Sarajevo Declaration on the Humanitarian Treatment of Displaced Persons

Country/entity
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Yugoslavia (former)
Region
Europe and Eurasia
Agreement name
Sarajevo Declaration on the Humanitarian Treatment of Displaced Persons
Date
11/04/1992
Agreement status
Multiparty signed/agreed
Interim arrangement
No
Agreement/conflict level
Intrastate/intrastate conflict (Balkan Conflicts (1991 - 1995) (1998 - 2001)
Former Yugoslavia

The disintegration of former Yugoslavia post cold war saw conflicts which became mediated and produced peace agreements in Slovenia (where the brief independence conflict was mediated by the EC Troika in 1991), Croatia (between Croatian and Serb populations 1991-1995), in Bosnia (between Croatian, Serb and Bosniak populations 1992-1995), in Macedonia (where mediation played a key pre-emptive role in preventing large scale conflict in 2001), in Kosovo (between Kosovar Albanians and Serbian population and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), but also between FRY and NATO, 1998-1999), and a conflict in the Presevo Valley (between Albanians in South Serbia and FRY, 2000-2001). The continued fall-out of the disintegration of former Yugoslavia also saw mediated agreement and ultimate dissolution of the Union between Serbia and Montenegro.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

In 1991, after nationalist parties won the first multi-party elections in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a violent process of disintegration commenced. With its mixed population, Bosnia-Herzegovina became the centre of the following civil war that began in 1992 between the newly formed army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (mostly Muslim Bosniacs), and the parastatal forces of self-declared Bosnian Croat (Herzeg-Bosnia) and Bosnian Serb (Republika Srpska) entities within Bosnia-Herzegovina, supported by Croatia and Serbia, with various, often short-lived, coalitions. The General Framework Agreement (Dayton Peace Agreement), signed in 1995, split the country into two ethno-federal entities, the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska, and included continued peacekeeping and institutional administration by international actors.

Kosovo

The conflict between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians has a long history and always involved territorial disputes as well as ethno-political, cultural and linguistic factors. The most recent phase of the conflict began in November 1997 when the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA or UCK) began their campaign for the independence of Kosovo from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY – then Serbia and Montenegro). The subsequent war lasted until the NATO intervention, which undertook bombing campaigns of Belgrade and other places in Serbia during spring 1999. The main agreements solving the conflict were internationally driven and, finally, a UNSC resolution imposed a post-conflict arrangement in the wake of what was essentially a NATO military victory. In February 2008, Kosovo’s parliament declared independence, but independence is still internationally disputed.

Balkan Conflicts (1991 - 1995) (1998 - 2001) )
Stage
Pre-negotiation/process (Other: Agreement on humanitarian principles)
Conflict nature
Government/territory
Peace process
125: Bosnia peace process
Parties
Alija Izetbegovic, President, Party of Democratic Action; Radovan Karadzic, President, Serbian Democratic Party; Miljenko Brkic, President, Croatian Democratic Community
Third parties
Under the auspices of: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, signed by Jose Maria Mendiluce, Special Envoy of the High Commission
Description
This short agreement between the leaders of the three main political parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina contains commitments to agreed humanitarian practices for responding to the displacement of civilians and related issues.

Agreement document
BA_920411_Sarajevo Declaration on the Humanitarian Treatment of Displaced Persons.pdf []

Groups

Children/youth
Rhetorical
Page 1, Untitled preamble
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin.
Disabled persons
No specific mention.
Elderly/age
Rhetorical
Page 1, Untitled preamble
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin
Migrant workers
No specific mention.
Racial/ethnic/national group
Rhetorical
Page 1, Untitled preamble
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin
Religious groups
Rhetorical
Page 1, Untitled preamble
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin
Indigenous people
No specific mention.
Other groups
No specific mention.
Refugees/displaced persons
Substantive
Page 1, paragraph 1
Considering the particular problems of displaced persons in Bosnia and Hercegovina,

Page 1, paragraph 2
Acknowledging that they were compelled to leave their homes as a result of the conflict and tensions which affect the neighbouring Republics and some areas of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and which continue to generate new displacement,

Page 1, paragraph 4
Pledging to promote the respect of internationally recognized human rights, including those applying to displaced persons,

Page 1, paragraph 5
Affirming that voluntary return with full guarantees of security and non-discrimination is the basic right of the displaced and the best means to achieve a lasting solution to their plight,

Page 1, paragraph 6
Acknowledging the deteriorating economy in the Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and the urgent need for increased assistance from the international community to alleviate the situation of the displaced and their host families,

Page 1, paragraph 7
To adhere to the principle that the treatment of displaced persons is to be based on strictly humanitarian, non-political and non-discriminatory criteria and that the drama of displacement is not to be misused for politics or sectarian ends,

Page 1, paragraph 8
To promote initiatives at the regional, municipal and local levels aimed at preventing further displacement and at establishing adequate guarantees to allow for the return of the displaced in Bosnia and Hercegovina to their places of origin or former residence,

Page 1, paragraph 9
To support the initiative to establish a tripartite commission between the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina and UNHCR to define principles, guarantees and procedures aimed at facilitating the return of displaced persons to the Republic of Croatia,

Page 2, paragraph 1
To express their gratitude and firm support to UNHCR for the role it is playing in assisting and protecting the displaced and in particular, for the initiatives being undertaken to encourage negotiation and dialogue among all relevant parties

Page 2, paragraph 2
To call upon all political structures and the supporters of the signatory parties, the military, the republican, municipal and local authorities and the inhabitants of Bosnia and Hercegovina, to cooperate with UNHCR and other international humanitarian organisations and to provide them the protection and support required for the fulfilment of their humanitarian functions,

Page 2, paragraph 3
To draw the attention of the international community to the grave economic situation in Bosnia and Hercegovina, aggravated by the prescence of close to 100,000 displaced persons in the Republic and to seek international support and cooperation both of a bilateral and multilateral basis, through UNHCR or other humanitarian agencies,
Social class
No specific mention.

Gender

Women, girls and gender
Page 1, paragraph 3
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin
Men and boys
No specific mention.
LGBTI
No specific mention.
Family
No specific mention.

State definition

State definition
No specific mention.

Governance

Political institutions (new or reformed)
No specific mention.
Constitution's affirmation/renewal
No specific mention.
Constitutional reform/making
No specific mention.
Elections
No specific mention.
Electoral commission
No specific mention.
Political parties reform
No specific mention.
Civil society
Page 2, paragraph 2
To call upon all political structures and the supporters of the signatory parties, the military, the republican, municipal and local authorities and the inhabitants of Bosnia and Hercegovina, to cooperate with UNHCR and other international humanitarian organisations and to provide them the protection and support required for the fulfilment of their humanitarian functions,

Page 2, paragraph 3
To draw the attention of the international community to the grave economic situation in Bosnia and Hercegovina, aggravated by the prescence of close to 100,000 displaced persons in the Republic and to seek international support and cooperation both of a bilateral and multilateral basis, through UNHCR or other humanitarian agencies,
Traditional/religious leaders
No specific mention.
Public administration
No specific mention.

Power sharing

Political power sharing
No specific mention.
Territorial power sharing
No specific mention.
Economic power sharing
No specific mention.
Military power sharing
No specific mention.

Human rights and equality

Human rights/RoL
No specific mention.
Equality
Page 1, paragraph 3
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin

Page 1, paragraph 7
To adhere to the principle that the treatment of displaced persons is to be based on strictly humanitarian, non-political and non-discriminatory criteria and that the drama of displacement is not to be misused for politics or sectarian ends,
Democracy
No specific mention.
Protection measures
Protection of groups
Page 2, To call upon all political structures and the supporters of the signatory parties, the military, the republican, municipal and local authorities and the inhabitants of Bosnia and Hercegovina, to cooperate with UNHCR and other international humanitarian organisations and to provide them the protection and support required for the fulfilment of their humanitarian functions,
Human rights framework
Treaty incorporation
Page 1, paragraph 4
Pledging to promote the respect of internationally recognized human rights, including those applying to displaced persons
Civil and political rights
No specific mention.
Socio-economic rights
No specific mention.
NHRI
No specific mention.
Regional or international human rights institutions
No specific mention.
Mobility/access
No specific mention.
Detention procedures
No specific mention.
Media and communication
No specific mention.
Citizenship
No specific mention.

Justice sector reform

Criminal justice and emergency law
No specific mention.
State of emergency provisions
No specific mention.
Judiciary and courts
No specific mention.
Prisons and detention
No specific mention.
Traditional Laws
No specific mention.

Socio-economic reconstruction

Development or socio-economic reconstruction
Humanitarian assistance
Page 2, paragraph 4
To promote the strengthening of the local, established relief structures in order to ensure the efficient distribution of assistance according to non-political, non-sectarian criteria,
National economic plan
No specific mention.
Natural resources
No specific mention.
International funds
Page 1, paragraph 6
Acknowledging the deteriorating economy in the Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and the urgent need for increased assistance from the international community to alleviate the situation of the displaced and their host families
Business
No specific mention.
Taxation
No specific mention.
Banks
No specific mention.

Land, property and environment

Land reform/rights
No specific mention.
Pastoralist/nomadism rights
No specific mention.
Cultural heritage
No specific mention.
Environment
No specific mention.
Water or riparian rights or access
No specific mention.

Security sector

Security Guarantees
No specific mention.
Ceasefire
No specific mention.
Police
No specific mention.
Armed forces
No specific mention.
DDR
No specific mention.
Intelligence services
No specific mention.
Parastatal/rebel and opposition group forces
No specific mention.
Withdrawal of foreign forces
No specific mention.
Corruption
No specific mention.
Crime/organised crime
No specific mention.
Drugs
No specific mention.
Terrorism
No specific mention.

Transitional justice

Transitional justice general
Page 1, paragraph 2
Acknowledging that they were compelled to leave their homes as a result of the conflict and tensions which affect the neighbouring Republics and some areas of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and which continue to generate new displacement,

Page 1, paragraph 3
Concerned by the tragedy of tens of thousands of people, most of them women, children and the elderly, who all suffer the bitter consequences of the conflict equally, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin
Amnesty/pardon
No specific mention.
Courts
No specific mention.
Mechanism
No specific mention.
Prisoner release
No specific mention.
Vetting
No specific mention.
Victims
No specific mention.
Missing persons
No specific mention.
Reparations
No specific mention.
Reconciliation
No specific mention.

Implementation

UN signatory
Under the auspices of: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, signed by Jose Maria Mendiluce, Special Envoy of the High Commission
Other international signatory
No specific mention.
Referendum for agreement
No specific mention.
International mission/force/similar
Page 1, paragraph 9
To support the initiative to establish a tripartite commission between the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina and UNHCR to define principles, guarantees and procedures aimed at facilitating the return of displaced persons to the Republic of Croatia,

Page 2, paragraph 1
To express their gratitude and firm support to UNHCR for the role it is playing in assisting and protecting the displaced and in particular, for the initiatives being undertaken to encourage negotiation and dialogue among all relevant parties

Page 2, paragraph 2
To call upon all political structures and the supporters of the signatory parties, the military, the republican, municipal and local authorities and the inhabitants of Bosnia and Hercegovina, to cooperate with UNHCR and other international humanitarian organisations and to provide them the protection and support required for the fulfilment of their humanitarian functions,

Page 2, paragraph 3
To draw the attention of the international community to the grave economic situation in Bosnia and Hercegovina, aggravated by the prescence of close to 100,000 displaced persons in the Republic and to seek international support and cooperation both of a bilateral and multilateral basis, through UNHCR or other humanitarian agencies,
Enforcement mechanism
No specific mention.

The University of Edinburgh