WASHINGTON, D.C. – DECEMBER 10, 2009 – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) in commemoration of the 61st Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights urges Bulgaria and Greece to recognize the existence of the Macedonian minority within their borders. UMD calls upon the European Union to ensure that their two member states Bulgaria and Greece uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
UMD urges Bulgaria and Greece to follow the example of Albania, Croatia, Romania, and Serbia that recognize the existence of a Macedonian minority. In these countries, the Macedonian minorities can practice the Macedonian language unlike in Bulgaria and Greece who have not even signed or ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In the Republic of Macedonia, all minorities are officially recognized by the Constitution of the country and enjoy all democratic rights.
Dispersed throughout Southeast Europe over the past 61 years since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Macedonians still find themselves living in neighboring countries such as Bulgaria and Greece, without being able to exercise their most basic human rights. Paradoxically, both of these countries are members of the European Union and NATO, yet some of their citizens are still compelled to continue their struggle for the most basic human rights simply because Bulgaria and Greece do not recognize their Macedonian ethnicity.
Macedonians in Bulgaria and Greece are regularly harassed and intimidated in an effort to deny their fundamental freedoms, particularly the freedom to identify аs one’s ethnic heritage. UMD calls upon the relevant United Nations and the European Union institutions to close a significant gap by recognizing, protecting and promoting the legitimate human rights of the Macedonian people as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
UMD encourages all Macedonians to continue their struggle for basic human rights. UMD urges Macedonians to be active in their communities, to promote the Macedonian cause and to be outspoken in their support of the many Macedonians in Bulgaria and Greece who do not enjoy the freedoms that Macedonians enjoy in the Republic of Macedonia and the rest of the world.
Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is the leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., UMD has an office in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada and representatives in Paris, London, Brussels, Vienna, Kiev, St. Petersburg, and Stuttgart.