Serbia calls on UN member states to vote against Srebrenica Resolution

Generalna skupština UN
Source: UN

Serbia has once again warned that the resolution on the Srebrenica genocide could contribute to divisions with far-reaching consequences in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the region, and the world, urging all United Nations member states to vote against the resolution at the General Assembly.

Following the recent letter sent by the Permanent Missions of Germany and Rwanda to all member states on May 17, as the main sponsors and co-facilitators of the Srebrenica resolution, the Permanent Mission of Serbia to the United Nations highlighted the following points.

"Contrary to claims of strong regional support for the resolution, the co-sponsors have continued the practice of one-way communication without the opportunity for questions and comments, and without open consultations that would involve all UN member states. This only confirms what the Republic of Serbia has been pointing out from the beginning—the lack of transparency in the process without broader regional consensus and agreement reveals the true intention behind the resolution," stated Sasa Mart, Chargé d'Affaires of Serbia's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, in the letter.

Contrary to all procedures and practices of the UN General Assembly, the sending of a 'revised' text of the resolution agreed upon in a narrow circle of co-sponsors attempts to mislead member states into believing that substantive changes have been made to convince them to support the text.

The letter argues that while the co-sponsors claim that individual responsibility is determined through judicial proceedings, the broader political discourse attempts to collectively assign moral responsibility for genocide to an entire nation.

"The Serbian people, who, during the twentieth century, stood on the side of truth and justice during two world wars and suffered immense losses, attempted extermination, and genocide, will never accept this. Serbia's consistent emphasis that a resolution on such a sensitive issue must be, first and foremost, 'owned' by Bosnia and Herzegovina is unconvincingly masked as 'regional ownership' in the co-sponsors' recent letter. It also ignores the fact that the initiative on such a sensitive issue was not launched with the agreement of all three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina, contrary to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution and without the consent of the tripartite Presidency," the letter stated.

The true intent behind this resolution is further revealed by a recent statement from Bosnia and Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Elmedin Konakovic, who said, "Such a Serbia deserves contempt and does not deserve any hand of cooperation," and that Bosnia and Herzegovina will seek war reparations and renew the revision of the judgment against Serbia by all other means.

Such irresponsible and inappropriate statements by officials of a state, the letter argues, reveal the true intentions and certainly do not contribute to stability, either in Bosnia and Herzegovina or the region, as Serbia has been warning from the start.

"UN member states, which find themselves in an unenviable position due to the proponents' actions, should not be further misled by attempts to present a supposedly revised text. Member states should not be misled about the timing of initiating the Srebrenica resolution either, as despite efforts to present 2024 as the most appropriate, the current year is characterized by complex geopolitical circumstances. Opening historically sensitive topics only deepens divisions and can produce additional instability in the Balkans," the letter stated.

The Serbian delegation to the UN calls on the co-sponsors of the resolution to withdraw the text in the interest of all, primarily the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also all UN member states, so that member states are not put in a position to vote on a sensitive issue that requires consensus.

Furthermore, if this does not happen, Serbia calls on all UN member states not to vote for the resolution.

"Given the incalculable consequences of this draft resolution at this stage, on the fragile process of reconciliation by opening old wounds, we once again appeal to the co-sponsors to withdraw the text in the interest of all, primarily the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also all UN member states, so that member states are not put in a position to vote on a sensitive issue that requires consensus. If this does not happen, we point out that this resolution already causes deep divisions in the international community and complicates processes throughout the region, which is why we call on all UN member states not to vote for the aforementioned resolution," the letter concluded.