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MHRMI/AMHRC Press Release

Macedonians Demand End to Name Negotiations

August 19, 2010

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Our Name is Macedonia Toronto, Canada and Melbourne, Australia (August 19, 2010) - Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia, and throughout the world, are showing overwhelming support for the "Our Name is Macedonia" ad campaign, which demands that Macedonia end all negotiations with Greece over its name.

Ads are appearing in print and online editions of major newspapers, television commercials are airing, billboards in the centre of Skopje are going up, and hundreds of thousands of flyers are being distributed throughout the country.

MHRMI and AMHRC will also hold its third press conference announcing another update to the campaign.

However, some Macedonian media outlets have decided to ignore the message of the ad campaign and publish articles attacking the Macedonian diaspora for initiating it, and even criticizing the child that appears in the ad in a desperate attempt to detract from the message. They have decided to continue their own campaign of scare-mongering, trying to convince the Macedonian public that a name change is necessary in order to enter NATO and the EU.

This ad campaign is not about embracing or rejecting NATO and EU membership. It is about finally putting an end to the nonsensical "name negotiations".

The focus never should have been on Macedonia to compromise its own name and identity. The focus should be on NATO, the EU, and its member-states upholding their principles, supporting and recognizing Macedonia. NATO and the EU should reprimand Greece for handcuffing them based on its xenophobic policies.

Countries that have recognized Macedonia must publicly support it and not call for "compromise".

The first UN mediator for the name dispute, Robin O'Neil, said that "Macedonia must not and will not change its name in order to appease Greece. If Macedonia succumbs to pressures and changes its name, such events will only give more firepower to Greece until it reaches its final goal - Macedonia to vanish from the map."

Even changing the name bilaterally would change it permanently everywhere. Countries that have recognized Macedonia have said "If a bilateral solution is reached, we will abide by that decision and use the new name for Macedonia".

By continuing the negotiations, we are telling the world "we will change our name". We have the power to end this. 127 countries have recognized Macedonia, including 4/5 United Nations Security Council members. Stop negotiating our own name.

MHRMI and AMHRC call on Macedonians, in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad, to join our call for Macedonia to immediately cease name negotiations and demand immediate international recognition.

To sign on or see the ad campaign, please visit:
Our Name is Macedonia

English ad:
www.mhrmi.org/images/campaign.pdf

Macedonian ad:
www.mhrmi.org/images/campaign_m.pdf

To put a banner on your website, please visit:
www.mhrmi.org/our_name_is_macedonia/web

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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. For more information, please visit www.mhrmi.org, or contact MHRMI at 416-850-7125, or info@mhrmi.org.

Established in 1984 the Australian Macedonian Human Rights Committee (AMHRC) is a non governmental organisation that informs and advocates to governments, international institutions and broader communities about combating discrimination and promoting basic human rights. Our aspiration is to ensure that Macedonian communities and other excluded groups throughout the world are recognised, respected and afforded equitable treatment. For more information please visit www.macedonianhr.org.au, or contact AMHRC at macedonian_rights@hotmail.com or via +61 3 93298960.
 
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