14 February 1997

Press Release


Presidential Statement Says Parties Bound by Decision; Arbitral Tribunal Calls for 'Brcko Supervisor' for One-Year Period

The Security Council this afternoon reminded the parties to the 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina of their obligation to implement without delay the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal on the disputed portion of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line in the Brcko area.

In a statement read out on members' behalf by Council President Njuguna M. Mahugu (Kenya), the Council underscored the importance of prompt and full cooperation by the parties to the Peace Agreement -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.

In the 1995 Peace Agreement signed in Dayton, contained in an annex to document S/1995/999, the parties agreed to binding arbitration of the disputed portion of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line in the Brcko area. A three-member Arbitral Tribunal, consisting of a representative of each party and a Presiding Arbitrator appointed by the President of the International Court of Justice, put forward a decision in Rome today that called for international supervision of the implementation of the Dayton accords in the Brcko area. The decision will be issued as document S/1997/126.

The decision of the Tribunal stated that the Office of the High Representative will establish as soon as feasible an office and staff in Brcko under the supervision of a Deputy High Representative for Brcko -- the Brcko Supervisor -- to supervise Dayton implementation for a period of not less than one year and to strengthen local democratic institutions. The Brcko Supervisor will have the authority to promulgate binding regulations and orders. Such regulations and orders would prevail against any conflicting laws of the local authorities. The parties were required to cooperate fully with the supervisor.

According to the decision issued by the Presiding Arbitrator, Roberts Owen, the Supervisor, in close liaison with the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the International Police Task Force (IPTF), will seek to ensure freedom of movement on all significant roads, bridges and port facilities and relevant

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authorities will undertake normal democratic policing functions and services for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the area. A programme for the orderly return of former residents of the area would also be established.

The decision also declared that the future status of Brcko would remain unresolved until 15 March 1998, in light of the inability of the arbitrators representing the two parties to reach agreement on final allocation of political responsibilities. Should the Presiding Arbitrator conclude that there had been a lack of compliance with the Dayton accords, it might be necessary to proclaim the town of Brcko a special district of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which "the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina and those promulgated by local authorities will be exclusively applicable".

The meeting, which began at 1:24 p.m., was adjourned at 1:26 p.m.

The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1997/7, reads as follows:

"The Security Council notes the announcement of the decision on 14 February 1997 by the arbitral tribunal on the disputed portion of the Inter- Entity Boundary Line in the Brcko area, pursuant to Article V, Annex 2 to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Annexes thereto (collectively the Peace Agreement, S/1995/999, annex).

"The Security Council reminds the parties to Annex 2 to the Peace Agreement of their obligation to be bound by the decision of the arbitral tribunal and to implement the decision without delay. The Council underscores the importance of prompt and full cooperation by the parties to the Peace Agreement in carrying out their commitments to implement the Peace Agreement in its entirety."

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