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Australia must support UN role for Yugoslavia



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Philip Ruddock MP hi

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Electorate Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739

Parliament House Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062

6 August 1991

AUSTRALIA MOST SUPPORT PH ROLE FOR YUGOSLAVIA

The Acting Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock MP, today repeated his call for action by the international community to prevent a disastrous all-out war in Yugoslavia.

With the failure of the European Community's most recent

mediating mission to Yugoslavia, a new approach must be made by the international community.

The United Nation's role in ending the plight of Kurds in Iraq shows that the United Nations can take action where it perceives serious threats to regional security which call for collective action.

The action of the French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, in calling for an emergency meeting of the nine member Western European Union (WEU) to consider sending a military force to Yugoslavia, demonstrates clearly the perception of Yugoslavia's neighbours of the threat to the security of their region.

The failure of the European Community team mission to obtain agreement from all parties to a ceasefire arrangement involving neutral observers shows that a new international initiative is needed to prevent escalation of violence.

The United Nations, following its successful role in resolving the Gulf crisis, could be given a mandate to play an important role in preventing a war that could easily spill across the borders of Yugoslavia.

The Australian Government, despite the concern of hundreds of thousands of Australians with relatives caught in the middle of the conflict, has said surprisingly little.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Evans, should make clear Australia's concern and seek international action through the framework of the United Nations to achieve mediation which can prevent the outbreak of a war which would be destructive of

life and property in the Yugoslav republics and a threat to the security of the region.

We must not wait for casualties to mount higher; reports so far of artillery barrages, and the use of tanks and military jets against Croatian villages make clear the nature of the disaster that we must take immediate action to avert.

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