Magazine article UN Chronicle

Parties to Conflict in Yugoslavia Urged to Settle Their Disputes Peacefully

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Parties to Conflict in Yugoslavia Urged to Settle Their Disputes Peacefully

Article excerpt

In unanimously adopting Council resolution 713 (1991) at a ministerial-level meeting, the Council, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, decided that all States should, for the purposes of establishing peace and stability in Yugoslavia, immediately implement a general and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to that country until the Council decided otherwise.

It also called on all States to refrain from any action which might contribute to increasing tension and impeding or delaying a peaceful and negotiated outcome to the conflict.

It supported the collective efforts of the European Community and its members, with the support of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to bring about peace and dialogue in Yugoslavia.

To that end, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar was asked to offer his assistance "without delay" and report back to the Council.

The Council met at the request of Austria, Canada and Hungary to discuss the "deteriorating situation" in Yugoslavia. In a 24 September letter (S/23069) to the Council President, Yugoslavia said it welcomed the decision to call a meeting.

Budimir Loncar, Federal Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia, said the crisis in his country threatened peace and security on a large scale. Yugoslavia was in conflict with itself. A stable and lasting peace was what the nation needed most at that crucial point. It was the highest priority. The Yugoslav crisis was also a serious threat to the new world architecture emerging from the debris of the cold-war era.

"After all that has happened in recent years and months, Yugoslavia can no longer be simply repaired. It should now be redefined", he said. The basic principles for a solution were the unacceptability of any unilateral or forcible changes of borders, protection of and respect for the rights of all in Yugoslavia, and full recognition of all legitimate interests and aspirations.

Boris Pankin, Foreign Minister of the USSR, said the only way to resolve the Yugoslav problems, as well as the problems of many other multi-national States, was through honest negotiation and patient dialogue, so that mutually acceptable solutions could be found. A lesson to be learned from the events in Yugoslavia was the need to respect the rights of national minorities, if Europe was to avoid the experience of a stream of refugees, armed conflicts, hatred among nationalities and the destruction of people, towns and villages.

Douglas Hurd, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, said the European Community had set out certain principles for a resolution of the Yugoslav crisis; the use of force and any change of borders by force were unacceptable; the rights of all who lived in Yugoslavia, including minorities, must be respected; and there was a need to take account of all legitimate concerns and aspirations. The conflict had a strong international dimension. The patchwork of nationalities and minorities throughout Central and Eastern Europe meant that full-scale war might not be confined easily to a single territory.

Roland Dumas, Foreign Minister of France, said Council members had once again shouldered a historic responsibility: a responsibility to Yugoslavia, which had accepted that assistance, to enable it to escape immediately from that vicious circle of hatred, vengeance and death; and a responsibility to the international community, since the Council had to demonstrate that it was possible to build an order of peace and cooperation without recourse to force for the settlement of disputes. …

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