November 11, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) congratulated Macedonia today on its successful Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee of Ministers. UMD congratulates Turkey on assuming the new role of Chair. The Foreign Affairs Ministers of Council of Europe member states hold the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the executive body of the organization, on a rotating basis in alphabetical order, for a six-month term, which Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski completed yesterday.
“The leadership displayed by Minister Miloshoski and the Macedonian Government during its Chairmanship is commendable,” stated UMD Chairman of the Board Stojan Nikolov. “Macedonia has paved the way for greater and necessary reforms of the Council of Europe, but most notably, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which is Europe’s best mechanism to monitor violations of civil and human rights in its member states.”
During Macedonia’s chairmanship Minister Miloshoski and his team worked hard to improve the international standing of the CoE and make it an even more effective organization. Among some of Macedonia’s successes during the last six-months have been:
- Organizing a conference on Roma rights at which a declaration was adopted by all CoE member states aimed at greater protection of Roma rights by offering specific actions that would allow better access for Roma to acquire education, the proper enjoyment of social and health care, employment, and housing.
- Strengthening the principle of subsidiarity through the effective implementation of the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights in the domestic legal orders of CoE member states – an essential principle for ensuring the long-term effectiveness of the Convention system.
- Enhancing the CoE’s engagement in Georgia – this gradually opens the doors for cooperation between the CoE and Georgia in the protection of human rights and the areas affected by conflict in 2008, especially the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu vowed yesterday to continue the work set out by Foreign Minister Miloshoski and the ambitious reform package presented by the CoE’s Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland. Minister Davutoğlu announced his countries priorities yesterday including reforming the ECHR and the full accession of the European Union to the ECHR. The Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force in December 2009 calls for the accession of the EU to the ECHR.
“The EU’s accession to the Court will only benefit Europe and its’ credibility,” stated UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “This will hopefully ensure that EU member states like Bulgaria and Greece will fulfill and implement their civil and human rights obligations, including recognizing the existence of a Macedonian minority within their borders.”
Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe (CoE), one of the oldest international organizations, has 47 member states representing close to 800 million citizens. Macedonia joined the CoE on November 9, 1995, fifteen years ago.
Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is a leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.