Letter dated 25 January 1993 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece
to the Secretary-General

I refer to the application for membership to the United Nations of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and I have the honour to urgently draw your attention to a Memorandum reflecting the views and position of the Government of Greece on this matter.

I would appreciate it if you could bring this letter and the Memorandum attached hereto (see appendix) to the attention of the President of the Security Council.


Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece



Concerning the application
of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for admission to the United Nations

    1. Greece believes that the application of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for admission to membership in the United Nations under the denomination mentioned in its application introduces an element of further destabilization of the southern Balkans both in a short and in a long term perspective. Therefore, strongly objecting to this membership, Greece feels obliged to forward to the Security Council a number of pertinent considerations which point to the conclusion that the applicant should not be admitted to the U.N. prior to a settlement of certain outstanding issues, necessary for safeguarding peace and stability, as well as good neighbourly relations in the region. When such a settlement is reached Greece would not oppose F.Y.R.O.M.√s admission to the United Nations and, indeed it would be ready to extend recognition and establish cooperation with this neighbouring country.
    2. In its request for admission to the United Nations the F.Y.R.O.M. includes on the one hand a purported commitment to accept and observe all obligations deriving from the United Nations Charter and, on the other, a claim that its admission to U.N. membership will contribute towards a peaceful solution of the crisis in the territory of former Yugoslavia.
    3. Whereas these are welcome declarations, nevertheless, past experiences and practises, as well as the constituent acts and policies of the new republic raise serious concerns about its willingness to fulfil the obligations arising from the U.N. Charter.
    4. The new republic emerged as successor to the former Yugoslav Federative Republic of Macedonia. The philosophy of its Constitution, adopted on November 17, 1991, is based, inter alia, on the principle and the constituent declarations of that federative state which were endorsed in August 1944 by the “Antifascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia” (A.S.N.O.M.). In these declarations, cited in the preamble of the Constitution, there are direct references to the annexation of the Macedonian provinces of Greece and Bulgaria, and to the establishment eventually of a greater Macedonian state within the Yugoslav Federation (see attachment 1).
    5. In the 1940’s, Tito’s Yugoslavia, with the “People’s Republic of Macedonia” in the vanguard, tried to accomplish these aims by supporting a communist uprising in Greece (which resulted in a three-year civil war) as a means of annexing Greek Macedonia. When the annexation of Greek lands failed in 1948, efforts continued in order to undermine Greek sovereignty over Greek Macedonia by attempts to monopolize the Macedonian name, thus staking a lasting claim to Greek territories and, indeed, to Greek Macedonian heritage. It is worth recalling that this question had been on the agenda of the Security Council and the General Assembly from 1946 to 1950 under the heading “The Greek Question” (see attachment 2).
    6. For forty years, such practices poisoned good neighbourly relations and stability in the region, particularly since officials of the republic continued, up to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, to express expansionist views. After the collapse of former Yugoslavia these extreme expansionist claims by nationalists in Skopje took afresh stronger impetus.
    7. It is on such grounds and on such precedents of that former federative republic of Skopje proclaiming itself independent in 1991 and in now seeking admission to the United Nations.
    8. Since the declaration of independence, a series of initiatives taken by the authorities of Skopje, have shown that there is a clear link and continuity of aims and actions in particular against Greece. Reference has already been made to the Constitution of F.Y.R.O.M. which is based on the principles of A.S.N.O.M., of 1944. In this Constitution there are also references to the possibility of changing of borders ¯ while F.Y.R.O.M.’s territory remains “invisible and inalienable” (Art.3) ¯ and intervening in the internal affairs of neighbouring states on the pretext of issues concerning “the status and the rights” of alleged minorities (Art.49). There are numerous indications that the expansionist propaganda aimed at the neighbouring Macedonian province of Greece continues unabated. This is shown, in particular, through the wide circulation within F.Y.R.O.M. of maps portraying a greater Macedonia i.e. incorporating parts of the territory of all its neighbouring states, and of hostile literature usurping Greek sym
    9. These are just a few examples which show that at this turning point, when the applicant is seeking membership to the United Nations, its authorities have not abandoned their long cherished ambitions to claim neighbouring territories.
    10. The name of a state is a symbol. Thus, the fact that the authorities in Skopje have adopted the denomination “Republic of Macedonia” for their state is of paramount significance. It is important to note that they have explicitly adopted the name of a wider geographical region extending over four neighbouring countries, with only 38.5% to be found in the territory of F.Y.R.O.M. This fact by itself clearly undermines the sovereignty of neighbouring states to their respective Macedonian regions. To be precise, 51.5% of the Macedonian geographical region is in Greece, with a population of over 2.5 million people, while the remaining 10% in other neighbouring states. Moreover, the territory of F.Y.R.O.M., with the exception of a narrow strip in the south, had never been part of historic Macedonia. Nevertheless, F.Y.R.O.M. insists in monopolizing the Macedonian name in the denomination of the state, and thus pretends to be the sole title deed holder of a much wider region. There is no doubt that the exclusive use o
    11. To prevent such destabilizing situations from threatening peace and good neighbourly relations in the area, the European Community, to which F.Y.R.O.M. applied for recognition, has set prerequisites for the recognition of the applicant by the Community and its member states. These prerequisites are cited in the following Security Council documents: S/23293 (17 December1991), S/23880 (5 May 1992), S/24200 (19 June 1992), S/24960 (14 December 1992). Briefly, they stipulate that F.Y.R.O.M. should provide the necessary legal and political guaranties that it will harbor no territorial claims against Greece, that it will abstain from any hostile propaganda against this country and that it will not use the term Macedonia in the state√s denomination. Unfortunately, F.Y.R.O.M. has failed to comply.
    12. During the past year, Greece has conveyed to Skopje, on a number of occasions, its sincere determination to proceed with the development of all round economic and political co-operation with the neighbouring republic, as soon as F.Y.R.O.M. adopted the foregoing E.C. prerequisites for recognition. Moreover, Greece has taken the initiative so that all neighbouring states of F.Y.R.O.M. make public declarations recognizing and guaranteeing as inviolable their respective frontiers. Furthermore, Greece has supported E.C. initiatives to provide humanitarian and economic aid to this republic, while the Greek Prime Minister publicly extended a hand of co-operation to Skopje. In addition, Greece has supported a recent effort by the European Community and individual members of the Community in seeking a peaceful way to settle the problem.
    13. Unfortunately, the authorities of Skopje have persisted in pursuing an inflexible and uncooperative attitude by rejecting all proposals aiming at peaceful settlement of the outstanding issues.
    14. It is in the competence of the Security Council not only to resolve disputes but also to take necessary actions prevent them as well. This is a clear case were preventive diplomacy is urgently needed. All efforts and all proposals in this direction should be explored. It should be noted that there have been cases in which application to membership has been subjected to prior fulfilment of certain conditions in the interest of peace ad security.
    15. Greece wishes to point out that the admission of F.Y.R.O.M. to U.N. membership prior to meeting the necessary prerequisites, and in particular abandoning the use of the denomination “Republic of Macedonia”, would perpetuate and increase friction and tension and would not be conductive to peace and stability in an already troubled region. Under these circumstances, Greece regretfully would not be able to recognize this republic.
    16. Greece strongly believes in maintaining good relations and enhancing co-operation with all its neighbours while attaching primary importance to the peaceful solution of disputes arising between them. It is confident that the Security Council, as the custodian of world peace and stability will take all appropriate steps and measures for the settlement of the issue on hand, in a way to prevent developments which might impede a constructive solution through peaceful means. Finally, it expresses its readiness to offer its full support to the Security Council in its efforts towards this objective.

    New York, 25 January 1993

    Attachment 1

    Proclamations of the Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM), Skopje, August 1944

    Manifest issued at the first session of the Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Macedonia to the people of Macedonia, 2 August 1944.

    Macedonians under Bulgaria and Greece,

    The unification of the entire Macedonian people depends on your participation in the gigantic anti-Fascist front. Only by fighting the vile Fascist occupier will you gain your right to self-determination and to unification of the entire Macedonian people within the framework of Tito√s Yugoslavia, which has become a free community of emancipated and equal peoples. May the struggle of the Macedonian Piedmont incite you to even bolder combat against the Fascist oppressors!

    Proclamation to the people of Macedonia issued by the Communist Party of Macedonia, 4 August 1944

    People of Macedonia!

    In the course of three years of combat you have achieved your unity, developed your army and laid the basis for the federal Macedonian state. With the participation of the entire Macedonian nation in the struggle against the Fascist occupiers of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece you will achieve unification of all parts of Macedonia, divided in 1915 and 1918 by Balkan imperialists.

    Attachment 2

    Excerpt from the 1949 Report of the United Nations Special Committee on the Balkans (Official Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session, Supplement No. 8 (A/935)) referring to Yugoslav support of claims for the detachment of Greek Macedonia and the establishment of a unified Macedonia.

    35. In its report of 30 June 1948 to the General Assembly, the Special Committee noted certain basic issues between Greece and her three northern neighbours, many of which have been of long duration.55 More recently, it has taken note of certain recent developments in the Macedonian question. Radio broadcasts, newspapers and statements of public officials in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia have continued to support conflicting claims for the detachment of “Greek” or “Aegean” Macedonia from Greece and for the establishment of a unified Macedonia in some form or another.56 The Special Committee also noted the statement of the Slavo-Macedonian National Liberation Front (NOF) of 3 February 1949, favouring the “union of Macedonia” as an “independent and equal Macedonian State” within “the confederation of democratic Balkan peoples”.57 

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