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Just for Record

By Professor Raju G. C. Thomas,
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Written March 24, 1999

The US is violating a number of international laws in attacking Serbia over Kosovo which is part of a sovereign independent state.

(1) It is a violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter that prohibits the use of force against a sovereign state where it has not committed aggression on other states. Serbia did not attack any neighboring states outside its sovereign borders. The Security Council did not sanction the use of force here. If the issue had been submitted to the Security Council, it would certainly have been vetoed by Russia and China. NATO knows it and therefore bypassed it.

(2) It is a violation of NATO's own Charter which claims it is a defensive organizations and is only committed to force if one of its members is attacked. No member of NATO was attacked.

(3) The so-called Rambouillet "Agreement" (there was no "agreement" by Serbia ) is a violation of the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which forbids coercion and force to compel any state to sign a treaty or agreement. Serbia is being asked to sign this "Agreement" through NATO bombs and missiles.

(4) It is a violation of the Helsinki Accords Final Act of 1975 which guarantees the territorial frontiers of the states of Europe. What this so-called peace plan offers is (a) the severance of Kosovo through NATO bombing with immediate effect; or (b) the severance of Kosovo through NATO occupation three years later.

(5) If the sequel to the bombing is recogntion of Kosovo as an independent state, this will violate international law that prohibits recognition of provinces that unilaterally declare independence against the wishes of the federal authorities.

These unlawful actions will set precedents that will undermine stability elsewhere in the world.

***

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