Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity.
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. Thanks to the Declaration and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted and the foundation for a more just world has been laid. While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is a testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
- Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
- Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
- Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
- Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
- We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.
The following is a Declaration by the World Macedonian Congress to the United Nations on the subject of ‘Human Rights’.
We, the indigenous people of Macedonia who have lived in Macedonia for centuries:- Were present in Macedonia before the Ottoman Turks invaded the Balkan Peninsula,
– Existed as a people before the Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian states were formed,
– Opposed the forcible occupation and illegal partition of Macedonia by Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, in 1913 by the Treaty of Bucharest and,
– Witnessed the mass expulsion of Macedonians and the subsequent resettling of foreign people into our homeland,
We further declare that:
1. By virtue of our distinct language and customs and by our efforts to liberate Macedonia during the Ilinden uprising of 1903, our national character is different from that of Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs.
2. As the indigenous people of Macedonia we have a separate national identity. As such, we have the right to identify ourselves as we feel, to declare our own ancestry and to ascribe our own history.
3. Being indigenous to Macedonia and having lived in the region for centuries, it is only reasonable that we have the right to call ourselves Macedonians, our language Macedonian and our nation Macedonia.
4. We, as a distinct people, have the right to assert ourselves and be awarded recognition as Macedonians by all states and peoples who respect universally accepted human rights treaties and laws.
5. Prior to the invasion and partition of Macedonia in 1912-1913, the unique national character of the indigenous people of Macedonia was misrepresented by Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. After Macedonia’s partition the Macedonian people witnessed the destruction of our ancestral villages and churches, suffered under brutal assimilation practices, ethnic cleansing, confiscation of property, population transplantations, torture, rape, murder, humiliation and systemic state discrimination.
6. To this day Greece and Bulgaria still refuse to recognize a distinct Macedonian nation within their borders. We, the indigenous people of Macedonia, call on the Greek and Bulgarian States to acknowledge us and grant those of us living within their borders status as a national minority with full rights and privileges in accordance with international norms.
7. We, the indigenous people of Macedonia, demand an apology from the Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian governments for our past and present maltreatment.
We, the indigenous people of Macedonia, also demand that:
a) All Macedonians born in Greece and Bulgaria, who were forcibly expelled because they were of Macedonian ethnic heritage, be reinstated as citizens in their respective countries and compensated for their suffering and material losses.
b) All confiscated properties be returned to their rightful owners or their heirs.
c) All perpetrators who have committed internationally recognized criminal acts against the Macedonian people be brought to justice.