by the Heads
of State and
in the meeting
of the North
1-8 Nov 1991
- We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, are deeply concerned by the current crisis in Yugoslavia and the grave danger it poses to stability in the region. We deplore the tragic loss of life, the intimidation of civilian populations and the extensive destruction of property.
- It is only for the peoples of Yugoslavia themselves to decide on their country's future. We call on all parties to comply fully with the principles of the CSCE. All attempts to change existing borders through the use of force or a policy of fait accompli are unacceptable; we will not recognise any unilateral change of borders, external or internal, brought about by such means.
- We condemn the use of force to achieve political goals. Continuing attacks by the Yugoslav National Army on Dubrovnik and other Croatian cities are out of all proportion to any provocation, ceasefire violation or requirement to protect Serbian communities or Army garrisons. We call on all parties to respect ceasefire agreements. Commitments for deblocking of barracks and withdrawal of JNA forces, to which parties subscribed on 18th October in the Hague and were reaffirmed on 5th November, have not been complied with. We remind all those responsible for acts of violence in Yugoslavia and for violations of ceasefire agreements that under international law they are personally accountable for their actions in contravention of relevant norms of international humanitarian law.
- We express our support and appreciation for the efforts of the European Community, the CSCE and the Security Council of the United Nations to resolve this crisis. We urge all parties to cooperate fully with the European Community in its efforts under the mandate given to it by the CSCE, both in the implementation of ceasefire and monitoring agreements and in the negotiating process within the Conference on Yugoslavia.
- We welcome Lord Carrington's efforts to provide a framework in which the peoples of Yugoslavia can solve their differences. We urge all parties concerned to agree on a peaceful resolution in the framework of the Hague Conference on Yugoglavia. The prospect of recognition of the independence of those republics wishing it, can only be envisaged in the framework of an overall settlement, that includes adequate guarantees for the protection of human rights and rights of national or ethnic groups. The right to self-determination of all the peoples in Yugoslavia cannot be exercised in isolation from the interests and rights of national or ethnic groups within the individual republics. Authorities at all levels should respect international norms and international obligations, especially those embodied in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and other CSCE documents.
- We welcome the measures agreed by the European Community and its member states at the meeting of Foreign Ministers on 8th November.
- We encourage all efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflict, both inside and outside Yugoslavia, involving the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Red Cross. We urge all sides to allow humanitarian supplies to reach the communities in need and the many persons displaced by the fighting.