News

Coalition for RECOM support Statute Changes

18.11.2014

REKOM-znak-mali

At its Seventh Assembly, held on November 14, 2014 in Belgrade, the Coalition for RECOM has expressed support for the changes made to the RECOM Statute by the Envoys of the Presidents of Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, and Kosovo, and the Bosniak and Croatian[1] Members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The changes addressed the Envoys’ mandate to examine the constitutional and legal options for the establishment of RECOM in their respective countries. The coalition has reviewed the changes carefully and estimates that “the essence of the Draft Statute has been preserved, [that] the abolition of the punitive powers of the Commission removes the suspicion that RECOM would have judicial authority, and [that] the procedure for the nomination and appointment of members of the selection committee and the Commission has been significantly simplified.” The Coalition for RECOM has welcomed the changes in the funding of the Commission, according to which RECOM is to be funded through domestic and foreign donations, as well as through funds from international organizations, rather than by funds provided by the signatory parties,as previously proposed by the Coalition. The Coalition has especially welcomed the Envoys’ position that among the objectives of the Commission is “the enhancement of educational programmes in accordance with the facts established by the Commission.” The Coalition points out that the Envoys and Presidents/Members of the Presidency are in complete agreement that the Commission should establish the facts about war crimes and other human rights violations committed during the period between January 1, 1991 and the end of December 2001.

As regards the “researching of the political and social circumstances that decisively contributed to the outbreak of the wars and the commission of war crimes and other violations of human rights,” some believe that it is crucial for RECOM to inquireinto the causes of the war simultaneously with the facts while others are of the opinion that inquiry into the causes of the war should be undertaken only after the facts about war crimes have been established. Both options would be in full accordance with the proposals of the Coalition for RECOM.

The Coalition expects the Presidents / Members of the BH Presidency to inform the public and national parliaments about their decisions to jointly support the establishment of RECOM, and to do so no later than the end of January 2015. In this way, the post-Yugoslav countries would for the first time in the history of post-conflict societies begin to be able to construct, independently, and with no conditions or pressure from the international community, a regional mechanism for dealing with the past, which has the potential to eliminate the deficiencies of criminal justice, as well as the lack of information on the detection of the remaining mass graves, and to ensure respect for the facts and the personal experiences of those who suffered as a consequence of the wars.

[1]The President of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, has informed the Coalition for RECOM that he would support the establishment of RECOM if the Presidents and Members of the BH Presidency reach a consensus on this issue.