We know who we are, Gruevski tells UN General Assembly


We know who we are and how we will live. We are Macedonians speaking Macedonian and our country is called the Republic of Macedonia, stressed PM Nikola Gruevski in his speech delivered yesterday before the 66th United Nations General Assembly.
The Premier underscored that "we do not want to be in a position our name and identity to be disputed by a country and we haven't requested that beyond question." However, according to him, reality is oftentimes cold, hard and brutal. It is a fact that our southern neighbour protests not only our name, but our identity as well. And its objections have become our problem and a row was triggered that is one of a kind in the world - a row imposed due to the need of a country, our neighbour, to have a monopoly on two names, or on other hand, their strategic goal to prevent us from being what we feel.
"Imagine the virtual situation in which my fellow citizens are, blackmailed, with obstructed development and perspective owing to blockades by our neighbour on country's Euro-Atlantic bid only because of what we are i.e. because of what we feel we are. I ask you only for a moment to try to be in our position, try to think how would you feel if someone asked you not to be German, British, American, Russian, Chinese, Nigerian, Argentinean, etc. That is the only thing I want from you, I ask you to do. Seeking support for the row to be closed, for support to be what we are without hurting anyone, without harming anyone, with understanding, tolerance and respect towards our neighbours, friends, towards all of you, with respect towards our neighbour which is involved in the dispute and understanding for its stances, we have no pretensions or intentions to have a monopoly on the name Macedonia," PM Gruevski said.
He noted that fortunately 131 countries from all across the globe had chosen to recognise us under the name we are calling ourselves - the Republic of Macedonia - and extended gratitude for that, a gratitude for their principles and consistency with respect to values protecting the rights and principles established by the UN itself.
"Unfortunately, the rules in the world are such that we cannot be called the way we are calling ourselves right here, in this organisation - the United Nations - nor the country is able to join those organisations for which we have work hard to become members of, NATO and EU. We have deserved the right to join these organisations. Truth be told, this is wrong. There is no other word to describe this. What you are going to decide to do with this - your behaviour - it totally up to you," Gruevski stated.
The PM said there were a myriad of words with which he could describe his homeland and each and everyone would fit perfectly.
"For a start, I pick one and I deeply believe that this word describes the essence of my country and my people and explains all of the moves and strength gathered to overcome the challenges occurring in recent times. This word explains well the whole patience we have had towards each blockade imposed that we have and are enduring, from economic to institutional, solely owing to our own identity and self-recognition. These blockades have not impeded us for our actions, but simply for what we are and for existing. The word is: accountability," Gruevski emphasised.
Stressing that Macedonia acted in a responsible fashion, the Premier recalled that our state had been established in the course of not so gentle history: "It rests on great sacrifices, many lives lost and interrupted dreams."
"But the past is not the only reasons making us to act responsibly, we, Macedonians believe that we have a future in Europe and that we can leave a legacy to future generations. Consequently, today in Macedonia we are making efforts to establish a wide front of support and to unite all of the forces and potentials involving the courageous idea to become a regional leader. A leader in economic reforms, education, investments, technologies and innovations, environment protection, human right and freedom protection in any segment of modern living. Knowing the high awareness and accountability of my fellow citizens and taking into consideration the position of my country amid the global crisis, when it retained its economic strength and sat through it without major turbulences, I am more than sure that the effort of uniting will be successful," Gruevski said.
The Macedonian PM in his speech said that an important characteristic existing for thousands of years must be mentioned when speaking about Macedonia: "Being a legacy from old times, it is a guardian of cosmopolitism, an idea allowing functional multi-culturalism. Side by side, through centuries, various cultures, religions and nations exist in my country. We are attempting to incorporate them without assimilating into the dominant culture. We are proud of the diversities and we consider them our treasure."
"We as any other nation in the world, have the right to identity and to unity over our own national myth. In our myth there is room for Macedonians, Albanians, Turkish, Roma, Serbians, Vlachs, Bosniaks and others, for all those who embrace the values glorifying non-violence, justice, coexistence and cultural competition. Chauvinism has never been a dominant feature for our people. The 1993 constitutional amendments and change of flag had demonstrated our good will. However, our accountability and maturity should not be seen as weakness or to be subjected to continuous abuse by anyone, because we must not forget our dignity and pride," Gruevski said amongst other things.
 

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