Decision 1 (54) on Yugoslavia : Yugoslavia. 16/03/99.
Convention Abbreviation: CERD
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Decision 1 (54) on Yugoslavia
1. In its decision 3 (53) adopted on 17 August 1998 at its fifty-third session, the Committee had expressed its deep concern about the persisting grave violations of basic human rights occurring in Kosovo and had requested the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to submit additional information about the attempts that had been made to achieve a peaceful solution to the situation. On the basis of the report submitted by the State party (CERD/C/364), the Committee re-examined the situation in Kosovo under its early warning and urgent action procedures at its fifty-fourth session and adopted the following decision.
2. The Committee reaffirms its earlier decisions and its concluding observations of 30 March 1998 concerning Yugoslavia and refers to its general recommendation XXI (48) of 8 March 1996. It further notes Security Council resolution 1203 (1998) of 24 October 1998.
3. In the light of the current tragic events occurring in Kosovo, the Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for having submitted additional information as requested by the Committee and having contributed to a continuing dialogue with the Committee.
4. However, the Committee notes with dissatisfaction the apparent one-sided characterization of the conflict in its report. The State party, in its report as well as in its oral statements, made serious allegations of human rights violations committed by what was therein referred to as a terrorist organization, generally known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). There was no willingness from the side of the State party to acknowledge that some of its present and past actions might have contributed to the escalation of the conflict or its responsibility concerning the disproportionate use of force by the State party's law enforcement agencies and the military against the Albanian population in Kosovo. The Committee emphasizes that, according to information available to it from the United Nations and other sources, it is an established fact that grave human rights violations have been committed also by the State party. The Committee, while condemning all forms of terrorist activity, reiterates its position that the State party's reference to the state of insecurity and terrorism cannot in any way justify racial discrimination, including acts of violence and intimidation, against a particular ethnic group.
5. Noting the State party's assurances of its willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the leadership of the Albanian community in Kosovo, the Committee calls upon the State party and other actors involved to adopt concrete and serious measures to this end, in order to achieve a just and peaceful solution to the situation. The solution should include a status of autonomy at the highest level for the province of Kosovo and respect for the territorial integrity of the State party.
6. For this purpose, the Committee finds that it is in the self-interest of the peoples of the afflicted area, as well as of the State party, that confidence is restored and that this can only be achieved by according full and immediate respect to all human rights, including those protecting equality and non-discrimination, as well as to the norms of international humanitarian law and the rule of law.
16 March 1999