The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) continues to denounce international solutions based on irredentism and border swaps.
UMD is responding to a recent report from the International Crisis Group (ICG) on the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue. The ICG recommends three solutions:
- “One would rely on sweeteners for Serbia – an infusion of donor development support and accelerated EU membership – as the cost of recognition.”
- “The second would be to trade Serbian recognition for the creation of new autonomous districts for Kosovo’s Serbs and Serbia’s Albanians.”
- “The third would be to return to the land swaps approach that was at the core of the 2018 draft deal.”
UMD considers any such land solutions to be detrimental to the integrity of lasting peace in the Balkan peninsula and would have negative consequences for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Land swaps and territorial aberrations have proven to be a perennial source of pain for the region, particularly Macedonia. UMD’s views have already been made known to relevant institutions in the United States and in Europe.
We believe that a lasting resolution to today’s ethnic, territorial, and governmental disputes will not be found in repeatedly changing borders, lands, or peoples. Honest discourse, transparency of the process, and ethnic representation are critical – and heritage, language, and culture must be respected first and foremost.
UMD President Metodija A. Koloski said:
“It’s very easy to sit at a high level and view the world as one big map devoid of nuance. What this report and others like it demonstrate is that too often international politics is a world removed from the realities of real people.
“If history has told us anything, it is that continually redrawing maps does not end well. In fact, most of the problems in the Balkans today started from exactly that faulty premise.
“If there is to be lasting peace and progress then it must come from economic and social solutions. Land swaps should never again feature on any list of recommendations if the proponent is to be taken seriously.”