August 10th marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Bucharest, a document that ended the Balkan Wars. This event saw the removal of the Ottoman Empire from Macedonia, with remaining portions of territory being annexed by the kingdoms of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and later Albania, with the approval of the world powers. The treaty led to one of the darkest periods of modern history for the Macedonian people.
The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) highlighted the important anniversary at its 4th Global Conference, in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, from July 24-27, 2013. The conference featured distinguished academics and scholars from around the world, exploring the various consequences of the Treaty of Bucharest on today’s Macedonia and Macedonian people, including the ongoing cultural genocide programs in neighboring regions of Aegean Macedonia (Greece), Pirin Macedonia (Bulgaria), and Golo Brdo and Mala Prespa (Albania).
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski delivered the keynote speech at the closing gala dinner on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at the Aleksandar Palace Hotel. UMD President Metodija A. Koloski presented the Prime Minister with an award in recognition of his public service and in particular, for his efforts to improve the lives of Macedonian communities in neighboring Balkan states.
To this day, the governments of Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania continue to employ a variety of anti-Macedonian policies against their indigenous Macedonian communities. These policies include non-recognition and census manipulation, illegal limits on cultural, religious and linguistic freedoms, and state authorities working hand-in-hand with third-party ultra-nationalistic groups to intimidate Macedonian advocates. These policies also manifest themselves into international disputes, such as the Greek government’s issue with Macedonia’s constitutional name and cultural identity.
UMD is working hard to advocate on behalf of Macedonians globally before the international community, and to highlight these human rights concerns at the highest levels of government worldwide.
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