Nimetz Proposals Concering the “Name” Issue


Editors' Note

In March 2005, following long and strenuous negotiations, which commenced in 1993, the UN Special Representative, appointed by the Secretary General of the UN submitted to the two parties—Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia—his draft recommendations for resolving their differences over the latter's name. These proposals were incorporated into two draft documents: the first, in the form of a draft resolution by the UN Security Council, and the second, as an explanatory statement by the Special Representative Matthew Nimetz. Both documents seek to address the ‘difference over the name’ in its wider scope of issues arising from the eventual monopolization by FYROM of the Macedonian name and its derivatives. Athens has welcomed the proposals as ‘a basis’ for negotiations aiming at resolving the issue, while Skopje has demurred.

 

The texts have been published in the Greek daily ‘Eleftherotypia’ (13 April 2005). The editors of Macedonian Heritage, without commenting on the merits or demerits of the proposals, believe that they are useful documents to be deposited in our site for sober public appraisal.


Document I
Proposed Statement by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General

I am honored to make this statement in my capacity as the Special Representative of the Secretary General in connection with the matter referred to in Article 5 of the Interim Agreement dated September 13, 1995 and more particularly the resolution of that matter through Security Council Resolution _____ (2005).

The issue of the “name” has been a difficult one and I wish to express my thanks and gratitude to the Governments of both States and to their representatives to these discussions over the past few years for the seriousness with which they approached resolving this issue and the respect with which they showed to the other party and to the Secretary General's process. I must state for the record that the solution embodied in Security Council Resolution_ is not the preferred position of either party and neither of them specifically endorses it. Nevertheless both Governments have informed that they would not object to this solution, recognizing that resolution of this matter is in the best interest of regional stability and peace and more likely to lead to better relations between the two countries than a continuation of the status quo. For this reason I have recommended to the Secretary General, and he has agreed, that this resolution be proposed to the Security Council.

The essence of the solution embodied in this resolution is an explicit recognition that the constitutional name of the State is Republika Makedonija, but a further decision that in the interest of peace and harmony in the region and good neighborliness, and to avoid misunderstandings the name of the capital city of Republika Makedonija will be appended to its constitutional name with a hyphen to form a new composite name to be used in United Nations and for other official international usage. This new international name, “Republika Makedonija-Skopje”, is meant not as any disrespect to the people and heritage of the State whose constitutional name is Republika Makedonija. Quite the contrary, the new international name uses the constitutional name as its core and adds to it the name of the capital city as a convenient means to identify the State in a manner that demonstrates sensitivity to the concerns of a neighbor which has, within its national territory, a large area that constituted a apart of historic Macedonia as well as a large population who also identify themselves as “Macedonians”, albeit “Greek Macedonians”.

In the talks which led to the recommendation of Security Council Resolution _____, a number of ancillary issues were discussed which I believe helpful to put into the official record.

With the adoption of Security Council Resolution _____ the term “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and its acronym “FYROM” will no longer be used and shall be completely unacceptable as a reference to Republika Makedonija-Skopje. It is my understanding that the Hellenic Republic will henceforth recognize its neighbor under the name Republika Makedonija-Skopje and with fully respect Security Council Resolution _____ in both the letter and spirit of such resolution as a definitive resolution of the difference between them referred to in Article 5 of the Interim Agreement. In that connection both parties will deem Article 5 of the Interim Accord to be superseded by Security Resolution _____.

It is my further understanding that both the Hellenic Republic and Republika Makedonija-Skopje will take positive steps to encourage positive attitudes toward each other by their officials and citizens and in this connection. I make reference to Article 7 of the Interim Agreement. I urge the Government of Republika Makedonija-Skopje to take necessary steps to ensure that official acts or omissions do not, however inadvertently, have the effect of encouraging negative, offensive or irredentist attitudes toward the Hellenic Republic or the Greek people, including Greek Macedonia and the Greek Macedonian people and their cultural and heritage. At the same time, I urge the Government of the Hellenic Republic to be vigilant in not, however inadvertent, encouraging negative or offensive attitudes toward Republika Makedonija-Skopje or the Makedonian people and their culture and heritage.

In further implementation of Article 7 of the Interim Agreement and to encourage good neighborly relations it would be helpful if competent authorities in both countries review school books and other educational materials to ensure that they meet their obligations under Article 7 of the Interim Agreement and not contain negative or hostile images of the historical relationship between the two neighboring peoples. In this connection, the representatives of the Hellenic Republic have expressed their concern about certain material in educational materials used in Republika Makedonija-Skopje that may promote irredentist type attitudes toward Greek Macedonia, and I am therefore requesting competent educational authorities of Republika Makedonija-Skopje to review references in school texts, teaching aids and other curricula material that may be so interpreted and, if any such references exist, to consider making appropriate revisions.

Based on my discussions with the parties, I believe it would be helpful if both Governments would take special note of internationally recognized conventions and practices regarding the use of place names within other States, and that they enter into good faith bilateral discussions regarding this issue, including the usage of proper designation of place-names in their respective education systems, official maps and publications, and that they endeavor to induce private enterprises, publications, tourist operators and similar organizations to observe internationally respected place names designations. For example, in the Hellenic Republic it must henceforth be acknowledged that the name of the other party is Republika Makedonija-Skopje and that its citizens are Makedonians and such names shall be generally used and respected. As a further example in Republika Makedonija-Skopje it must be acknowledged that there is an administrative region in Greece named “Greek Macedonia” (and not “Aegean Macedonia” or Egeiski Makedonija pod Greja” (“Aegean Macedonia under Greece”) and that those who reside in Greek Macedonia commonly identify themselves as Greek Macedonians in a Greek regional and cultural sense of that name and such names shall be generally used and respected.

It is recognized that the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” are broadly used in the region, and Security Council Resolution _____ gives expression to the principle that these names are not under the exclusive control of any one State or authority. It is incumbent on both parties to, and it is my understanding that they will, cooperate in legal matters regarding these names. It would further the intent of the resolution of this matter if both parties would refrain from challenging in any court of law, international organization or other forum the use of such name or any variant thereof in a commercial context by the other, and in particular the authorities of both States should refrain from challenging legally the use of “Macedonia” or “Macedonian” or similar designations in a commercial or regional context when used in connection with products and services emanating from Republika Makedonija-Skopje or when emanating from Greek Macedonia.

In connection with the resolution of this matter through Security Council Resolution _____, it is my understanding that the Hellenic Republic and Republika Makedonija-Skopje will regularly consult and cooperate at a high level in connection with regional security and economic issues. In particular, the Greek Government has undertaken to support actively the territorial integrity and stability of Republika Makedonija-Skopje, and further actively to support and advocate the accession of Republika Makedonija-Skopje to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, all subject to the fulfillment of international agreements and compliance with applicable processes and requirements. Further, the Hellenic Republic has undertaken to provide tangible support and assistance to Republika Makedonija-Skopje in its economic development.

My statement constitutes an integral part of the general understanding that made possible the submission by the Secretary General to the Security Council of the recommendation that formed the basis of Security Council Resolution _____ and reflects items already agreed to in the Interim Agreement and other international agreements and conventions; consequently fulfillment of the understandings expressed by me in this statement should be understood to be a matter of importance to the parties.

Let me conclude, Mr. Chairman, by thanking the members of the Security Council and its staff for their support in resolving this dispute, and thanking the Secretary General and his staff, and the Governments of Greece and Republika Makedonija-Skopje, for providing to me the honor of fulfilling my mission.

Document II
Main Points of Proposed Security Council Resolution

1. Makes reference to Security Council Resolutions 817 and 845 (1993) which admitted the State provisionally as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” pending resolution of the dispute with respect to the name of the State.

2. Declares that a solution to the dispute referred to the resolutions would enhance peace and security in Southeast Europe and promote better relations between neighbouring states in the region.

3. Recognizes that the constitutional name admitted previously as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is “Republika Makedonija”.

4. Acknowledges that the constitutional name “Republika Makedonija” will be used for internal purposes within the State admitted provisionally as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

5. Determines that for all purposes of official usage within the United Nations organization the State admitted provisionally as the “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” will henceforth be referred to as Republika Makedonija-Skopje”, which designation will be legally equivalent to the Constitutional name for purposes of international official usage and that the adjectival and other subsidiary forms of reference shall be in the form appended to this resolution.

6. Recommends that other international organizations, governments and other official parties adopt the usage referred to above for international official usage, but declares that no State shall seek to exert undue influence on others to affect the usage by any other official organization, State or other official party.

7. Takes note that “Macedonia” has reference to a geographic area encompassing all or portions of several States in the region of Southeast Europe, including but no limited to the State admitted provisionally as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

8. Takes note that “Macedonia” has importance to a long association with the heritage, culture and history of the Hellenic Republic and the Hellenic people since antiquity, the “Macedonia” is a name commonly used to refer to a region of northern Greece and that the people of such region are, within the Hellenic Republic, customarily referred to as “Macedonians”.

9. Declares that no State or official subdivision thereof shall be referred to in international official usage at any time as “Macedonia” or “Makedonija”.

10. Urges the State admitted provisionally as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and the Hellenic Republic, as well as other countries in the region of Southeast Europe referred to in Section 7 above, to cooperate in making the region one of peace, cooperation and development, and to take measures to ensure that the Macedonian heritage of those States shall henceforth be a basis for cooperative efforts.

11. Takes note of the commitment of the Hellenic Republic to resolve all issues with the State admitted provisionally as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” on the basis of peaceful and neighborly relations and in conformity with international agreements and international law, and the further commitment of the Hellenic Republic to support actively the security and economic development of such State and to support in its application to become a member of applicable regional organizations including the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization;

12. Declares that this resolution shall be effective on [3 months from date of adoption] provided that the Secretary General as well as national authorities may adopt reasonable measures for transition to the usage adopted above and provided further that no past agreement document or other usage shall be rendered invalid in the future by virtue of having used a different usage prior to the effective date.

13. Provides that the Interim Agreement dated September 13, 1995 between the State and the Hellenic Republic shall be deemed superseded to the extent necessitated by this resolution which revolves the difference between the parties that is referred to in Article 5 thereof.

APPENDIX TO SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION______(2005)

ENGLISH VERSION (COMPARABLE IN OTHER LANGUAGES)

Short Name

Republika Makedonija-Skopje*†

† The constitutional name is Republika Makedonija. However, pursuant to Security Council Resolution___ (2005) the name Republika Makedonija-Skopje will be used for all official usage with the United Nations Organization.

Capital City

Skopje

Formal Name

Republika Makedonija-Skopje*†

† The constitutional name is Republika Makedonija. However, pursuant to Security Council Resolution___ (2005) the name Republika Makedonija-Skopje will be used for all official usage with the United Nations Organization.

   

Adjective/nationality Makedonian*

Makedonian*

of Republika Makedonija-Skopje*

Makedonians* (for the people of the State)

Languages

Makedonian*

Note Eng.

*To be used in this spelling in all languages and not to be translated into any other language.


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