UNITED NATIONS PREVENTIVE
Prepared by the Peace and Security Section
UNPREDEP RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
25 February 1999: UNPREDEP's mandate not renewed beyond 28 February 1999
Several delegations of Member States expressed regret as to China's veto vote, pointing towards a possible spill-over of tensions from Kosovo across the border with FYROM. UNPREDEP's host Governement, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia noted in the Council that UNPREDEP was discharging its mandate in an exemplary manner, amid a regional situation that continued to be very difficult, dangerous and unpredictable. The possibility of a new bloody war in the Balkans was a real one. The United Nations should not abandon the region, or run from trouble; rather, it should prevent it. Therefore, extending UNPREDEP's mandate would support regional efforts at peace.
Among those, the United States emphasized that FYROM made enormous strides towards democratization and economic stability, but was still confronted very real security threats.There was a distinct risk that tensions elsewhere in the region would reverberate along the border - with Kosovo being just the most recent flashpoint. Thus, the United States deemed the continued role of UNPREDEP as presently indispensable. An overall attainment of regional security - particularly during such sensitive a period - should outweigh other considerations. The Russian Federation - which had abstained from the draft, said the functions of UNPREDEP in monitoring compliance with the arms embargo should become the main component of its activity and should be highlighted in its mandate, but were not duly reflected in the final text.
The President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations voiced opinion on behalf of his nation that UNPREDEP's continued presence in FYROM was essential at the critical juncture of regional instability, particularly in neighbouring Kosovo. To date, the mission had been an unquestionable success. It was the first and still unique example of preventive deployment under United Nations auspices. According to Canada, UNPREDEP was the "sole reminder of the cost effectiveness of prevention in all aspects of international peace and security". Canada was deeply concerned that the inability of the Council to agree on mandate extension, in spite of the clear need for such, and despite the expressed will of the majority of Council members, had set a negative precedent at a critical juncture for peace and stability in the Balkans. The credibility and authority of the Council might suffer just when it was most needed in the region and beyond.
Germany - on behalf of the European Union, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Iceland and Norway - expressed the Union's support of and attachment of great importance to the role of UNPREDEP as a stabilizing and peace-promoting element in the geo-political context of the region. The Mission was the first preventive deployment force of the United Nations and viewed generally as a great success to serve as a model for future such deployments. The European Union saw the value of UNPREDEP not only in its military component and its border monitoring, but also in its civilian efforts to promote understanding among the different ethnic groups in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement after the Council vote that a new approach would have to be adopted by the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and its neighbours, in consultation with regional organizations. In his latest report before the Council vote, the Secretary-General had recommended that UNPREDEP be extended for another six-month period - through 31 August - as taken up in draft resolution S/1999/201 considered on 25 February 1999. The Force's extension was likewise requested by FYROM in letter S/1999/108 of 29 January 1999 addressed to the Secretary-General based on concern over the danger of a spill-over of the Kosovo conflict, increased tensions on the Albanian-Yugoslav border, the unstable situation in Albania itself- which burdened FYROM's efforts to prevent arms trafficking to Kosovo - and the lack of progress in the demarcation of the country's border with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
12 February 1999: As peace and security in UNPREDEP mandate area
UNPREDEP contributed successfully to preventing the spill-over of conflicts elsewhere in the region to the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia. By promoting dialogue among the various political forces and ethnic communities in the country, the mission had a stabilizing effect in the terrain. The confidence inspired by its presence has defused tensions that could have arisen as a result of the continued crisis in Kosovo. The increase in UNPREDEP's military component by 300 all ranks, authorized by Security Council resolution 1186(1998) of 21 July 1998, was completed by the beginning of January, thus bringing its strength to 1,050 troops. Pursuant to resolution 1160(1998) decided on by the Council on 31 March 1998, UNPREDEP undertook the new tasks of monitoring and reporting on illicit arms flows and other activities prohibited by that Council decision. Newly set up UNPREDEPmobile reaction teams responded to sighted smuggling activities by moving quickly to continue observation and provided more accurate information on whether arms, ammunition or explosives were involved. On average, UNPREDEP military personnel conducted some 400 patrols per week, including 300 border and community patrols, established 80 temporary observation posts (from 3 to 24 hours), and conducted 15 helicopter patrols. The civilian police monitors, in addition, conducted approximately 100 patrols per week.
18 December 1998: Fernando Valenzuela-Marzo (Spain) appointed
30 November 1998: UNPREDEP troop strength and contributors
24 October 1998: Security Council demands full compliance by Belgrade
24 August 1998: Security Council calls for end of violence in Kosovo;
On 24 August, the Council also considered the 5 August report of the Secretary-General on the Kosovo situation S/1998/712 , which stated that, while all organizations contacted had stated readiness to contribute actively to the monitoring of the prohibitions imposed by resolution 1160(1998) , the overall resources pledged by them would not allow for the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring regime as envisaged in the resolution. Nonetheless, their proposed contributions, coupled with that of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP), would provide a useful framework for reporting on violations of the prohibitions and for assisting the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1160(1998) in discharging its mandate. The Committee, consisting of all Council members, was established to facilitate implementation of the arms embargo.
The report noted that Council resolution 1186(1998) of 21 July 1998 had authorized an increase in the troop strength of the UNPREDEP and an extension of its current mandate for a further six months, until 28 February 1999, including the tasks of monitoring the border areas and reporting to the Secretary-General on illicit arms flows and other activities prohibited under resolution 1160(1998) . In the absence of an integrated coordinating mechanism, representatives of participating organizations, UNPREDEP and the Secretariat were to exchange information on the monitoring of those prohibitions.
21 July 1998: Resolution 1186(1998) increases UNPREDEP troop strength
14 July 1998: Secretary-General report on UNPREDEP
The Secretary-General recommended thus that the Security Council consider the extension of UNPREDEP's mandate for a further period of six months, until 28 February 1999. In view of the constraints placed on UNPREDEP in monitoring and reporting on developments along the borders, including the Kosovo stretch of the border, the Council might also consider increasing UNPREDEP's troop level by 350 all ranks. The majority of these troops, 230 in total, would be deployed at nine new permanently manned observation posts in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia along the Kosovo (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) and Albanian borders. The troops would, in accordance with resolution 795 (1992), monitor and report on developments in the border areas, including those developments that would have a bearing on the implementation of the relevant provisions of resolution 1160(1998) . A reserve of two platoons composed of approximately 60 soldiers would perform limited ground and air patrolling duties. Due to the important confidence-building role played by the military observer and the civilian police elements of UNPREDEP, the Security Council might consider increasing their strength by an additional twelve and twenty-four personnel respectively. The strengthened military observers and civilian police elements would intensify community and border patrols as well as monitoring and reporting of the situation at border crossing stations.
15 June 1998: NATO air exercises over FYROM aim at assisting the country
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