UNGA to vote on resolution concerning Srebrenica on May 23

15 Maj 2024, 16:11Kosovo & Region TEMA

UNGA to vote on resolution concerning Srebrenica on May 23

May 15, 2024 — The United Nations General Assembly is gearing up to tackle a key resolution concerning the Srebrenica genocide on May 23, a development highlighted on the institution's official website. Scheduled to commence at 16:00 Central European Time, the session will require a simple majority vote for the resolution's adoption, with 97 out of the 193 member states of the United Nations needed to ratify it.

The draft resolution, as disclosed by Voice of America, commemorates the tragic thirtieth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in 2025, acknowledging the loss of a minimum of 8,372 lives, the displacement of thousands, and the profound devastation inflicted upon families and communities.

Proposed by Germany and Rwanda, the resolution unequivocally condemns any attempts to deny the Srebrenica genocide or to glorify individuals convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. It emphasizes the urgent need to conclude efforts to locate and identify the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Srebrenica massacre, which took place on July 11, 1995, saw over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys brutally executed by Bosnian Serb forces. Widely regarded as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II, this horrific event unfolded just a week after Srebrenica, a United Nations-designated safe area, was besieged by Bosnian Serb forces.

Former Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the UN tribunal for their roles in war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, including those in Srebrenica. Additionally, over 50 individuals have collectively received sentences totaling more than 700 years for their involvement in genocide and crimes within Srebrenica.

The International Court of Justice confirmed in 2007 that genocide had indeed occurred in Srebrenica, emphasizing Serbia's failure to prevent it.

However, Belgrade disputes the characterization of the Srebrenica massacre as genocide. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has announced his intention to attend the General Assembly meeting in New York, promising a resolute response to those challenging Serbia's position.

Serbia, backed by Russia, has advocated for the withdrawal of the resolution, arguing that its adoption would be deemed genocidal by its populace. Serbia's UN mission, in a letter, expressed dissatisfaction with the draft resolution's content, alleging that it stirs regional tensions and fosters division among UN members.

The European Union has also weighed in, stressing that the determination of whether genocide occurred in Srebrenica is based on the rulings of international judicial bodies. Any attempts to undermine this verdict are deemed unacceptable within Europe.

Peter Stano, the European Union spokesperson, emphasized that the bloc will not tolerate any member states denying or trivializing genocide or glorifying war criminals. This message is directed to all aspiring European Union members. Stano further urged political actors in the Western Balkans to refrain from rhetoric or actions that deny the tragic events in Srebrenica.

While resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly are non-binding, they hold significant political weight, reflecting the collective stance of member states on pertinent issues.

This article was adapted from a report by Voice of America Albanian Service.


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