Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
The UNs ironic StandUp4HumanRights hashtag
Op-ed

The UN's “Human Rights Day” is a Celebration of Hypocrisy


“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Unless they’re Macedonian. Every December 10th, the United Nations celebrates “Human Rights Day” and proclaims their adherence to, and promotion of, the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while simultaneously trying to eradicate my ethnic group.

For the past three decades, the UN has been violating its own charter, international law and human rights conventions in its attempts to change the name of the Republic of Macedonia, the definition of “Macedonian”, and the identity and history of an entire ethnic group. Not only do these acts constitute cultural genocide, they also constitute genocide — as per the United Nations’ own definition of the term.

To the UN member-states that support this policy, what is your explanation?

Respecting and promoting human rights for all — unless you’re Macedonian — has become an unofficial amendment to the UN Charter, as it is blatantly violating two of its bedrock principles:

  • Article 2 (1) — “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members;” and
  • Article 2 (7) — “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter;”

“Sovereign” and “equal” members have the right to their own name and identity. Nothing authorizes the United Nations to interfere in the internal affairs of any nation-state. Legally and morally, the United Nations has no right to force a name and identity change on Macedonia and the Macedonian people.

And we are not just referring to Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia. The entire region of Macedonia was partitioned in 1913 (a fact admitted by all, oppressors included) among Serbia (now the independent Republic of Macedonia), Bulgaria, Greece and later, Albania. Macedonians have been fighting attempts at eradication ever since. Never did we think that it would also be against attacks by the UN.

Greece, ironically, outlawed the term “Macedonia” in 1913 and denied its existence until a dramatic propaganda switch in 1988, when it began a campaign of trying to deceive the world into believing that Macedonia was “Greek”. Let’s not forget though, that our other oppressors have also claimed Macedonia. Or, instead of being bogged down in a brutal game of Balkan roulette, we could just use common sense. Macedonia is Macedonian.

But common sense doesn’t work at the United Nations — foreign interventionism does.

But why force a name change on Macedonia? To appease Greece, so it refrains from vetoing Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership bids, which it threatened to do unless Macedonia changed its name to “North Macedonia”, threw away everything it ever meant to be Macedonian and handed the term “Macedonia” to Greece.

Greece’s goal in misappropriating Macedonia’s name — as admitted by many Greek politicians including former PM Constantine Mitsotakis — is to “wipe Macedonia off the map” and to deny its policy of persecution and cultural genocide against the large Macedonian minority in Greece.

If one believed the UN’s rhetoric (and ridiculous "#StandUp4HumanRights" hashtag), one would expect the UN to denounce, not assist, Greece in its quest to annihilate the existence of Macedonians’ ethnic identity.

But both ended up getting their wish —Macedonia’s name was forcibly and illegally changed, using brutal tactics, and despite mass opposition by the Macedonian people.

But what happens when one oppressor gets romanticized and coddled? Other oppressors get jealous! Notoriously anti-Macedonian Bulgaria hopped on the veto-train and made its own demands, including that Macedonia and Macedonians rewrite our history, change our identity, declare that we are “originally Bulgarian”, that our language is a “Bulgarian dialect” and that we completely abandon the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria and ignore Bulgaria’s persecution of Macedonians.

But wait! Bulgaria even threw in revisions of Jewish history to deny that it was an ally of Nazi Germany during World War II, occupied Macedonia, and deported over 7,000 Macedonian Jews to the Treblinka death camp in Poland.

Surreal.

So what would happen if Germany demanded that the French change their identity to being “originally German” and rewrite history to refer to Germany’s occupation of France as a “liberation”, all for an economic “prize”? This is what Bulgaria is doing to Macedonia for EU membership. The EU, of course, is NO prize (neither is NATO membership), but those are stories for another day.

Germany (and any other country) would be immediately condemned and reprimanded for a blatant violation of the rights that the UN (and EU/NATO) claim to uphold. So why not Greece and Bulgaria? Instead, these two countries get assistance in their cultural genocide campaigns against Macedonians so that the EU and NATO can increase their membership.

Yes, we’re offended.

So, what can (should) you do? Don’t believe that just because the ironically-named “United Nations” says it, it’s true. Make sure that those who use an inspirational-sounding hashtag actually believe in it. Call out hypocrisy and racism. And don’t ignore hatred against any ethnic group — including Macedonians. Treat us as equals. Join me, and all Macedonians, and demand a return of Macedonia’s name.

And here are a couple of hashtags that common sense actually supports — #OurNameIsMACEDONIA and #MacedoniaIsMACEDONIAN.

Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
twitter.com/BillNicholov

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Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. MHRMI demands respect for Macedonia's name, identity and human rights for oppressed Macedonians in the Balkans. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, info@mhrmi.org, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, instagram.com/MacedonianHumanRights, #OurNameIsMacedonia