With the support of our members and donors worldwide, UMD has been able to bring global Macedonian advocacy to a whole new level, more professional, more vocal, and more influential.
Presence in Washington, D.C.
UMD became the first, and currently, only Macedonian organization to have a full-time presence in Washington, D.C. In May 2008, UMD opened its first office in the heart of Washington, D.C. just blocks away from the White House and Congress. Since then, UMD hired full-time staff and established a fellowship program bringing students and recent graduates to Washington, D.C. to gain necessary skills in international affairs.
Prior to the start of UMD, opposing ethnic interest groups had free-reign on setting U.S. policy towards Macedonia. UMD provides the Macedonian perspective and believes it is time for Macedonians to define their own future.
First-Ever Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans
Since UMD was founded, the organization has worked to establish relationships with members of Congress on the importance of a strong U.S.-Macedonia friendship. Before 2004, Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans had limited support from the U.S. Congress. In 2011, the first-ever Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans was formed, and currently, consists of 15 members. This is the first time a Congressional Member’s Organization holds the name “Macedonia” and “Macedonian,” thus recognizing the self-determination of our nation.
Macedonia in NATO Campaign
UMD strongly believes that Macedonia deserves and has fulfilled all membership criteria to join the NATO Alliance. UMD has maintained an educational-informative campaign in support of Macedonia’s NATO membership since 2007. In 2009, 15 members of Congress wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging strong support for strengthening U.S.-Macedonia relations. In 2010, prior to the Lisbon Summit, 19 members of Congress urged President Barack Obama to use concerted diplomatic efforts for Macedonia to receive a membership invitation. Due to increased bipartisan support for Macedonia, as a result of UMD and the efforts of the Macedonian-American community, in March 2012, a historic number of 54 members of Congress asked President Obama to take a leadership role during the Chicago Summit and invite Macedonia to the Alliance.
Uniting the Macedonian Diaspora
UMD has always maintained the goal of uniting the global Macedonian Diaspora communities. Since 2009, UMD has hosted annually a global Diaspora Conference bringing together over 1,500 delegates from more than 23 countries around the world to tackle the challenges and issues Macedonians face today. In addition, UMD encourages active participation by our Diaspora in the future of our homeland, Macedonia.
- Met four times with UN Ambassador Matthew Nimetz to reiterate the Macedonian Diaspora’s policy of no name change;
- Organized multiple Advocacy Days in U.S. Congress and the U.N.;
- Led the Macedonian-American 2010 Census Project Coalition (2010);
- Hosted roundtable discussions between the Macedonian Diaspora and Macedonia’s top leadership;
- Published op-ed pieces in the Washington Times, Foreign Policy Association, among other publications;
- Co-organized and handled media relations for Macedonia Name Protest in Melbourne – 20,000+ protesters (2008);
- Co-organized three Forums on Advancing Australian-Macedonian Relations in Australian Parliament in Canberra and celebrations of Macedonia’s 20th Anniversary of Independence (2009-11);
- Provided management support to Australia Research Council Linkage project “Survey of the Macedonian Community and Links with Macedonia,” in partnership with the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Victoria University (2009-11) – report was launched in 2012 co-authored by UMD Australia Director Ordan Andreevski;
- Published nine pro-Macedonian op-ed pieces on Australian Foreign Policy.
- Presented Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the UMD Goce Delchev Award (2010);
- Led four delegations to Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa;
- Published full-page op-ed in the National Post;
- Hosted Macedonian activists from the Balkans to meet with policy makers in Ottawa, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. (2007-10);
- Sponsored two University of Toronto student trips to Macedonia (2009-10).
- Led delegation to European Parliament in Brussels (2009);
- Coordinated 3 million+ e-mails to EU Parliamentarians protesting discrimination of Macedonian minority in Bulgaria (2006);
- Established representation in five European countries.
Various Cultural, Educational, and Humanitarian Programs
- Sponsored the Macedonian Film Festivals in London (2009) and Toronto (2009-11); Macedonian Cultural Festival in New Jersey (2008); Macedonian Food Festival in Perth (2011);
- Awarded $14,000 in scholarships;
- Premiered the movies “A Name is A Name” in six cities (2009-10) and “Next Year in Lerin” at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (2009);
- Sponsored 7th Macedonian-North American Conference of Macedonian Studies, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (2009);
- Donated $20,000+ in needed assistance to children and senior citizens in Macedonia.