Friday, 16 November 2012
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT VELJANOSKI AT THE CONFERENCE OF MANU ON THE OCCASION OF 16TH NOVEMBER- THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF TOLERANCE
Esteemed President and Members of the Macedonian academy of Science and Art,
Ladies and gentlemen,
In this time of intensive changes, when the traditional matrices of the old world are being transformed, there are movements that lead toward strengthening the new paradigms and the new models of value in the society. These new paradigms include the tolerance as an active opinion, which means respect of the differences and recognising diversity in the society and the world as a whole.
This is the time of challenges and new solutions, time of building a new, true ethics of tolerance. The tolerance cannot be practiced partially, to be a passive act or just a consequence, outcome or something else. It cannot be a second degree category that is being activated when necessary, and in the meantime to be overruled by the indifference.
International standards and recommendations request the governance and the public institutions to fight against the hate speech, and in the same time obligation to promote respect and tolerance. We live in times when the principles of democracy on the so-called model of joint living of different communities with different barriers from the aspect of culture and religion are being accepted.
The key and the challenge for the tolerance is building a quality society that provides participation in argument-based debates, listening to others and integrating the different points.
Still, in the societies of diversities, similar to ours, the messages of hate may become stronger in negative context of meaning, rather than the ones in the spirit of tolerance. That is why we should discourage everyone that calculates with this negative effect aiming to attract the essence of the false attention and public focus.
Also, the patriarchal stereotype should be broken; it is a relapse of the past, and from time to time attempts to rule the youth, stating that the tolerance is some kind of softness or insecurity. In our culture of thinking and behaviour, the fact that the tolerance does not mean step aside of softness in negative since, should be strongly emphasised.
In this context, the schools, universities, homes and institutions are very important locations for promotion of the tolerance, braking stereotypes and inherited prejudice. Additional efforts are needed, especially in teaching the children on tolerance and human rights, on differences, other cultures and manners of life.
The world and the Republic of Macedonia should be comprehended as a new knotted social and cultural architecture, entity of different religions, cultures and systems.
It should be seen as a new construction, based on the establishment of the relation and culture toward the different, as a treasure of the world and the universal human experience and knowledge.
The need for building culture of respect, dialogue and inclusion is imperative for the modern Macedonian society, which historically includes the necessary, natural internal quality of coexistence and tolerance. The mistrust, reclusion and isolation have never been a characteristic of our community, of the Macedonian society and state, which, as a reminder, unlike others, managed to gain independence in peaceful manner.
At the wave of this positive tendency, we are obliged to continuously promote and motivate tolerance as an especially important segment of the modern democratic and multiethnic Macedonia.
Instead of focusing on divisions, we should focus on building synthesis and strengthening cohesion, as our obligation and constant goal.
The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia participates in the establishment of the legal framework which regulates this area in a modern manner. The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia adopted the Law on Civil Liability in Cases of Insult and Defamation, as well as the Law on Protection from Discrimination, which provide prevention in most sensitive areas of protection of the human rights and freedoms.
On the other hand, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, similar to other segments of the society, drafts and harmonises a Code of Ethics for the MPs in order to provide a common acceptable ethic framework. The provisions of this self-regulating act, inter alia, stipulate that the MPs may not use phrases, words or gestures that offend or underrate the other and different, nor phrases of synonyms that offend the human dignity or the dignity of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, motivating hate and violence.
Also, this document stipulates that the MPs should respect the principles of the human rights and in the elaboration of their arguments should not be guided by the differences (discrimination) on the basis of race, gender, skin colour, language, religion, national and social belonging, the health and social position. Decreasing the coordinates of the so-called global village we are addressing the people we live with, regardless of their diversity. The world is more connected than ever. In this interwoven world the culture of tolerance is essential for the future of the nations. As a conclusion, it is a value of the civilization, providing peace, both internal and among people and nations. The Republic of Macedonia is strongly determined to integrate in the modern world, in the Euro-Atlantic integrations.
Recently, Macedonia received the forth positive Report of the European Commission, containing a recommendation for opening accession negotiations. We all expect that the Republic of Macedonia will finally make the next step forward, and that the European Council will determine a date on opening negotiations. This will benefit all of us, as well as the new spirit, impetus and enthusiasm in the implementation of the reforms and affirmation of the democratic values. All this will benefit the Region and its European perspectives, spreading the spirit of tolerance and good neighbourly relations, benefiting the European Union as well.
We are responsible to protect those that are vulnerable to discrimination, regardless if the discrimination is on the basis of race, religion, nationality, language...
Practicing tolerance can be an antidote for the prejudice and hate. The fight against the hate speech is possible through building a capability to recognize and marking a problem, processing thereof, as well as rising the culture of dialogue.
Marking the International Day of Tolerance lets all remind ourselves of the moral imperative that the tolerance starts with us, with every new day. The tolerance makes difference possible, the difference makes tolerance necessary.