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UN General Assembly to vote on Srebrenica genocide resolution on May 23

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic arrived in New York to address the General Assembly

UNITED NATIONS, May 23. /TASS/. The UN General Assembly will vote on the Srebrenica genocide resolution, promoted by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda and Germany, at 5:00 p.m. Moscow time (2:00 p.m. GMT).

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic arrived in New York to address the General Assembly. On Tuesday, he met with Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya. During his visit, the Serbian leader told reporters that the resolution was initiated to show the inevitability of political punishment for all countries with an independent position on the international arena. He pledged to do his best to prevent the adoption of the document. Nebenzya, in turn, said that the although resolution may be passed, but it would be a "Pyrrhic victory for its sponsors."

The document was co-authored by many countries, mostly Western ones, including Austria, Albania, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, North Macedonia, France, Croatia, Finland, Estonia and Sweden. Its supporters from other parts of the world include Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Jordan, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand and Chile.

Proponents of the resolution believe that the document uses words and expressions that are largely similar to other UN resolutions on the issue, and condemns the tragedy in general. Its opponents argue that the resolution may destabilize the situation in the region and has nothing to do with the memory of the victims.

Resolution’s provisions

The proposed resolution aims to designate July 11 as the International Day of Remembrance of the Srebrenica Genocide. It condemns "any denial of the Srebrenica genocide" and actions that glorify those convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by international courts, including those responsible for the Srebrenica massacre. It also calls for further prosecution of those responsible and underscores the importance of searching and identifying other possible victims. It requests the UN secretary-general to establish an outreach program on the issue and start implementing it in the run-up to the 30th anniversary in 2025.

Past resolutions

On July 8, 2015, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution related to the 1995 Srebrenica tragedy. The document described the killing of about 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in the enclave as an act of genocide and emphasized that denial of the fact was preventing reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia’s then-Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, warned against putting the resolution to a vote, saying that it threatened to exacerbate the situation in Bosnia in Herzegovina, as well as across the Balkans.

Srebrenica events

On July 11, 1995, the Bosnian Serbs’ forces killed around 8,000 boys and men in Srebrenica, a Muslim enclave designated a "security zone" by the UN.

At least 100,000 people were killed in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, with the Srebrenica massacre recognized as the most tragic moment of the conflict.

On April 19, 2004, international justice determined the Srebrenica events as genocide , and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague sentenced General Radislav Krstic.

On February 26, 2007 the International Court of Justice - the UN main judicial body - recognised the Muslin massacre as genocide.