SREBRENICA TRAGEDY WILL FOREVER HAUNT UNITED NATIONS HISTORY, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF CITY'S FALL

10 July 2000
SG/SM/7489

SREBRENICA TRAGEDY WILL FOREVER HAUNT UNITED NATIONS HISTORY, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF CITY'S FALL

10 July 2000


Press Release
SG/SM/7489


SREBRENICA TRAGEDY WILL FOREVER HAUNT UNITED NATIONS HISTORY, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF CITY'S FALL

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Following is the statement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the fifth anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica, 11 July:

The tragedy of Srebrenica will forever haunt the history of the United Nations. This day commemorates a massacre on a scale unprecedented in Europe since the Second World War -- a massacre of people who had been led to believe that the United Nations would ensure their safety.

We cannot undo this tragedy, but it is vitally important that the right lessons be learnt, and applied in the future. In the report which I submitted to the General Assembly last year, I laid out the facts as openly and clearly as I could, but also recommended measures to Member States to ensure that such failures do not recur.

We must not forget that the architects of the killings in Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, are still at large. This fact alone suggests that the most important lesson of Srebrenica -- that we must recognize evil for what it is, and confront it not with expediency and compromise, but with implacable resistance -- has yet to be fully learnt and applied.

As we mark the fifth anniversary of the death of thousands of disarmed and defenceless men and boys in the forests around Srebrenica, I wish to express once again, to their families and friends, my deepest regret and remorse. Their grief cannot be assuaged, and must not be forgotten.

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For information media. Not an official record.