"In Search of Truth and Responsibility - Towards A Democratic Future"

The international conference "In Search of Truth and Responsibility - Towards A Democratic Future", held in Belgrade's Hotel Intercontinental on May 18-20 2001, was the first such opportunity to discuss these issues since the dramatic events of September 24 and October 5 2000.

The participation of a large number of experts from around the world, the Balkans region and our country was not the only reason for the importance of this conference. It also marked the launch of the long and painful process of confronting truth, examining responsibility, and ultimately working towards reconciliation in the entire region of southeast Europe. Most people in Yugoslavia and Serbia, as well as experts in the field, are more willing than ever before to face up to what has been happening in our immediate past. At the same time, public awareness is growing ever stronger that if we do not confront our past it will be impossible to bring about the necessary democratic reforms and modernisation of our society as a whole.

The varied experiences of truth and reconciliation commissions from Latin America, South Africa and Asia suggest there is no universal model for responding to the challenges of the past. Also of value are the diverse experiences of post-Communist Eastern European countries in embarking on the process of adopting democracy and confronting their own pasts, with varying degrees of success. Clearly, justice in times of transition is a notion which cannot be automatically replicated or applied.

However, there exists a consensus: namely that, in both social and political terms, one cannot strive towards a better future if burdened by the lies and concealed crimes which strike at the heart of humanity itself.

The conference "In Search of Truth and Responsibility - Towards A Democratic Future" gave us the opportunity to examine and reconsider the various ways in which truth and reconciliation commissions have worked. This in turn will have a far-reaching and profound impact on the wider public debate about this issue within Yugoslav society.

Over one hundred experts from home and abroad participated in the event, which was opened by Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and the director of the Institute for Justice in Transition, Alex Boraine.

The conference "In Search of Truth and Responsibility - Towards A Democratic Future"


Message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Vojislav Kostunica "About Truth and Reconciliation"

Veran Matic's speech at the opening of the conference

Holthuis Hans - Registrar of the ICTY, The Hague

Recommendations of the participants


Prague workshop 17 November 2001

Legislation/Terms of Reference for Truth Commission in:

El Salvador (word 26.1K)

Guatemala (word 28.2K)

Sierra Leone (word 71.8K)

South Africa (word 261K)

Final Report of the Truth Commission in:

Argentina (conclusions and recommendations only, word 30K)

Chile (summary only, word 174K)

Guatemala (conclusions and recommendations only, word 230K)

El Salvador (zip-word 240K)

Academic articles regarding the subject of transitional justice

Neil J. Kritz, Senior Scholar on the Rule of Law, United States Institute of Peace (word 201K)

Stephan Landsman, DePaul University College of Law (word 107K)

Carlos S. Nino, Professor of Law, University of Buenos Aires (word 90K)

Diane F. Orentlicher, General Counsel, International League for Human Rights (zip-word 125K)

Jose Zalaquett, Chairperson, International Human Rights Internship Program (word 58K)

Internet addresses

Argentina (In Spanish)

Argentina (In English recommendations and conclusions only)

Chile (In English and Spanish)

El Salvador (In English)

Guatemala (In Spanish)

Guatemala (In English)

South Africa (In English)

Forum B92 - Tema

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