Yesterday afternoon in Chicago, during his working visit to the USA on the occasion of the participation in the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations, President Stevo Pendarovski attended and addressed a donor dinner “Paths to Prosperity” organized by “Macedonia2025” as their guest of honor.
At the ceremony, President Pendarovski honored the CEO of Boeing, David L. Calhoun with the “September 8” Order, for his special and dedicated contribution to the development and advancement of Macedonian-American strategic and business relations and to the economic progress of our country.
President Pendarovski also presented the recognition “Diaspora Recognition Awards 2023”, which Macedonia 2025, under his patronage, awarded to Stanley Thomas and Vlatko Andonovski, in honor of their contributions and achievements.
Below is the integral address of President Pendarovski:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Почитувани Македонки и Македонци,
It is a special honor and privilege to be part of tonight’s gala dinner, and be surrounded by preeminent leaders and representatives of the Macedonian Diaspora. People who are not only successful and respected members of their communities in the US and Canada, but, individuals who are real believers in Macedonia, dedicated friends and supporters of the eternal Macedonian causa.
The organizers of this event, Macedonia 2025 is one of the leading organizations of the Macedonian diaspora dedicated to the development and economic progress of our homeland and its citizens ever since it has been borne in 2007. By initiating and organizing this event they confirm, yet again, their relevance and vision for our better future.
And this is far from being their sole project. Apart from the numerous activities, including the traditional annual conferences, the scholarship program for secondary school students, the Ohrid Camp for high-technology excellence in collaboration with the office of the President which we are successfully rolling on for three years now, recently we established and awarded for the first time the Recognition for special contribution to the distinguished members of the diaspora. This award values the extraordinary contribution by the members of the Macedonian diaspora for the preservation and affirmation of Macedonian historical, cultural and spiritual traditions and values.
Tonight, I would like to emphasize what I had stated when awarding this recognition for the first time: we do need organizations and individuals who contribute to building close and productive relations between the Republic of North Macedonia and its Diaspora. This means, at times, overcoming the great expectations which exist, both here, but, among the people living in the fatherland. What we need to do first is to put aside sentimentality and emotions, since the pragmatism is what is required.
What we need is a win – win situation, therefore, our common endeavor should aim to opening pathways for ever-closer communication between us, for new initiatives and investments to take place.
It is not a big secret that we are living in turbulent times. Unfortunately, in the past few years we have been witnessing various crises reinforcing each other and undermining our peace, our welfare and way of living, frustrating the people across the continents and at times, confronting us with existential challenges. And that is not something specific for Macedonia, Canada or the USA, these are the questions that are of concern for the humankind.
What is underway are no less than tectonic geopolitical shifts. This open and globalized world is facing the danger that can easily shake its very foundations to the core. This is precisely an impression shared by many at this year’s United Nations General Assembly where I laid down the Macedonian perspective and the way we think might be helpful for mitigating the negative consequences of the global turmoil.
We must be prudent, use our resources wisely and find ways to help those in need who are the most affected. This can be achieved only through empathy, togetherness and solidarity. Let us put aside for a moment our personal ambitions and dedicate a fraction of our time to contribute for the sake of our nation.
At this gala dinner, we celebrate Macedonian culture and tradition, enjoying Macedonian music and cuisine, accompanied by the persons of wisdom, skills and professional experience and of course, humans willing to share all of that with their compatriots.
Tonight, some of them will be, with good reason, awarded with special recognitions of merit. And I would like to say once more, sincerely from my heart: it is really a privilege to be in the company of such a successful business people, great individuals and most importantly, true patriots. I do believe that only by following the examples of our great leaders and working together, we can contribute much more to a more prosperous Macedonia.
I am an optimist that we can beat everybody’s expectations, but, it will come only through a sincere, more intensified and productive cooperation with each and every one of you.
This evening among us is Mr. David Calhoun, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing. As a symbolic gesture of gratitude on behalf of all Macedonian citizens, I would like to decorate him with the Order of 8th of September, one of the highest state awards, as a recognition for his invaluable contribution to the building of Macedonian – American business relations and support to Macedonian economy. You know, in the course of time, some professional engagements go beyond the frames of business communication as usual and lay firm foundations for lasting friendship.
There is a saying that a man’s richness is measured by the number of his friends. Judging by this yardstick, despite the fact that we are coming from a small country, we have many great friends who are encouraging us to be better persons. It goes without saying that Gentleman David Calhoun is one of them, and we are especially proud of that.
My fellow Macedonians, at the very end, allow me to thank you for the warm hospitality and to wish you all good health and happiness. And of course, to sаy an old Macedonian wisdom: Македонки и Македонци да даде Господ да се гледаме само за убави работи, да сте ми сите живи и здрави и здравје Боже, следниот пат да се видиме на изворот и коренот на македонштината, во Македонија!
Ви благодарам, Thank you!