The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1992Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Text of the NATO Statement on Former Yugoslavia – 17 December 1992

Below is the text of the NATO Statement on Former Yugoslavia, issued on 17th December 1992.


1 – We are profoundly disturbed by the deteriorating situation in the former Yugoslavia, which constitutes a serious threat to international peace, security, and stability. Recent meetings in Edinburgh, Stockholm and Geneva have made clear the international community’s impatience with the situation, its determination that the carnage and lawlessness in former Yugoslavia be brought to a halt, and its commitment to a negotiated, peaceful and lasting settlement. We are contributing individually and as an Alliance to the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, and we are prepared to respond to further requests for such contributions.

2 – Primary responsibility for the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina lies with the present leadership of Serbia and of the Bosnian Serbs. They have sought territorial gains by force and engaged in systematic gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including the barbarous practice of “ethnic cleansing”. There is the systematic detention and rape of Muslim women and girls. Relief convoys are being harassed and delayed. All such acts must cease. Those individuals responsible for atrocities, whatever party they belong to, are accountable for their actions and liable to be judged accordingly. To this end, we welcome consideration of the creation of an ad hoc tribunal.

3 – We reject any unilateral changes in borders, territory, or populations. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina must be restored. We call upon all parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina to accept the Geneva Conference draft outline constitution as a basis for negotiations. We strongly support the continuing efforts of the UN and EC Co-Chairmen of the International Conference on Former Yugoslavia (ICFY).

4 – We are deeply concerned about possible spillover of the conflict, and about the situation in Kosovo. We call urgently on all parties to act with restraint and moderation. Serious negotiations on the restoration of autonomy to Kosovo within Serbia and the guarantee of full human rights should begin immediately under the ICFY. We are in favour of a UN preventive presence in Kosovo. An explosion of violence in Kosovo could, by spreading the conflict, constitute a serious threat to international peace and security and would require an appropriate response by the international community.

5 – We support CSCE efforts and a substantial increase in international conflict prevention measures, such as monitoring missions, and expect cooperation from all parties. We urge further speedy preventive steps by the UN or the CSCE to help defuse existing tensions. In that context, we welcome the decision of the United Nations Security Council to place peacekeeping forces on the borders of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with Albania and Serbia and Montenegro.

6 – Strict enforcement of UN embargoes is essential. We urge nations to continue efforts to tighten their enforcement.

7 – The Alliance has contributed personnel and equipment to the UNPROFOR II Headquarters in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is helping to enforce UN embargoes in the Adriatic, and is providing to the UN data obtained from NATO Airborne Early-Warning (AWACS) aircraft to help monitor the Bosnia- Herzegovina no-fly zone. Members of the Alliance are prepared to take further steps to assist the UN in implementing its decisions to maintain international peace and security.

8 – The Security Council will shortly consider adopting a resolution on enforcement of the No-Fly Zone, bearing in mind the need to continue the current humanitarian effort in Bosnia. Should such a resolution be adopted, and should violations continue thereafter, we would be prepared to support the UN in enforcing that resolution.

9 – In view of the continuing attacks on Sarajevo, we urge the Security Council to consider further measures as soon as possible, as set out in the 9th December Statement of the UN Security Council President.

10 – All parties, but in particular the Serbian authorities, in and outside Bosnia-Herzegovina must cooperate fully with UNHCR and UNPROFOR. We recall that UNSCR 770 authorizes all measures necessary to ensure relief deliveries to Bosnia, and that interference in relief activities is an international crime. All must refrain from any action which might jeopardize the safety of UNPROFOR and other UN personnel. If requested by the UN, the Alliance would be prepared to take appropriate measures if any of these personnel are threatened or harmed.