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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
H. E. Mr. Branko Crvenkovski, President

25 September 2008

Statement Summary

BRANKO CRVENKOVSKI, President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, said that in light of new challenges, such as climate change and the surge in oil and food prices which had led to a slowdown in economic development worldwide, the general debate must focus on developing new methods aimed at helping countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  Achieving sustainable development for all would then lead to worldwide security, stability and long-term peace, even though at present, numerous crisis situations, long-standing conflicts and terrorist acts persist.

Noting that this year marked the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he said the instrument’s “universal validity” was in question.  The Declaration must not be implemented selectively.  He also advocated cooperation and dialogue on equal footing between Member States, since each would contribute valuable contributions, stemming from important differences.  The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in that vein, was constantly working on functional multi-ethnic democracy in the hopes of positively affecting the region.

Highest priorities in national strategy had been the country’s integration into two international structures:  the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  But despite years of investing resources and negotiating for such inclusion, dispute over his country’s name persisted, with Greece having objected to its admittance into NATO earlier this year.

He reminded Member States that when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had been admitted into the United Nations in 1993, a major legal precedent was set when it was addressed as the “ Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” instead of the name the people of the country had chosen.  He ended by stating that his country would continue the negotiation process with assistance in mediation of a personal envoy of the Secretary-General.  “The Republic of Macedonia is ready to accept a fair compromise and reasonable solution, which is not going to deny our cultural identity.”

[Source: GA/10754]

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