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Public Papers - 1992

Statement on the United Nations Security Council Vote on Humanitarian Aid to Bosnia

1992-08-13

Last week the United States proposed that the U.N. Security Council authorize all measures necessary to see to it that humanitarian aid is delivered to the citizens of Bosnia. I welcome today's vote approving a resolution which does just that. The United States worked hard for this result. The international community has served notice that the innocent people caught in this conflict will not be denied the means to survive.

Our hope is to be able to maintain and broaden the relief effort through cooperation not only with our partners, the responsible relief agencies and the United Nations, but also with the parties to the conflict. I call on the authorities in Belgrade, the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs, and the Governments of Bosnia and Croatia to give their full cooperation to this effort. For all concerned, this is surely the preferred way of getting help to hundreds of thousands of victims.

The international community must be able to reach people trapped by the fighting. All parties should facilitate immediate and safe access for international teams to visit cities and areas under siege in order to assess conditions and relief requirements. We expect full cooperation.

We have moved urgently to gain access to all camps, prisons, and detention centers, as today's U.N. resolution demands. As a result of the emergency meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission going on right now, we expect international inspectors to have unimpeded and continuous access to all possible camps or centers. Any brutality must be exposed and terminated, and the practitioners held personally accountable for their crimes. The U.N. Security Council has today also passed a resolution proposed by the United States to put war criminals on notice that they will be brought to justice. We seek and expect the full cooperation of all the parties in uncovering the facts, identifying those responsible, and bringing an end to acts of barbarism.

The United States has also taken action on the other initiatives I presented on August 6. Measures to inhibit a spillover of the conflict are moving ahead, and we are pressing for agreement in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe on our proposal to put monitors in other parts of the former Yugoslavia to discourage human rights abuses and violence.

We are also tightening the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Serbia. Those responsible for aggression are also responsible for the damage being done to the Serbian economy by the sanctions.

Finally, I am pleased at the strong bipartisan concern and support we have received as we grapple with this very complex, very agonizing, and very dangerous conflict. I would also like to praise those journalists who risk their lives in the cause of reporting this terrible conflict. We are all shocked and saddened to learn that one of the latest casualties is ABC producer David Kaplan.

Today's United Nations vote marks an important milestone in our response to this human tragedy. We will continue to work with the international community to end the violence and relieve the suffering.

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