Decision 1 (49) on Bosnia and Herzegovina : Bosnia and Herzegovina. 22/08/96.
Convention Abbreviation: CERD
B. Decisions adopted by the Committee at its forty-ninth session
Decision 1 (49) on Bosnia and Herzegovina
1. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recalls its earlier decisions relating to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a State Party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in particular its Decisions 2 (47) and 1 (48).
2. The Committee emphasizes the importance of all measures aiming at the establishment of a peaceful, democratic, multi-ethnic and pluralist society in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the reconstruction of economy and the strengthening of democratic institutions, notably for the promotion and protection of human rights, which are essential conditions for the effective functioning of the civil society.
3. While fully conscious of the fact that free, fair and democratic elections are an important means to lay the foundation for representative government and to help ensuring the progressive achievement of democratic goals throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Committee expresses its serious preoccupations and fear that as a result of the actual deficiencies in the process of voter registration, practices of intimidation, restrictions on the freedoms of association and expression, and abuses of the media, the holding of elections - important and advisable as they are - may under the present circumstances reinforce patterns of ethnic segregation and ethnic division contrary to the thrust and the basic principles of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
4. The Committee urges all parties to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina to comply with their obligation to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in fulfilling its major task of bringing to justice all persons guilty of the serious crimes falling within its jurisdiction and in particular to execute forthwith all warrants of arrest and expedite the transfer of the persons indicted by the Tribunal.
5. The Committee urgently appeals to all authorities to guarantee, in conformity with Article 5, paragraph (b), of the Convention, to all persons under their jurisdiction, without distinction as to national or ethnic origin, the rights to security of person and protection against violence or bodily harm, and to take appropriate measures against individuals and institutions violating these rights.
6. The Committee reiterates its readiness to contribute to the implementation of the peace accords from the perspective of the principles and objectives of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination along the lines, indicated by the Committee in its Decision 1 (48).
7. In addition, the Committee is fully prepared to offer guidance and good offices on the implications of Article 4 of the Convention with a view to the prevention and prompt suppression of written or verbal incitement, through media or otherwise, of ethnic or racial hostility or hatred.
8. The Committee is also ready to contribute to any programme of technical cooperation that the Centre for Human Rights may set up in cooperation with other competent agencies for the purpose of implementing Article 7 of the Convention which requires immediate and effective measures in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information with a view to combating prejudices and promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and racial or ethnical groups.
9. The Committee is apprehensive that the peaceful conditions brought about by IFOR may not continue to obtain after the envisaged withdrawal of this force by the end of 1996, and invites the attention of the Security Council through the Secretary-General to deal with any such emergency that may arise by the establishment of a successor force to IFOR.
22 August 1996