September 4th, 1995
The International Congress for the Documentation of Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina convened in Bonn, Germany, from August 31 to 4 September 1995, under the auspices of the Society for Threatened Peoples International, the Institute for Studies of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, Sarajevo and Human Rights Group for Bosnia, Kuala Lumpur, under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Rita Suessmuth, President of the German Parliament and Simon Wiesenthal.
In attendance were 185 experts, including professors, doctors, scientists, lawyers, journalists, eyewitnesses and representatives of human rights organizations from around the world, plus a delegation of experts on the documentation of genocide and war crimes from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Congress condemns unequivocally the longstanding continuation of acts of genocide directed primarily against Bosniacs, but also Croats, Roma, Jews and others by the Serb aggressor forces in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, the two International Court of Justice orders against genocide of 8 April and 13 September 1993, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the United Nations Charter and other sources of international humanitarian law.
These acts of genocide include but are not limited to:
* Mass summary execution of Bosnian citizens * The mass and systematic rape of Bosnian women * Mass expulsions and deportations of civilians from their homes * The establishment and management of concentration camps * The ongoing bombardment of Bosnian towns and cities * The deliberate intreference with international relief supplies * Destruction of the cultural and religious heritage in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina * The imposition of inhumane and life-threatening conditions on the Bosnian people
The Congress concludes that the above acts of genocide and other gross violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated by Serb aggressor forces constitute a systematic, pre-planned and politically led campaign aimed at an eradication and expulsion of the Bosniacs.
The Congress condemns the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for failing to prevent the ongoing genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the past four years, as required by the Genocide Convention. For this reason, the Congress concludes, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of genocide. The Congress also concludes that personal responsibility should be ascribed to certain key individuals who have played a role in this process, including Boutros Boutros-Ghali, David Owen, Yasushi Akashi, and Thorvald Stoltenberg.
The Congress believes that the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina has the right to institute legal proceedings at the International Court of Justice against the permament members of the United Nations Security Council for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention and 1965 Racial Discrimination Convention in order to break the illegal arms embargo and prevent any carve-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Congress calls upon the members of the United Nations Security Council to lift the illegal and genocidal arms embargo against Bosnia and Herzegovina which continues in violation of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The Bosnian people have the basic right under international law to obtain whatever weapons are necessary to defend themselves against aggression, genocide and war crimes. The Congress calls upon the entire world community to prevent the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina as required by Article 1 of the Genocide Convention.
The Congress condemns the so-called Contact Group plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, if implemented, would carve up a member state of the United Nations Organization. Any negotiated peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina must be based upon preserving the territorial integrity and political independence of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within its internationally-recognized borders, as required by the United Nations Charter. As part of any peace plan, all Bosnian displaced persons and refugees must have an absolute, guaranteed and effective right to return to their homes. All war criminals must be tried and punished, not appeased and invited to negotiations. In this regard, the Congress believes that Slobodan Milosevic must be indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by the International Tribunal for War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia, and by all states parties to the Genocide Conventions and the Geneva Conventions. The Congress also calls for more political eand economic support to be made available to the International Tribunal for War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia, and its Cheif Prosecutor, Justice Richard Goldstone.
Due to its collective failure to prevent aggression and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the international community has a legal responsibility to initiate and finance a "Marshall Plan" for the reconstruction of the state.
Finally, the Congress expressed its gratitude to the organizors and requested that they remain seized of the ongoing situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a view to organizing further activities, including a follow-up congress.
Zeljko Bodulovic <ZelB@dwe.csiro.au> Dzevat Omeragic <Dzevat@ee.mcgill.ca> Davor Wagner <DWagner@mailbox.syr.edu> Nermin Zukic <N6Zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>