13 February 1996

Press Release


Resolution 1046 (1996), Adopted Unanimously, Increases Mission Strength, Requests Recommendation Mandate by 20 May

The Security Council this afternoon approved the establishment of the position of Force Commander of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and authorized an increase in the Force's strength by 50 military personnel for the duration of its current mandate, which expires on 30 May.

Through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1046 (1996), the Council also asked the Secretary-General to submit, not later than 20 May, his further recommendations on the composition, strength and mandate of the Force. The authorized increase in Force strength aims at ensuring continued engineering capability for the Mission's operations.

Today's action followed a recommendation by the Secretary-General that UNPREDEP, formerly under the command and control of the United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPF-HQ) in the former Yugoslavia, be established as an independent mission, reporting directly to United Nations Headquarters in New York. The President of the Council has informed the Secretary-General that Council members "agree in principle" with that recommendation.

The meeting, which was called to order at 12:32 p.m., was adjourned at 12:34 p.m.

Text of Resolution

The full text of resolution 1046 reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions and, in particular, resolution 1027 (1995) of 30 November 1995 which extended the mandate of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia until 30 May 1996,

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 30 January 1996 (S/1996/65*) and his letter of 6 February 1996 to the President of the Council and the annex thereto (S/1996/94),

"1. Decides to authorize, for the duration of the present mandate, an increase in the strength of UNPREDEP by 50 military personnel in order to provide for a continued engineering capability in support of its operations;

"2. Approves the establishment of the position of Force Commander of UNPREDEP;

"3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council not later than 20 May 1996 further recommendations on the composition, strength and mandate of UNPREDEP in the light of developments in the region;

"4. Decides to remain seized of the mater."

Secretary-General's Report on UNPREDEP

When the Security Council met this afternoon to consider the mandate of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, it had before it a report by the Secretary- General (document S/1996/65* of 30 January). In the report the Secretary- General recommends that the mandate of the Force should be continued and that it should become an independent mission, reporting directly to United Nations Headquarters in New York. For administrative reasons, he recommends that the change should become effective on 1 February.

The Council also has before it a letter dated 6 February from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council (document S/1996/94). In it, he refers to a letter dated 1 February from the Council President (document S/1996/76), informing him that the Council concurs in principle with his recommendation to establish UNPREDEP as an independent mission having basically the same mandate, strength and composition. Given that concurrence, "I would appreciated the Council's approval of the proposed increase in the authorized strength of UNPREDEP by 50 military personnel and of the appointment of a Force Commander of UNPREDEP".

The Secretary-General emphasizes that the arrangements contemplated have in the past largely been covered in the budget of United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPF-HQ). Thus, the financial implications essentially represent a reallocation of resources. The estimated cost for the change in UNPREDEP's status is $29 million for a six-month period. That estimate provides for 1,050 contingent personnel, 35 military observers, 26 civilian police, 73 international civilian staff and 127 locally recruited staff. (A breakdown of the estimated financial requirements, by main categories of expenditure, is included with the Secretary-General's letter.)

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In his report, the Secretary-General states that as an independent operation, UNPREDEP would be faced with maintaining its ongoing programmes while restructuring for a "stand-alone" status. A key priority among ongoing programmes will be engineering operations, including both building and road maintenance components. Provision for a permanent arrangement for engineer assets will require an increase of UNPREDEP's authorized strength by approximately 50 personnel.

Another main priority would be the communications infrastructure, which will need to be improved through the establishment of satellite links, the report states. While transportation asset requirements will change marginally, vehicle maintenance capability will require enhancement. There will also be a need for improved local planning capability, enhanced hardware and software expertise, and systems management capabilities. Provision will also be made for independent finance, procurement, personnel, security and general services.

The Secretary-General stresses that Member States, donor countries and international institutions should not lose sight of the importance of supporting the country's efforts to overcome the economic problems arising from its application of the sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Few Member States have responded to the related appeals for immediate technical, financial and material assistance.

The UNPREDEP was established as a distinct operating entity pursuant to Council resolution 983 (1995) of 31 March 1995, the Secretary-General states. In order to enhance coordination, overall command and control of the Untied Nations presence in the former Yugoslavia was placed on the United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPF-HQ). Its major tasks include monitoring and reporting on the situation along the country's borders with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Albania. Its political affairs component has expanded to include monitoring developments in the country with a view to promoting reconciliation among various political and ethnic groups.

The Force has cooperated with civilian agencies and offers community services and humanitarian assistance, the report states. It has cooperated with various regional organizations and has developed close cooperation with the mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It has also worked closely with the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia (ICFY), mainly with regard to humanitarian issues and the promotion of dialogue on human rights issues involving ethnic communities and national minorities.

The UNPREDEP military troop component currently consists of two mechanized infantry battalions, at a total strength of 1,000, the report states. In addition, 35 United Nations military observers and 26 United Nations civilian police monitors are associated with the Force. The

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authorized strength of the civilian component is 168; civilian and military personnel are drawn from 42 nations.

The original purpose of the deployment of UNPREDEP was to counter a possible impact of the conflicts engulfing other areas of the former Yugoslavia, the report states. Although the fighting has now ceased and there is little evidence of a direct threat to the Republic, the effect of the existing tensions has not totally abated, and the danger of fragmentation has not been averted. The Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has therefore continued to express its strong preference for a longer extension of UNPREDEP's mandate.

This first United Nations preventive deployment mission can be judged effective only if it ends successfully, the Secretary-General states. He adds that "UNPREDEP has demonstrated that preventive deployment can work where there is political will, a clear mandate and purpose, and the necessary commitment on the part of all parties concerned". The UNPREDEP is headed by a civilian Chief of Mission, Henryk J. Sokalski (Poland). Its military Commander is Brigadier-General Juha Engstrom (Finland).

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