Toronto, Canada and Melbourne, Australia (January 18, 2011) - On January 15, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said "I was pleased to see the dynamics created last year by direct dialogue between the two prime ministers of Greece and FYROM. Now it's time to move toward decisions that will settle this issue."
The reference to "FYROM" follows the United Nations recent removal of all references to the Macedonian language and the latest European Commission report that removed references to the Macedonian language and used the term "state language" instead. Macedonia had to demand reinstatement.
In response, European Union ambassador Erwan Fouere said, "The EU is not involved in changing the identity of people. Identity is something sacred and it should not be negotiable."
So why is the EU demanding that Macedonia change its name in order to gain membership?
More to the point, how does the Macedonian government justify negotiating its own name?
The United States and Western Europe have repeatedly called on Macedonia to find a "solution" to the name dispute. The only reason is because Macedonia indicates its willingness to compromise by continuing the nonsensical name negotiations.
131 countries have recognized Macedonia, including four of the five permanent UN Security Council members. As MHRMI and AMHRC state in the Our Name is Macedonia campaign, "We are winning. We have the power to end this. Stop negotiating our own name".
The Our Name is Macedonia campaign, which demands that Macedonia end all negotiations with Greece over its name, includes billboards throughout Macedonia, ads in print and online editions of major newspapers, television commercials, press conferences, radio interviews and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of flyers throughout the country.
This is the most crucial issue facing Macedonia and Macedonians. How can you help?
• Contact Macedonian government officials and demand an immediate end to the negotiations. Contact information is on the Our Name is Macedonia webpage.
• Sign on to the campaign, as an individual or organization, by visiting www.mhrmi.org/our_name_is_macedonia
• Every Macedonian website should have an Our Name is Macedonia banner - www.mhrmi.org/our_name_is_macedonia/web
• Promote the campaign in Macedonian communities worldwide. For ad campaign posters or more information, please contact us.
• Demand support from the international community. We will provide contact information for government officials and media.
• Make a donation. Join the MHRMI Human Rights Fund (www.mhrmi.org/donation.asp) or the AMHRC Minorities Support Fund (www.macedonianhr.org.au/03getinvolved)
Silence is not an option. Our Name is Macedonia.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com or via +61 3 93298960.