United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

11 October 1995


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 81


Development of good-neighbourly relations among Balkan States

Report of the Secretary-General





  Albania ..............................................................2

95-30654 (E)   161095/...

[Original:  English]

[8 August 1995]    

1.  Albania is situated  in a very important position in the Balkan  region.
This ancient  region is today characterized  by a  general crisis situation,
the   causes  of   which  have   their   roots   in  its   historical  past.
Unfortunately, these  causes were not eliminated,  because there  was a lack
of  just and  sustainable  solutions.    So,  the  Balkan  region  has  been
dominated mostly by wars and conflicts rather than peace and development.

2.   The historical  experience  of the  Balkans  shows  that even  when  in
certain periods there were initiatives for cooperation  between countries of
the region,  they remained  unmaterialized desires, leaving  the place  once
more to  conflicts and  wars.  Correcting  this sad  experience in  history,
through  a better will of  all Balkan countries, the European countries, the
big Powers and international diplomacy, is the challenge we all face today.

3.   Because  of its  geographical  position,  natural resources  and  human
potential, the Balkan region has for many years been the object of  interest
of the  big Powers.  There have  been other interests that have designed the
historical map  of the  Balkans, after  the fall  of the Ottoman  Empire and
after  the First  and the  Second World  Wars.   This  map, which  does  not
correspond  to the historical  realities of  the Balkan  nations, has, since
the beginning,  created the conditions  to agitate for  and to  motivate the
wrong concept  of  a "great  State",  planting  the philosophy  of  national
chauvinism, nourishing  the policy  of ethnic cleansing  and occupation  and
changing of borders by force.

4.   Historically,  Albania has  been  among  the  victims of  those  Balkan
developments.  It has had to fight at different times and in different  ways
to preserve its national identity and  ethnic territorial integrity and  has
had many other problems, some of which it is still facing today.

5.   The  barbaric and  primitive memories  are still  alive in  the  Balkan
Peninsula and  are the  foundation of  today's crisis  in the  region.   The
unresolved  serious  historical problems  in the  composition of  the Balkan
map, the  continuation of "cold war"  practices, the  flagrant violations of
the  human and  national rights  of  the  ethnic populations  and minorities
historically included in other States, the  domination of old practices  and
ambitions,  the  existence  of  medieval  dogmas  and  the  application   of
different standards conceal the Balkan reality  and prevent the countries of
the region from finding a just and sustainable solution to the problems.

6.   The current  Balkan crisis  climaxed with the  unprecedented tragedy of
Bosnia and  Herzegovina.   This crisis  has two  sides:   the negative  one,
which brought the war with all its repercussions, and the other side,  which
forced international  public opinion and world  diplomacy to  accept some of
the fundamental causes of  the crisis of the  Balkans, be they historical or
actual, as well as  the main party responsible for  this crisis, that is the
Serbs, with their medieval policy in the Balkans.
  7.  The identification and international acceptance  of the causes and  of
the party responsible for  the crisis in the Balkans make it more  realistic
for  the Balkan  States, the  United Nations,  the European  Union, the  big
Powers and world diplomacy  to understand the situation and to find the most
adequate ways to resolve the crisis.

8.   In the opinion  of Albania,  there exists a basis  of understanding and
cooperation  in the  Balkans.   The  peoples  of this  ancient  region  have
historically coexisted, have  exchanged capitals, cultures and ideals,  have
given and  taken from each other in  many aspects of  life, creating what is
called the "Balkan mosaic".   In periods of relative  calm, these traditions
of  understanding  and  cooperation  have  been  renewed  in  the  fields of
science, culture, sports, human rights, communications, etc.

9.   The  Balkan  States today  face  two  alternatives:   to  continue  the

conflict zone as an arena of  national chauvinism and extra-Balkan interests
or to change into  a reality of peace, cooperation and integration with  the
ancient Western European  continent, be  neutral and  balanced in  relations
with the interests outside  the Balkans.  The Government of Albania  desires
and  deems it  fully possible  to turn  the Balkans  into a  zone of  peace,
cooperation, integration and  equilibrium in international relations.   This
depends,  first of  all,  on  the  political will  of  the Balkan  countries

10.  The realization  of this major  goal requires first the end of  the war
in the  conflict zones in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, the prevention
of the  spill-over of the  conflict in the  south and  especially in Kosovo,
through international preventive  measures, the establishment of a  military
equilibrium  in the  region, the  creation of  a climate  of faith  for  the
beginning of  a dialogue between conflicting  sides and  opposing parties in
the  presence  of  an   international  party  and   finding  acceptable  and
sustainable solutions.

11.  The basis  on which to  achieve these possible and indispensable  steps
is the correct implementation of the Charter of the  United Nations, General
Assembly resolution 48/84 B of 16 December 1993,  the Helsinki Final Act  of
the Conference on Security and Cooperation  in Europe and other  fundamental
documents of the Organization for Security  and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
by all  Balkan States,  as well  as by  non-Balkan States  with a direct  or
indirect   interest  in   the  region   and   in   the  process   of  Balkan
democratization and European integration.

12.   The implementation  of the  generally accepted  norms of international
relations  and the  protection  of sovereignty,  territorial  integrity  and
political independence  of every  country in  the Balkans  will require  the
exclusion of the use of  force and other means that the Serbs are  currently
using, which  run contrary to international  norms for  solving the inherent
problems and those newly created in the Balkans.

13.  The overcoming  of the current  crisis of  the Balkans and opening  the
way for  solving the historical  problems and those  just created  will also
need the understanding and engagement of  other factors outside the  Balkans
in the  internal Balkan factor.   We consider that  the contribution of  the
United Nations - the General  Assembly, the Secretary-General,  the Security
Council,  the  Economic  and Social  Council,  the  Economic  Commission for
Europe (ECE), the specialized agencies of the  United Nations system, etc. -
is of special importance to that end.

14.   The Balkans is  an important region  of the European  continent.   Its
geography, history,  culture, problems and  perspectives are closely  linked
with  the  continent.   This  makes  it  indispensable that  along  with the
engagement of the United Nations, a  greater commitment and contribution  be
given  by  the  big  States  of  Europe  as   well  as  from  the   European
organizations and  institutions such  as OSCE,  the Council  of Europe,  the
European Union and  non-governmental organizations, etc., for a solution  of
the Balkan problems.

15.   General Assembly resolution 48/84 B emphasized the  importance for all
Balkan States to promote mutual cooperation in, inter alia, trade and  other
forms of  economic cooperation, transport, telecommunications and protection
of the  environment, and requested the  Secretary-General to  seek the views
of those concerned on the development  of good-neighbourly relations in  the
region  and on measures  and preventive  activities aimed  at creation  of a
stable  zone of  peace and  cooperation in  the Balkans  by the  year  2000.
Albania thinks  that the  Secretary-General has the necessary  authority and
possibility  to undertake the  preparations of  this long-term programme and
to include it for adoption in the relevant session of the General Assembly.

16.  Albania thinks  that, in support  of the proposed programme, all  those
materials,  reports and  studies that  clarify  in  a comprehensive  way the
history of the Balkans and its  solved and unsolved problems must be used so

that the  past can  serve as  a  basis for  the programme.   Forgetting  the
history of  the Balkans  and its  wars and  attempts to  cover the  inherent
problems would be very harmful for the proposed programme.

17.   The serious,  realistic and  natural consideration  of the  historical
past of  the Balkans  would give  us a clear  vision on  which to build  the
future of  a Balkan  with peace,  stability and  prosperity.  This  makes it
indispensable that the programme has to envisage  the future of the  Balkans
in terms of  development, European integration and modernization through  an
increase in  inter-Balkan  and Euro-Balkan  cooperation.    The aim  of  the
programme must be to  turn the Balkans into a  model of the Western European
type in  terms of  good-neighbourly relations  by stimulating,  at the  same
time, the Balkan States  and the European Union to accelerate the process of
integration of the Balkans into Europe.

18.  There are  different positions among  the Balkan States in relation  to
the past and the  vision for the  future.  This makes it necessary  that the
preparation  of the  programme by  the  Secretary-General  be preceded  by a
separate  report undertaken by  the Secretary-General based on different and
neutral  sources  for  each  State, bilateral  relations,  the  situation of
minorities and the ethnic populations,  the economic and other possibilities
of cooperation  and  the difficulties  of  their  implementation, etc.    In
conclusion, a  final preliminary  report, drafted  by the  Secretary-General
about  these materials  would make  the  programme  more realistic  and more
implementable in practice.

19.  The  bitter historic experience  of the  Balkans has  been such  mainly
because its fate is  frequently decided out of  the desire and  the will  of
the Balkans themselves.  This  conclusion has to be taken into consideration
by the Secretary-General, to whom we would  suggest that, after drafting the
final report and  the programme, he  organize a broad  discussion through  a
Balkan round  table, where  the above-mentioned  project-documents would  be
verified and win the acceptance of the Balkan  peoples themselves.  It would
be good that this  round table be organized  before the fifty-second session
of the  General Assembly.  Meanwhile, till then,  there would need  to be  a
period of  reconciliation between  some States  that do  not recognize  each
other internationally.

20.   We  think that  the programme  of the Secretary-General  could contain
these main pillars:

  (a)   To  achieve peace  in the conflict  zones and the  fulfilment of the
international obligations of all parties concerned;

  (b)   To aim  at the  demilitarization of  the States  and the  militarily
burdened  zones, in order  to establish  a military  equilibrium between all
States in the Peninsula;

  (c)   To take  into consideration  the reconstruction of the  zones in the
territories of the  former Yugoslavia that have  been gravely damaged by the
long war.  Without reconstruction  and normalization of the situation in the
zones  directly affected  by the crisis it  will be impossible to  pass to a
phase of further development of the region;

  (d)  To stimulate  and to help the process of the internal democratization
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia  (Serbia and Montenegro), because  the
lack of  the real democratic  order in these  countries is also  one of  the
factors that has brought about the crisis in the former Yugoslavia;

  (e)    To  envisage  a series  of  measures  to  achieve  an  inter-Balkan
cooperation  through the  establishment of  confidence-building  measures in
the still  complicated bilateral  relations existing  in the  Balkans.   The
gradual normalization of  bilateral relations, under the observance and  the
lead of the Secretary-General,  will open the road to the cooperation of all
the Balkan States;

  (f)  To take  into consideration the situation  in Kosovo and the solution
to its problems,  based on the need to  implement the provisions of  General
Assembly resolution 49/204 of 23 December 1994;

  (g)   To  envisage the  preliminary  measures  needed to  prevent  further
conflict in  Kosovo, to demilitarize  the province, to  bring to  an end the
violations of human rights, to stop  the ethnic cleansing and  colonization,
to reopen the  institutions in  Kosovo, to  create a  climate of  confidence
between  the  Albanians and  the  Serbs  in  Kosovo,  between Prishtine  and
Belgrade, in order to  begin and continue a dialogue between the two parties
in the presence of  a third party, until a final and sustainable solution is
found to the situation in Kosovo;

  (h)  To envisage a series  of measures to bring closer together the Balkan
States in  terms  of legislation,  applying  the  standards of  the  Western
democracies,  in respect for  human rights and those  of the minorities, the
environment, culture, science, sport and spiritual life;

  (i)  To  envisage separate programmes for  the development of  the economy
of the  Balkan countries  in transition,  the infrastructure  in respect  of
transportation and  telecommunications and  the environment,  as a  question
without borders,  in order to facilitate  the economic  differences that are
among  the  fundamental  factors for  curbing  the  Europeanization  of  the

21.  Albania, as one of the older Members of the United  Nations, has always
implemented  and will continue to implement the principles of the Charter of
the United  Nations and  has been a  factor of  peace and  stability in  the
Balkans.  These elements result from  the fact that  Albania is a democratic
country with  a pluralistic system,  based on the  rule of  law, where human
rights  and those  of  the minorities  are fully  respected,  with  a market
economy,  integrated into OSCE,  the Council  of Europe  and the Partnership
for Peace, etc.

22.  The  democratization of Albania  and its  steps towards integration  in
the  European and  Euro-Atlantic  organizations and  institutions  are  also
undoubtedly a full and  stable guarantee of its foreign policy.  This policy
aims   at   respecting   sovereignty,   territorial   integrity,   political
independence and not  changing borders by  force, etc. and at  influencing a
solution to the problems of the Balkans through democratic ways and means.

23.   Albania is totally committed to responding positively,  with an active
attitude and  concrete  measures,  to  any initiative  that  the  Secretary-
General would  undertake towards the achievement  of peace  and stability in
the  Balkans, as  well  as  its development  and full  integration  into the
civilized and developed Europe.

24.   Albania and all Albanians in  the Balkan Peninsula  are aware that the
future  of  the peoples  of this  ancient Peninsula  lies in  broadening the
democratic spaces and  not in dictatorships, in  peace and stability and not
in  war  and  distraction,  in  development   and  prosperity  and  not   in
backwardness and discrimination,  in being closer to  each other and  not in
separation and  parting,  and  in integration  with  the  West  and  not  in

25.  The United Nations will always see  in Albania and the Albanian  factor
in  the  Balkans  a point  of  strong  and  firm  support  for the  rigorous
implementation of the principles of its Charter.



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