Republic of Macedonia is committed and performs the politics based on openness towards all, regional connection and increased cooperation among the countries aimed at achieving and maintaining interconnected societies based on freedom, peace and democracy, respect for human freedoms and rights, and rule of law. Through its foreign politics – bilaterally and multilaterally – the country is actively promoting its national values and interests, standing ready to contribute to meeting the challenges of today’s globalized world. Characteristic features of the new geo-cultural processes are inclusivity and interconnection, and therefore the European and Euro-Atlantic integrations are top strategic goals of Republic of Macedonia, being of vital significance for the long-term stability, safety and wellbeing of the country, but also of the region.
Republic of Macedonia fulfilled all the criteria for NATO membership, undertook successful reforms and stands ready to start pre-accession talks with the European Union. The Euro-Atlantic integrations, building, maintaining and advancing of good neighborly relations and regional cooperation, remain to be in the center of Macedonian foreign policy actions. The formal accession of Republic of Macedonia in the European and Euro-Atlantic family will open new horizon with new future for Macedonia.
In parallel with the process of gaining independence of Republic of Macedonia in 1991, the process of establishment and international positioning of the country also begun, mainly through establishing communication, developing cooperation and acquiring membership in international organizations. The process of international recognition of the new independent and sovereign state commenced in 1992. To date, RM has established diplomatic relations with 167 countries. Full diplomatic relations between Republic of Macedonia and the European Union were established on 29 December, 1995.
Republic of Macedonia became a member of the United Nations on 7 April, 1993 and subsequently to all UN’s specialized agencies, programmes and funds. Two years later, in 1995, Republic of Macedonia became a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe, as well as other relevant regional organizations and initiatives – the World Trade Organization (2003), CEFTA (2006) and full member of the Francophonie (2006).
Throughout this period, Republic of Macedonia strives to promote itself as a responsible actor in international relations, accepting the basic principles and goals contained in the UN Charter as leading postulates in the foundations of its foreign policy. On a regional plan, the country seeks to advance the good neighborly relations, the cooperation and the sustainable development of the region it belongs to. Fully aware that its accelerated and full Euro-Atlantic integration corresponds with the intensified participation in the activities, instruments and regimes of the international organizations where holds membership, Republic of Macedonia continuously seeks to advance its profile on multilateral plan. It also seeks to give active contribution to the reaching of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the fight against international terrorism and dealing with other modified threats and challenges imposed over the international peace and security at the beginning of the 21 century. Republic of Macedonia is advocating for effective multilateral cooperation, strengthening of the UN through reforms, as well as developing efficient regional cooperation.
Priority issues for Republic of Macedonia within the UN remain to be the human rights, disarmament and nonproliferation, fight against terrorism, climate change and sustainable development, implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as reform of the UN system aimed at its adjustment for more efficient dealing with temporary global challenges.
In frames of the 16-years active cooperation between Republic of Macedonia and the Council of Europe, Government representatives regularly and actively take part in the work of the Executive, Ad Hoc and Expert Committees of the Council of Europe, whose meetings are aimed toward implementation of the intergovernmental activities program and harmonization of the European politics in all areas, except defense. In the period May-November 2010, Republic of Macedonia for the first time presided with the Council of Europe's Ministers Committee. In the frames of its six months presidency, Republic of Macedonia gave maximum contribution in promoting the values and the standards of the Organization, as well as in advancing its international political relevance. The priorities of the Macedonian chairmanship with the Council of Europe were focused on enforcement of human rights, strengthening of the integration through respect of diversity and promotion of youth cooperation.
Republic of Macedonia is also taking more active role within OSCE, which puts it in the group of countries that grow from help consumers to countries that transfer positive experiences and represent generators of stability. In 2009 for the first time Macedonia diplomat was elected Chief of OSCE Mission in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The Mission of OSCE in Republic of Macedonia is the oldest field mission of the Organization. It started operating in September 1992 with a mandate and a main goal to prevent conflict spread out in the region. OSCE Mission’s activities in Republic of Macedonia are conducted in close cooperation with Macedonian authorities. After 2002 and in accordance with the results achieved there is a continuous process of stuff reduction. At the moment, the Mission’s activities are pointed toward priority areas and reforms, related to the realization of the country’s strategic foreign policy goals.
Republic of Macedonia is also included in numerous regional initiatives. Since 1993 the country is a part of the Central European Initiative (CEI). In 2003 Macedonia initiated the summit dedicated to the Dialogue, realized in partnership with the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Ten years later, in 2013 Macedonia will once again be a host country of this regional summit. Republic of Macedonia actively takes part in the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), with which will preside in the period 2012-2013. Furthermore, the country is firmly devoted to become a member of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and the Danube Strategy, thus confirming its basic principles and belief that the future of the region will be successful only through an increased regional confidence and cooperation.
Republic of Macedonia - Human Rights
Protection and promotion of human rights remains one of the key elements of Macedonian foreign policy. Republic of Macedonia is a member of the basic human rights conventions in frames of the UN, regularly submits reports for their implementation and maintains close cooperation with the committees established with these conventions. Macedonia is continuously strengthening its activities and participation in the bodies of the international organizations active in this field. The country has strongly supported the formation of the Human Rights Council in 2006, as the most appropriate forum for future promotion of the human rights and basic freedoms through universal partnership and dialogue. For these reasons, Republic of Macedonia submitted membership application to the Human Rights Council for the period 2013-2016.
In the efforts to promote universal human rights, Republic of Macedonia is undoubtedly contributing with the organization of the two world conferences for inter-religious and inter-civilizations dialogue that took part in Ohrid in 2007 and 2010. The next conference of this nature will be held in 2013.
List of international agreements, memberships and partnerships:
Memberships in International Organizations
Memberships in Regional Organizations