Setting up RECOM (the Regional Commission for the Establishment of Facts on War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia), and completing its mission by the end of 2025, requires the political will of the leaders of the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
The Coalition for RECOM has prepared a road map – the Action Plan for the setting up of the commission and for the commencement of its work. The prerequisite for the road map is the demonstrated commitment of the leaders of post-Yugoslav countries to reconciliation in region.
To facilitate this process, the Coalition for RECOM announces the strengthening of a regional reconciliation network.
The year 2025 is foreseen as a possible milestone in the relations between the European Union and the Western Balkans. However, EU representatives clearly state that they will not "import conflicts", and insist on establishing good neighbourly relations and reconciliation as a precondition for sustainable regional security and co-operation. In the Action Plan for the Implementation of the New Strategy for the Western Balkans, the establishment of RECOM is explicitly stated as being the Measure (6.1) needed for progress in this area.
The reason for this is that fact-finding related to the victims of war, missing persons and places of detention is necessary for progress in the process of institutional and social reconciliation in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Without the establishment of these facts, the suffering of the victims and their rights will remain unrecognized and the fates of the missing persons remain unknown, and post-Yugoslav societies will move away from establishing the rule of law and a culture of remembrance, respect and solidarity. Although there has been progress in establishing the facts through the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as well as through the efforts of civil society, it is still necessary that this important work be continued through the work of the intergovernmental regional commission RECOM, which will put the “state seal” on the facts established.
Since 2006, a group of civil society organizations from the former SFRY has been developing a network to support domestic war crimes trials and to jointly establish the facts about war crimes and war victims. To that end, in 2008, the Coalition for the establishment of the official Regional Commission for the Establishment of Facts on War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations in the Territory of Former Yugoslavia was created, which includes more than 2,200 organizations and individuals – the advocates of RECOM. The long-standing advocacy for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Commission (RECOM) has resulted in the inclusion of the leaders of the post-Yugoslav countries, some of whom had political roles in the 1990s, into the process of civil society. They now support the idea of an official regional census of war victims and the establishment of facts about war crimes as conditions for regional cooperation and reconciliation. Also, more than 580,000 citizens from all the post-Yugoslav countries have affirmed their support for the Initiative for the Establishment of RECOM with their signatures.
In the current situation characterised by pronounced extremism and revisionism in all post-Yugoslav countries, the Coalition for RECOM will focus on strengthening the regional civil society network for reconciliation, researching human losses in the wars of the nineties (in support of the regional census of war victims), getting all the leaders of the post-Yugoslav countries to sign the Declaration on the Establishment of RECOM at the summit of the Berlin Process in London in July 2018, or by the end of 2019 at the latest, and thus begin the process of setting up this regional commission.
If the steps envisaged by the RECOM Roadmap are fulfilled within the deadlines, RECOM can already be established by June 2020, begin its work in April 2022, and complete its mission by the end of 2025, the year foreseen in the new EU Strategy for the Western Balkans.
Coalition for RECOM
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