Dropping of Discriminatory ‘Slav’ Prefix is a Step in the Right Direction for Australia

Melbourne – 20 Feb 2012 – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) commends the decision of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and the Australian Government to abandon the administrative directive from 1994, which had the ‘slav’ prefix as a descriptor for Macedonians in Australia.

UMD Board Director & Perth Director Dame Krcoski added: “The Australian Government should now also abandon its discriminatory stance against the Republic of Macedonia, by dropping the ‘former Yugoslav’ nomenclature, and recognizing Macedonia by its true name. The nomenclature was introduced in 1994, without any parliamentary debate or proper scrutiny, and without input from the Macedonian community, which is most adversely affected.”

Macedonians in Australia have made a significant contribution to the development of the country, and deserve to be treated with respect. For many years, the Macedonian community has been campaigning for Australia to develop a just, nuanced and sustainable policy position on Macedonia’s right to self-identification, as is guaranteed by the UN Charter.

“Australia’s image and reputation in international affairs has been harmed by the current policy position on Macedonia, which is at odds with 133 countries in the world that have already recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name, including the USA, Canada, the UK, Russia, Turkey, Israel, India, China, and Indonesia. Australia must place its national and international interests ahead of acquiescing to the petty demands of the Greek lobby in Canberra,” said Ordan Andreevski, UMD Director for Australian Outreach.

UMD would like to congratulate the Australian Macedonian community and its many organizations, for their persistence in working to eliminate anti-Macedonian discrimination in Australia, and improving the bilateral relations between Australia and Macedonia. At the same time, UMD calls on the Australian Macedonian Community and its many organizations to not get distracted by this recent positive news, and to continue working hard until Australia does the right thing, and recognizes Macedonia under its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia.

 

Media Contact:

Ordan Andreevski

Director of Australian Outreach

United Macedonian Diaspora

Email: [email protected] Mob. 0438 385 466

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