UMD Salutes Gruevski’s Speech to 66th United Nations General Assembly

September 24, 2011 – New York City – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) saluted Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s eloquent and forthcoming speech before the 66th United Nations General Assembly today. 

“We are Macedonians, we speak Macedonian, and our country’s name is the Republic of Macedonia,” declared Prime Minister Gruevski from the UN podium. The name dispute imposed by Greece has been “artificially created, absurd, and I believe for all of you, personally, intimately, it is also utterly incomprehensible.”

 “Prime Minister Gruevski used the UN podium to compellingly tell the story of Macedonia’s struggle over its name and identity stressing that ‘chauvinism’ has never been a dominant trait among Macedonians,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski who is in New York City attending various UN and Macedonia-related events.  “The Greek Foreign Minister’s speech yesterday calling for a new name for Macedonia to be used for everyone ‘erga omnes’ is exactly the chauvinism that the Balkans have been accustomed to for centuries and will not be tolerated.” 

“Please, just for a moment imagine that you are in our shoes, try to consider how would you feel like if someone demanded you not to be French, German, British, American, Russian, Chinese, Nigerian, Japanese, Argentinean, Uruguayan, Kenyan and so on,” Gruevski told the world leaders gathered at the UN.  “This is the only thing I ask you for: this is the only thing I plead you for.  I ask for your support to end this, for your support to allow us to be what we are.”

Gruevski thanked all 131 countries who recognize the Republic of Macedonia by its rightful name and for upholding to principles and values established by the United Nations.  He pointed out the absurdity that Macedonia cannot be called Macedonia in the very body, which established these principles and values, further highlighting the fact that Macedonia cannot join NATO and the EU due to this very issue.

During his speech, Gruevski pointed to a 2001 speech by the late President Boris Trajkovski, in which President Trajkovski stated the following, “we demand the international community to recognize us by our name – the Republic of Macedonia – and not by a fictional derivative.  It is high time that the world recognizes us by what we call ourselves – just like any other country and its citizens.  Otherwise, how do you expect us to believe in your values, principles and intentions, if you deny our basic right, the right to identity?” 

“Prime Minister Gruevski delivered the most direct speech that any Macedonian leader has delivered in the history of the United Nations as pertains to Greece’s problem with Macedonia’s name,” said Koloski.  “The entire Macedonian Diaspora stands ready to assist Macedonia and its leadership to protect Macedonia’s name, identity, and language.”

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) reiterates its unwavering support for retention of the one and only constitutional and rightful name of Macedonia, rejects all attempts to change or impose any other name upon Macedonia and the Macedonian people, and calls upon the Macedonian government to cease the ongoing UN negotiations and to submit a resolution before the UN General Assembly to be re-admitted to the UN under its one and only constitutional and rightful name — the Republic of Macedonia.

Click HERE to watch and read speech.

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