Wow, the United Macedonian Diaspora has grown to be the largest and most active Macedonian organization worldwide in a very short timeframe. The Macedonian community worldwide has truly proven the UMD motto, United We Can! As a united family of Macedonian emigrants, we can help the Macedonian cause wherever we are. The love for our ancestral homeland does not decrease with the miles and the years being away, but rather grows with the knowledge of what a great country we have left behind. UMD’s success is founded upon your support, but also on the shoulders of hundreds of our members and activists that have unselfishly volunteered their time and effort to further our cause in the past few years.
In the past year, UMD continued to lead advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. For the first time ever, the Macedonian community worldwide opened an office in Washington, D.C., one of the great political and diplomatic centers of the world. UMD also established an internship program that was utilized by our first International Policy & Diplomacy fellow Gorgi Popstefanov. With the help of UMD, Gorgi is now interning at Senator Frank Lautenberg’s office.
UMD continued to act globally, and in Australia, our members presented a case to the Rudd Government, to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and to all Federal Members of Parliament as to why Australia needs to shift its outdated, unfair, and unsustainable foreign policy position on Macedonia’s constitutional name. UMD has also been nurturing relations with the Australia-Macedonia Inter-Parliamentary Group ensuring it play a key role in advancing the bilateral relations in partnership with the Australian Macedonian Diaspora. Contact was also made with the European Council on Foreign Policy in Paris and the Centre for European Reform in London reminding them that EU policy towards Macedonia needs to be sensible and contribute to EU’s reputation as a serious and independent player on the international stage.
Dear members and friends, the Republic of Macedonia faces challenges ahead of us. Greece, in an unscrupulous way, has managed to block Macedonia’s prosperity as most recently shown by the NATO veto, and has continued to pressure the Macedonian government to change our name. Names are not chosen, but inherited, and the Macedonian name being millennia old, simply cannot and must not be changed. We all know that the name is not the real issue, but rather it is a subterfuge to cover up Greece’s systematic human rights violations against the Macedonian minority in Greece.
Our organization has spent a lot of time educating various policymakers, institutions, media, and individuals regarding our right to name our country. This month, UMD was one of the main sponsors of a conference that focused on Central and Eastern Europe and its strategic value for the upcoming administration. The conference, organized by the Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington D.C., attracted representatives from the Obama and McCain presidential campaigns, representatives from over 20 embassies, representatives from the current U.S. administration, and various other policymakers. In front of this audience, UMD’s president was able to educate attendees on the absurdity of the Greek stance and directly rebuff claims made by staffers from the Greek embassy.
Among other things, UMD was founded on the principles of patriotism, professionalism, and strategy. As long as our side is presented in a strategic and professional manner, like the CSIS conference, we will be able to present our position in front of large key audience. However, many of these activities require financial support. UMD has been fortunate to form a key strategic relationship with the Turkish Coalition for America (TCA) that has been gracious to award a $50,000 annual matching grant to our organization. For every dollar that UMD raises, TCA will match it and donate a dollar to UMD. Therefore, we need to utilize this opportunity and raise the much needed funds.
We count on your continued support to further promote the Macedonian cause around the world.
United Macedonian Diaspora