1211 GENEVA 19


Resolution adopted without a vote by the 90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(Canberra, 18 September 1993)

The 90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Gravely concerned that armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other wars and civil wars are causing disaster for a huge number of people and that the victims are mostly civilians, particularly women, children and the elderly who are forced to flee their homes for safety, and further concerned by massive human rights violations, particularly the ongoing practices of expulsion and displacement in the war zones of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other areas of conflict,

Bearing in mind that external displacement as a consequence of wars and civil wars causes serious political, economic and social instability in neighbouring regions also,

Emphasizing the fact that various international legal instruments qualify displacement, expulsion and deportation of populations as crimes against humanity or war crimes,

Recalling the resolutions adopted by the 89th Inter-Parliamentary Conference on transparency in arms transfer and on the former Yugoslavia,

Aware that minorities or other groups differing from the majority population in terms of their ethnic, religious or cultural backgrounds are often among the first victims of displacement,

1. Urges governments and the world community to take forceful and decisive steps towards achieving peace in areas of conflict, war and civil war;

2. Severely condemns the odious practice known as "ethnic cleansing" in war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina;

3. Expresses its abhorrence of the continued brutalization of the civilian population - often on ethnic grounds - in these areas and other areas of conflict where systematic terrorizing of civilians regularly precedes their eviction from their ancestral homes;

4. Calls on governments and the United Nations, as appropriate, to develop political and legal safeguards against further deportation and displacement inter alia through:

(a) Speedy implementation of UN Security Council resolutions establishing an international tribunal of criminal justice for prosecuting persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law in former Yugoslavia, and the implementation of the tribunal's decisions in fulfilment of States' obligations as members of the United Nations;

(b) Unequivocal support for the mandate of the International Law Commission (ILC) to draw up a statute for an international criminal court and for the relevant articles of the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind prepared by the ILC;

(c) Elaboration of a convention against expulsion and displacement of populations complementary to the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, effectively banning such displacements and making them punishable under international law;

5. Supports the recommendation of the UN World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, June 1993) to the UN General Assembly to begin, as a matter of priority, consideration of the question of the establishment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights;

6. Appeals to all States which have not yet done so to ratify all relevant conventions and protocols relating to the expulsion and displacement of populations caused by wars and civil wars, in particular the relevant Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols of 1977 and the Convention against Genocide;

7. Urges Governments to support and fully co-operate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to effectively improve the treatment of the victims of conflicts, wars and civil wars;

8. Calls on all parliaments to urge their respective governments to continue to facilitate the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and to allow that body to fulfil its humanitarian mission;

9. Urges the governments of the countries of origin of refugees and other displaced persons to adopt effective economic, political and social measures to encourage the repatriation of such persons, and appeals to the international community to help and promote the execution of such measures with due regard for the UNHCR principles covering such activities;

10. Appeals to all governments to grant refuge to the victims of expulsion and displacement, exert all possible efforts to make their repatriation feasible by applying UN resolutions concerning this problem in the different conflicts throughout the world, and assist the UN and other bodies in providing them with dignified living conditions.

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