Call for invoking the Uniting for Peace Resolution of the UN General Assembly

Vienna, 7 April 1999/P/K/16426c-is

In a statement issued yesterday, the President of the International Progress Organization, Dr. Hans Koechler, called upon the General Assembly of the United Nations to act on the basis of the "Uniting for Peace Resolution" and to convene in an emergency session in order to deal with the war waged by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization against the Yugoslav Federation. This resolution – 377 A (V) – demands, if the Security Council, "because of the lack of unanimity of the permanent members," fails to exercise its primary responsibility, namely "to maintain or restore international peace and security" (Art. 39 of the UN Charter), that "the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures ... to maintain or restore international peace and security." According to this resolution, the General Assembly may convene within twenty-four hours of the request for an emergency session by any nine members of the Security Council or by the simple majority of the Members of the General Assembly.

The President of the I.P.O. explained that the war of aggression waged by NATO against the Yugoslav Federation constitutes the most serious violation of international law and breach of the United Nations Charter, in particular of Art. 2 (4), according to which all Member States "shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."

In the framework of international law, only the United Nations Organization, represented by the Security Council, may decide on the use of force in order to restore international peace and security and only within the parameters outlined in Chapter Seven of the UN Charter. The NATO Member States have absolutely no right to put themselves in the place of the United Nations Organization. Because of the paralysis of the Security Council (as a result of the superpower veto), it is of utmost importance that the General Assembly of the United Nations convenes to deal with the situation.

The intervention of NATO constitutes a dangerous precedent for world politics and international law as it implies the supremacy of a regional military alliance over the Security Council, Dr. Koechler explained. This will lead not only to a destabilization of Europe but to anarchy on a global scale.

On the basis of the NATO doctrine of "humanitarian intervention," any state or group of states could arbitrarily declare a humanitarian emergency and wage war against a sovereign state.

In reality, the aggression of NATO has exactly caused the humanitarian tragedy – namely the mass exodus of the Albanian population from Kosovo – which it proclaimed to prevent. The NATO Member States are directly responsible for the plight of the people of Kosovo.

The President of the I.P.O. further stated that the systematic bombing and destruction of the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia constitutes a criminal act in terms of international humanitarian law. War reparations will have to be paid by the aggressor states to Yugoslavia and to all civilian victims.

The suffering of the Muslim people of Kosovo can only be ended and their rights – in particular their right to return – can only be secured by peaceful means and on the basis of the United Nations Charter. The legitimate leader of the Muslim people of Kosovo, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, must be part of a negotiated settlement. His call for the immediate halt of the NATO bombardments clearly demonstrates that NATO has no right to claim that this military intervention is waged on behalf of the people of Kosovo. It cannot be justified in any way by reference to Art. 51 of the UN Charter.

The present war has led to a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo and to the destabilization of the whole region. In the face of this enormous tragedy, it is high time that the countries of Europe, particularly the Member States of the European Union, rethink their security policy and defense strategies and that they consider, in conformity with the provisions of Chapter Eight of the UN Charter, to establish their own regional defense structure outside the framework of NATO. After the collapse of the old (post-World War II) power balance, only Europe's emancipation from American hegemony will provide the basis for a new order of peace on the European continent.