Invitation National Press Conference Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 10 -11 am
Dresden. The Serbski Sejm, the democratically elected parliament of the Sorbs/Wends, invites you to the Landespressekonferenz, Bernhard-von-Lindenau-Platz 1, 01067 Dresden, on Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 10 -11 am. The discussion partners are Hajko Kozel, Dr Měrćin Wałda and Jadwiga Pjacec, MPs and committee members of the Sorbian Parliament. This demands the granting of rights for the Sorbian people in accordance with the ratified ILO UN Convention 169 and a hearing on the report on the situation of the Sorbian people by the Saxon state government, which is presented to the state parliament by the state government at least once in each legislative period in accordance with § 7 of the Saxon Sorbs Act. The fact that the Serbski Sejm has so far been denied any substantive statement on this report appears to be guided by interests.
The statement of the Serbski Sejm on the 6th Sorbs Report of the State Government of Saxony was unread and brusquely rejected by the responsible ministry. „The Free State of Saxony, which precisely ignores the opinion of the democratically elected parliament of the Sorbian/Wendish people when drawing up a report on the very same, on top of that refuses any request for talks and only admits hand-picked actors, some of whom are directly financially or otherwise dependent on the state, is putting its credibility as a democratic institution on the line,“ says the Sorbian member of parliament Hajko Kozel. Therefore, the Serbski Sejm presents its view regarding the situation of the Sorbian people during the press conference.
The report on the situation of the Sorbian people is being prepared with the assistance of the Saxon State Ministries, the Council for Sorbian Affairs, the Domowina - Bund Lausitzer Sorben e.V., the Foundation for the Sorbian People and the Catholic and Protestant Office of Saxony. The Serbski Sejm requests that the report be revised and clarified in essential points. „The Sorbs report contradicts our rights accruing from ILO 169, in that the state does not recognise the diversity of indigenous peoples, but only talks to actors designated by it.“
Despite intensive efforts, Sorbian MPs have not yet succeeded in initiating constructive talks with the federal government on the impact of ILO169 on the indigenous people of the Sorbs and Wends living in Germany. Now the Serbski Sejm is urging the government to recognise the indigeneity of the Sorbian/Wendish people when drawing up the first ILO accountability report on its measures resulting from ratification and to enter into negotiations with the Sejm in the short term. Otherwise, the Sejm will be forced to demand this at the international level. „This poses a serious risk that the federal government will do serious damage to our country's reputation with regard to respect for human and international rights,“ said Dr Měrćin Wałda.
Background: The Serbski Sejm, the first parliament of the Sorbs and Wends in Germany to emerge from general, direct, free, equal and secret elections in 2018, works politically on the basis of the Basic Law and international law and according to the consensus principle. The Sejm consists of 24 honorary deputies and meets regularly at different locations in Lusatia. All resolutions and minutes are freely accessible at www.dokumenty.serbskisejm.de
Following the ratification of the ILO169 by the Bundestag on 15.4.2021, the „Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs“ was commissioned by the Serbski Sejm to take up the opportunities that could be derived for the Sorbs/Wends people. On 12.6.2021, the Serbski Sejm declared the Sorbs/Wends as an indigenous people and demanded the self- and co-determination rights that go with it.