NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
A conference to debate the implications of Cornwall’s inclusion in the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPNM) was held on Friday (4th September 2015) at St Austell.
The conference, called ‘Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities – Facts and opportunities!’ aimed to raise awareness among the general public about the FCPNM. The day was structured with speakers in the morning and a series of debates in the afternoon, focusing on the implications of the inclusion of the Cornish under the terms of the Convention. Speakers included the Leader of Lys Kernow/Cornwall Council, John Pollard, Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller and entertainer, Ed ‘Kernow King’ Rowe. Some of the questions that the Conference hoped to address included ‘What are the particular needs of Cornish people? and What aspects of Cornish life and experience are in need of attention?’
Gorsedh Kernow, who organised the conference, explained that the inclusion as a national minority, under the Convention, brings with it the need to understand how the Convention affects Cornish people and the institutions with which they interact. They went on to state that the 30 articles of the Convention gives the Cornish the ability of a national minority to express itself, to participate equably in society, to be treated fairly and without prejudice and to develop their culture in all its aspects on a level playing field within the multi-cultural setting of modern Europe and Britain.
The General Secretary of the Celtic League, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, said that the the Conference was a unique opportunity for the Cornish public to ask Cornwall Council what the Convention means for them:
“The inclusion of the Cornish under the Convention in April last year, was an important milestone in a long struggle for the Cornish to receive official recognition. The Celtic League played a key part in obtaining recognition for the Cornish over many years of campaigning, which included raising the matter directly with a representative of the Council of Europe directly at a conference in Denmark in 1998. I remember feeling very excited about the inclusion of the Cornish under the terms of the Convention and the protection that it could potentially offer the Cornish language and culture at the time, but the response from the Council was that inclusion ‘depends on what your government decides’. I came away from that meeting knowing that there was a huge battle ahead, but was a battle that we eventually won.
The Bretons are now the last of the Celtic peoples to be included under the terms of the Convention and I am looking forward to the day when the French Government make this concession too. The Celtic League will continue to call on the French Government to include the Bretons under the Convention in the same way as the UK Government has for the Cornish.”
(Submitted for CL News by Rhisiart Talebot)
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues