Molly Solem and Tim Steves
Highland Park High School
Historical General Assembly (1994)
Topic I: The Serbian Question
In 1918, Yugoslavia was formed from a merger of the Kingdom of Serbia with several former territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in an effort to give the South Slavic people a national identity under the Austro-Hungarian Rule. Throughout the next few decades, the new nation experienced several hardships, including territorial and ethnic disputes between the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes; invasions by the Axis powers in 1941; an unstable government, which changed from a monarchy to a communist leader in 1946; and inconsistent economic support from nations such as the United States. Following this long timeline of instability and the dissolution of Yugoslavia into independent republics in the 1980s, the Balkan region is currently immersed in several regional wars plagued with widespread and unrelenting violence. The international community has identified the occurrence of many war crimes committed by both sides of the conflict, including ethnic cleansing, systematic rape, and massacres, among others. The nations involved justify these war crimes with the need for a stronger nationalist identity; however, the international community can no longer permit such violence.
While Madagascar believes the situation is theoretically a European issue, she has seen no substantial progress towards resolving the conflict in the recent past, and thus believes that a higher level of UN involvement is imperative. In agreement with UNGA Resolution 48/210, Madagascar recognizes the urgent need for economic assistance in the former Yugoslavia, as abhorrent violations of international humanitarian law, as well as violations of sanctions imposed against Serbia and Montenegro, have resulted from poor economic and humanitarian assistance in the region. Without the economic backing from the United States that Yugoslavia received during the Cold War era, the Balkan region is no longer sufficiently funded to resolve this issue on her own. Madagascar wholeheartedly supports a higher level of international involvement, and she believes that, through greater funding of the UN Protective Force (UNPROFOR), violence in the region can be curbed. Ultimately, this is the task of the UN General Assembly, and Madagascar encourages all member nations to contribute funding and resources to the cause. Also, considering the time-sensitive nature of this task, Madagascar believes that other actions should be taken to improve conditions in the Balkan region. The establishment of more no-fly zones and the creation of safe areas for more diverse ethnic groups are several possible courses of action that would make an immediate and noticeable positive difference in the lives of the millions of people affected by this widespread conflict. It is of the utmost importance that, throughout committee discussion, the international community unites behind the common goal of improving humanitarian conditions for global citizens and securing basic human rights for all, regardless of affiliation.