Hungary to vote against UN resolution on Srebrenica genocide

May 15. 2024. – 03:37 PM



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The Hungarian government will not vote in favour of the draft UN resolution on the Srebrenica genocide.

– Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced on Wednesday at a press conference in Budapest he held together with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.

Standing next to the extremist nationalist politician who has openly called for secession from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said that peace and stability in the Western Balkans is a key issue for peace and stability on the continent, and that Hungary, as the region's immediate neighbour, will continue to do everything possible to ensure this during its EU Presidency, which will begin in July. Szijjártó did not mention Dodik's separatist aspirations nor the impact the potential secession of Republika Srpska, which has limited sovereignty as a member of the Bosnian Federation, would have on the stability of the Balkans.

According to Szijjártó, it is not the Bosnian Serbs who are jeopardizing the aspirations for peace and stability, but the international community, some of whose members, instead of "accelerating European integration", are "increasing tensions" and destroying "the fragile results that have been achieved with such difficulty".

According to the Foreign Minister, the "harmony" of the integration process was unnecessarily shattered by the " forceful and unilateral interference" of the UN High Representative in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina by "unilaterally and violently amending the electoral law". At the end of March, Christian Schmidt, exercising his right as UN High Representative ordered the introduction of electronic identification and electronic voting in some places on an experimental basis, and excluded war crimes convicts from being able to participate in elections, aiming to ensure transparency. Dodik, who recognised Viktor Orbán's unwavering support with a medal, called these changes unacceptable.

Szijjártó's other objection was that there are plans to "adopt a resolution in the UN on the Srebrenica tragedy that would demonize the entire Serbian nation". Several UN member states are seeking to have 11 July declared an international day of remembrance for the victims of the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica. That was the date when the massacre, described by Szijjártó only generically as a "tragedy", began, during which forces of the Bosnian Serb army under the command of Ratko Mladić executed some 8,700 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys, thanks to the ineffectiveness of UN peacekeepers. Both the Bosnian Serbs and those in Serbia proper have consistently downplayed the scale of the carefully documented massacre, which aimed to deliberately and consciously eliminate and expel the Bosniak ethnic group. Dodik denies that what happened was genocide, claiming that only individual soldiers committed atrocities, and claims that

“If it had really happened, the subject would not have to be constantly brought up. The court judgments concern individuals, not a nation.”

The ministry leader of the Hungarian government, which commemorates Hungary's loss of territory due to the Trianon Peace Treaty more than a century ago with a day of remembrance each year, said that introducing a day of remembrance to classify the Srebrenica massacre of 30 years ago as genocide was “a completely unnecessary tension-building exercise. And we are asking those who are doing it or have been doing it to stop. Hungary will vote against this resolution at the UN.”

At the press conference, Milorad Dodik expressed his gratitude to the Hungarian government for the understanding they have shown regarding the UN resolution.

Srebrenica was indeed a terrible tragedy and a crime, but it is about individual responsibility and an entire nation should not be condemned collectively because of it.

The Serb leader said that Hungary understands the situation in the Balkans best and that "we are very happy" that Hungary will soon take over the rotating EU presidency.

We have previously written about the Orbán government's Bosnian Serb ties and the business and political interests of Hungarian and Bosnian Serbs in this article, and the message and potential diplomatic risks of the medal the Hungarian Prime Minister was awarded by Milorad Dodik in January were discussed here.

(via MTI)

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