Tuesday, March 6, 2001
2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.
Room SDG-11(Ground Floor)
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Open to Members, Congressional staff, Press and the Public
Scheduled to speak:
Milan Protic, Yugoslav Ambassador to the United States
Nina Bang-Jensen, Executive Director, Coalition for International Justice
Sonja Biserko, Chair, Serbian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
James M. Lyon, Political and Economic Analyst, International Crisis Group
Daniel P. Serwer, Director of the Balkans Initiative, United States Institute for Peace
Background: The October 2000 ouster of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and the December 2000 Serbian elections which solidified the position of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia have created conditions for bolstering democratic development, enhancing economic recovery, and maintaining long-term stability in Serbia and southeastern Europe as a whole.
After a decade of conflict, violence and repression, this new situation has been universally welcomed. At the same time, many remain concerned about the commitment of the new Yugoslav President, Vojislav Kostunica, and other officials in the Yugoslav and Serbian Governments to ethnic tolerance, the rule of law and cooperation with the international community in reversing all the damage done by Milosevic over the years.
This Helsinki Commission briefing will assess the progress made in the five months since democratic forces came to power in Serbia.
The briefing will focus in particular on Yugoslav cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Belgrade’s evolving stance toward Bosnia and other neighbors, and the effect of internal reform measures in correcting Milosevic abuses, including the continued imprisonment of hundreds of Kosovar Albanians in Serbia.
These issues are particularly relevant in light of congressionally imposed conditionality on U.S. assistance to Serbia after March 31.