Joint Statement by Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (Toronto, Canada), United Macedonian Diaspora (Washington, DC and Melbourne, Australia), World Macedonian Congress (60 countries worldwide) and the Macedonian Coordinative Network – SUM (Skopje, Republic of Macedonia)
Joint Branch Office in Geneva, Switzerland
March 7, 2018
The Macedonian people can no longer bear the intolerable burden of injustice inflicted upon them by Greece, the United Nations, the European Union and NATO, through the ongoing “talks” on the name of their country which started in 1993 under the auspices of the United Nations as a pre-condition for membership in the United Nations. What started out as a “discussion” to “settle” a supposed “difference” has become, 25 years later, an attempt to commit a genocide on the Macedonian people – to erase them, their country, their language and their history from the books and maps of the world.
Macedonians are shockingly being forced by the European Union and NATO to negotiate their name, their ethnic and national identity, their language and their history, as a pre-condition for membership in these international and regional organisations. To make things worse, their own government, under unparalleled foreign pressure, has become an accomplice in this crime.
This is the first time in the history of mankind that such internationally orchestrated pressure is being exerted on an entire people to self-destruct – pressure inflicted by the nations and organisations that were supposed to be the gatekeepers of human rights in the 21st century.
These xenophobic actions amount to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and the violation an entire peoples’ cultural rights as well as their fundamental right to self-determination. They are a genocide in the making.
Macedonians have united in a worldwide coalition representing millions of Macedonians, to stop this cultural genocide. They appeal to the peoples and nations of this world for their support in overcoming this crime.
The Greek government’s invention of a “name issue” with the Republic of Macedonia is merely the continuation and internationalization of its century old domestic policy of denial of the ethnic identity of its Macedonian minority. A denial that continues to this day – as documented by the 1994 Human Rights Watch Report entitled “Denying Ethnic Identity: The Macedonians of Greece.” Since then, all relevant international and regional human rights mechanisms and courts have produced similar reports. These include the 2009 reports by the United Nations Independent Expert on Minorities Issues, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, as well as numerous judgments by the European Court of Human Rights.
The only way to end this unseen obscene denial – and thus, the “name issue” – is to establish the truth about the dark period of Greek history. The Greek Government must deal with its past and once and for all publicly recognize and apologize for the crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide it committed upon the Macedonian minority in Greece since 1913. These crimes included torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, legal, physical and psychological repression, population exchanges, forced mass exoduses, the forcible transfer of children on a large scale, the disproportionate and unnecessary use of chemical weapons on the civilian population, psychological warfare, propaganda and indoctrination, and various assimilationist policies, all of which had one common goal – the destruction of the existence of a separate ethnic Macedonian people, a Macedonian language and a Macedonian history.
With the “name issue” this destruction continues.
The Macedonians call upon the governments of the 137 states which recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name, as well as all other friendly peoples and nations, to support within the framework of the upcoming Human Rights Council, the establishment of an Independent Commission of Inquiry to look into the human rights violations, as well as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, committed against the Macedonian minority in Greece since 1913 until today, and to determine the relationship of these crimes with the present-day Greek policy of denial of the existence of a separate ethnic Macedonian people, language and history within and outside Greek territory.
The Macedonians call upon friendly peoples and nations to support within the framework of the upcoming General Assembly, a Resolution to extend the membership of Macedonia under its official constitutional name “Republic of Macedonia” (and to thereby annul or amend Security Council Resolution 817/1993 and General Assembly Resolution 47/225), and thus end this farcical tragedy.