Balkan Socialist network

jbm7 at SPAMtutor.open.ac.uk jbm7 at SPAMtutor.open.ac.uk
Sat Oct 16 09:06:29 MDT 1999



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>From the Balkans to a World Order

As a follow-up to the International Appeal "for a lasting peace
in the Balkans" launched in Paris on 15 May, several dozen
signatories from different European countries met on 2-3 October
in Geneva.

The war decided by NATO outside any normal democratic procedure
has had a very high political price, both on a local and regional
level and with regard to international order.

In Kosovo, the legal situation and daily reality have been thrown
into confusion following the agreement between the Serb regime
and the great powers. Yugoslavia is supposed to retain
sovereignty over Kosovo, which has been transformed?for an
indefinite period?into an international protectorate by UN
Resolution 1244. The DeutschMark has been decreed the official
currency of this protectorate held under a UN mandate and NATO
military occupation.

The Albanian population has returned, but the Serb and Romany
minorities are in the process of leaving completely. Tensions
between communities have greatly increased.

Aid programmes are determined by the strategic orientation which
lay behind NATO's military intervention?integrating the region
into NATO's security vision and into the rules of the market
economy as defined by the major western powers.

This results in a denial of the right of peoples to make their
own decisions about their future on a socio-economic and
political level. The way the Yugoslav crisis has been handled by
the "International Community" has been a disaster

It is high time for a public debate on the role of NATO as a
"private militia" of the major western powers. European security
and world peace must not be based on a unilateral right of
intervention (even worse, of waging war) which certain countries
presume to grant themselves, either under the leadership of the
United States or within the European framework.

One cannot claim to defend international law while at the same
time failing to respect any norms, and bypassing the institutions
whose very essence is universal. It is not possible to build
peace and security without a determined policy of nuclear and
conventional disarmament, without a policy centred on economic
and social development, solidarity between peoples and equality
of rights.

Our unanimous condemnation of the way the Kosovo crisis was, and
is still being handled, prompts us to continue our discussions
and to pursue an exchange of texts. We also intend to make known
other European initiatives whose orientation is similar. What
alternative peace and security policy should be defined? Through
which channels should it operate?

A first debate on international law, NATO, the UN, OSCE and the
international tribunals was held by participants at the meeting
in Geneva. They decided to form an international network
dedicated to reflection, the critical analysis of Europe's
leading media, and the exchange of information.

The network's objective is to develop an alternative to today's
dominant policies on the basis of relations of solidarity,
cooperation and friendship with  partners in the Balkans who are
involved in similar activities. This new network will participate
in already existing projects aiming to organise "civic"
conferences on the Balkans.

Contact the provisional voluntary collective via Suzanne de
Brunhoff <Sdebrunhoff at compuserve.com> or Catherine Samary
<samary at dauphine.fr > fax +33 1/42583030










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