Joint Media Release
United Macedonian Diaspora (Australia), The Macedonian Community Council of Melbourne and Victoria
27 February 2019
Australian Macedonian Community rejects North Macedonia and demands democratisation of Australian foreign policy and ethical diplomacy.
The Australian Macedonian community from across Australia has launched a campaign in support of the Republic of Macedonia which has been illegally renamed as North Macedonia as a pre-condition for potential entry into the increasingly authoritarian, denialist and undemocratic NATO and the EU. The Macedonian community has once again demanded from Australia to recognise Macedonia under its constitutional name.
It has also called on Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Senator Penny Wong to commit to the democratisation of Australian foreign policy and ethical diplomacy. This is important because from 1994 to present, foreign policy decisions that impact the Republic of Macedonia and the Australian Macedonian community have been made behind closed doors by the major political parties in Australia with no consultation or opportunity for the community and civil society to influence the deeply flawed foreign policy. This harms our democracy and generates poor foreign policies and diplomacy.
The United Macedonian Diaspora’s Director of Australian Outreach, Mr. Ordan Andreevski said “this campaign comes at an important time when NATO and the EU have bullied and bamboozled Macedonia and its vulnerable citizens into self-destroying its name, identity, history, culture, freedom and democracy simply to join two crumbling international organisations. The Republic of Macedonia should have been recognised by Australia under its constitutional name back in 1994. Instead, our major political parties chose to play politics with Macedonia and its diaspora to chase the elusive Hellenic vote.”
“We are deeply concerned about the lack of coherence and democratisation of Australian foreign policy and ethical diplomacy. This can best be seen in Australia’s policy of institutional discrimination and delegitimisation of the Republic of Macedonia since 1994. There was never any national, parliamentary or foreign policy debate on this policy. There was also no public understanding or support for the policy. In June 2018, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued an impromptu and poorly analysed media release titled ‘Republic of North Macedonia’ to welcome the illegal Prespa Agreement. It paved the way for the illegal, unprecedented and unsustainable renaming of the Republic of Macedonia into Republic of North Macedonia” said Andreevski.
According to the President of the Macedonian Community Council of Melbourne and Victoria, Zoran Zdraveski “Australia prides itself on promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law on the international stage but fails to live up to these standards in reality in its policies and practices towards the Republic of Macedonia and towards the large Macedonian diaspora in Australia”.
“Last week we noticed that DFAT changed its reference of the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia. In the DFAT Diplomatic List, Macedonia is now incorrectly listed under N whereas before it was deliberately listed under F. All other countries on the official Diplomatic List start with the name of the country like Croatia, Bosnia, Fiji, Korea etc. We do not understand what is the logic for listing Macedonia under N and who is responsible for this? We call on Foreign Minister Marise Payne to use her power, authority and decency to bring to an end this shameful practice immediately and commit to democratisation of foreign policy and ethical diplomacy from now on” said Magdalena Nikoloska from the MCCMVic.
Mob. 0438 385 466
Zoran Zdraveski, Mob. 0418 997 722,
Magdalena Nikoloska, Mob. 0451 125 587
Please read this background opinion piece ‘How NATO and the EU undermine democracy in Macedonia’. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=20153