Since independence in 1991, the country has made significant steps towards defining national policies that recognise the country’s cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. The Ohrid Framework Agreement, which brought an end to the inter-ethnic conflict of 2001, laid the foundations for peace and stability and for the country’s present two-tier self-government system. The continued observance and implementation of the Agreement, together with meaningful inter-ethnic dialogue and collaboration across all social strata, remains essential for the development of the country as a productive and vibrant society and future European Union member state.
The United Nations seeks to advance what the country has achieved in inter-ethnic relations by promoting inter-ethnic dialogue and collaboration. It does this by supporting the efforts of central Government, relevant local bodies and civil society. The main objectives of the UN Programme are:
This UN Programme works at the national-level, but also in three ethnically diverse municipalities (Kičevo, Kumanovo and Struga). At the local level, the programme is working with civil society, school communities, and government bodies to demonstrate how formal and informal systems can fortify tolerance, inclusion and respect.