Conference of International Parliamentarians against Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina

European Parliament, Brussels, 28-29 April 1994
 

Dr. Egon KLEPSCH, President of the European Parliament, in his inaugural address to the conference of the "International Parliamentarians Against Genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina" (IPGB) yesterday afternoon strongly criticized British General Michael ROSE, UN Commander in Bosnia, for his cynicism vis--vis the tragic situation of the people of Gorazde. When the United Nations denies the Bosnian people the right of self‑defense, the UN troops cannot blame the Bosnian army for the lack of military protection, President KLEPSCH stated.

 

In his message to the conference, Austrian Foreign Minister Dr. Alois MOCK referred to the United Nations' arms embargo against the Republic of Bosnia‑Herzegovina. He said that the keeping up of the embargo by the Security Council "inevitably implies a special, direct responsibility to actively protect" the people of that country. The Austrian Foreign Minister further stated: "Unfortunately, a lack of resolve and clarity by the world community recently has emboldened Serb troops to resume military offensives, ruthlessly attacking the civilian population of that country. The history of this war has shown that only a concrete and credible perspective of implementing the UN resolutions by all means can bring about progress in the effort to stem the aggression." The Foreign Minister's message was delivered by Dr. Hans Koechler, President of I.P.O. and member of the coordinating committee of the conference.

 

Among the speakers of the opening session were Mr. Stipe MESIC, President of the Croatian Parliament, Mr. Irfan LJUBIJANKIC, Foreign Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Mr. Mohammed Al Amin KHALIFA, President of the Sudanese Parliament.

 

The conference was attended by more than 200 delegates from at least 40 countries. The delegates unanimously called for the immediate lifting of the arms embargo so as to allow the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina to defend themselves in conformity with Art. 51 of the United Nations Charter.
 

 

Message by the Austrian Foreign Minister, Dr. Alois Mock, to the participants of the Conference organized by the "International Parliamentarians against Genocide it Bosnia‑Herzegovina":

 

  

 

"In my capacity as Foreign Minister of the Republic of Austria I would like to convey to the participants of this conference my feelings of solidarity with your initiative. I believe this gathering to be a valuable manifestation in favour of the rule of law as.a basic principle of today's international relations and of the traditional mufti‑ethnic and mufti‑religious character of Bosnia‑Herzegovina. Supporting these ideas is not only a service to the humane and modern idea of Europe, but also to the bridging of differences between peoples of various parts of our world.

 

 

Unfortunately, a lack of resolve and clarity by the world community recently has emboldened Serb troops to resume military offensives, ruthlessly attacking the civilian population of that country. The history of this war has shown, that only a concrete and credible perspective of implementing the UN resolutions by all means, can bring about progress in the effort to stem the aggression.

 

 

The fact that the United Nations' Security council is still keeping up its arms embargo against the Republic Bosnia‑Herzegovina, inevitably implies a special, direct responsibility to actively protect that country and thus pave the way for the re‑establishment of normal democratic life within its entire borders. Furthermore, a particular moral responsibility lies with Europe, since a major part of the victims in this war has an ethnic and/or religious Muslim identity, which is being exploited by the aggressor as a means of mobilization through the appeal to racist instincts reminiscent of the worst moments of European history.

 

The re‑establishment of peace and cooperation between Bosniaks and Croats is an encouraging sign that the world community, through a principled and serious interest and mediation, can easily halt the spiral of hatred and favour just solutions.

 

Only such interest, of which this conference gives proof, will ensure progress in attaining the goal of a free Bosnia‑Herzegovina, which can be a safe home to all its citizens, regardless of their nationality or creed."