On the 31st of this month, in cooperation with Women in Black-Belgrade's conference on "Women, Peace, Security," our allies in the parliament will introduce a "Resolution on Women, Peace, and Security." It is not expected to pass - Serbia has not ratified 1325 - but it is how we are marking the anniversary. Here is our text:
A Draft Resolution: an initiative prepared by Women in Black, Belgrade
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia
- Beginning from the expressed wish of citizens of Serbia to live in a prosperous and democratic state in which on the basis of the full equality of all citizens, security is guaranteed to every human being;
- Keeping in mind that on 31 October 2000 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 which insists on the importance of the participation of women and the inclusion of a gender perspective in peace processes, the protection of women in crisis and war zones from violence, in particular sexual violence, as well as the inclusion of a gender perspective in mechanisms for the application of peace treaties;
- Taking into consideration Resolution 53/144 of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the Resolution of the European Parliament “The Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and racism”;
- Believing that the interests of all Serbian citizens for peace and security are the highest state and national interests;
- Knowing that without affirmation of the interests of women for active and effective participation in the establishment of a lasting and stable peace and security for all members of the community, there is no possibility for insuring the protection of peace and security;
- Taking into consideration the tragic experiences from the war period in which our country participated;
- Taking into particular account own responsibility for the future of the Republic of Serbia and its citizens, as well as the interests of peace, stability, and security in the country, the region, Europe, and the world,
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia will pass a resolution on women, peace, security:
1. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia expresses and confirms strong resoluteness for accepting recommendations to its legislative activities from the Resolution of the United Nations Security Council, in particular:
- Through legal solutions and their application, to secure adequate participation of women on all levels of decision-making in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution,
- To support and prompt the resolution of conflicts on the national, regional and international levels without the use of force and violence,
- To acknowledge the importance of peace initiatives begun on the level of civil society,
- To initiate the taking of measures which will secure the protection and respect of women’s human rights and the highest standards of security for all citizens, in particular citizens engaged in the defense of human rights and promotion of the democratic and civic values of the contemporary world.
2. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia expresses conviction that the conditions for the establishment of a lasting peace and full security of the citizens of Serbia will be created only by full and consistent protection of human rights, in particular women’s human rights, with respect for the principles of the rule of law, with economic prosperity, and with attention to social justice and the protection of victims of the previous period marked by war and war profiteers, and is therefore showing decisiveness that in the framework of its competencies, it is doing all in its power for these conditions to be realized as soon as possible.
3. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia declares that for attainment of the security of citizens, the following is necessary:
- Consistent enforcement of the constitutionally established principle of separation of the church and state. The religious communities should not decide about the educational system, the healthcare system, or women’s human rights, in particular reproductive and sexual rights. Common law, which most greatly endangers women’s human rights, must not be rehabilitated in the name of preserving identities or cultural characteristics, independent of whether or not majority or minority religious communities are in question.
- Effective application of the Family Law, condemning violence against women and uprooting the culture of war which legitimizes violence against women and other persons of lesser social and economic power.
- Revoking the Law about assistance to Hague indictees and their families and redirecting those funds for humanitarian usage, above all to the families of the victims of war, to educational projects for peace and nonviolence, interethnic and intercultural solidarity.
- Restitution/compensation to the families of victims of war with the confiscated property of persons convicted for war crimes, as well as persons from the regime that until 5 October 2000 ruled Serbia, and who participated in the unlawful appropriation of others’ property and other forms of plundering the national wealth.
- Declaring the denial of war crimes in the wars from 1991 to 1999, including the genocide in Srebrenica, as a criminal act, patterned on the definition of denial of the Holocaust as a criminal act, and on the basis of recommendations from the Resolution of the European Parliament “Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Racism” (P6_TA-Prov 2005/0018).
- Strict application of constitutional and legal regulations which prohibit and condemn all discrimination on religious, national, or whichever other basis.
- Establishing civil and democratic control over the armed forces (army, security agencies, and police). Only the National Assembly establishes what the national interests of the country are and only it, by no means the army and police, decides about the security situation in the country.
- Additional establishment of control over the security agencies with consistent application of the Law on lustration and opening of the secret dossiers, keeping in mind, along with all else, the fact that these agencies not rarely endanger the security of the greatest part of citizens, in particular defenders of human rights.
- Preventing the tendency for the privatization of armed forces and security agencies, that is shown in the uncontrolled flourishing of private security agencies and their effort to revoke the state monopoly on the legal application of force.
- Respecting the rights of defenders of human rights in accordance with the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly of 8 March 1999 (53/144, annex) and the taking of legal measures with which the unhindered utilization of the rights of individuals, groups, and associations for the advancement of the respect of and the spreading of knowledge about human rights on the national and international levels, will be secured.
In Belgrade, 31 October 2005
Contact address: Women in Black Contact telephone number:
Jug Bogdanova 18, Belgrade +381 (0)11-262-3225
Email: [email protected]