Macedonian Diaspora Leaders Met UN Envoy Matthew Nimetz
May 20, 2005
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 20, 2005
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Representative leaders from the Macedonian Diaspora in North America Gligor Tashkovich of New York City, Metodija A. Koloski of the United
Macedonian Diaspora in Washington, D.C. and Mark Opashinov of the Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada in Toronto met earlier this month
with United Nations envoy Ambassador Matthew Nimetz who is responsible for the mediation between the Republic of Greece and the Republic of
Macedonia. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent proposal of “Republika Makedonija-Skopje” made by Ambassador Nimetz to be used
for bilateral relations between Greece and Macedonia.
The Macedonian Diaspora representatives pointed out to Ambassador Nimetz that in accordance with relevant international norms, the Republic of
Macedonia -- as is the case with any other country -- has the right to self-determination, which is enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
One of the basic definitions of this right is the right to one’s identity and name. The Republic of Macedonia does not hold nor does it claim
to hold exclusive rights over the name Macedonia in geographic, cultural, or historic terms. However, Greece does not have any such exclusive
rights either. The representatives further explained that the Republic of Macedonia is neither demanding change nor objecting to the use of the
name “Macedonia” to designate Greece’s northern province.
Regarding the name proposal made by Ambassador Nimetz, the representatives pointed out that the proposed name is derogatory and adversely
affects Macedonians in Greece. The proposed name would open the doors for Greece to refer to ethnic Macedonians – including those that live in
Greece – as “Skopjians,” a term that Macedonians everywhere consider derogatory. The implicit sanction of this term by such a bilateral
resolution to the name dispute will have especially harsh consequences for the Macedonians of Greece, as it would legitimize Greece’s official
policy of non-recognition and persecution of its sizable ethnic Macedonian national minority.
The Macedonian Diaspora representatives reiterated that the discussions between Greece and Macedonia are about bilateral recognition only, and
should neither impact nor impede continued international recognition of the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name.
The United Macedonian Diaspora is an international organization whose mission is to address the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian
communities throughout the world.
Contact: (202) 294-3400; email@example.com
The Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada (MHRMC) has been active on human rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since
1986. Its main objective is to pursue and attain all fundamental human and national rights including the right of freedom of expression and
association and to support all democratic principles for all ethnic Macedonians, and other oppressed peoples.
Contact: (416) 850-7125; firstname.lastname@example.org