THE TIME FOR APOLOGY AND COMPENSATION
21 years ago, acting on its own and without the UN Security Council approval, NATO carried out an armed aggression against Serbia, in gross violation of the UN Charter, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, a series of other international conventions as well as of its own Founding Act of 1949.
The death toll of this aggression committed in collaboration with the terrorist KLA was between 3500 - 4000 people (the final list has not been concluded) including 89 children, with more than 12,500 additional people wounded. It inflicted an enormous economic damage, whereas the use of missiles filled with depleted uranium and other forbidden weaponry has permanently affected human health and caused environmental devastation. From a defensive alliance, NATO transformed into an offensive and interventionist one, in pursuing a clear expansionist policy especially targeting the East.
This was, and remains, a crime against peace and humanity.
The aggression and the subsequent occupation of Kosovo and Metohija, illegal establishment of Camp Bondsteel as one of largest US military camps in the world, unilateral declaration of independence of a territory under United Nations mandate, grave violation of UN SC Resolution 1244, individually and collectively, make dangerous precedents and severe blows to the European and the global security systems, and encourage the spreading od separatism and terrorism, thus triggering unforeseeable consequences.
In a response to information that a number of Members of the Norwegian Parliament and some other persons from the West raised initiative to award the Nobel Peace Prize to NATO, the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, the Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia, and the Foundation United for the Youth sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee ( www.beoforum.rs).
The letter of these Serbian organizations, offering facts and principled evaluation of illegal aggression and NATO’s offensive nature has garnered wide support and publicity in Serbia, the Serbian Diaspora, and abroad. Its integral version was published in Serbia by respectable dailies, several news agencies and many electronic media and social networks. It was translated into Russian, German, Italian and published by numerous media in Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Greece, the USA, and some other countries. The letter was endorsed by many organizations and prominent persons throughout the world including, most notably, the World Peace Council as an Associate Member of ECOSOC (a key UN organ), which is based in Athens and acts as umbrella that brings together thousands of peace organisations and peace movements from all continents.
Among the most esteemed international personalities and intellectuals, the positions stated in this letter were endorsed by former French politician Yves Bonnet, Russian politician and scientist Sergey Baburin, Finnish politician and writer Pirkko Turpeinen-Saari, Italian writer Jean Toschi Marazzani Visconti, American author and peace fighter Sharon Tennison, renowned Canadian diplomat Ambassador James Bissett, and many more.
The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, the Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia, and the Foundation United for the Youth re-launch their initiatives asking the state authorities to request compensation for war damage from NATO countries; to complete the list of all victims of NATO aggression in order to prevent their fading into oblivion and put an end to public bickering concerning their number; to launch the functioning of an inter-sectoral and expert Governmental body tasked with determining the consequences of missiles with depleted uranium which had been established a year ago; to activate the flames of the memorial to victims of aggression in the Friendship Park in Novi Beograd; to establish and build the Serbian Memorial for Victims of Genocide in 20 th century, resembling the ‘Yad Vashem’ Memorial in Israel and the ‘Ararat’ Memorial in Armenia.
The signatories hold the time has come for the governments of NATO and EU member states to review their role in the aggression of 1999 and their policy towards Serbia and the Serbian people, to apologise publicly for the victims and the illegal devastation of Serbia (the FRY) and to revert to the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1244 as the only acceptable and principled basis for a just and sustainable peaceful solution for the future status of Kosovo and Metohija as a Province exercising broad autonomy within Serbia. The new trends in global relations, a new paradigm of reaffirming equality, partnership, and the rule of the fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter disapprove continuation of outdated policy of hegemonism pursued by the Clintons, Albright, Blair and Schroeder.
The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, Živadin Jovanović
The Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia, General Milomir Miladinović
The Foundation United for the Youth, Prof. Dr. Danica Grujičić
FLOWERS LAID AT MEMORIALS TO VICTIMS OF AGGRESSION
On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the beginning of NATO’s armed aggression against Serbia (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), representatives of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals and the Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia today laid the flowers at the Memorial to Children Victims of NATO Aggression in the Tašmajdan Park and at the Memorial to All Victims of NATO Aggression “Eternal Flame” in the Friendship Park, Beograd.
During NATO aggression lasting from 24 March through 10 June 1999, NATO missiles killed 1100 soldiers and police officers and more than 2500 civilians, including 89 children. With the exception of the military and police personnel, the accurate list of casualties has not been established as yet, despite a recent statement announcing that relevant efforts would be stepped up. There is even less certainty about how many citizens lost their lives in the meantime, either due to injuries sustained by wounding, or due to malignant diseases caused by the use of weaponry filled with depleted uranium and other banned weapons and ordnances, or during the course of demining of unexploded ordnances, especially the cluster bombs.
A series of formerly scheduled conferences, exhibitions and other manifestations of citizens’ associations in the country and abroad, marking this anniversary had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Also cancelled were scheduled international conferences in Belgrade, Moscow and Paris, where the latest, in addition to the conference, should have been comprising a movie premiere of “Balkans Borders”, dedicated to the landing of the Russian Army units at the ‘Slatina’ Airport near Priština, June 10-11th, 1999.
The Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals
The Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia