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The Role of the United Nations in Stopping Genocide

Dublin Core


The Role of the United Nations in Stopping Genocide


Genocide -- Prevention.
United Nations.


Oral history video clip featuring Miki Jacevic, a survivor of the Yugoslav War. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.


Media Entertainment, Inc.


Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.


Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.




Jacevic, Miki


Tape number: 4143C


video / mp4




Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Nelson, Jane


Jacevic, Miki


Well, again, coming from a situation like Bosnia, it would be foolish for me to say yes, because they didn’t prevent genocide in my country anywhere. It happened, and all those people did die, and U.N. was present throughout. I think the U.N. force that was on the ground—UNPROFOR, it was called: United Nations Protection Force—was neither protection nor force, and that was the irony of that situation. A lot of people placed hopes into that protection force, but their mandate unfortunately was controlled by the political arguments of the Security Council and the arrangements of each individual country. And therefore, they were never able to do anything. They were there literally—by the end of the first year of their presence, all the Sarajevans were ridiculing them because we only kind of knew they were there to count how many shells hit the city that day, but they were not preventing nor protecting; nor, again, were they forcing anything in that particular situation. So in a sense, what happened with that particular United Nations force and United Nations mission to Bosnia in the years of ‘92-‘95 did not work. In a sense, direct answer to that question was no. However, at the same time, I know how many times were there a lot of political processes that were going on in the highest levels, in which a lot of people were trying to prevent United Nations from really creating powerful change. So in the military terms, they did not do much. However, in the human rights terms—and refugees. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, was another agency that, as much as the UNPROFOR and military side failed, these United Nations human rights and refugees agents and commissioners worked perfectly. They were the ones who really literally saved Sarajevo from starvation. They were the ones who made sure that all the convoys and all the help and support came, and not only in Sarajevo. They are the ones who’ve been sustaining the Palestinian refugees for fifty years now. They were the ones who created possibilities for Cambodia to go back to democracy, and all of those kinds of situations. So what I see is really that the political games and the infighting that happens on the United Nations level—not only for the situations of genocide, but for any other realm of work—have to be moved into a place and structure where the United Nations becomes strong enough that they can exercise their power in the ways that they see fit, because those are good people who have good intentions, oftentimes prevented by the way that the game is played in New York.

Original Format

Beta tape




Media Entertainment, Inc., “The Role of the United Nations in Stopping Genocide,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed August 13, 2020,