskas.

QHA