Thursday, 15. April 1999

Serbian NGO Demand for Restoration of the Peace Process

NATO bombardment and armed conflicts in Kosovo must stop. The only way out of the crisis is an unconditioned reactivation of the peace process.

Since the effects of crooked policies are mass destruction of human life and devastation of the land, restoration of the peace process shall be a difficult task which will require participation of everyone who is able to make contributions to development and implementation of suitable solutions.

If this issue continues to be resolved only by the people who have caused the explosion of the Kosovo crisis and the whole Yugoslav tragedy, an effective, just and rational solution to the Balkan crisis will not be achieved.

In the past ten years, embracing the principles of human rights, democratic transition, dialog and compromise, a compact network of civic organisations has been established that articulates the interests of a large number of citizens from the troubled region.

These organisations had both Serbs and Albanians active in their membership working on projects together.

This is why these organisations, including the Nezavisnost Trade Union Confederation can contribute to a successful course of the peace process, to initiation of a dialog between appropriate segments of the Serbian and Albanian societies that could lead to reconciliation and solutions acceptable to the conflicted parties.

In all previous attempts to solve the Yugoslav crisis, international representatives have approached government representatives and social structures in Serbia and Kosovo which they considered influential. Unfortunately, these structures mostly had radical views and nationalist policies, considering that even the KLA was approached. At the same time, initiatives and opinions of democratic structures in the civil society that eventually turned out to be correct and well grounded, were not taken into account.

After contemplating all this, the civic organisations in Serbia that have signed this document and UBS Nezavisnost demand:

1. Representatives of these organisations to be allowed to actively participate in solving the Kosovo crisis and other problems generated by the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

2. A permanent International Conference of civic organisations from the Balkans, South-east Europe and, finally, the whole of Europe, to be established which would participate in this process and take part in finding ways to politically, economically and socially stabilise this region.

We believe that you shall consider our arguments and support our initiative.

Belgrade, April 13th 1999.

a.. Association of Citizens for Democracy, Social Justice and Support for Trade Unions
b.. Belgrade Circle
c.. Center for Democracy and Free Elections
d.. Center for Transition to Democracy
e.. Civic Initiatives
f.. EKO Center
g.. Belgrade Women Studies Center
h.. European Movement in Serbia
i.. Forum for Ethnic Relations and Foundation for Peace and Crisis Management
j.. Group 484
k.. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
l.. The Student Union of Yugoslavia
m.. Union for Truth About Anti-Fascist Resistance
n.. VIN ? Weekly Video News
o.. Women in Black
p.. YU LawyersÕ Committee for Human Rights
q.. District 0230 Kikinda
r.. Urban ? in Novi Pazar, and
s.. NEZAVISNOST Trade Union Confederation

Centar za nenasilnu akciju - CNA Sarajevo
Center for Nonviolent Action - CNA Sarajevo

Bentbasa 31/I, 71000 Sarajevo
Tel/Fax: ++387/71/442 011