Yugoslavia/ NATO/ United Nations

Vienna, 23 April 1999/P/AM/16451c-is

In a statement issued today, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, condemned the systematic targeting of civilians and civilian installations in Yugoslavia by NATO.

The bombing and missile attacks on refugee convoys, on a passenger train, on residential districts, on bridges, energy installations, etc. are clear proof that the NATO alliance is targeting the Yugoslav people. This type of conduct of warfare and the use of forbidden weapons such as depleted uranium missiles constitute the most basic violation of the Geneva Conventions and of international humanitarian law. The deliberate killing of civilians by NATO forces is a war crime in the terms as defined by international law.

The residence of the head of state, the headquarters of political parties, media establishments, etc. are not military targets. The destruction of these installations with the resulting death of civilians has escalated the war to a new level of barbarism. This morning’s destruction of the headquarters of the national TV station in Belgrade with numerous civilian deaths is a horrendous crime for which NATO commanders bear full responsibility.

The President of the International Progress Organization stated that the undeclared war by the NATO alliance against Yugoslavia destabilizes the whole political situation in Europe and constitutes a serious setback to European aspirations to build its own independent political and defense structures. This war brings the peoples of the world one step closer to global anarchy in the era of the so-called "New World Order." It is high time that Europe emancipates itself "from tutelage and dependence" as outlined in today’s lead article in "The Guardian."

In his statement, Dr. Koechler regretted the silence of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the face of these bombing attacks that are carried out in total neglect of international law and the UN Charter. Mr. Annan should preserve the reputation of his office and the integrity of the United Nations Organization by condemning NATO’s war of aggression in unequivocal terms. This war has effectively eliminated the United Nations Organization as the international entity responsible for the preservation of international peace and security. It is unacceptable that the "highest civil servant of the world" remains silent when an aggressive military pact tries to establish the law of the jungle as the effective standard of a so-called "New World Order."

The President of the I.P.O. reiterated the view that the problem of Kosovo can only be settled and the rights of Kosovars can only be secured by political means and not by the systematic destruction of the civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia (including the province of Kosovo). The people of the world have to unite against a new global dictatorship that is being erected under the disguise of "humanitarian intervention." The NATO war in Yugoslavia constitutes a dangerous precedent that may be followed by numerous "humanitarian interventions" in other parts of the world whenever U.S. interests are at stake. The United Nations Organization has to oppose this tendency towards international anarchy with all of its capacities. The aggression against Yugoslavia will have been the deathbed of the United Nations Organization if it does not succeed to check this situation immediately and to enforce the rule of law over the law of the jungle. Because of the paralysis of the Security Council, emergency action by the UN General Assembly would be a first sign of determination on the part of the UN. But this requires a strong moral commitment and courageous action by the UN Secretary-General, who has to demonstrate to the world that he is loyal foremost to the UN Charter and not to the interests of the superpower trying to impose its will upon the whole world, Dr. Koechler concluded.