Tuesday, August 12, 2008

YATA Board Statement on the Conflict in Georgia

The International Board of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association is gravely concerned about the current situation in the Caucasus. Together with our friends in the region, we grieve for the victims of this avoidable conflict and strongly urge the importance of peaceful relations in the region. The ongoing conflict illustrates the futility of unilateral and illegal force as a means to resolve conflict and is fundamentally contrary to universal respect of human rights embraced by the Atlantic Community and international legal norms.

The territorial sovereignty of each nation must universally respected, as a principle of the United Nations Charter in accordance with international law. Respect for minorities, human rights, and pluralism are the core of a stable and democratic country and paramount values of the Atlantic Community. We call all those that are fighting to refrain from the needless killing and to engage in an extensive dialogue with their counterparts to overcome mistrust, anger and the mutually defeating accusations that have lead to the current violence.

Even in the present situation, the youth of Georgia, South and North Ossetia, Abkahzia and Russia, have shown their unwavering commitment to peace through dialogue, to halt the deadly use of force by the parties involved. The YATA Board urges these young leaders to take on this challenge with patience and passion, to ensure that a democratic and stable future can be secured in the region.

YATA reaffirms its steadfast commitment to stability, dialogue, and the protection of human rights, especially when they are threatened by fruitless violence. We will do everything is in our hands to help our fellow young leaders to convince current leaders and national communities that differences must be overcome through dialogue and trust, not fighting and killing.

In the spirit of the YATA family and in sympathy and friendship with our young partners in the Caucasus who wish to live in a peaceful and democratic country, we call on their leaders to respect the will and values of the people whose future they are fighting for, to cease their actions and to work with the international community and international institutions to seek a long-term peace.

The YATA Board

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