The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals
NEVER TO FORGET
THE FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE BELGRADE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Held in Belgrade, 23 & 24 March, 2009
The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, in cooperation with the other independent associations in Serbia and in coordination with the World Peace Council (WPC), held in Belgrade on March 23rd – 24th, 2009, an International Conference titled „Objectives and consequences of NATO Aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) – 10 Years After”.
The Conference gathered some 700 scientists and experts in the area of international relations from Serbia and 45 countries from all continents, except Australia. About 60 participants submitted their papers on various aspects of the aggression and ensuing developments.
Opening ceremony was attended by Prof. Slavica Đukić Dejanović, the Speaker in the National Assembly of Serbia, Mr. Petar Škundrić, the Energy Minister, as well as by the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, veterans’, youth and other organizations.
Mr. Ivica Dačić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government and the Minister of Home Affairs addressed the Conference and welcomed foreign guests on behalf of the Government.
The special participants of the Conference were Ms Socorro Gomes, the President, and Mr. Thanasis Pafilis, the Secretary-General, of the World Peace Council.
The Conference was also attended by a number of ambassadors and senior diplomatic representatives accredited in Serbia.
The participants paid their respect to the victims of the 78-day bombardment and placed wreaths at the monuments dedicated to the victims of the aggression.
The debate was held in the spirit of friendship, openness and solidarity of all organizations and individuals struggling for peace, development and prosperity.
The participants of the Belgrade Conference agreed on the following:
NATO Aggression against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) was an invasion that had been prepared long time in advance, with the following global goals: setting a precedent for military interventions worldwide; bringing American troops to the Balkans and expanding NATO to the East; encircling Russia; changing the International Law Order established after Second World War by imposing the rule that might is right; imposing neoliberal capitalistic system; weakening Europe and damaging the role of the United Nations. The ultimate goal has been to reinforce the U.S. concept of unipolar world order for the purpose of establishing the control over all the economic, natural, and human resources of the Planet. The extension of NATO in Europe and to other continents proves a will to become the gendarme of the multicorporate capital all over the world.
The aggression was preceded by spreading lies and deceptions, with the special role assigned to the thesis on „avoiding humanitarian catastrophe“, the mock negotiations in Rambouillet, and staged „massacre of civilians“ in Račak.
The aggression, coupled with its run-up and the aftermath, is evidence of a deep moral and civilization crisis of the ruling Western elites, whereas its blowback effect, ten years on, comes to haunt them as a profound global economic crisis whose end remains beyond the horizon.
The leaders of the NATO countries are responsible for use of armed force without the UN Security Council approval; for the breach of the United Nations Charter, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter and international conventions, in what amounts to the crime against the peace and humanity.
They are responsible for more than 3,500 deaths and for more then 10,000 wounded people, two thirds civilians, for the use of inhuman non-authorized weapons such as depleted uranium ammunitions and missile warheads as well as cluster bombs.
They are also responsible for human losses and suffering in the meantime as the consequence of the aggression, for the lasting pollution of soil and water, as a consequence of the wide-spread use of depleted uranium projectiles and of the deliberate bombing of chemical plants that amounted to chemical warfare. And they are responsible for economic damage costing in excess of 100 billion USD. Serbia is entitled to compensation for war damages.
USA/NATO/EU 1999 aggression was the first war on Europe’s soil after the World War Second. It was not only a war against an old sovereign European state but primarily a war against Europe. Paradoxically, participated by Europe itself.
It was conducted in the unique alliance between an international state organization (NATO) and the notorious terrorist organization (OVK/UCK).
The aggression was an historic mistake of the West which, sooner or later, will be recognized. Consequences of the aggression will extend throughout of 21st century. The West owes to apologize to Serbia for all the victims and pains, if not to face even deeper moral and overall crisis.
The participants to the Conference expressed their high esteem to the Yugoslav and Serbian Army for their patriotism, professionalism and bravery in defending the freedom of their country against the assault of the aggressors.
The aggression has subsequently continued over the past ten years employing other means such as political, economic and propaganda blackmail, by dismantling the Yugoslav (Serbian) Army and, eventually, abolishment of FR of Yugoslavia.
The culmination of the imperialist anti-Serbian policy was embodied in the illegal and unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and Metohija on 17 February 2008. This was followed by recognition of that criminal NATO/EU creature by their member states, with the exception of Greece, Romania, Spain, Slovakia and Cyprus.
The secession of Kosovo and Metohija and its subsequent recognition by majority of NATO/EU member countries represents violation of the basic principles of the international relations and the ones approved by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999). As a binding decision, this Resolution remains in force with the right of Serbia to insist on its strict and complete implementation. This particularly refers to the provisions concerning the safety and freedom of movement of the remaining Serbian population still living in barbed wired ghettoes, repossession of the illegally occupied private and state property, the right to free and safe return of 220,000 displaced Serbs and other non-Albanians and the right to redeployment of the Serbian Army and Police contingents.
Serbia shall never recognize such blatant violation of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. Serbia has the univocal right to defend its sovereignty and integrity by all legitimate means as any other sovereign country.
Ten years after, it became obvious that the direct goal of the aggression was to depose the legitimate President of FR of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević for the purpose of depriving Serbia of 15% of state territory, to hinder the role of Serbia as a political stakeholder in the Balkans, and to place it under control of the West.
The same power centers that took decisive role in braking apart SFR of Yugoslavia in 1992 – 1995, went on to launch the military aggression in 1999, and later on in dismembering of FR of Yugoslavia in 2006.
After the illegal secession of Kosovo and Metohija they continue to tacitly incite and support separatist forces in other parts of Serbia.
On the other side, the West has been engaged revising the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement in order to dissolve the Republic of Srpska introducing step by step unitarian Bosnia and Herzegovina contrary to the said Agreement guarantied by Serbia.
Policy of the West led to creation of 7 new puppet states, dismantling Yugoslavia which had existed as multinational, relatively prosperous state, for over 70 years. Its fragmentation left thousands of human victims, strained relations, economy in shambles and still unresolved problem of over 500.000 Serb refugees and displaced persons. Serbian nation was fragmented and instead of the status of constitutive nation, transformed into right-less minority.
Overall policy of the West during the last 20 years has surfaced as retaliatory toward Serbian nation. Such a policy raises many questions concerning the future of Europe itself, particularly having regard that Serbia has always played constructive role in the new European history. At the end of the XX century Serbia righteously resisted the policy of capitulation and occupation introduced by US led Alliance like any sovereign country would do. Isolation, sanctions, military aggression and finally support to secession were admittedly intended to prove to the Muslim world, as if the West protects the interest of Muslims in the Balkans what is false pretention.
The Conference participants held that the “International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia” in The Hague, the ICTY, represents a prolonged arm of NATO, the instrument of revenge. Its goal is to protect the aggressors and justify their crimes declaring the victim, the entire Serbian nation, to be the culprit. The Tribunal displayed neither interest nor readiness to review irrefutable evidence on crimes of the leaders of actual perpetrators, Albanian terrorists and NATO.
The participants called for the dissolution of the Hague Tribunal as a political not judicial body existing beyond the law, contrary to the United Nations Charter. There are no grounds to have Serbia, the Serbian nation, and their leadership stand accused for the past civil wars in former Yugoslavia, nor for the consequences of the Albanian separatism and terrorism.
The Conference called for initiating an independent inquiry on the causes and circumstances of death of the former President of Serbia and the FR of Yugoslavia, the late Slobodan Milošević, and also of the deaths of all the other Serbs who died under unclear circumstances while detained by the Hague Tribunal.
They expressed their indignation towards the recent penalties of the Hague Tribunal against high Serbian and Yugoslav political, military and police leaders, as retaliatory, stressing that the Tribunal failed to prove the personal responsibilities of any of the sentenced.
The so-called “independent Kosova” is but an extended U.S. “Camp Bondsteel” and a spring board for the ongoing military expansion eastwards.
The aggression against the FR of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) proved that NATO is neither a defensive nor a regional alliance. It is military organization whose role is to impose global dominance of the richest countries led by the USA, over the vast majority of the less developed countries that happen to possess energy resources, or strategic raw materials, or substantial markets and outstanding geo-strategic position. NATO aggressive policy presents a true danger for peace and security in the world.
The mushrooming of foreign military bases in the Balkans, Europe and the world, the constant rise in military budgets of the NATO and the EU member states the spiraling armament race must stop. The militarization of the political decision making process is gravely endangering democracy, inhibiting the social development, massively violating human rights, thus paving the way to the totalitarianism and the twilight of civilization.
The participants of the Belgrade Conference appealed to all the forces of peace, law and justice, to unite in the quest to abolish NATO, to dismantle foreign military bases, and to decrease the military spending for the benefit of the poor and oppressed. They have expressed their appreciation and solidarity with all peace movements and associations which are taking part in various activities aimed at memory to the victims and other consequences of NATO aggression on Yugoslavia in 1999.
The constant rise in military spending leads to further aggravation of the current world crisis. Reduction of USA/NATO/EU and other countries’ military spending is the key condition to overcome the world crisis.
NATO crimes must not be forgotten. Therefore it is a moral obligation to initiate the procedure for determining responsibility of the then-leadership of NATO before the competent international and national courts, aiming at establishing concrete individual accountability.
Apart from this, the Conference noted initiatives to activate existing international tribunals for processing those responsible for NATO aggression, as well as to establish the International Human Conscience Tribunal (le Tribunal Internationaux de la Conscience Humaine) securing moral satisfaction to the victims of the aggression and to the entire Serbian nation.
It was noted that Serbia has never belonged to any military alliance; over 60 years it has been nonaligned and is the only European country victim of the NATO aggression.
Therefore participants voiced their profound conviction that Serbia should not seek nor accept membership in NATO being an offensive alliance with the role and objectives above UN and contrary to the existing International Law Order. It is believed that Serbia should be developing an open and balanced foreign policy, good neighborly relations and cooperation with all major stakeholders in the international relations, including with nonaligned countries, remaining militarily neutral.
Serbia should host the Nonaligned summit in 2011 celebrating 60th anniversary of the First nonaligned Summit held 1961 in Belgrade and seek return to full membership status in NAM.
Recalling forthcoming 70th anniversary of the start of WWII, the participants expressed their concerns over the systematic attempts to revise the history of both the First and the Second World War, and unanimously condemned the revival of fascism and Nazism in certain European countries. A warning was sounded that such incidents are anything but accidental and that they seek to invoke conflicts, and therefore all the countries have the duty to stop them.
The Conference condemned the abuse of the struggle against international terrorism for the purpose of the expansion of the self-centered interests of a superpower or of a group of the richest countries. Double standards are not acceptable in combating terrorism.
So called independent Kosovo, Albanian terrorism and organized crime represent the most dangerous source of destabilization of the Balkans and Europe. Stability in the Balkans depends on the respect of universal principles of international relations, first of all, principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity, without exceptions. Renewal of the negotiations on the status of Kosovo and Metohija respecting UN SC Resolution 1244 is the only way to return to peace, stability and progress.
The Conference expressed its solidarity with the Palestinian people who has the right to freedom, independence and own country, just like any other nation in the Middle East has.
The illegal military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have no justification whatsoever and therefore should end up. The Conference called on the relevant foreign governments to withdraw their troops and terminate the operations.
Peace, security and development are inseparable. Aggression and the so-called low-intensity wars in any part of the world jeopardize other countries, nations and peoples. Therefore, peace, security and development may only be achieved through the broadest possible cooperation of the peace movements, intellectual and scientific forces.
The Belgrade Forum’s International Conference on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the start of the NATO aggression, makes an important step to that end.
The unipolar world order era is collapsing. The processes of building a multi-polar world order is in progress. The conditions are conducive for democratization of the international relations on the basis of sovereign equality of all states and of restoring respect for the fundamental principles of the international relations.
The appeal was addressed to the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement countries to keep on strengthening unity and action capabilities strengthening the role of United Nations and basic principles of international relations.
The process of deepening global economic crisis obliges the Non-Aligned Movement to strengthen unity in order to prevent the richest countries from, once again, passing the burden of the problems onto the underdeveloped world. The time is ripe for unity, accountability and action of all forces of and for peace, development, and equality. The Conference was preceded by the photo and book exhibition as well as by the review of documentary films organized by the Association of former generals and admirals of the Serbian (Yugoslav) Army.
The participants have expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals for the initiative to convene this Conference, for the high level of organization, and hospitality it provided.
THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE BELGRADE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE