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4 pt1 Department of State Dispatch 166 (1993)
UN Security Council Adopts Resolution 808 on War Crimes Tribunal

handle is hein.journals/dsptch8 and id is 220 raw text is: Former Yugoslavia

UN Security Council Adopts
Resolution 808 on War Crimes Tribunal

Statement by US Ambassador
Statement by Madeleine K. Albright,
US Permanent Representative to the
United Nations, UN Security Council,
New York City, February 22, 1993.
There is an echo in this chamber today.
The Nuremberg principles have been
reaffirmed. We have preserved the
long-neglected compact made by the
community of civilized nations 48 years
ago in San Francisco: to create the
United Nations and enforce the
Nuremberg principles. The lesson that
we are all accountable to international
law may have finally taken hold in our
collective memory.
This will be no victors' tribunal.
The only victor that will prevail in this
endeavor is the truth. And, unlike the
world of the 1940s, international
humanitarian law today is impressively
codified, well understood, agreed upon,
and enforceable. The debates over the
state of international law that so en-
cumbered the Nuremberg trials will
not burden this tribunal.
The United States strongly sup-
ports the Council's adoption of today's
historic resolution, which takes the
first step in establishing an ad hoc
tribunal to prosecute persons accused
of war crimes and other serious
violations of international humanitarian
law in the territory of the former
Yugoslavia. Virtually all of the parties
who have examined this issue-
including the General Assembly, the
Co-Chairmen of the International
Conference on the Former Yugoslavia,
and the Commission of Experts
established by UN Security Council
Resolution 780-have urged the
creation of such a tribunal.
President Clinton has long sup-
ported the establishment of a war
crimes tribunal at the United Nations
to bring justice and deter further
atrocities in the former Yugoslavia.

Just 12 days ago, Secretary Chris-
topher, speaking on the President's
behalf, explained why the United
States believes this and other actions
are urgently required. As the Secre-
tary said:
We cannot ignore the human toll.
Serbian 'ethnic cleansing' has been
pursued through mass murders,
systematic beatings and the rapes of
Muslims and others, prolonged
shellings of innocents in Sarajevo and
elsewhere, forced displacement of
entire villages, inhumane treatment of
prisoners in detention camps and the
blockading of relief of the sick and
starving civilians. Atrocities have been
committed by other parties as well.
Our conscience revolts at the idea of
passively accepting such brutality.
The Secretary also explained that
there is another reason for urgent
action now-that there is a broader
imperative here. The world's response
to the violence in the former Yugosla-
via is an early and concrete test of how
we will address the concerns of the
ethnic and religious minorities in the
post-Cold War world. And I quote
from the Secretary again:
The events in the former Yugoslavia
raise the question of whether a state
may address the rights of its minorities
by eradicating those minorities to
achieve 'ethnic purity.' Bold tyrants
and fearful minorities are watching to
see whether 'ethnic cleansing' is a
policy the world will tolerate. If we
hope to promote the spread of freedom
or if we hope to encourage the
emergence of peaceful multi-ethnic
democracies, our answer must be a
resounding no.
The United States has so far
submitted five reports to the Council
pursuant to UN Security Council
Resolution 771, which contain substan-
tiated information about the atrocities
that have taken place in the former
Yugoslavia. The Council's action,
today, begins the process of establish-
ing a war crimes tribunal.
We look forward to working with
the Secretary-General to expeditiously
accomplish his task of providing the
Council with options for the statute and

rules of procedure for such a tribunal.
Once the Secretary-General's report is
received, we, along with the other
members, will act quickly within the
Council to establish a tribunal under
Chapter VII. We will also, in coopera-
tion with the United Nations, exert
every effort to ensure that those
individuals involved in these outra-
geous, heinous crimes are identified
and held accountable for their actions
which so affront the world's collective
It is worth recalling that the
Nuremberg principles on war crimes,
crimes against the peace, and crimes
against humanity were adopted by the
General Assembly in 1948. By its
action today with Resolution 808, the
Security Council has shown that the
will of this organization can be exer-
cised, even if it has taken nearly a half
century for the wisdom of our earliest
principles to take hold. I hope that it
will not take another half century to
achieve the peace and security that will
render the hideous crimes [which] we
suspect have been committed strictly
historical phenomena. Thank you very
Resolution 808
(February 22,1993)
The Security Council,
Reaffirming its resolutions 713
(1991) of 25 September 1991 and all
subsequent relevant resolutions,
Recalling paragraph 10 of its
resolution 764 (1992) of 13 July 1992, in
which it reaffirmed that all parties are
bound to comply with the obligations
under international humanitarian law
and in particular the Geneva Conven-
tions of 12 August 1949, and that
persons who commit or order the
commission of grave breaches of the
Conventions are individually respon-
sible in respect of such breaches,
Recalling also its resolution 771
(1992) of 13 August 1992, in which,
inter alia, it demanded that all parties
and others concerned in the former
Yugoslavia, and all military forces in
Bosnia and Herzegovina, immediately
cease and desist from all breaches of
international humanitarian law,

166                                                                 US Department ot State Dispatch * March 22, 1993 * Vol. 4, No. 12


US Department of State Dispatch @ March 22, 1993 * Vol 4, No. 12

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