September 8, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – Today, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) celebrates nineteen years since Macedonia and the Macedonian people declared independence from communism. Macedonians worldwide are celebrating Independence Day, from celebrations in the Republic, to festivals in Albania, flag raising ceremonies in Melbourne, Australia, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Cleveland, Ohio to a boat cruise on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Happy Macedonian Independence Day!
Nineteen years ago, on September 8, 1991, the people of the Republic of Macedonia declared their independence from communist Yugoslavia and fulfilled the centuries-old dream of a free and independent Macedonian state. UMD honors all those who worked for the establishment of the Republic of Macedonia and who are working to insure its future progress and prosperity.
The Republic of Macedonia’s transition from a constituent republic of a failed communist state to a modern European democracy devoted to the rule of law, individual liberty, civil rights for all citizens, and free-markets in less than nineteen years is remarkable. Today, Macedonia serves as an example for all of its neighbors in such arenas and as an example of a Balkan nation that promotes regional peace and stability by sincerely pursuing good and neighborly relations with all of its neighbors.
While Macedonia and its people face many challenges, UMD is confident in the ability of Macedonia’s people to meet such challenges. UMD shall continue supporting Macedonia as it expands its role as a source of freedom and stability and looks forward to the day when Macedonia takes its well-deserved place within both NATO and the EU. UMD believes that the obstacle to Macedonia’s entry into NATO – the so-called “name dispute” – should be taken out of the context of NATO, as it does not represent neither a membership criterion nor potential threat to any of its neighbors and actual allies. UMD hopes Macedonia will be extended an invitation to join NATO at the upcoming Lisbon Summit in November.
Today, UMD honors those who established the Republic of Macedonia as a free and independent nation, remembers those Macedonians who long dreamt of, but never saw, an independent Macedonian state, and celebrates Macedonia’s independence and freedom. UMD calls on all Macedonians around the world to do the same.
Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is a leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.
UMD’s headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and it has representatives serving Macedonian communities around the world, including Brussels, Canberra, Chicago, Detroit, Kiev, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, St. Petersburg, Stuttgart, Sydney, Toronto, and Vienna.