Statement of Mouvement de la Paix (France)
DECLARATION - International Conference against the Militarization of
Europe (version originale)
March 17, 2004.
Declaration from the Peace Movement (France)
Stopping the confrontations in Kosovo
Paris, March 17, 2004.
The violent confrontations that occurred march 17 th in Kosovo have resulted in many victims. They echo like a cry of warnings as to the tensions resulting from the unresolved conflicts in the Balkans, and carry in them the need to bring forth everything possible in order to avoid additional bloodshed in a region that has already excessively suffered.
The international responsablity and the UN mandate is to protect civilians. This has to be enacted by actions of local mediation, a project which the European Union could carry, in addition to efforts dedicated to relaunch economic activities for a sustainable develpment with the aid of various UN organisations.
The economic and social instability, the human unsafetyness can only exacerbate new conflicts of varying intensity. The measures undertaken for reconstruction are not enough. They have to come hand in hand with a real effort towards democratization and securization of the populations. The forced path towards economic liberalism will possibly omit to take into consideration the complexities of local realities and cultures. It is the well being of each and the participation of all that must be the key factor for the return of a sustainable peace.
Numerous actors of the Balkan civil society lead a magnificent effort towards reconciliation and violence prevention. It is important to bring them all the support that they need. It is equally urgent to proceed towards disarmament measures in accordance with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Small Arms Survey organization that has warned about the generalized acces to small weapons and their misuse in Kosovo.
More than ever, the international responsibility is to find the means for a negotiation in this Southern region of Europe and to change the ineffective guardianship status over Kosovo.
The European NGO’s need to support the efforts and mobilisation in the balkans striving for peace at a time when the results of the last elections send an warning as to the dangerous slippage towards nationalist extremism.
for the Movement of peace Paris,
on January 1-st, 2004
Comments from Peace Movement (France) about situation in Serbia and Croatia
Balkans : frightening nationalist outbreak
Tomislav Nikolic, vice president of Radical Party and ultra-nationalist (from Seselj in legal action for war crimes) was in the lead for the anticipated legislative elections, without getting the absolute majority. From their side, democractic parties have to join together to keep the power. But the coalition of minorities in Serbia "Together for tolerance" will not be allowed to participate because it has not reach 5 %. These results confirm those from last elections for Presidence in Serbia, even if these are not still validated (insufficient rate of participation).
This growth of radical nationalists in Serbia, like in Croatia last November, takes its source in instrumentation of frustrations and general impoverishment. From last figures from statistical Institute, the average salary in Serbia is about 169 euros. As far as retired are concerned, they survive with less than 100 euros per month. For the young people, the only perspective for their future is the expatriation to western countries.
The economical and political crisis is added to a situation of a lack of legislation and institution. The poverty encourages developemnt of mafias and parallel economy based on the circulation of drugs and arms, on prostitution, on underground violence to destabilize the country with favourable conditions for institutionalization of nepotism, populism and any other form of corruption.
With such a situation of economical and political crisis, the forced march towards European integration seems to play a role of foil for many electors.
The installation of a common market with economical harmonization, specially for banks, customs and commercial and agricultural price-lists, with a centralized functionment of institutions between Serbia and Montenegro is a prior to integration in European Union.
As the President of Independent trade union organization Nezavisnost in Serbia "Democracy is not matter of speech, gesticulation or good willingness. It is not decided with orders. We cannot sell it off in the name of nationalism ideals. It has not to make rich an elite but it must improve the conditions of life of most of the people. We cannot lie for ever because the trick is the arm of dictatorships. The strength of democracy is in its citizens who become aware that it is the best existing political system, a legacy for the coming generations.
This frightening nationalist outbreak calls us to help the development of democratic organizations on the field. It is a vital stake for the future of the area as well as for defense of human rights than for prevention of violency. The European institutions can and must take their responsabilities. As far as european civil societies are concerned and their organizations, they must more than never reinforce the solidarities with democrats from Balkans.
The NGO from Balkans, like those from the rest of Europe, have many things to do together to build an Europe of peace.
Le Mouvement de la Paix (France)
139 Boulevard Victor Hugo
93400 Saint Ouen
Paris, on August 31, 2003
Statement of Mouvement de la Paix (France) about Kosovo.
Macedonia, Kosovo : dangers for peace and development in the Balkans
Over the last few months, Mouvement de la paix has been denouncing new tensions in the Balkans (South-East Europe). First following the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Jinjic (12 March 2003), then in Macedonia (June 2003) and this summer in Kosovo. They are faced with a situation of increased violence whose main victims are civilian populations. In Kosovo, in August, children were victims of shootings in the Pec region (2 persons died and 4 were wounded). A UN soldier was also killed.
On alert as early as Feb. 6, the UN Security Council met once more in August, at the request of the Serbia and Montenegro Union. According to Serbian authorities, since the end of the war in 1999 and over 4 years, Kosovo and Metohija went through 6,013 attacks against Serbs, with 1,021 of them dead. According to a UN report, Kosovars still maintain 460,000 weapons. In this 70-page document, it is estimated by the UNDP and the Geneva-based Small arms survey organisation that the general access to small weapons and their misuse are the "key challenge" to reducing insecurity in Kosovo.
Economic, social and human insecurity can only engender more or less serious new conflicts.
The situation will not change with an international tutorship and military intervention from NATO or the European Union – since 31 March 2003 there has been 21,000 soldiers in Kosovo, and 380 soldiers of 27 EU nationalities in Macedonia.
South East Europe needs population-controlled peace and development. This means combining peace, development, justice and democracy. Over the last few years, alternative local organisations have worked for this. They have a more positive vision of domestic and international conflict resolution. Yet, they need international solidarity and exchange with others.
Since a delegation of Mouvement de la Paix visited the Balkans in late 2001, we agreed we had to remain vigilant as to the frail situation in this part of Europe, and to strengthen our relations with peace activists in the region.
It is our proposal that they be associated to the upcoming European social forum in France from Nov. 12 through to 15, 2003, in the framework of exchanging joint experiences and initiatives to promote an active Europe for peace throughout the world.Patrick Simon
South East Europe department
Mouvement de la Paix