Updated: 31-Jul-2002 NATO Press Releases


29 July 2002

by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson
on elections in southern Serbia

The municipal elections successfully conducted yesterday in Bujanovac, Presevo and Medvedja are an important milestone in the consolidation of the peace process, democracy and reconciliation in southern Serbia. They reflect the positive trends that we have already witnessed in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in the Balkans generally.

I commend in particular the Serb and Federal authorities, and the local communities, for their commitment to the democratic process. Although much work remains to be done, this key confidence-building measure, together with the significant progress already achieved, will enhance stability throughout the region. Through their votes, and with the support of the international community, the citizens of southern Serbia have expressed their determination to pursue a peaceful, multi-ethnic political process.

Last year NATO, with the rest of the international community, played a crucial role in defusing the risk of a civil conflict in this area. In particular, NATO helped broker the ceasefire and assisted with the demilitarisation of the ex-UCPMB, while facilitating the relaxation of the Ground Safety Zone. This demonstrates the steady commitment we have shown to bringing stability to the region, and, as reaffirmed in recent Ministerial statements, NATO will continue to help strengthen human rights, democratization and the rule of law in the Balkans.

+32 (0)2 707 50 41
+32 (0)2 707 50 57
B-1110 Brussels/Bruxelles

Go to Homepage Go to Index