Activities - conference-belgrade-24-25-november-2015

Živadin Jovanović,
President of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals





Seventy years on after the Allies’ Conferences in Yalta and in Potsdam, and 40 years following the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, international relations have entered a period of profound changes. The eras of bipolar and unipolar world order are over. Restoring to the old ways and concepts is no longer possible. The world order is irreversibly evolving into a multi-polar one. The new development fundamentally changes the relations established after the fall of the Berlin Wall, opening possibilities for democratization of these relations, and for higher observance of the international law and the United Nations Charter that lies in its core. This also offers possibilities for a better protection of interests of small and medium countries, Serbia including.




The process of multi-polarization does not run smoothly. Particularly worrisome are tendencies aiming to preserve domination and privileges of certain countries,to legitimize their self-imposed right to exceptionality, global interventionism and military expansion to the East, by all means, including use of military force. The outcome of such policy of force applied by the US-led West in seeking to maintain the privileges and put under its control the planet’s wealth, are destabilization, conflicts, and devastation of numerous states and societies. Proponents of such totalitarian policy bear responsibility for the destabilization and dramatic escalation of global relations threatening to inflict disaster of humanity. The first casualties of this policy in recent times were two Yugoslavia(s) – the first one torn apart by imposed civil wars at the beginning of 1990s, and the second one, ravaged during the course of illegal NATO’s aggression in 1999. Thus, the Balkans was transformed into a zone of long-term instability. The West-sponsored «in vivo» rewriting of history created several statelets that hardly have a chance of an autonomous development and independence. It seems that the forcible drawing of new borders in violation of the basic principles of the Helsinki Document is not over yet. The proof is the stealing of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija away from Serbia, and the reviving of plans of creating the so-called Greater Albania. The hardest-hit victim of the US-led destructive strategy in the Balkans is the Serbian nation, now shattered, disempowered and put under the control of puppet regimes. Paradoxically, the West proclaims that parallel unfolding of fragmentation of the Serbian nation, on the one side, and (re)integration of other nations, on the other, amount to no less than contribution to the peace and stability, and to the observance of European and democratic standards! Serbian national issue is more than simply an open one; it is further exacerbated by means of disruption and disenfranchisement. This forced-upon situation is hardly in the interest of peace and stability. Of course, it has to do with geopolitical engineering, nurturing imperialistic interests and nothing else. Economic and social problems are rapidly growing, whereas the unemployment of the youth reaches dramatic magnitude.




This assessment is supported by similar shattering of a series of other sovereign states and nations, worldwide. In all likelihood, the Western power centers will not relinquish the strategy of “territorial rearranging” of sovereign states by means of armed attacks, ‘colored revolutions’, and other illicit methods employed in South America, Africa and Asia. The liberal capitalism system produces financial and economic crises, poverty, misery, and they have led to economic emigration of an unprecedented scale. At the same time, aggressions and armed conflicts drive millions out of their homes into exile and displacement.




The policy of domination, military expansion and global interventionism, coupled with the gross violation of international law, has resulted into a deepening distrust, discord, Cold War rhetoric and confrontation. Europe became crisscrossed by foreign military bases, quick-response task forces, ‘missile shields’, rotating command, and incessant air patrolling cruising from Baltic to Anatolia. Europe of today fosters more foreign military bases, bombers and missiles than at the height of the Cold War. One may wonder, what is the purpose?

It is high time to put an end to dangerous trends and dramatic rise of tensions that increasingly threaten security, peace, coexistence and normal relations. We call for openness, dialogue and partnership in resolving all problems, before the situation escalates beyond any control. Billions of people in the world reject the policy of confrontation and wars. They areaware that with present day armament technology it threatens extinction of human race. Therefore, current authoritarian attitudes in the international arena, military expansion and double standards must give way to mutual respect of all stakeholders, whether political, economic or security-related ones.




In today’s world, rationality, political responsibility and readiness to compromise are needed more than ever.

Belgrade is the right place to launch a strongest possible appeal for a substantial equal-footed dialogue on resolving the most important issues affecting security, peace and cooperation. Much more often than other capitals of Europe, Belgrade has been the victim of aggression, occupation and most horrendous devastation. All this gives it moral right and obliges it to initiate dialogues, mutual understanding, and restoration of trust. Belgrade is a birthplace of the Non-Aligned Movement, one of the broadest international groupings second only to the United Nations, credited with huge merits for the freedom of colonized nations, democratization of the United Nations, and codification of the international law.




Belgrade was the leader of a group of neutral and non-aligned countries in Europe - Cyprus, Malta, the SFR Yugoslavia, Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland - which were the driving force for achieving consensus on the Helsinki Final Act. This Act, relying on the agreements ofYalta and Potsdam, building on the outcome of the WWII, and based on the United Nations Charter, is a historic achievement, a milestone for new initiatives aiming at ensuring equal security for all countries, regardless of their size, population, economic power or military might. For its contribution to the process of European security and cooperation, Belgrade was rewarded by being chosen to host the first post-Helsinki Conference of the SCEin 1977.




In December this year (2015.), once again, Belgrade is hosting an OSCE Ministerial Conference. Once again, the goal to stop the dramatic degradation of trust, violating international law, and the roles of the OSCE and the United Nations. Once again, Belgrade appears the appropriate venue to launch initiatives aiming at easing the tensions and Cold War rhetoric, and making the most responsible stakeholders revert to the dialogue, mutual respect and compromise, in the interest of peace and the survival of human kind.

Security and stability in Europe are inseparable from security and stability in the neighboring regions, the Mediterranean Middle East and the world. Therefore, durable security and stability in Europe cannot be ensured unless linked with security and stability in the Near East, Asia, Northern Africa (Maghreb) and Africa in general. Ending the conflict in the Near East, most notably, the war in Syria, is of paramount importance not only for the nations in that region but, also, for Europe. In parallel to this, there is the need to restore the functionalities of the devastated states and societies such as those of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and many more. Europe, just like other wealthy parts of the world, is expected to support economic and social reconstruction of those countries. Although not the only one, this is certainly a crucial requirement to stop refugees and economic migrations of peoples that puts an additional burden on Europe and, in particular, on the European Union.




Tragic civil wars in the region of Former Yugoslavia and NATO aggression in 1990-ies of the twentieth century left worrisome consequences not only of socio-economic nature but also in regard to prolonged instability, spread of terrorism and rganiyed international crimes. Therefore, the Balkans region is far from enjoying ful normalization and stability. The root cause, in our opinion, is that the Balkans, in spite of being the cradle of European civilization and democracy, in reality has never been genuinely accepted as an equal and integral part of Europe. It is high time to get rid of the traditional discriminatory approach of the Western power centers towards the Balkans as a road-to-nowhere, a dumpsite for obsolete technologies, or a training ground for tragic geopolitical games and experiments. For so long as Western Europe does not embrace constructive partnership with the Balkan countries and with Serbia as well, and for so long as it does not observe in practice the sovereign equality, sovereignty and territorial integrity -- the basic principles of both the Helsinki and the United Nations Charter -- it will not be in the position to expect for itself an equal status vis-à-vis other actors; moreover, such observance is also a requirement for the protection of other interests that Western Europe has.
Therefore, partnership, reciprocity of interests, and equality are the key conditions for the peace, stability and cooperation, not only in the Balkans but also throughout the entire European continent.



Having in mind the venue of this Conference and the worrying recent terrorist attacks in Kumanovo, Bjeljina and Sarajevo, we have reasons to strongly support peace and security in the Balkans as an integral part of Europe and the European security system. In this context, it is most important that our Conference supports the respect for the Dayton Agreement introducing peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) on the status of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija, as international legal documents of permanent character. The position towards these two documents is a measure of input to the peace and security in the Balkans.




Refugees and emigrants flows are a reflection of political and military conflicts, unacceptable doctrines, centuries-long social and economic problems, greed, and utmost distrust. This humanitarian, social, economic and, also, security problem cannot be resolved by erecting walls or fences, or by police and military patrols, or by mammoth collective centers, and much less by invoking Dublin rules or readmission agreements.




Discontinuation of any direct or covert support to the so-called “Islamic State”, termination of funding, training and arming the terrorist organizations are indispensable presumptions for the success in the struggle against terrorism.

Another essential precondition for the shift towards a genuine fight and the success is to apply equal standards for terrorism and terrorists, without sorting them out as ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’, and without double standards game- who are terrorist, who are „freedom fighters“, „moderate opposition“ and alike. Without reestablishing the observance for the basic principles in international relations such as are the right to pursue independent internal and foreign relations of each country, sovereignty and territorial integrity including sovereignty over the country’s natural and economic resources – it would be hard to have in place either any efficient fight against terror, or peace, security and progress for all.

The socio-economic development of the countries of origin of terrorism and emigration, together with the plans for reconstruction, education and employment of the youth, in particular in regions affected by war (Middle East, Maghreb, Sub-Saharan countries), has to become an integral part of a global strategy of fighting terrorism

The time has come to convene a world conference on combating terrorism, with a view to establishing organization and timeframes for the adoption of a global convention on the prevention of crimes of terrorism, under the UN auspices?

Taking as the starting points the disastrous consequences of violations of the international law -- especially violations of the UN Charter and the OSCE Final Act, and the danger stemming from the uncontrolled spreading of arbitrariness and chaos, we call upon all relevant stakeholders in international relations to act in good faith and deliver upon accepted commitments, and to reinforce the authority of universal international organizations. No regional organization can claim to replace the role of UN and OSCE in safeguarding peace, stability and cooperation.




From Helsinki of 1975 to Belgrade of 2015, numerous profound changes and new circumstances took place. At the point of its formation, the CSCE (the OSCE) has had 35 members, whereas now it hosts 56. Over the past 40 years of work it has accumulated both positive and numerous negative experiences. At the beginning of 1990s, the OSCE transgressed the principle of consensus and, in the case of Yugoslavia, established a dangerous precedent by passing an ‘ad hoc’ decision on the grounds of the ‘consensus minus one’ model. In addition, the OSCE has been misused, such as in the case of the Kosovo Verification Mission (end 1998 through early 1999) which, instead of being civilian and verification-oriented, was composed of military and police intelligence officers. The KVM acted as a support service in networking and regrouping of terrorist KLA after the latter had been shattered apart by the Serbian security forces. In this capacity, the KVM served to the preparations for NATO aggression in which the KLA took part as a NATO ally.

The OSCE of present day is faced with huge new challenges. There are reasons to seriously consider a drafting and adoption of OSCE Charter, which would further elaborate and harmonize OSCE’s objectives, organization, and the way of its functioning, so to correspond to the acquired experience, undergone changes, and new challenges.

Security is not a privilege of big and mighty ones or of members of exclusive clubs only; rather, it is an equal right of all nations and states, regardless of their individual size, military or economic power. Therefore, our efforts ought to be directed towards building and improving such a system that would guarantee equal security of all countries and peoples.