The Security Council this morning decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) by six months until 15 November.
It took that decision as it unanimously adopted resolution 1240 (1999). By terms of that text, the Council called for the parties involved to speed up the full and sequential implementation, in a balanced manner, of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan, especially the Protocol on military issues. It also called on the parties to create conditions which would enable the holding in 1999 of a constitutional referendum, as well as the timely holding of presidential and parliamentary elections.
Also by the text, the Council encouraged Tajikistan's Commission on National Reconciliation to intensify efforts to institute a broad dialogue among the country's political forces in the interest of restoring and strengthening civil accord. As requested under the General Agreement, the Council also encouraged the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to continue close cooperation with the United Nations regarding constitutional reform, democratization and elections, and it supported the active political work of the Contact Group in promoting the Agreement.
By other terms of the resolution, the Council called for further cooperation in ensuring the security and freedom of movement of all international personnel, and reminded the parties that continued assistance for Tajikistan was linked to the security of those workers. The Council called for voluntary contributions to launch demobilization projects and to provide support for the elections, and also called for a prompt and generous response by Member States to the consolidated interagency appeal for Tajikistan for 1999. Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to keep it informed of significant developments and to report within three months on implementation of the resolution.
The meeting, which was called to order at 1:56 a.m., was adjourned at 2:10 a.m.
Council Work Programme
When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan (document S/1999/514). The report brings up to date the record of developments in Tajikistan and the activities of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) since the Secretary-General's last interim report of 8 February (document S/1999/124), and, because the peace process in the country continues to require direct international attention, recommend's that UNMOT's mandate be extended for an additional six months until 15 November.
The report states that the situation in Tajikistan has remained relatively calm. The Commission on National Reconciliation has made efforts to advance implementation of the peace agreement and some movement has been achieved on both military and constitutional issues. However, translating agreements and decisions into concrete action continues to be difficult. Tajikistan's President issued a number of instructions to expedite the peace process -- for example with regard to implementing an amnesty law -- and while there has been some follow-up, many issues remain pending.
An important step forward was an agreement on constitutional reform, the report continues, although a latent dispute over the sequence of elections underlies the debate on constitutional reform. A phased approach to getting preparations under way even before the formal conditions for elections are in place has been adopted. It involves three teams of experts to be sent jointly by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The first team will travel to Tajikistan and focus on procedural aspects of preparations; the second will focus on aspects of voter information; and the third will assess the overall situation, including security, to form the basis for a final commitment and extension of the two Organizations' involvement.
Among other main developments are military issues affecting the reintegration and demobilization of United Tajik Opposition fighters, which has led to improper command and control of fighters who are not being paid or otherwise supported, the report states. A number of projects are being launched to create jobs for former fighters enabling their return to civilian life, in the form of food for work, food for training and land-lease projects.
In addition, the report states that the Contact Group of Guarantor States and International Organizations was continuing its active political work in promoting implementation of the peace programme. Also, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was continuing to support the return of refugees and $95 million has been earmarked by the World Bank for such humanitarian activities as structural reform, rehabilitation of private farms and enhancement of governmental organizational capabilities. Finally, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in conjunction with the World
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Bank, was financing a survey on living conditions, the results of which will allow the Government of Tajikistan to review its poverty strategy and better focus on vulnerable groups. The 1999 Consolidated Interagency Appeal for Tajikistan, however, had generated only $617,045, or some 2.5 per cent of the total funds requested.
Security in the area, the report states, was better than in earlier periods, although the situation remained tense with some politically motivated incidents. As of April, UNMOT comprised 165 civilian staff and was preparing to reopen some field offices. It continued close cooperation with the OSCE on matters relating to constitutional reform, democratization and elections, and with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Collective Peacekeeping Forces regarding the maintenance of peace and security, remaining in touch with the Russian Border Forces on matters of mutual concern.
Overall, the report states, the peace process in Tajikistan had made progress while continuing to be held back by a deep-seated lack of confidence between the parties, which has delayed the inclusion of all elements of the political spectrum in the broad dialogue considered essential for lasting acceptance within the Tajik body politic of the outcome of the peace process. UNMOT, in cooperation with OSCE and other members of the Contact Group, is assisting the parties in overcoming obstacles and is contributing to an atmosphere conducive of finding agreed solutions, a process expected to be strengthened by the reopening of field offices.
The strategy of UNMOT rests on two pillars, the report states. The UNMOT's activities, funded by assessed contributions, is one of those; support for demobilization of fighters and for elections is the other. Due to the lack of voluntary contributions this second leg is very weak. While the reluctance of donors to invest in a process having an uncertain outcome is understandable, donor support is crucial to achieve a positive outcome.
Stating that the Contact Group continues to play an important role, the report states that a meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers, which was agreed on in principle last summer, could lend further impetus to the peace process.
Also before the Council was a draft resolution (document S/1999/557), the full text of which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its relevant resolutions and the statements of its President,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan of 6 May 1999 (S/1999/514),
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"Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Tajikistan and to the inviolability of its borders,
"Welcoming progress in the peace process in Tajikistan and the effective maintenance of the ceasefire between the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, while underlining that more needs to be done to translate agreements and decisions into concrete actions and to deal with the many pending issues,
"Welcoming also the renewed efforts of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the leadership of the Commission on National Reconciliation (CNR) to advance and to expedite the implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan (S/1997/510), which have helped to achieve movement on both military and political issues,
"Welcoming further the maintenance of close contact by the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) with the parties, as well as its cooperative liaison with the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS Peacekeeping Forces), the Russian border forces and the Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),
"Noting with appreciation the continued contribution of the Contact Group of Guarantor States and International Organizations to the peace process, in particular through periodic joint plenary meetings with the CNR to review progress in the implementation of the General Agreement,
"Welcoming the fact that the general situation in Tajikistan has remained relatively calm with better security than in earlier periods while noting that the situation in some parts of the country remained tense,
"Recognizing that comprehensive international support remains crucial for achieving a positive outcome of the peace process in Tajikistan,
"1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 6 May 1999;
"2. Calls upon the parties to speed up the full and sequential implementation, in a balanced manner, of the General Agreement, especially the Protocol on military issues (S/1997/209, annex II), and to create conditions for the holding in 1999 of a constitutional referendum, as well as for the timely holding of presidential and parliamentary elections, and encourages the CNR to intensify its efforts aimed at the institution of a broad dialogue among the various political forces in the country in the interests of restoration and strengthening of civil accord in Tajikistan;
"3. Notes with appreciation the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and of all the personnel of UNMOT, encourages them to
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continue assisting the parties in the implementation of the General Agreement, notes that the reopening of field offices should strengthen the Mission in this regard, underlines the need for the Mission to have the necessary personnel and financial support and requests the Secretary-General to continue to consider means of ensuring a full and active role for UNMOT in the implementation of the General Agreement;
"4. Encourages OSCE to continue its close cooperation with the United Nations on matters relating to constitutional reform, democratization and elections as requested under the General Agreement;
"5. Supports the active political work of the Contact Group in promoting the implementation of the General Agreement and considers that a meeting of this Group at the level of Foreign Ministers could lend further impetus to the peace process;
"6. Welcomes the continued contribution made by the CIS Peacekeeping Forces in assisting the parties in the implementation of the General Agreement in coordination with all concerned;
"7. Calls upon the parties to cooperate further in ensuring the security and freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations, the CIS Peacekeeping Forces and other international personnel and reminds the parties that the ability of the international community to mobilize and to continue assistance for Tajikistan is linked to the security of those personnel;
"8. Calls upon Member States and others concerned to make voluntary contributions to launch projects for demobilization and to provide support for the elections, and to respond promptly and generously to the consolidated interagency appeal for Tajikistan for 1999;
"9. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMOT for a period of six months until 15 November 1999;
"10. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed of all significant developments and also requests him to report within three months of the adoption of this resolution on its implementation;
"11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
RASHID ALIMOV (Tajikistan) said he highly valued the consistent attention and support from the international community in achieving peace for his country. The extension of the assistance was a direct demonstration of the international community's commitment to help. The need for speeding up
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the implementation of the General Agreement as cited in the Secretary- General's report had been noted. Despite outbreaks of sporadic violence, progress was being made in Tajik society. Good will was winning out. Returning refugees were rebuilding homes and roads.
He hoped there would be an adequate response from donor countries, he said. Just emerging from war, Tajikistan was not yet able to live up to all humanitarian requirements, nor able to support its economy fully. It was hoped that appeals from the Security Council and from the Secretary General would be heeded and that the plans for a United Nations humanitarian programme would be undertaken for Tajikistan. Tajikistan needed international support. Hopefully, this year it would achieve its breakthrough for stability.
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