The United Nations Organization hold the first United Nations Forum on Minority Issues with the subject „Minorities and the Right to Education“ in Geneva 2008 December 15th and 16th. More than 200 participants from all continents have discussed about minorities issues. Macedoarman minority has been represented by the president of Macedoarmans Council Yiani Mantsu, Vice-president Steryiu Samara and general secretary Niculaki Caracota. You can find here the speech of the president Yiani Mantsu.
Zboru/Interventsiuni Yiani Mantsu
Mrs. Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to point out some issues
I would first like to point out some issues regarding the use of the term „minority“. When we talk about „minorities“ it is necessary to make a difference between minorities :
– firstly, there are minorities with a kin – state, minorities which are supported and encouraged by these states they live in;
– secondly, there are minorities which never established their own state, an example is the Macedonarman people in Balkan countries, one of the oldest people in Europe with deepest roots in Antique Macedonia. This ethnic people feel themselves discriminated, for example in Greece, when they are considered a minority, they are actually autochthonous there. The Macedonarman people have their own language and culture, but have no access to education in their own language – nowhere – neither in Grece, nor in Albania, nor in FYROM* (R. Of Macedonia), nor in Bulgaria, nor in Romania.
Therefore, I would suggest for the Draft Recommendation to point out clearly the term autochthonous people and especially, people without an own state.
I would also suggest for the Draft Recommendation, to accurately define the term “dialect – language”. There are states which do not support national minorities or do not even recognize ethnic groups as minorities, considering that these minorities speak a dialect of the majority language and could not be therefore considered a minority. An example in this direction is Romania, where the macedonarman people constitutes an immigrant minority. Their language is though related to the Romanian Language, also a Romance Language, but the Arman (Macedonarman) people is distinct from the Romanian people.
The Council of Macedonarmans, established by many Arman communities from Balkan countries and registered as a legal entity with the Department of Justice in Tirana, Albania, is particularly preoccupied by gaining recognition for the Armâns, in each Balkan country, where they have been living organized in communities since time immemorial, as a distinct, autochthonous, and regional people, who speak their own millenary language dating back to the ancient Macedonia. Considering the critical situation of the Armâns (Macedonarmâns) in all above – mentioned Balkan countries and the silence of the institutions from these countries regarding the acces of this people to the education in their own language, we will greatly appreciate an expertise made by the Independent Expert on Minority Issues and find practical and judicial solutions for that.
Thanks for your attention !
* la UNO ashi easti R. Makidunia cânâscutâ, cu numa FYROM
2008 December 29th – Geneva