In the year 1999, the conflict in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has reached a tipping point. The Kosovo War has broken out, as Kosovo Albanians fight against their Serbian oppressors. Should NATO adhere to international law, or intervene anyway?
Topic 1 - Intervention and International Law
It has been ten years since Serbian President Slobodan Milošević began his reign of oppression against the Albanian majority of Kosovo. The Kosovo Liberation Army has resorted to violent attacks against the Yugoslav forces and Serb paramilitaries. Now we are in Brussels on March 23rd, 1999. The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, or NATO, has just been informed that peace talks to end the war in Kosovo have failed. The decisions made at this conference will decide the course of history in this volatile region. Many have suggested that it is time for NATO to take military action and commence a bombing campaign. Others say that this is a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, which states that countries cannot commit military interventions in other sovereign nations. This course of action has been predicted as aggressive, interventionist, and endangering for civilians. Milošević is committing war crimes against the Kosovar Albanians, but will NATO’s risky actions become war crimes as well?
Topic 2 - Human Rights
The violence against civilians has far passed the point of counterinsurgency against the KLA. The ethnic cleansing of the Albanians in Kosovo must be stopped. This month, the Serbians began a destructive campaign of ethnic cleansing, including murders, beatings, arbitrary detentions, lootings, and the destruction of schools, mosques, and hospitals. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced, and thousands of Albanian villages in Kosovo have been destroyed. Of course, the KLA has not been free of human rights violations, as they have kidnapped and executed Serbs. NATO leaders, particularly US President Bill Clinton, are concerned about the human rights violations, and the regional instability the conflict has posed. Delegates must determine how the human rights violations will be handled, and save the livelihoods of civilians across the region.