Tuesday, November 15, 2011

International Day for Tolerance, Republic of Macedonia


International Day for Tolerance
Press release, November 16, 2011

JUSTICE! LIBERTY! EQUALITY!
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.
Therefore,
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.
Click http://tolerance-mk.blogspot.com for tolerance!



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 the International 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

e-CARD 4 TOLERANCE


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CONTRIBUTION TO THE INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF JOURNALISTS

JOURNALIST HANDBOOK launch event, Skopje, November 1, 2011
Integrity and accountability of the journalist and journalism for their public voice, the confidence of citizens and society in media, as well as building and defending dignity of journalism as profession – represent the contents of the Journalist Handbook, launched today at the Club of Journalists in Skopje.
The aim of the Handbook is to remind journalists and media workers that their integrity, accountability and the role in the society can and have to be built only on basis of respect for law, the code of conduct, ethical principles, and professional rules, values, and practices.
The Journalist Handbook is a joint project of Civil Media, as organizational unit of Civil – Center for Freedom, and of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM). The project is financed by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Skopje, and is part of the Annual Program of Civil, supported by the Civica Mobilitas Programme, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented by the Center for Institutional Development (CIRa).
The Handbook is prepared by the journalists Risto Popovski, Ilir Ajdini, Josif Curciev, and David Brewer, media expert from Great Britain.
The Handbook contains experiences from journalism in Norway that - according to the professional level and the role in the society - is amongst the best in the world. Experiences from Great Britain and Germany are used, as well, as countries where journalism has a long tradition and is characterized by high professionalism. It also contains the Code of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, as well as the annex Journalists Against Corruption.
The Journalist Handbook is published in Macedonian and Albanian language and will be disseminated to every journalist in the country. The President of Civil – Center for Freedom Xhabir Deralla, the President of ZNM Naser Selmani, and the Project Manager Risto Popovski spoke about the project at the launch today. David Brewer has sent a special video address on the occasion of this event.
“Journalists must never forget that the most important dimension of their work is the quest for truth. Journalists should choose between being journalists or merely propagandists in service of political power centers. Therefore, this Handbook is needed for journalists as a reminder of their role in the society. I will carry this Handbook with me from today. The Association of Journalists of Macedonia will take the responsibility to disseminate this Handbook to all its members and to enhance its activity among journalists in defense of their dignity and integrity” – said Naser Selmani.
“Journalists, for the sake of their own integrity and accountability, must not agree to fall under influences or be a subject to pressure, regardless of their background” – said Risto Popovski. He emphasized that “journalists have to persist in balanced reporting on important events, be critical observers, and initiate key issues and debates about important matters. Only by doing so, journalists and journalism may realize their role in the society, to contribute to achievement of human rights and freedoms, development of democracy and promotion of highest moral, human and cultural values”.  
“A society without independent and critical-thinking journalism is a backward society which violates human rights and freedoms, and nurtures values that belong to the darkest times of human civilization. The equation free media = democracy is correct and counts for all societies in the world. Yes, that is how important is journalism and that is why an organization such as Civil – Center for Freedom engages with media sphere, whilst being a human rights and freedoms organization. I have said many times and I will say it again: freedom is not negotiable” – said Xhabir Deralla.
“Journalists work under intense pressure. Not only from external sources such as politicians, businesses, criminals, but also from themselves. Probably, one of the biggest threats to journalism is self-censorship. Our work must be objective, fair, accurate, and impartial. And we need to be reminded constantly of the importance of our role in society. The challenge now is to follow up this handbook and analyze how it works in practice, and offer training and support to those who are trying to apply the guidelines, and support them along the way” – said David Brewer.
The Handbook will be available in Macedonian and Albanian language in the offices of Civil – Center for Freedom and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia. It will be disseminated to journalists and other interested parties at launch events throughout the country. 






Monday, October 31, 2011

Launch of the Journalist Manual


We have the honor of announcing the launch of the publication Journalist Manual on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at the Journalists Club, beginning 11.30h.
The publication Journalist Manual has been prepared by the team of Civil Media, organizational unit of Civil – Center for Freedom. After the launch in Skopje, a number of presentations and lectures will be held in Strumica, Bitola and Tetovo, and several universities across the country.




info
Sonja Eftovska
Admin. & Comms.
Civil – Center for Freedom
02/5209176

Friday, July 29, 2011

Neo-Bolshevism

МАКЕДОНСКА ВЕРЗИЈА ТУКА
In Macedonia, human rights and freedoms remain violated at every step and in every sector of living, starting with incidents of police brutality, ending with systematic discrimination of individuals, groups and communities

Xhabir M. Deralla
The story of democracy in Macedonia is a short one: it looked alright most of the time on the outside, but it was going downwards; now it doesn’t look good at all, inside-out. Seems, not many are left to make a stand. Don’t worry, it will only get worse. And, the worse it gets, the less visible it will be.
Political, financial and media control takeover in the Republic of Macedonia is almost completed. The old-new government of the country, led by the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE party leader Nikola Gruevski, succeeded in taking almost absolute power in the country since 2006. VMRO won less Parliamentarian sits in the pre-term elections on June 5, this year. Yet, the level of control is rising. How come?
The judiciary reforms failed. No one actually tried to implement them. Party soldiers occupied the justice system, imposing further pressures over the remaining independent judges; if there are any left. Processes against journalists, human rights activists, and oppositionists are ongoing. The process against the A1 TV, and closure of three daily newspapers earlier, were clearly political, entirely nontransparent and confusing, providing nothing but sheer demonstration of power. None of the spectacular arrests within the government’s so-called fight against organized crime concluded with a credible verdict. And so on.
The Constitutional Court got its final blow after the Commission for Verification of the Facts (lustration) accused its Chairman, Trendafil Ivanovski, of collaboration with the secret services of the communist regime. His case has swiftly been turned down by all levels of justice system and is now queuing in Strasbourg. Since Ivanovski’s demotion on, we haven’t heard of any Constitutional Court’s decision that opposes governmental driven decisions in the country. Previously, the Constitutional Court opposed a dozen of governmental decisions and projects.
Next target was the head of the Soros Foundation in Macedonia, Vladimir Milcin. The long-standing dissident and human rights advocate, who was persecuted by the old system, is accused of snitching for the communist secret police. Has to leave all public posts and faces criminal prosecution if he defies it. Who’s next?
Regardless of how true are the claims of the Commission or we speak about criminal constructs, the timing and the ways of processing these cases is not without a plan.
The country’s high unemployment rate and rising poverty (over 30%) was no obstacle for continuation of the extremely expensive and controversial Skopje 2014 project. In addition, this project produces even more divisions and tensions at both inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic level, and deteriorates Macedonian international image and position, particularly regarding the name issue with Greece. On top of everything, it’s insanely grotesque and speaks of confused perception of history and identity.
Legislation? Only in the last 48 hours of the previous parliament, about 200 laws have been put on bill, creating a legislative avalanche and legal chaos. Same happened in the wake of the 2008 pre-term parliamentary elections. Then, Brussels strongly criticized such practices in the parliament, to which the old-new Chairman Veljanovski responded with a promise of not doing it again. See the result, less than three years after we got three-digit number of laws more, on top of all others that were put on bill meanwhile - in a complete absence of transparency and public debate.
The state of democratic institutions is miserable. Freedom of speech and independent thinking are fading out. Civil society is insensitively being instrumentalized by the political elites on both sides of the political palette. Parallel to that, the country sank into silence after taking the media space almost entirely. The final strike against independent media was given by the new law which crippled the autonomy of the Broadcasting Council of Macedonia. The circle is closed.
Meanwhile, human rights and freedoms remain violated at every step and in every sector of living, starting with incidents of police brutality, ending with systematic discrimination of individuals, groups and communities. Party soldiers complete the picture of disarray, holding control of the streets and neighborhoods, safeguarding the party totems and symbols. Political parties in opposition are captured in the midst of misconception and pursuit for political scores, another disturbing story to be told some other time.
The list goes on and on. It seems that this government has an amazing capacity of producing scandals based on arrogance, ignorance, bullying, and felony. Often, government’s moves are so shocking that leaves people speechless. And, it seems to be a strategy – forcing the public to exhaustion by appalling manner of practicing power. Government means party, party means government. There is no rule of law, but rule of the party. There is no democracy, only the relentless pounding of the agit-prop drums.
The country suffers from scandalous decisions and practices that still emerge on the surface every day. The system got contaminated to that extend that recklessness and capriciousness - in dealing with both everyday matters and sensitive issues and processes at all levels and from all societal and state aspects – is apparent and massive. The party is omnipresent; in economy, finance, security, development, interethnic, interreligious, and intra-ethnic relations, diplomacy, justice, you name it. Wherever one could point a finger – clumsy, wrong, damaging event is underway.
And, it will only get worse. This level of control, autocracy, and misbehavior cannot stop at this point. It needs to go further and deeper into the societal fabric and the system. Having media under firm control of one person and his clique, all these problems will simply remain in the dark. No real public, no dialog, no free speech… Instead, Bolshevik- styled praise of the government’s nonexistent achievements will be broadcasted day in, day out. While time to catch up with raging changes in the world is disappearing…
Xhabir M. Deralla is a writer and producer; founder and President of Civil – Center for Freedom.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

JOIN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

A statement by Xhabir M. Deralla, President of CIVIL
The crisis of the early 21st century is a crisis of humanity. Rise of violence and diminishing of human rights are appalling. Small arms are one of the main tools to maintain evil in the life of this civilization. When guns talk, democracy, freedom and human rights seize to exist.
Wars, crime, hatred, violence, maim, rape, and terror worldwide is carried out by small arms. The hard rain of bullets takes countless lives every day. Lords of war and dealers of death mount their bloodstained wealth on the back of the poor and manipulated people.
Administrations around the world produce agreements and legislation at one, weapons and ammunition at the other hand. They are big and strong. They will grow even bigger and stronger if we, the vast majority of the world, remain silent.
Join the longstanding struggle to overcome the horrors of today! It is up to you, my fellow citizen, to say no to guns and violence, no to hypocritical governments and merchants of misery. It is your undeniable right to live in a free society.
It takes lots of time and energy to make commitments; it needs responsibility and sincerity; personal struggle and sacrifice – to put an end to violence, to build a free society.

Public Appeal

GOVERNMENT
We appeal to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, to consider continuation of the action for collection of the illegal arms through amnesty. In that respect, we appeal to the Government to include a wide range of relevant institutions in the process, not only the Ministry of Interior. Furthermore, we strongly recommend that the Government should include the civil society in the process, as well.

CITIZENS
We appeal to all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia to restrain from use of firearms during the forthcoming season of celebrations in the country. We remind the citizens that use of weapons may lead to tragedies, and its use in public and at celebrations is strictly forbidden by law. We advise the citizens to report any shooting to the police.
We appeal to all citizens to join efforts to overcome gun culture amongst children and youth. We all can contribute through our personal example.

LEADERS OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
We appeal to the leaders of the religious communities in the country to share the ideas of peaceful celebrations without firearms. Mention the peaceful dimension of you religion during your prayers and preach. Tell your followers that use of firearms leads to tragedy, violence, and trauma.

THE ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE CONTINUES

GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE 2011
 

Completion
Civil completed the Global Week of Action against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia. During the Week of Action (WoA), Civil has organized several events and made contact with numerous journalists, citizens, NGOs, and institutions.



Support
The WoA was conducted in cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Skopje and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Macedonia. The WoA is a regular part of the Annual Program of Civil, which is supported by the Civica Mobilitas Program, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, implemented by the Center for Institutional Development.

Activities
At the beginning of the WoA, Civil organized a press conference, attended by journalists of four national TV broadcasters, several local TV and radio stations, and various news agencies and daily newspapers in the country.
The slam poetry event Words Against Bullets was organized at the very beginning of the WoA, right on midnight between Sunday and Monday (June 12/13).
In cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Skopje and the MOI, Civil has organized a panel discussion Gun Culture Amongst Youth and Prevention and a lecture Gun Culture and Arms Control for teachers, parents, NGO representatives, municipality officials, and youth.
At the stand of Civil, placed in the center of the capital, our activists disseminated thousands of awareness raising materials (message cards, leaflets, and badges).
A DJ event (XhaD Against Guns), film screening (My First Bullet), and other events took place at various locations and time, aimed at awareness raising on arms control issues.
Inspired by citizens and participants to our events, we extracted three target groups to reinforce our public message: the government, all citizens, and the leaders of religious communities in the Republic of Macedonia. This is to make sure that the action against gun violence continues beyond the end of the WoA, as it is supposed to be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE 2011, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA - PROGRAM

МАКЕДОНСКИ       SHQIP



Sunday midnight, June 12/13

WORDS AGAINST BULLETS
Slam poetry event

Hosts: Xhabir M. Deralla and Antoine Le Roux



Monday, June 13

11:30-12:30
Press conference
Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia 2011
Presentation: Xhabir M. Deralla, President of Civil
Club Menada, Skopje Old Town

14:00-16:00
Civil Coffee Time
Citizens and NGO activists are welcomed to the premises of Civil to discuss on arms control issues in the country and the world


Tuesday, June 14

11:30-13:30
Civil INFO Stand
Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia 2011
Square Macedonia, Skopje

14:00-16:00
Civil Coffee Time
Citizens and NGO activists are welcomed to the premises of Civil to discuss on arms control issues in the country and the world

Wednesday, June 15

13:00-15:00
Panel discussion
GUN CULTURE AMONGST YOUTH AND HOW TO PREVENT IT
Participants: representatives of Civil, MoI, OSCE, teachers, NGOs, media
Moderator: Xhabir M. Deralla, President of Civil
Club of the Citizens of European Macedonia (GEM), Skopje Old Town

14:00-16:00
Civil Coffee Time
Citizens and NGO activists are welcomed to the premises of Civil to discuss on arms control issues in the country and the world


Thursday, June 16

13:00-14:30
Lecture
GUN CULTURE AND ARMS CONTROL
Co-organized by the Primary School “Marko Cepenkov” and the Municipality of Zelenikovo, Skopje
Participants: representatives of Civil, local government, school authorities, MoI, OSCE, teachers, council of parents, NGOs, media
Lecturers: Xhabir M. Deralla, President of Civil and a representative of the MOI
Conference Hall, Municipality of Zelenikovo

14:30-15:30
Reception
Hosted by the Municipality of Zelenikovo and OSCE Mission to Skopje

22:00-01:00
DJ XhaD
Club Menada, Skopje Old Town


Friday, June 17

11:30-13:30
Civil INFO Stand
Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia 2011
Square Macedonia, Skopje

14:00-16:00
Civil Coffee Time
Citizens and NGO activists are welcomed to the premises of Civil to discuss on arms control issues in the country and the world

20:30-22:00
My First Shot (produced by BICC and Civil, 2004)
Screening and discussions
Club of the Citizens of European Macedonia (GEM), Skopje Old Town



Saturday, June 18

11:30-13:30
Civil INFO Stand
Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia 2011
Square Macedonia, Skopje

14:00-16:00
Civil Coffee Time
Citizens and NGO activists are welcomed to the premises of Civil to discuss on arms control issues in the country and the world


Sunday, June 19

11:30-13:30
Civil INFO Stand
Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia 2011
Square Macedonia, Skopje

14:00-16:00
Evaluation meeting
Civil premises


The program of activities for the Week of Action is usually kept open to ideas and initiatives that may come from the project team, members, activists, and citizens.
Civil has designed and produced badges, message cards, banner, and a large quantity of informative handouts in Macedonian, Albanian and English language that will be disseminated throughout the Week of Action and beyond.

Also click at:


www.gunpolicy.org  

The Annual Program of Civil is supported by the Civica Mobilitas Programme, which is implemented by the Center for Institutional Development (CIRa), and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia is financially supported by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA, www.iansa.org).
The Week of Action is conducted in cooperation with the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Skopje and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Macedonia.

Friday, June 10, 2011

WORDS AGAINST BULLETS

GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA 2011

PRESS CONFERENCE
11:30h at the Mendada Club, Skopje Old Town
Presenter: Xhabir M. Deralla, President of Civil


The global initiative of IANSA, arms control issues in the country and the world, and Civil's Initial Program of Activities during the Week of Action will be presented at the press conference of Civil on Monday, June 13. The program of activities for the Week of Action is usually kept open to ideas and initiatives that may come from the project team, members, activists, and citizens.
Civil has designed and produced badges, message cards, banner, and a large quantity of informative handouts in Macedonian, Albanian and English language that will be disseminated throughout the Week of Action and beyond. 

The Annual Program of Civil is supported by the Civica Mobilitas Programme, which is implemented by the Center for Institutional Development (CIRa), and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence in the Republic of Macedonia is financially supported by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA, www.iansa.org)

The Week of Action is conducted in cooperation with the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Skopje and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Macedonia.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

HIGH TIME FOR POLITICAL RECONCILIATION


CURE
Second Conference on Political Culture and Dialogue


Cure is the title of the second Conference on Political Culture and Dialogue organized by Civil – Center for Freedom that will take place on March 28 and 29 in the Congress Center of the Skopje Fair (see Agenda bellow).
Last year, also in March, high representatives of the leading political parties, diplomatic core, civil society, media and experts gathered to exchange their standpoints on the situation, consequences and solutions of problems that derive from the low level of political culture and absence of substantial dialogue in the country. It was a big and successful conference. But, the reality in the year that followed did not fulfill our expectations. This year, our March Conference is being organized in circumstances of sharp political disputes in the country.
Following the deepening divisions in the society along political party lines, ethnic tensions, religious intolerance, and discrimination against individuals, groups and categories in the society – we, as part of the civil society – call for dialogue and start of a broad political reconciliation in the country.
Political parties carry the greatest deal of responsibility when it comes to the roots and causes of the current political crisis in the country. Therefore, we believe that they are the ones that need to start talking to each other in a constructive manner, and set an agenda that will cure the ill-fated Macedonian society of today.
We invited the leaders of the largest political parties in the country: Mr. Nikola Gruevski, President of VMRO-DPMNE, Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Branko Crvenkovski, President of the Social-Democrat Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Mr. Ali Ahmeti, President of the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), coalition partner of the ruling party in the government, Mr. Menduh Thaci, President of the Democratic Party of the Albanians (DPA), Mr. Jovan Manasijevski, President of the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP), and Mr. Imer Selmani, President of the New Democracy (ND), and their closest associates, to gather at Cure – The Second Conference on Political Culture and Dialogue to share an hour of their time with each other and with representatives of the Macedonian and international public. Each of them is invited to speak five to seven minutes on one single topic: possibilities of overcoming political crisis and deep divisions that shake our society.
We invited leaders of other, smaller, but not less significant political parties, as well. Some of them are in the ruling coalition, whilst some are in the opposition bloc, reflecting the reality and society in a relevant way.
We invited experts, analysts, journalists and editors, and great many civil society leaders and activists to take part in the Conference.
We invited Excellencies, diplomats, and other relevant international representatives and friends of the Republic of Macedonia, to attend and take active part in the Conference.
We hope to see the political party leaders of this country starting a conversation over the burning issue of divisions. We expect them to start a dialogue and go beyond personal or party interests, when it comes to the benefit of all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. Citizens expect solutions. It is high time for political reconciliation, indeed.

Contacts:
02/5209176
Sanja Trajchevska: 075389697
Sonja Eftovska: 075843487

This project is part of the Annual Plan of Civil, supported in the frame of Civica Mobilitas Programme, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, implemented by the Center for Institutional Development. The project is co-financed by the Balkan Trust for Democracy.

CURE – SECOND CONFERENCE ON POLITICAL CULTURE AND DIALOGUE
Motto: HIGH TIME FOR POLITICAL RECONCILIATION

March 28-29, 2011, Conference Center at the Skopje Fair

AGENDA
Day 1: March 28
Launch event: CURE – Journal on Political Culture and Dialogue

11:00 11:30      Presentation of the publication and the authors
Introduction: Xhabir M. Deralla
Authors in the first issue:
Afrim Krasniqi, Anna Triandafyllidou, Gordana Duvnjak, David Brewer, Dusan Velickovic, Iso Rusi, Jasna Koteska, Milaim Fetai, Saso Ordanoski, Harald Schenker
11:30 – 12:30      Discussion
12:30 – 13:30      Cocktail

Day 2:  March 29
Conference: High time for political reconciliation

09:00 – 11:30      Experts discussion on the political situation in the country
Moderator: Marjan Zabrcanec
Panelists: Irena Cvetkovic, Ida Protuger, Guner Ismail, Risto Popovski, Edmond Ademi
Participants: representatives of the civil society, media, political parties and international community
Transcripts of speeches and comments will be published in the Dialog
11:30 – 12:00      Coffee break
12:00 – 13:00      Political leaders for political reconciliation
Moderator: Harald Schenker
Position Paper, presentation: Xhabir M. Deralla
Leaders of the political parties speak on the needs and possibilities for political reconciliation in the country
Invited speakers:
Nikola Gruevski, Ali Ahmeti, Branko Crvenkovski, Menduh Thaçi, Jovan Manasijevski, Imer Selmani
13:00 – 13:30      Discussion
13:30 – 14:30      Cocktail

NOTE: We have the pleasure to announce that we have received confirmations of attendance, especially at the session Political leaders for political reconciliation from many representatives of the international community, including Ambassadors, as well as from NGO leaders, experts and media.



Monday, February 14, 2011

FOR MACEDONIA WITHOUT DIVISIONS AND VIOLENCE!

Македонски: www.civil-mk.blogspot.com 

Deeply concerned about the state of interethnic relations in Macedonia and tensions escalated in recent days with yesterday's brawl between crowds of ethnic Macedonians and Albanians at Skopje’s Kale, Civil  Center for freedom appeals to the government, to political parties and civil society to take immediate and decisive steps to overcome this situation! We appeal:

TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
When the government or its institution secretly sneaks at night to “work on a project”, and senior officials from the coalition partner go out of institutions and "solve" problems that are not solved in the cabinets  something is definitely wrong there.
The government has to start doing its job, not to play a role of a helpless observer and commentator on events. A huge portion of responsibility for the deterioration of interethnic relations lies precisely in the practices of this government. This particularly applies to the adoption and implementation of projects that have nothing to do with the needs and realities of this country.
Therefore:

Stop projects that do not reflect the reality
The government must immediately stop all of its projects that were not a subject of broad public debate or those debates are not yet completed, and consider their full suspension and removal from the program. This is especially regarding projects that are contrary to the multiethnic, multi-confessional, and multicultural character of the country.
You cannot claim that the majority of voters, who elected you to govern the state, give you the right to run just any project that you have in mind. The minority of voters that did not vote for you in the last electoral cycle has to live in this country, as well, and should be consulted on how many monuments they have to get on their way daily. Especially because they are tax payers, too. Moreover, the desperate economic situation in the country brings these projects to a level of absurdity!

Transparency
Transparency must finally become one of the most important characteristics of planning and implementing projects in the country. Expensive ads to which we all got accustomed to seeing in recent years, about the achievements of the government can hardly be called transparency and accountability. No need for extra lessons on transparency, it is sufficient to follow the laws and promises made before domestic and international public.

Consensus
Broad consensus on projects that have the slightest connection to cultures, traditions, desires and needs of all ethnic communities, must be reached.
Also, it is time to consider the citizens that are interested in life, education, culture and spiritual development outside ethnic, religious and traditional norms, i.e. the cosmopolitan oriented ones.
Generally speaking, the society lacks cosmopolitan spirit. Localism, ethnocentrism, populism and dogmatism is forced instead, strongly spiced up with kitsch. Take the world and universal human values into consideration when you adopt and implement your projects.

TO THE POLITICAL PARTIES
We demand from all political parties, irrespective of their positioning, size or orientation, to immediately issue unambiguous statements in which they will call on their members to reason, tolerance and respect for human rights and freedoms.
This is no time for collection of political points through cheap nationalist speeches. All you can get is a few seconds or minutes in the TV news. You can also get it with some positive and wise approach to events.
Finally, it is not important only to be remembered, but also by what you want to be remembered.

TO THE CIVIL SOCIETY
Dear colleagues from the civil society sector in Macedonia: this is not a project! This is the starting point of our and your organization and the basis of our and your personal engagement in civil society in the broadest sense. Today, now, in the moment this will reach you, express your commitment as an organization and as individuals.
Spread the message of peace, tolerance and respect for human rights. Everyone’s positive word and each act that leads to peaceful resolution of conflicts are immensely important and effective.

TO ALL CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Do not let obsession and madness take hold of you. This situation is not conducive to good for you; neither is for generations to come. A war has inflicted much harm. Another one would mean disaster for this country. What political figures say, sometimes may sound good, but is mostly motivated by their thirst for power and popularity. And personal gain.
The walls are raised high above our heads. Division is our reality. Further divisions can also mean setting new, physical frontiers between people. All of us know that it involves war and bloodshed. And that brings good only for criminals and thugs.
Make the first step; tear down the walls that stand between you and your fellow citizens with different backgrounds or beliefs. It will not jeopardize your identity, on the contrary, that will enrich you.

Stop nationalism and religious hatred! 
For Macedonia without divisions and violence!

Xhabir Memedi Deralla
President of Civil – Center for Freedom