The 69th World Congress of the International P.E.N. in Mexico
The 69th World Congress of the International P.E.N. was held in Mexico City, 22nd – 28th November, 2003. More then 250 delegates from more then 65 world centres participated at the Congress. The Macedonian P.E.N. Centre was represented by Mr. Dimitar Basevski, the president and Mr. Ermis Lafazanovski, the secretary of the Macedonian P.E.N. Centre. The general theme of the Congress was Cultural Diversity and the Freedom of Expression, and there were many organized discussions, literary readings and meetings on this topic. In addition to these activities, as a replacement for Mr. Homero Aridjis, Jirgi Grusca from the Czech Republic was elected a new president. The first article of the Standing Orders of the International P.E.N. was changed at this Congress as well. Instead of the old version:
Literature, national though it be in origin, knows no frontiers, and should remain common currency between nations in spite of political or international upheaval;
the new version states:
Literature knows no frontiers and must remain a common currency among people in spite of political or international upheavals.
The constitution of six new centres was accepted at the Congress: P.E.N. Afghanistan, P.E.N. Morocco, P.E.N. Spain, P.E.N. Trieste, P.E.N. Paraguay and P.E.N. Zambia.
The Report of the International P.E.N. on the Ohrid Congress in September 2002 was also accepted, and once more there were congratulations on its successful organization. The Sixth Ohrid P.E.N. Conference was also mentioned in the report of the International Relations secretary, Terry Carlbom. The Resolution regarding the freedom of intellectual communication in the frames of the Shengen regulative for the movement of people, especially the residents of the so called West Balkan, previously adopted at the 6th Ohrid P.E.N. Conference was adopted in Mexico as well.