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Statement on Respecting Macedonian Identity

jueves 26 agosto 2021 - 3:43pm

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The Writers for Peace Committee (WfPC) and the Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee (TLRC) note with concern the politics of exclusivist and hegemonic interpretation of history and the shared Balkan—and particularly Macedonian—cultural heritage, which is promoted and practiced by Balkan diplomats in the course of the previous three decades, and especially by the high Bulgarian political and institutional representatives during the last three years.

This political discourse of negation of the Macedonian right of self-determination and the Macedonian historical, cultural, linguistic, and national identity is being used for the purposes of imposing conditions, blockades, and vetoes to preclude the member rights or accession talks of the Republic of North Macedonia in intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Macedonian cultural heritage is labelled as artificial, falsified, and appropriated, since it is interpreted as belonging exclusively to other states. Macedonian ethnic identity is threatened in its existence and scope, as Macedonian ethnic minorities in neighbouring states are deprived of internationally guaranteed democratic rights. The Macedonian language is only regarded as a regional standard and a western dialect of the Bulgarian language.

The Writers for Peace Committee and the Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee thus call for full respect for the Macedonian temporal and spatial continuity, the integral Macedonian socio-cultural identity, and Macedonian linguistic and cultural rights.

The political denials and conditioning of the Macedonian identity are condemned by both Committees (the WfPC and the TLRC), as contrary to international norms on self-determination, sovereignty, cultural heritage, diversity, maintaining peace and on settling dispute.

These intolerable practices are also contrary to the principles of fundamental human and collective rights, the rights of states and members of the UN embedded in the UN Charter, as well as contrary to the principles embedded in the Charter of PEN International and PEN International manifestoes and declarations on peace and linguistic rights.

The Writers for Peace Committee and the Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee also oppose the exclusivist, appropriative and ultimatum-based diplomatic rhetoric and strategy towards the Macedonian identity, since they are contrary to the basic principles of scientific research, up-to-date scientific methodology and contemporary historical and cultural pluralism.

The Writers for Peace Committee and the Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee call upon the international community to condemn this new radical, intolerant and ultimatum-based approach in the Balkan and European politics and to condemn the specific claims of other states on Macedonian identity against the sovereignty and inalienable rights of Macedonian citizens.

These measures are necessary to develop co-operative relations among the Balkan states based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination, to maintain international peace and security by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law. Finally, both Committees (the WfPC and the TLRC) underline the necessity for a just and unselective attitude in the application of the universal principle of self-determination and in the naming of cultural heritage.

August 2021

Co-signed by:

EMMANUEL PIERRAT Chair of the Writers for Peace Committee

URTZI URRUTIKOETXEA Chair of the Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee