New York.- “When we Hellenes join our forces and put aside our differences before important issues, we achieve even our most ambitious goals” stresses Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis in his message to the 59th Convention of Pan-Macedonian Associations US-Canada that will take place in Kavala from 26-31 July 22, 2005.
The Hellene Prime Minister underlines that the vision of ecumenical Hellenism with a strong voice and presence is more feasible now than ever and assures that the Hellenic state will continue to support actively any significant initiative for ecumenical Hellenism.
The official opening of the convention will take place at 19:00, Tuesday, 26 July at the conference centre of the prefecture of Kavala. The next day, a round table discussion will take place with Archbishop of America Dimitrios, the former Ministers of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Martis and Stelios Papathemelis and professors K. Fotiadis and A. Lazarou.
The sessions of the convention, in which participating are organizations of expatriate Macedonians from all over the world and mainly from the US, will continue with speeches of representatives until Friday 29 July. On Saturday, the World conference of Pan-Macedonian Associations will take place and resolutions that were discussed within the framework of the sessions of the 9th World Convention of Pan-Macedonian Associations at Alexandrion Foundation at Dion, Pieria will be approved.
The 9th Pan-Macedonian World Congress took place in Litohoro, Pieria, from July 15 to 17 with the participation of representatives from Pan –Macedonian organizations of Europe, Australia, and South Africa said once again no to a title of Skopyie including the term Macedonia.
The works of the Congress were declared officially open by the Minister for Macedonia- Thrace, Nikolaos Tsiartonis in the presence of deputies and local administration officials. In their speeches, official guests hailed the role of Macedonians living abroad in defending their motherland’s interests and called them to join in a common effort to deal with crucial national issues.
Participants in the Congress,- chaired by special secretary of the Pan-Macedonian Unions World Federation and president of the Melbourne-Victoria Pan-Macedionian Union, Dimitris Minas- had the opportunity to exchange views and discuss issues related to the future of the organization and necessary initiatives to enhance its role.
Common assumption by participants is that pan-Macedonian Unions in all parts of the world should be united in supporting their view with regards the name of Skopyie and cooperate with Greece to avert forfeiting of the regions history. Dimitris Minas underlined that the Pan-Macedonian Federation rejects Nimits proposals on the name of Skopyie and will take actions to avert such a development. Minas added that the Federation is highly concerned over inefficient briefing from the Greek state which prevents the organization from formulating a common strategy, adding that the Federation can offer much if given instructions by Greece.
In the meantime, there was expressed high concern over the future of the 32 Macedonian Unions in Europe, whose survival is at risk due to the lack of participation of the Macedonian youth.
Participants were particularly critical in their stand regarding the role of the Council of Hellenes abroad, as an organized omogeneia sector for the promotion of national issues, stressing the need for strengthening of cooperation with the Council. They referred that the Council of Hellenes abroad is not recognized by Australia while the Pan-Macedonian Union is, achieving a commitment by the Australian government to use the old name of Skopyie and “not Republic of Macedonia”..
With regards Greek language education, participants submitted a request to the Ministry of Education to send an efficient number of teachers to teach the 3000 Greek descent students in Australia.
Participants also reached an agreement on the better utilization of the “ Alexandrios Building”, which housed the works of the Congress. “Alexandrion” was founded in 1997 by the “ Megas Alexandros Foundation” in N.Y , financed by both Macedonians living abroad and the Greek state and so far opens its gates every 4 –years to host the works of the Congress while it could be a point of reference for the organization of cultural and other activities which will promote Macedonian culture.
Finally, participants called for the re-activation of Expatriate Macedonians Center in Thessaloniki.
In the meantime, according to the Presidium’s decision, the 9th Pan-Macedonian World Congress will conclude its works and announce its resolutions, on July 31st in Kavala after the conclusion of the 59th Congress of America- Canada Pan-Macedonian Union.