No. 54-55 (October- November 2011)
Founded by the
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
of the Republic of Macedonia.
Dame Gruev 6, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia / www.mfa.gov.mk • email@example.com
Previous editors: Pajo Avirovik, October 2006-April 2008; Zvonimir Popovik, May 2008-January 2010
Agneza Rusi; LinaOgnenova; Zuko Rizvanski; Shaban Jashari;Aleksandar Trajkoski; Katerina Stavreska;Eli Bojadjieska Ristovski; Edvard Mitevski;Maciej Kaczorowski; Elena Georgievska;Mircela Dzuvalekovska Casule
Published monthly by:
MACEDONIAN INFORMATION CENTRE
Naum Naumovski Borce 73,1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedoniawww.micnews.com.mk
Republic of Macedonia – Member of theUNESCO Executive Board
Within the framework of the 36th session of the General Confer-ence of UNESCO, held in Paris on 2 November, the Republic of Macedonia was the rst time elected a member of the ExecutiveBoard for 2011-2015. e election represents acknowledgementof Macedonia’s signicant contribution to the activities of thisOrganization and the United Nations.
Macedonia Celebrates Day of MacedonianRevolutionary Struggle
With a series of events, theRepublic of Macedoniacelebrated the Day of theMacedonian Revolutionary Struggle on 23 October. Inthe Macedonia Square, statedelegations laid owers atthe monuments to GoceDelcev and Dame Gruev.Also, on the occasion of theholiday, the 23 October National Award was presented in Parlia-ment to writer Paskal Gilevski, artist Kole Manev and university professor Tome Nenovski. Macedonia celebrated 23 October, theday when the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization wasfounded in 1893, as a national holiday for the h time this year.
MACEDONIAN DIPLOMATIC BULLETIN
No. 54/55 – 2011
Mutual Understanding and Tolerance inthe Republic of Macedonia as Fundamental Values for Next 20 Years
When I thought about the word tolerance, in terms of semioticstwo things crossed my mind that can be symbols, not in the literary rhetoric sense of the word as a problem of someone else’s freedomand dierent opinion and the idea that what the other says is alwaysright, but rather as utter pious patience. It seems to me that had it notbeen for tolerance, what we have put in Article 5 and in the Declara-tion of Independent Macedonia that the Parliament of the Republicof Macedonia passed on 17 September 1991, and that is respectfor all human rights and tolerance on all grounds, today I supposewe would not have talked about Macedonia’s independence, andespecially not about this Macedonia – independent, sovereign anda model of tolerance in the Balkans. Not only tolerance on religiousgrounds though but all those ve postulates that the Governmentof the Republic of Macedonia established: social tolerance, culturaltolerance, tolerance of ethnic groups, tolerance of minorities andwhat was the ultimate, fundamental, important and powerful value– religious tolerance. As a young country, we embarked on nurturingtradition, religion, tolerance of the environment, liberation fromprejudice, cultural, identity-related and sociological stereotypes,separation and delusion. We tried all together in these past 20 yearsto create a world of better conduct. e idea of the rst world con-ference on inter-religious dialogue literally united us all in a sharedalphabet, in a semina verbi, in a new way of action in the country.And we did not stop there. Our friends from the Council of Europeand UNESCO strongly supported the Government of the Republicof Macedonia, the Ministry of Culture and the Commission forRelations with Religious Communities, all with a common goal: tocontinue the dialogue of coexistence, understanding and tolerance.We went through the second conference as well, passed two importantdeclarations at both conferences and did not stop there either. Wereceived an excellent report from the Department of State and wemanaged over the past 20 years with all those fundamental rights thatwe established in the 1990s through the political system of the state,through the social aspect of the state, through all the laws, the lawspassed by the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities,especially the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, not to turno the set path of international conventions, ratications, norms of the UN and conventions of the Council of Europe. Being tolerantis listening to the stance of the other, of the dierent, without hold-ing inside conicting opinions and views. at does not mean not voicing opposing views and being silent. On the contrary, the goal isthrough dialogue to come to and seek out a real common consumerof arbitrage of tolerance. rough tolerance we free ourselves also of our need to be polite through restraint and focus on understandingthe other. Only then can we say in a sociological context what wethink of the other and also hear what the other, the dierent, thinksof us. Ethnic tolerance was important all these years. It was authenticand essential and a mainstay for keeping out identity, the identity of the Republic of Macedonia. All the webs woven through toler-ance kept us from falling into the abyss as certain other countriesdid. We persevered on that road and endured the sometimes harshchallenges from the neighborhood. It appears to me that during allthis period, especially in recent years, the laws we passed, the lawon discrimination, which the Council of Europe said must topplestereotypes, barriers and taboos in Macedonia, the law on the legalstate of a church, religious community and religious group, the law ondenationalization, the law on religious holidays, all of them broughtabout a dierent alphabet among the religious communities andamong the very leaders in Macedonia. What we have achieved lastyear with the Ministry of Education with the introduction of Ethicof Religions in schools was also the main imperative about how weshould go further. Without scholars, great minds, young promisingpeople who know education is a strong argument for future toler-ance, we cannot talk about tolerance. As John Stuart Mill says, wedo not necessarily need to respect the views of the other – far fromit – juts to try to understand and tolerate them; just to tolerate thembecause without tolerance, the conditions for rational criticism andrational condemnation, and of course for rational debate, are beingdestroyed. erefore, we are going to leave these past 20 years asconcepts inside any of us, no matter our ethnicity or religion, to telltheir own truth. And their story. We expect a strong echo from theRepublic of Macedonia as leader in honoring religious rights andfreedom both in the Balkans and Europe as an example with a newimage of exercising religious rights and liberties.
Valentina BOZINOVSKA, President of the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities and Groups