The Security Council decided this afternoon to establish a transitional administration and peace-keeping operation to help with the demilitarization and eventual peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium into Croatia's legal and constitutional system. In another action, it authorized United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula for three months.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council decided, by unanimously adopting resolution 1037 (1996), to establish for an initial 12-month period the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), as referred to in the Basic Agreement on the region signed on 12 November 1995 between the Croatian Government and local Serbs.
The mission, with civilian and military components, would have an initial deployment of 5,000 troops, the Council decided. Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations, may take all necessary measures, including close air support to defend or help withdraw UNTAES, it decided. Such actions would be based on UNTAES' request and procedures communicated to the United Nations. The Council also requested UNTAES and the multinational implementation force (IFOR) to cooperate with each other and with the High Representative.
By the terms of the resolution, the Secretary-General will appoint a transitional administrator who would have overall authority over both of the mission's components and exercise the authority given to the administration in the Basic Agreement. The administrator will be appointed in consultation with the Council and the parties to the Agreement.
The Council also decided that the region's demilitarization, as provided in the Basic Agreement, shall be completed in 30 days from the date that the Secretary-General informs the Council, based on the transitional administrator's assessment, that UNTAES' military component had been deployed and is ready for its task. It also decided that, no later than 14 days after
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the date on which demilitarization was due to be completed, it would review whether the parties had shown a willingness to implement the Basic Agreement, taking into account the parties' actions and information from the Secretary- General.
The UNTAES' mandate would be reconsidered by the Council if it got a report from the Secretary-General at any time stating that the parties had significantly failed to comply with their obligations under the Basic Agreement, according to the resolution. The parties were called upon to comply strictly with the Agreement obligations and cooperate with UNTAES. The Council strongly urged them to refrain from unilateral actions that could hinder the handover from the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia (UNCRO) to UNTAES or Basic Agreement's implementation. It also encouraged them to continue adopting confidence-building measures to promote an environment of mutual trust.
Under the resolution adopted today, the Council decided that UNTAES shall monitor the parties commitment to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and promote an atmosphere of confidence among all local residents irrespective of their ethnic origin. It would also monitor and help in demining in the region.
The military component of UNTAES, the Council decided, would supervise and help in the demilitarization as undertaken by the parties, monitor the voluntary and safe return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, contribute to the maintenance of peace and security and assist in the Basic Agreement's implementation.
The civilian component, the Council decided, would establish and train a temporary police force, monitor the treatment of offenders and the prison system, carry out civil administration tasks and restore public services. It would also organize, help conduct and certify the results of elections and help coordinate plans for the region's development and economic reconstruction.
The Security Council called upon States and the international financial institutions to support efforts to promote the region's development and economic reconstruction by the resolution. It underlined the relationship between the parties' fulfilment of their Basic Agreement commitments and the international community's readiness to commit financial resources for such efforts.
The Council further stressed that UNTAES shall cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in performing its mandate, and reaffirmed that all States shall cooperate with the Tribunal and its organs and comply with requests for help or order issued by a Trial Chamber of the Tribunal.
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Also this afternoon, the Council adopted resolution 1038 (1996), thus authorizing United Nations military observers to continue the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula for a period of three months, to be extended for an additional three months upon a report by the Secretary-General that an extension would continue to help decrease tension there.
In that context, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit to it by 15 March, a report on the situation in the Prevlaka peninsula as well as on the progress made by Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) towards a peaceful settlement of their differences. The report should also examine the possibility that the existing mandate be extended or that another international organization might assume the task of monitoring the demilitarization of the peninsula.
The Council further requested the United Nations military observers and IFOR to cooperate fully with each other.
On 30 September 1992, Presidents of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) signed a Joint Declaration which reaffirmed their agreement concerning the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula.
During today's Council meeting, statements were made by the representatives of Croatia, Italy, Egypt, China, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Chile, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Guinea-Bissau, Botswana, Poland, Germany, United States, France and the United Kingdom. Vladislav Jovanovic also addressed the Council.
The meeting, called to order at 3:54 p.m., was adjourned at 5:54 p.m.
Secretary-General's Report; Letters on Prevlaka Peninsula
The Security meets this afternoon to consider implementation of the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium which was signed on 12 November 1995 between the Government of Croatia and local Serbs.
In his report on the aspects of establishing a transitional administration and transitional peace-keeping force to implement relevant provisions of the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (S/1995/1028), the Secretary-General states that a Chapter VII mandate governing a mechanized division of two brigades, with combat capability, air support and a strong armoured reserve would be required to keep peace and security there. That means 9,300 combat and 2,000 logistics troops. Such a force would best be entrusted to a coalition of Member States, rather than to the United Nations, he adds.
"Anything less than a well-armed division-sized force would only risk repeating the failures of the recent past", the Secretary-General states. "The concept of deterrence by mere presence, as attempted in the `safe areas' in Bosnia and Herzegovina, would be no likelier to succeed on this occasion. Should there be a mismatch between the international force's mandate and its resources, there would be a risk of failure, of international casualties, and of undermined credibility for those who had put the force in the field.
According to the Secretary-General, the Agreement implies tasks that would require substantial military assets to implement. The demilitarization of the region according to the Agreement's schedule needs a military presence with combat capability to encourage confidence and deter external intervention. The Serb-controlled area exhibits elements of lawlessness and a fear of Croatian military and police action. The Croatian Government has stated its readiness to reintegrate the territory militarily. With such a background, only a substantial force could generate the mutual confidence needed for the parties to take the steps required of them under the Basic Agreement.
The Secretary-General recalls that the past record of the parties to the Basic Agreement in honouring their commitments is not encouraging. Also, with the Agreement's imprecise nature and risk of differing interpretations, ready compliance could not be assumed. Any force deployed must have the means to take actions needed to maintain peace and security, must be sufficiently credible to deter attack from any side and must be able to defend itself.
Expressing the view that the deployment and command of the force would best be entrusted to a coalition of Member States rather than to the United Nations, the Secretary-General says that if Member States agree to deploy a multinational force, it should be attached to the implementation force
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deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council could authorize Member States to establish such a force.
However, he adds, if the Council instead accepts some Member States' preference for the Agreement to be implemented by the United Nations, its force should have a Chapter VII mandate, a combat capability and air support. Arguing that the United Nations would find it hard to assemble and deploy such a force in the time-frame envisaged by the parties, he expresses reservations about the Organization's present ability to undertake such an enforcement operation. Still, the Council had the option of entrusting the operation to a United Nations force.
He cautions that the mission will not succeed without active and sustained political support from the Council, particularly from the Member States that had played a vital part concluding the Basic Agreement, as well as the immediate provision by Members States of troops and guarantees of adequate funding.
The Basic Agreement, the Secretary-General notes, also requests the Security Council to set up a transitional administration to govern the region for an initial period of 12 months, which could be extended to two years at the request of one of the parties. The transitional administration would, among other tasks, ensure the possibility of the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, help establish and train temporary police forces, organize local elections and monitor the international border to facilitate the free movement of persons at border crossings.
As emphasized in Council resolution 1023 (1995) of 22 November 1995, the transitional administration is meant to help reintegrate the region peacefully into Croatia's legal and constitutional system after four years of war, hostility, fear and distrust between the Croatian Government and local Serbs. The region's demographic composition has changed since 1991, with an estimated 70,000 Croats and others leaving and some 75,000 Serbs, mostly refugees from other parts of Croatia, moving in.
The current United Nations presence in Eastern Slavonia consists of two battalions of the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia (UNCRO), totalling some 1,600 troops and, 48 military observers, 16 civilian police and 20 civilian staff, among others.
The Basic Agreement envisages an international force to keep the peace and ensure the area's demilitarization 30 days after deployment. For that, two brigades would be required. Once fully deployed, the international force could help collect, destroy or dispose of the military weapons of the region's other forces, disband existing armed groups and maintain peace and security. The Secretary-General stressed that his military advisers had firmly
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recommended that two well-armed brigades, operating under Chapter VII of the Charter, is the minimum strength needed to implement the Basic Agreement and deter attacks from other forces in the region. "A force at this level would be capable of ensuring security in the region during the transitional period and supervising demilitarization through a visible, credible presence", he adds. It should have sufficient combat power and robust rules of engagement to enforce compliance if required.
Going further, he says that his military advisers did not consider feasible lighter options, with smaller forces operating under a Chapter VI mandate. The force, which could include UNCRO troops now in Sector East, would take 180 days to deploy if it was to be a United Nations force. When the force would become operational, demilitarization would start and should be completed in 30 days.
By the end of the transitional period, the Secretary-General continues, the region should be demilitarized and under Croatian Government control, with displaced persons enjoying the right of return. The Basic Agreement asks the Council to establish a transitional administration to run the region in the transitional period. For that, the Secretary-General proposes that the administration be led by the "transitional administrator", a United Nations official working under and reporting to him. A United Nations force would be under the administrator's authority.
Regarding the administration's structure, the Secretary-General proposes that it should have a transitional council, chaired by the administrator. The council would include a representative each of Croatia's Government, local Serbs, local Croats and other local minorities. It would be solely advisory, with executive power in the hands of the administrator who would set up implementation committees on the police, civil administration, the return of displaced persons and elections.
The Secretary-General asks the Security Council to authorize the establishment of the transitional council and implementation committees.
Writing on other aspects of the UNCRO mandate, the Secretary-General recommends that the monitoring of the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula in accordance with Council resolution 779 (1992) continue. Depending on the Council's decisions on the arrangements for implementing the Basic Agreement, he will determine whether this United Nations military observer operation should be directed from Croatia or from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the interim, the United Nations military observers will continue to report to the headquarters of the United Nations Peace Forces at Zagreb until such time as he has been able to recommend definitive changes in the structure of the United Nations presence in the former Yugoslavia. Given the dimensions of the "Blue Zone" in Prevlaka and the "Yellow Zone", which
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encompasses a demilitarized zone of five kilometres on either side of the tripartite border, and the need to establish a small local headquarters because of the isolation of the area, he recommends that the authorized strength of this United Nations military observer operation be increased from 14 to 28. That would permit it to be self-sufficient, to more reliably patrol the areas concerned and to maintain UNCRO's present liaison teams in Dubrovnik and Herzeg Novi.
A letter dated 22 December 1995 from the Chargé d'affaires of the Yugoslav Permanent Mission (S/1995/1059) transmits a letter from the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to the Council President. In his letter, the Prime Minister says that a territorial dispute exists between his country and Croatia in the Prevlaka peninsula in B_ka Kotorska Bay. The dispute's existence had been noted by the two sides in Dubrovnik on 25 April 1995. The legal status of the disputed part of the territory, encompassing Cape Oštri and a part of the Prevlaka hinterland, was regulated by the joint declarations of the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and of Croatia of 30 September and 20 October 1992 and Council resolutions 779 (1992) and 981 (1995).
Invoking relevant resolutions and reports of the Secretary-General, the letter tells the Council that the dispute with Croatia in the peninsula has not been solved and requests the Council to call upon Croatia to find a peaceful diplomatic solution. Pending such a solution and due to the possibility of different interpretations of resolutions 779 (1992) and 981 (1995), the Prime Minister asks the Council to decide that the United Nations monitoring mission in the disputed area continue its activities until a peaceful solution was achieved.
In a letter dated 10 January to the Council President (S/1996/13), Croatia's Permanent Representative says his country cannot accept the claim by the above letter that there is a "territorial dispute" between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in the Prevlaka peninsula in Croatia.
Croatia, he says, would support a continued deployment of United Nations military observers in the Prevlaka peninsula in Croatia, if such a deployment will be a short-term arrangement, until, as proposed by Croatia, the United Nations arrangement is replaced by a regional one. Croatia is committed to confidence-building measures in the peninsula area, including its full demilitarization on both sides of the international border, and to other aspects of preventive diplomacy based on the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It supports further talks with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) on such issues as maritime passage for vessels using the Boka Kotarska harbour in the area.
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The Council also has before it a draft resolution (document S/1996/23) sponsored by France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States, which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its earlier relevant resolutions, and in particular its resolutions 1023 (1995) of 22 November 1995 and 1025 (1995) of 30 November 1995,
"Reaffirming once again its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia and emphasizing in this regard that the territories of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium are integral parts of the Republic of Croatia,
"Stressing the importance it attaches to full respect for human rights and fundamental freedom of all in those territories,
"Expressing its support for the Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (S/1995/951, annex), signed on 12 November 1995 between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the local Serbian community (the Basic Agreement),
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 13 December 1995 (S/1995/1028*),
"Stressing the importance it places on mutual recognition among the successor States to the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, within their internationally recognized borders,
"Desiring to support the parties in their effort to provide for a peaceful settlement of their disputes, and thus to contribute to achievement of peace in the region as a whole,
"Stressing the obligations of Member States to meet all their commitments to the United Nations in relation to the United Nations peace- keeping operations in the former Yugoslavia,
"Determining that the situation in Croatia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Determined to ensure the security and freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations peace-keeping operation in the Republic of Croatia, and to these ends, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the
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"1. Decides to establish for an initial period of 12 months a United Nations peace-keeping operation for the Region referred to in the Basic Agreement, with both military and civilian components, under the name 'United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium' (UNTAES);
"2. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint, in consultation with the parties and with the Security Council, a Transitional Administrator, who will have overall authority over the civilian and military components of UNTAES, and who will exercise the authority given to the Transitional Administration in the Basic Agreement;
"3. Decides that the demilitarization of the Region, as provided in the Basic Agreement, shall be completed within 30 days from the date the Secretary-General informs the Council, based on the assessment of the Transitional Administrator, that the military component of UNTAES has been deployed and is ready to undertake its mission;
"4. Requests the Secretary-General to report monthly to the Council, the first such report to be Submitted within one week after the date on which the demilitarization is scheduled to be completed pursuant to paragraph 3 above, regarding the activities of UNTAES and the implementation of the Basic Agreement by the parties;
"5. Strongly urges the parties to refrain from any unilateral actions which could hinder the handover from UNCRO to UNTAES or the implementation of the Basic Agreement and encourages them to continue to adopt confidence- building measures to promote an environment of mutual trust;
"6. Decides that, no later than 14 days after the date on which demilitarization is scheduled to be completed pursuant to paragraph 3 above, it will review whether the parties have shown a willingness to implement the Basic Agreement, taking into consideration the parties' actions and information provided to the Council by the Secretary-General;
"7. Calls upon the parties to comply strictly with their obligations under the Basic Agreement and to cooperate fully with UNTAES;
"8. Decides to reconsider the mandate of UNTAES if at any time it receives a report from the Secretary-General that the parties have significantly failed to comply with their obligations under the Basic Agreement;
"9. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council no later
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than 15 December 1996 on UNTAES and the implementation of the Basic Agreement and expresses its readiness to review the situation in the light of that report and to take appropriate action;
"10. Decides that the military component of UNTAES shall consist of a force with an initial deployment of up to 5,000 troops which will have the following mandate:
"(a) To supervise and facilitate the demilitarization as undertaken by the parties to the Basic Agreement, according to the schedule and procedures to be established by UNTAES;
"(b) To monitor the voluntary and safe return of refugees and displaced persons to their home of origin in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as provided for in the Basic Agreement;
"(c) To contribute, by its presence, to the maintenance of peace and security in the region; and
"(d) Otherwise to assist in implementation of the Basic Agreement;
"11. Decides that, consistent with the objectives and functions set out in paragraphs 12 to 17 of the Secretary-General's report of 13 December 1995, the civilian component of UNTAES shall have the following mandate:
"(a) To establish a temporary police force, define its structure and size, develop a training programme and oversee its implementation, and monitor treatment of offenders and the prison system, as quickly as possible, as set out in paragraph 16 (a) of the Secretary-General's report;
"(b) To undertake tasks relating to civil administration as set out in paragraph 16 (b) of the Secretary-General's report;
"(c) To undertake tasks relating to the functioning of public services as set out in paragraph 16 (c) of the Secretary-General's report;
"(d) To facilitate the return of refugees as set out in paragraph 16 (e) of the Secretary-General's report;
"(e) To organize elections, to assist in their conduct, and to certify the results as set out in paragraph 16 (g) of the Secretary-General's report and in paragraph 12 of the Basic Agreement; and
"(f) To undertake the other activities described in the Secretary- General's report, including assistance in the coordination of plans for the development and economic reconstruction of the Region, and those described in
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paragraph 12 below;
"12. Decides that UNTAES shall also monitor the parties' compliance with their commitment, as specified in the Basic Agreement, to respect the highest standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms, promote an atmosphere of confidence among all local residents irrespective of their ethnic origin, monitor and facilitate the demining of territory within the Region, and maintain an active public affairs element;
"13. Calls upon the Government of the Republic of Croatia to include UNTAES and the United Nations Liaison Office in Zagreb in the definition of 'United Nations Peace Forces and Operations in Croatia' in the present Status of Forces Agreement with the United Nations and requests the Secretary-General to confirm urgently, and no later than the date referred to in paragraph 3 above, on whether this has been done;
"14. Decides that Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, may, at the request of UNTAES and on the basis of procedures communicated to the United Nations, take all necessary measures, including close air support, in defence of UNTAES and, as appropriate, to assist in the withdrawal of UNTAES;
"15. Requests that UNTAES and the multinational implementation force (IFOR) authorized by the Council in resolution 1031 (1995) of 15 December 1995 cooperate, as appropriate, with each other, as well as with the High Representative;
"16. Calls upon the parties to the Basic Agreement to cooperate with all agencies and organizations assisting in the activities related to implementation of the Basic Agreement, consistent with the mandate of UNTAES;
"17. Requests all international organizations and agencies active in the Region to coordinate closely with UNTAES;
"18. Calls upon States and international financial institutions to support and cooperate with efforts to promote the development and economic reconstruction of the Region;
"19. Underlines the relationship between the fulfilment by the parties of their commitments in the Basic Agreement and the readiness of the international community to commit financial resources for reconstruction and development;
"20. Reaffirms that all States shall cooperate fully with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and its organs in accordance with the provisions of resolution 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993 and the Statute of
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the International Tribunal and shall comply with requests for assistance or orders issued by a Trial Chamber under article 29 of the Statute;
"21. Stresses that UNTAES shall cooperate with the International Tribunal in the performance of its mandate, including with regard to the protection of the sites identified by the Prosecutor and persons conducting investigations for the International Tribunal;
"22. Requests the Secretary-General to submit for consideration by the Council at the earliest possible date a report on the possibilities for contributions from the host country in offsetting the costs of the operation;
"23. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
Also before the Council was another draft resolution (document (S/1996/24), which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its earlier relevant resolutions, and in particular its resolutions 779 (1992) of 6 October 1992, 981 (1995) of 31 March 1995, and 1025 (1995) of 30 November 1995,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 13 December 1995 (S/1995/1028*),
"Reaffirming once again its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia,
"Noting the Joint Declaration signed at Geneva on 30 September 1992 by the Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which reaffirmed their agreement concerning the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, emphasizing the contribution that this demilitarization has made to the decrease of tension in the region, and stressing the need for the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to agree on a settlement which would peacefully resolve their differences,
"Stressing the importance it places on mutual recognition among the successor States to the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, within their internationally recognized borders,
"Determining that the situation in Croatia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"1. Authorizes the United Nations military observers to continue
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monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula in accordance with resolutions 779 (1992) and 981 (1995) and paragraphs 19 and 20 of the report of the Secretary-General of 13 December 1995 for a period of three months, to be extended for an additional period of three months upon a report by the Secretary-General that such extension would continue to contribute to the decrease of tension there;
"2. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council by 15 March 1996 a report for its early consideration on the situation in the Prevlaka peninsula as well as on progress made by the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia towards a settlement which would peacefully resolve their differences, and on the possibility that the existing mandate be extended or that another international organization may assume the task of monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula;
"3. Requests the United Nations military observes and the multinational implementation force (IFOR) authorized by the Council in resolution 1031 (1995) of 15 December 1995 to cooperate fully with each other;
"4. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
VLADIMIR DROBNJAK (Croatia) said that one of the drafts before the Council aimed to achieve a goal by means consistent with the objectives of the Croatian Government -- a peaceful, timely and complete reintegration of the region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium with the rest of Croatia. Paragraph 10 of the draft resolution would ratify the statement of the Secretary-General that the objective of the transitional administration was to achieve a peaceful reintegration. Croatia understood that the draft resolution showed the Council's determination to actively restore Croatian sovereignty to the region.
The demilitarization aspect of the UNTAES mandate was the most crucial element for its success, he said. Any resistance to it in the leadership ranks of the local Serbs could be overcome by creating a programme of second country resettlements for local occupation leaders and by an active role on the part of the Belgrade Government. That could begin with an immediate withdrawal of the Yugoslav regular and paramilitary troops and assets from the region. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) must also move to recognize Croatia's internationally recognized borders. Croatia was ready to do likewise. Mutual recognition offered the two countries numerous benefits to resolve the outstanding issues between them.
Croatia supported the appointment of General Jacques Klein as the transitional administrator for the region and would cooperate with him, the
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delegate said. The momentum created by the rapid and assertive implementation of the IFOR mandate could benefit the demilitarization aspect of the UNTAES mandate. A diverse and nationally balanced force, with the core and command in the hands of countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), similar to IFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was also more likely to achieve the desired results in Croatia. Croatia welcomed any form of linkage between UNTAES and IFOR.
Stressing the importance of operative paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of the draft resolution on the region, he said that Croatia interpreted them to mean that the Council would end the UNTAES mandate if the demilitarization aspect was not achieved and at any time in the future if any other significant aspects of the mandate failed to be implemented, especially if the 126,000 non-Serb refugees and displaced persons were not able to return to the region in a timely manner.
He expressed support the other draft resolution, on the Prevlaka peninsula, stating that it opened the door to establishing a new monitoring arrangement in the area and recognized the peninsula as an integral part of Croatia. The peninsula question could not be regarded as a border dispute. The delineation of the international border in the area was well known and confirmed by the Badinter Commission. Nevertheless, Croatia was ready to continue to explore all possible ways to peacefully resolve existing problems in the area, centred not on Prevlaka but on the Boka Kotorska harbour in the area. "Croatia supports the view that access to the harbour in the Republic of Montenegro should be harmless."
VLADISLAV JOVANOVIC said the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium provided a solid groundwork for full respect and protection of the Serb people in the region, guaranteeing them peace, freedom and equality. The outstanding questions could be resolved only by peaceful and political means if all parties demonstrated willingness to be flexible and readiness to compromise.
He emphasized that under the Basic Agreement, the Council had undertaken the responsibility to guarantee peace and stability in Eastern Slavonia in the transitional period to protect and ensure the equality of all citizens and the protection of their human rights, including those of the refugees and other persons who chose to return to Eastern Slavonia.
Commending the conclusions in the Secretary-General's report, he said he expected the United Nations forces to contribute to the full implementation of the Agreement. A sufficient number of soldiers should be dispatched to Eastern Slavonia in order to enable the United Nations to fulfil all its tasks. Should that not be the case, both United Nations credibility and the efficient implementation of the Agreement would be at stake. The successful
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implementation of the Agreement should create the necessary conditions for the development of the region and ensure stability, which would eventually generate calm among the citizens.
The transitional authority, enjoying the trust of the population, should take control of, and enhance all existing public services and administration, he continued. it was imperative that the proportionality of the ethnic structure of the region be maintained in the number of persons employed, especially in the police and judicial system. The primary responsibility for the full implementation of the Basic Agreement lay with the two sides which signed the Agreement.
It was essential, he said, that confidence-building measures be urgently established and the full security of the local population ensured. Only then could the peaceful demilitarization of the region be carried out. Any departure from the signed Agreement would generate additional tensions and problems with unforeseeable consequences. The implementation of the Agreement, as well as mutual confidence-building could not be ensured by non- compliance and gross violations of human rights, sending of false signals, destruction of the property belonging to the other side, violation of the Security Council resolutions -- in short, by embracing a behavior that was unacceptable and contrary to the new spirit of relations prevailing after Dayton and Paris.
He went on to say that conditions had been created for the resolution of other outstanding questions in a new atmosphere. One of those issues was Prevlaka because access to the Montenegrin Bay of Boka Kotorski was fully controlled from the Prevlaka peninsula. At stake was a classic territorial dispute. The Croatian side in negotiations that had taken place as early as 1991 with representatives of the Republic of Montenegro, in principle had accepted the possibility that the dispute could be resolved through the tripartite exchange of territory between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Bosnian Serbs and Croatia. Having decided to demilitarize Prevlaka, the two sides had concurred that the general security of the Boka Kotorska Bay and Dubrovnik was to be solved through further negotiations. The Agreement was confirmed by Security Council resolution 779 (1992) by which the United Nations resumed responsibility for monitoring the agreed arrangements and the observance of the United Nations security regime pending the reaching of a peaceful solution to the contentious issue.
During the peace negotiations in Dayton, the delegation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) had done its utmost to reach a negotiated solution to the dispute, he said. However, after the Dayton agreement, the Croatian side had called into question the agreed arrangements in a number of public statements of high-ranking officials.
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Recently, he said the Republic of Croatia had began to deny that what was at stake was a territorial dispute on Prevlaka. The international community, nevertheless, had noted there was a territorial dispute the moment the Security Council had decided to deploy the United Nations military observers with the mandate of monitoring the demilitarization. Further presence of the United Nations troops would be the best guarantor if misunderstandings and new problems were to be avoided.
He expressed confidence that the question of Prevlaka could be resolved peacefully. His country was ready to continue to negotiate with Croatia, on the condition that the other side approached the problem in a responsible manner.
LORENZO FERRARIN (Italy), also speaking for the European Union, said the draft resolution reaffirmed once again the Council's commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Croatia, and emphasized that Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium were integral parts of that country. Those were principles that the European Union had consistently supported. The parties -- the Government of Croatia and the local Serb community -- were responsible for scrupulously fulfilling their commitments under the Agreement. The UNTAES had the task of helping them face up to that responsibility and overcoming the distrust and rancor provoked by a long and painful conflict. Thus, according to today's drafts, the parties must cooperate fully with UNTAES. That cooperation was necessary for the success of the operation.
He went on to underline the particular importance of paragraph 12 of the draft resolution, which related to respect for human rights and fundamental freedom and the promotion of an atmosphere of confidence among all local residents irrespective of their ethnic origins. The observance of those commitments would have a decisive impact on the implementation of the Basic Agreement. He also underlined the importance of paragraph 14, which authorized member States to take -- at the request of UNTAES -- all necessary measures, including close air support, in defence of UNTAES, and, as appropriate, to assist in its withdrawal. Paragraph 15 requested that UNTAES and IFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina cooperate with each other as well as with the High Representative, acknowledging the close relationship that existed between the two theatres of operation. Those were two essential measures to guarantee the security of UNTAES personnel, preventing the repetition of incidents that had caused the deaths of peace-keepers which were incompatible with the dignity and credibility of the United Nations, and thus must be avoided at all costs.
The European Union, he said, would welcome today's simultaneous adoption of a technical draft resolution that would authorize the United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka
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Peninsula. The continued presence of the United Nations observers on the peninsula was essential to prevent an increase in tensions there, and for the success of the talks currently under way between the Governments of Croatia and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) for a settlement which would peacefully resolve their differences. Today's draft resolution on Eastern Slavonia represented an important stage of the peace process in the area of the former Yugoslavia -- a process that allowed a look at the future of that region with greater confidence and optimism. The European Union urged the Secretary-General to ensure the earliest deployment of the new peace-keeping operation in Eastern Slavonia, in order to facilitate the full implementation of the Basic Agreement, and called on Member States to act accordingly.
"Only the consolidation of peace in Eastern Slavonia and its gradual and peaceful reintegration into the political, economic and administrative system of Croatia can promote the development and economic reconstruction of that region", he said. The European Union was ready to assume an important role, without losing sight of the relationship between the fulfilment by the parties of their commitments in the Basic Agreement and the readiness of the international community to commit financial resources for reconstruction and development.
NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt) said he would vote in favour of both drafts before the Council. He reaffirmed his Government's full support for the Basic Agreement. He had studied the Secretary-General's report and had heard the report of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, both of which were encouraging in relation to today's draft resolution. He emphasized the need to display flexibility in implementing the provisions of the draft resolution, including providing the administrator with the ability to recommend an increase in staff. Cooperation between UNTAES and the International Tribunal would be of utmost importance, he said.
He said the extent of the success of UNTAES would depend on the commitment of all parties to implement the Basic Agreement and the current draft resolution in good faith. The United Nations would bear a major burden following the adoption of the draft . The Secretary-General and the administrator should make further efforts to urge States to contribute forces. He stressed the need to achieve a balance between NATO and non-NATO nations in UNTAES.
Regarding the draft resolution on the Prevlaka peninsula, he said he looked forward to an agreement on a peaceful settlement so that the Council would not have to renew the mandate or another multinational organization would not have to assume the task of monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula.
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QIN HUASUN (China) said considering the need of the parties concerned in Croatia and also considering that the United Nations should do all it could to support the political settlement process in Croatia, China would give positive consideration to the request made in the Basic Agreement and vote in favour of both resolutions.
The political will and cooperation of the parties concerned was the precondition for any United Nations peace-keeping operation and the basis for its success. Therefore, he urged the two parties concerned to closely cooperate with the international community in implementing the Basic Agreement so as to ensure success of the United Nations peace-keeping operation to be deployed. The main task of the transitional administration was to assist the parties in implementing the Basic Agreement and its action should, therefore, be strictly limited to what was requested in the Agreement.
"We are never in favour of enforcement actions by invoking Chapter VII of the Charter on the question of deploying peace-keeping operations", he went on. At present, the two Croatian parties had clearly pledged cooperation and the military component of the transitional administration would be mainly engaged in monitoring and assisting demilitarization." Under such circumstances, it is not necessary to invoke Chapter VII in the authorization", he said. "Moreover, the use of close air support as appropriate in case of lack of enough manpower in peace-keeping operations should be limited to self-defence. Peace-keeping forces should not use force indiscriminately, still less make it a means of retaliation. The administrator should act with prudence when making such requests", he added.
China therefore wished to reiterate its reservations over such elements in the draft resolution.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said the fulfilment of the mandate of the military component of UNTAES, namely supervising and facilitating the demilitarization; contributing to the maintenance of peace and security in the region, as well as facilitating and monitoring the voluntary and safe return of refugees would not, of course, be without challenges. However, Indonesia was confident of the operation's ability to effectively overcome them. The draft resolution provided for the Council's reconsideration of the mandate if at any time it received a report from the Secretary-General that the parties had significantly failed to comply with the terms of the Basic Agreement. That was important not only because it provided the Council with the flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances but also because it underscored the need for the parties' strict compliance with the Agreement.
He said his delegation was pleased to note the attention given in the draft resolution to the civilian component of the UNTAES mission. If peace was to take hold after hostilities had ceased, a great deal of effort should
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be directed towards the fulfilment of the mandate as laid down in operative paragraph 11 of the draft resolution. He reiterated the call on States and international financial institutions to support and cooperate in the development and economic reconstruction of the region.
The manpower and resources accorded to UNTAES must be commensurate with the tasks it would be expected to perform, he said. Indonesia supported the initial deployment of up to 5,000 troops to the military component of UNTAES. However, the import of the provision within the draft resolution was that Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, might take all necessary measures, including close air support, in defence of UNTAES and to assist in its withdrawal. Such a broad formulation clearly included IFOR assistance to UNTAES when that was requested. Although these were two separate operations, there was little doubt that the success, or failure, of one would have an impact on the other.
The representative said his delegation had dwelt on the contents of operative paragraphs 14 and 15 as they were the minimum that were required to help ensure that the unfortunate recent experience of the United Nations forces in the former Yugoslavia was not repeated. His delegation was cautiously optimistic that that somber scenario might be averted. The very signing of the Basic Agreement and the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina had by themselves dramatically transformed the regional milieu. Any party which chose to violate those agreements would quickly find itself subject to the wrath of the international community. The Basic Agreement represented a crucial and significant step towards establishing a framework for political settlement. The draft resolution was consistent with the fundamental objectives of the Agreement, namely the full protection of the rights of all in the region and the affirmation that the territories concerned constituted integral parts of Croatia. The draft resolution laid a solid foundation upon which to build lasting peace in the region, and was an integral part of the comprehensive political settlement of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. However, ultimate responsibility for the full implementation of the Basic Agreement rested with the parties concerned. It was up to them to chart a course in the interests of regional peace and international security.
He went on to say that Indonesia endorsed the continuation of the monitoring of the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula by United Nations military observers. It would vote for both draft resolutions.
YURIY V. FEDOTOV (Russian Federation) said his Government was a co- sponsor of the draft resolution before the Council which was a balanced document that took into account the interests and concerns of both parties. Through the signing of the Basic Agreement it had been possible to avoid the use of force in the region. It provided for restoring the security guarantees
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of all peoples of the region, thus placing a serious responsibility on the transitional administration. There had been, however, humanitarian setbacks. There were signs of an exodus of the Serb population from Sarajevo. Efforts should be undertaken to prevent such an occurrence.
He supported the extension of the mandate of the United Nations military observers in the Prevlaka peninsula and welcomed the expression of the intention by both parties in favour of the demilitarization of the area.
JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) said that he supported the draft resolutions before the Council. Chile welcomed the fact that the conflict in the former Yugoslavia was moving from the realm of military action to peaceful negotiations. The losers in the armed conflicts had been the peoples of the region, who had lost their normal livelihoods. The World Health Organization (WHO) could be asked to help the people recover from some of the effects of the conflicts.
The history of the region had shown that there had been a lack of respect for the United Nations by the very parties that were now requesting its presence, he continued. The transitional administration's success would depend, among other things, on the good faith shown by the parties and their willingness to think of the lives of the people concerned, rather than of grand strategic designs. He welcomed the efforts to be made to demilitarize the areas concerned and to ensure respect for the rights of minorities. A sufficient military force would make the people feel safe and protect the mission from certain risks.
Paragraph 14 allowed Member States to take all necessary measures, including close air support, to help UNTAES or to help it withdraw, he continued. The new peace-keeping operation was complex and difficult, as the Secretary-General had stated. Therefore, the safeguard measures proposed were appropriate and there should be cooperation between UNTAES and IFOR. There was a close link between the mandates of the two missions. Demilitarization should be carried out in accordance with the Agreement and the forces of the mission should be deployed as soon as possible.
Financial institutions had a role to play in normalizing the lives of the people. He highlighted the need for the mission to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Croatia should contribute to the mission, as that would ultimately benefit the country.
GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said the effective implementation of the Basic Agreement was essential to the reintegration of the Eastern Sector of Croatia, the reduction of tension between the parties and the attainment of peace in general in the region. It was also important to the attainment of mutual recognition between the parties.
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He said the tasks of UNTAES were complex and difficult. The success of the operation would depend on the cooperation offered by the parties.
Regarding the Prevlaka peninsula, he said the presence of United Nations military observers would continue to promote the demilitarization process and reduce tension. He hoped the Croatian Government and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) would continue in good faith to seek an agreement.
PARK SOO-GIL (Republic of Korea) said the United Nations operation in Eastern Slavonia must be undertaken in the broader context of peace and security for the region as a whole. The operation in Eastern Slavonia and the one currently under way in Bosnia and Herzegovina impacted each other. Despite some misgivings over the new international operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the situation there appeared to be unfolding in a relatively peaceful manner thus far. That development augured well for the stability of the peace process in Eastern Slavonia.
He expressed support for the establishment, through the draft resolution, of a close relationship between UNTAES and IFOR which should be one of the key players in maintaining the security of UNTAES personnel. Stating that any individual who had committed crimes against humanity must be brought to justice, he noted that UNTAES would be the sole governing authority in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium during the transitional period and, therefore, had the authority to deal with war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.
He emphasized that the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly those of the minorities in the region, was a crucial factor towards a lasting peace. He also supported the importance the draft resolution attached to the development and economic reconstruction of Eastern Slavonia and said that peace and development would go hand in hand over the long term. The success or failure of the peace process in Eastern Slavonia rested squarely with the parties to the Basic Agreement. Only through their political will and untiring efforts to reconcile and rebuild a harmonious multi-ethnic society would real progress be achieved over the long term.
Turning to the other draft resolution before the Council, he said that the situation on the Prevlaka peninsula and the issues related to it were key to the basic relations between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). He supported the continued deployment of United Nations military observers to the area in the belief that such a measure would contribute to the stability of the peninsula, thus providing a basis upon which the parties concerned could work towards a peaceful settlement of their differences.
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The Republic of Korea would vote in favour of the drafts.
ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea Bissau) said the Basic Agreement would only come into force after the adoption of the draft resolution before the Council. The establishment of UNTAES could not only help to encourage mutual trust but also would ensure security throughout the region. He was optimistic about the adoption of the draft, but its objectives could only be accomplished through the cooperation of the parties.
The United Nations should continue to monitor demilitarization in the Prevlaka peninsula as spelled out in the relevant draft resolution before the Council. His Government would vote in favour of both drafts before the Council.
LEGWAILA J.M.J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) said that the draft resolution would create a transitional administration for the region and establish a peace implementation force. It would be up to the parties to fulfil their end of the deal. The recent announcement by the parties to the conflict to respect the authority of the United Nations was a welcome development. The relative decline in the level of military activity in the region following the signing of the Basic Agreement had given reason for cautious optimism, and it was for that reason that Botswana supported the establishment of a United Nations operation there. "We are not, however, unconscious of the poor record of both parties in honouring previous agreements."
The parties, he said, should realize that UNTAES was being established to help them implement their own agreement and not force them to do so. Its mandate conformed strictly to the limit and scope of the Basic Agreement signed by both parties. The UNTAES would fail without the cooperation of both Croatia and the local Serb authorities. "It should also be very clear to the parties that the humiliation to which the United Nations personnel were regularly subjected in neighbouring Bosnia and in the former Sectors West, North and South as well as in the region of Eastern Slavonia itself in the recent past would not be tolerated", he continued.
The Secretary-General had suggested in his report that the Council should authorize a force large enough to protect itself and United Nations personnel in view of past experience in the former Yugoslavia, he went on. The Non-Aligned Movement Caucus had worked with the sponsors of the draft resolution in an effort to ensure that a credible United Nations presence which could respond to any situation in the most robust manner, was established. Although the initial troop deployment would be less than what the Secretary-General had proposed, the Caucus fervently hoped that operative paragraphs 13 and 14 of the draft resolution provided an effective safeguard for the safety and security of UNTAES. "In other words, we hope the two paragraphs make it clear that IFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall have the
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full authority to act and deter any attacks against UNTAES."
He said that the question of human rights was one of the most important elements of the peace process in Eastern Slavonia and in Croatia as a whole. The continuing human rights violations of the Serb population in the former Sectors North and South was unhelpful to the peace process in Croatia. The Croatian Government should institute the necessary guarantees for the full respect of the rights of the Serb population in Croatia and create conditions suitable for the safe return of the refugees.
ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) recalling the participation of Polish soldiers in the United Nations peace-keeping operation in Croatia, said Poland had invariably stood for a peaceful solution of the conflict in the area. Their efforts as well as the work of their fellow peace-keepers were instrumental in reaching the point where a new operation was made feasible. In the future, Poland would try to find a way to support a new peace-keeping operation. He attached equal importance to military as well as civilian components of the new peace-keeping operation. The UNTAES alone would not be in a position to achieve the final solution of the conflict in the area unless both sides to the conflict cooperated with each other and with the peace- keeping forces. That cooperation would be crucial for virtually every aspect of the implementation of the Basic Agreement. He emphasized the importance of disarmament as stipulated in the Dayton Agreement and the draft resolution and underlined the significance of the harmonious reintegration of Eastern Slavonia into the Republic of Croatia. Economic development of Eastern Slavonia would greatly contribute to the achievement of that goal as well as to the normalization of the region.
Regarding the future of refugees and displaced persons, he said his Government endorsed the position of the European Union on the question. In addition, Poland would like to call upon all States on whose territories those people had taken refuge to provide them with all the necessary assistance and support to facilitate their return in safety to their homes of origin. The human rights question continued to be of fundamental importance to the future of the whole region, including Eastern Slavonia. The close cooperation of the UNTAES with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was a prerequisite for the success of the operation as well as the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
He called attention to the importance of the security and safety of the new peace-keeping operation and said the provisions of the draft resolution provided the peace-keepers with the guarantees they needed to discharge their duties.
GERHARD HENZE (Germany) said, with the draft resolution on Eastern Slavonia, the members of the Security Council would set in motion a process
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which would peacefully reintegrate Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium into Croatia. That was a national priority of the Government and people of Croatia which the German side fully understood and supported. Croatia's patience had been tested severely over a long time in that regard. The events of Vukovar and the establishment of Serb control over Eastern Slavonia, which had taken place in 1991 with the decisive assistance of the former Yugoslav army, must not be forgotten. It was something which no country would have accepted.
The full implementation of the Basic Agreement, he said, offered the best chance to avoid further war in a long time. He expressed hope that it would lead to a better future of peaceful coexistence of Serbs and Croats in Croatia. That was why Germany fully supported the establishment of the United Nations peace-keeping operation for the region of Eastern Slavonia with both military and civilian components. The operation must be guided by two important principles: the gradual re-establishment of the sovereignty of Croatia in Eastern Slavonia and the indispensable necessity to ensure full protection of the rights of the local Serb population. Both sides should cooperate fully and the Croatian side as well as the local Serb side should show maximum restraint and moderation during all phases of the operation. The Croatian side in particular must show the necessary patience and restraint, so that the transitional administration could work under conditions conducive to a gradual confidence-building with the local Serb population.
He expressed appreciation to the United States for its readiness to offer General Jacques Klein as transitional administrator. The mandates of UNTAES described in the resolution showed that he would have a challenging and manifold task indeed. He would have overall authority with the civilian and military components of UNTAES. Germany would also do what it could to assist UNTAES. The Government of Croatia should contribute in all possible ways to the success of UNTAES. Financial means to alleviate the burden of UNTAES in specific areas would be an investment in a united Croatia.
Germany supported the draft resolution on the Prevlaka peninsula. Its interest was that security and stability in the area prevail., The demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula had made a positive contribution to that end. With the draft resolution, the Council would reaffirm once again its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Croatia. He expressed the hope that Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) would soon achieve a practical arrangement which would peacefully resolve their differences in that context and foster good neighbourly relations in the area.
Action on drafts
The Council then unanimously adopted the draft resolution on the
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establishment of UNTAES as Security Council resolution 1037 (1996).
Next, the Council unanimously adopted the draft resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations military observers in the Prevlaka peninsula as Security Council resolution 1038 (1996).
Speaking after the vote, MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said she supported the two resolutions, which would further advance the peace process in the former Yugoslavia. Eastern Slavonia had been the scene of horrible abuses of human rights. Strict implementation of the Basic Agreement would lead to a peaceful solution in which human rights were respected and the people of the region were allowed to choose their leaders through free and democratic elections. It would be up to the parties to put aside the hatreds of the past four years and together begin to build a new future.
She said the resolution on the establishment of UNTAES provided the means to reward the trust of the parties with the kind of stewardship that the region and its people deserved. In agreeing to undertake that complex responsibility, the international community would demand that both the Serb and Croat sides fully implement the 12 November Agreement. The UNTAES would not be expected to implement the Agreement by force, nor would it be expected to defend the region from an armed incursion. The international community would not tolerate actions that endangered the lives of the peace-keepers being sent to the region. Anyone contemplating such actions should think twice. The international community had the capability to punish anyone who endangered the lives of UNTAES personnel and NATO had decided to provide close air support if requested.
She said her Government had no doubt that the Prevlaka peninsula was sovereign Croatian territory. Nevertheless, she called on both sides to continue to comply with their agreement to demilitarize that strategically important area.
The adoption of the resolutions culminated a period of intense diplomatic activity, but much remained to be done, she said. The United States would continue to search for ways to assist UNTAES. She expressed appreciation for the rapid response the United Nations and the international community had made to such a complex and sensitive issue. Today's resolution might be an indication that the people of the former Yugoslavia might be ready to embrace a future based on peace and respect for international law. The United States remained committed to the work ahead.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that the Council had stated its support for an operation that would succeed UNCRO as from tomorrow. The missions in Bosnia and in Croatia were interrelated and would affect each other. The resolution just adopted should cut short the cycle of war and vengeance.
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He said that the authority of the administration should be total in carrying out the functions that would be assigned, particularly those that would be carried out by UNTAES' civilian component. The military component, too, was very important. The process of demilitarization would be the first test of the Basic Agreement's viability. Nothing could be done until the military component was fully deployed and operational. That would take some time. The military component should not only help with the demilitarization but also help create an atmosphere of confidence in the region. It was not for UNTAES to carry out the demilitarization by itself but to help the process along. The parties concerned must assume their responsibilities in helping to end the conflict in the area.
Speaking as his country's representative, Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said the adoption of the two resolutions, which the United Kingdom welcomed, was a further demonstration of the international community's willingness to support efforts by those in the Balkan region to settle their differences peacefully.
He said that over the last four years the Council had sought to facilitate the emergence of a lasting peace. It had from the start worked to promote respect for Croatian sovereignty and territorial integrity and to promote reconciliation between the different communities in that country, as well as between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The fact that the Basic Agreement existed at all was a testimony to the Council's efforts. It was on the basis of that Agreement that the Council had decided to send United Nations peace-keepers to Eastern Slavonia. It should now work for the earliest possible deployment of UNTAES in order to allow the development of mutual confidence between the communities and the full implementation of the Agreement.
The British Government also supported the decision to continue the presence of United Nations observers on the Prevlaka peninsula to monitor its demilitarization, he continued. Their presence had helped contain and reduce tension and open the way for Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to settle their differences peacefully. Those countries must redouble their efforts towards that end. If United Nations peace-keepers were to be able to carry out the mandates effectively and in safety, they must be able to count on the parties' full cooperation. There could be no justification for any resort to military means, whether to accelerate or frustrate implementation of the commitments made. This Council would monitor the progress of implementation of the Basic Agreement closely. Successful implementation would be key to opening the way for Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to play a fuller part in the European family of nations.
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