CERN and the UN Embargo against Serbia and Montenegro

CERN1 , the European Laboratory of Particle Physics, in reply to questions raised by the media would like to clarify its position with regard to the resolution No 757 of the U.N. Security Council of 30 May 1992 imposing an embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). This position was adopted immediately after the embargo was announced.

Although not a direct destinee of the UN Resolution, CERN fully abides by the decision of the UN Security Council and of the international community at large, aiming at "suspending all scientific and technical cooperation and cultural exchanges and visits involving persons or groups officially sponsored by or representing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)".

To that effect:

  1. The embargo was announced 30 May 1992. 10 June 1992, Prof. Carlo Rubbia, Director General of CERN, informed in writing the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its Geneva Mission that CERN will fully comply with the United Nations resolution and that delegates from Yugoslavia were no longer invited to any of the Organization's official meetings. The former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which had been initially one of the founding Members of CERN, left the Organization in 1961 and has since had the status of Observer to CERN Council. The President of CERN Council, Sir William Mitchell, informed the delegates of the above decision in the Council meetings of June 1992.
  2. Since then CERN took the necessary measures to run down the activities of cooperation with Serbia. For example, all data communications using Computer networks were shut down. No scientific materials were sent from CERN to Serbia or vice versa. Since the embargo was announced, no CERN personnel has visited Serbia.
  3. CERN decided not to enforce the Agreements of Scientific Cooperation it had signed on 21 November 1989 and on 6 May 1991 and has consequently discontinued all cooperation with scientific institutes of Serbia and Montenegro.
  4. The U.N. Resolution specifically asks to "Suspend scientific and technical cooperation .......involving persons or groups officially sponsored or representing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)" . In January 1993 there remained 13 people with Serbian passports and access rights to CERN, out of which the embargo applies to 8. As of today 4 of these are at CERN and must leave by 28 February 1993.
  5. CERN is an open institution carrying out fundamental research in particle physics. It is CERN's tradition to promote international scientific cooperation in a non-political spirit. The 6,000 "unpaid scientific visitors" carrying out research at CERN come from at least 42 different countries. While CERN continues the policy of open international scientific collaboration CERN has not and will not ignore the unanimous will of the international community. For that reason CERN has adopted the United Nation's embargo against Serbia and Montenegro.
  6. The research carried out at CERN is fundamental research in basic science and all results are openly published in scientific journals. Military research or research directed towards military applications has never been carried out at CERN, as guaranteed by its Convention.


1. CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Yugoslavia (status suspended after UN embargo, June 1992), the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.

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