The Security Council this morning authorized the deployment of 100 military observers for six months as part of the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES).
The Council took that action by unanimously adopting resolution 1043 (1996).
The additional observers were sought by the Secretary-General to help supervise and facilitate the demilitarization provided for in the Basic Agreement on the region, which was signed on 12 November by the Government of Croatia and the local Serb authorities.
The meeting, which was called to order at 12:52 a.m., adjourned at 12:54 a.m.
When the Security Council met this afternoon, it had before it a Secretary-General's report (documents S/1996/66 and Add 1.) in which he seeks the authorization for a six-month deployment of 100 United Nations military observers to enable the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES) to supervise and facilitate the demilitarization provided for in the Basic Agreement. The cost is estimated at $2.3 million. The Secretary-General recommends that the cost be considered an expense of the Organization to be borne by Member States, and the assessments to be levied on Member States be credited to a special account.
In his report of 13 December 1995 (document S/1995/1028), the Secretary- General had expressed the view that the deployment and command of the transitional and peace-keeping force would best be entrusted to a coalition of Member States. If the Council decided that the Basic Agreement should be implemented by the United Nations, he stated that a force of 9,300 combat troops would be necessary to ensure security in the region and to supervise demilitarization.
By its adoption of resolution 1037 (1996) on 15 January, the Council decided on a United Nations presence and established UNTAES with a military component of up to 5,000 troops. In view of that more limited presence, the current report states, the Transitional Administrator and others had identified the need for 100 military observers. Those observers, the Secretary-General explains, would identify the units and equipment to be demilitarized and monitor and verify the implementation of the demilitarization undertaken by the parties. In addition, they would report on any developments relevant to the maintenance of peace and security.
The Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium was signed on 12 November 1995 by the Government of Croatia and the local Serb authorities. Under the terms of the agreement, the Council was requested to establish a Transitional Administration for an initial period of 12 months. The agreement states that not later than 30 days before the end of the transitional period, elections for all government bodies shall be organized by the Transitional Administration. The Council was requested to authorize an international force to maintain peace and security during the transitional period. The parties also agreed that the transitional authority would ensure the possibility of the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes of origin and that human rights and fundamental freedoms would be respected in the region.
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6168 3626th Meeting (PM) 31 January 1996
The full text of draft resolution 1043 (1996) reads as follows:
"The Security Council
"Recalling its resolution 1037 (1996) of 15 January 1996 establishing the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES),
"Having considered the Secretary-General's letter of 26 January 1996 to the President of the Security Council (S/1996/66),
"1. Decides to authorize, as part of UNTAES, and in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1037 (1996), the deployment of 100 military observers for a period of six months;
"2. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
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