International Day for Tolerance, Republic of Macedonia

International Day for Tolerance

 Press release, November 16, 2011

Ethnically motivated tensions and violence amongst young Macedonians and Albanians; institutionalized and social discrimination on ethnic, gender, social, and sexual orientation; deeply rooted prejudices and hatred; rising ethnic, religious, social and political divisions – are the ingredients of the society in the Republic of Macedonia nowadays. Respect for human rights and freedoms, rule of law and freedom of speech are in a free fall. Silence and fear are widespread in the country. The list goes on. Quality education, health and social services, fair employment policies, access to justice, respect for ethnic and cultural diversity are in a phase of extinction from the lives of the country’s citizens.

Following the trends of deterioration of the situation with human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Macedonia on the occasion of the International Day of Tolerance, we express our deep concerns.

We appeal to the relevant state and societal actors to give up current policies and practices, and take immediate measures to end discrimination and violation of human rights and freedoms in the country.
We call for tolerance amongst citizens of this country, mutual respect and solidarity – in spite of the damaging influence of politicians.
Tolerance is the path that will bring more justice, liberty and equality to the lives of each and every one of us. Nationalism, chauvinism and hatred will only bring disarray and destruction.
We invite you to mark this day with tolerance and respect for diversity. Share your story with us. Tell us of injustice you experienced or a positive example of tolerance and respect for your rights and freedoms.
International Day for Tolerance, Republic of Macedonia
Call to action and support

Civil – Center for Freedom reaffirms the last year’s slogan on the occasion of the International Tolerance Day: JUSTICE! LIBERTY! EQUALITY!
We call upon all goodwill people to make a personal contribution to improvement of the world through practicing tolerance in their own families, in the neighborhoods, and workplace.
Civil invites all of its activists to support the March for Tolerance that will be held in Skopje, November 16, at noon.
Civil supports and joins all activities of civil society organizations that are in favor of enhancement of tolerance and respect for human rights and freedoms.
Once again, we invite all citizens and organizations to share their story of tolerance with us.
UN Secretary-General's Message for theInternational Day for Tolerance
This is a period in which the old world is slowly but irreversibly changing and the contours of a new one are just beginning to take shape. Traditional institutions are being challenged. Budgets are being squeezed. Families are being stressed. All of this flux and churning creates enormous anxiety.
At times of change, we must stay true to the ideals and principles that are at the heart of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among those core values is tolerance. Our practice of tolerance must mean more than peaceful coexistence, crucial as that is. It must be an active understanding fostered through dialogue and positive engagement with others.
This is especially critical in combating the discrimination that causes so much divisiveness, destruction and death. We all have a responsibility to protect those vulnerable to discrimination, whether based on race, religion, nationality, language, gender, sexual orientation or other factors. Practicing tolerance can serve as the antidote to prejudice and hatred.
UNESCO plays a special role in fostering active tolerance by promoting quality education for all girls and boys; advancing a free and pluralistic media, including on the Internet; and protecting cultural heritage and nurturing respect for cultural diversity.
As we face the complex and global challenges of our times, the United Nations will continue to work for mutual understanding among peoples and countries, a bedrock need in an interconnected world. As we mark this international day, let us remember that active tolerance begins with each of us, every day.
Ban Ki-moon
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