12/01/2001
Press Release
SC/6986



Security Council

4256th Meeting (PM)


COUNCIL EXTENDS UN PREVLAKA MANDATE FOR SIX MONTHS


Unanimously Adopts Resolution 1335 (2001)


The Security Council this afternoon authorized United Nations military observers in Prevlaka to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula -- a strategic area disputed by Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- for a further six months until 15 July.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1335 (2001), the Council reiterated its call upon the two countries to cease all violations of the demilitarized zone and to take steps further to reduce tension and to improve safety and security in the area.


They were also called upon to cooperate fully with the United Nations military observers and to ensure their safety and full unrestricted freedom of movement.


Welcoming the commitments of the democratic Governments of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to resume bilateral talks on the dispute as soon as possible, the Council encouraged them to make use of the recommendations and options on developing confidence-building measures provided for in

resolution 1252 (1992).  Those measures were aimed at further facilitating the freedom of movement of the civilian population.


By today's text, the Council once again urged the two parties to abide by their mutual commitments and implement fully the Agreement on Normalization of Relations.  It stressed in particular the urgent need for them to fulfil rapidly, and in good faith, their commitment to reach a negotiated resolution of the dispute in accordance with article 4 of that Agreement.  The Council reiterated its call for a comprehensive demining programme to be put in place in the identified minefields in the United Nations Mission of Observers in

Prevlaka (UNMOP) area of responsibility.


(Article 4 states in part that the contracting parties shall solve their dispute through mutual negotiations in the spirit of the United Nations Charter and good neighbourliness.  Until agreement is reached, the parties are to respect the existing security regime through United Nations monitoring.)


The Secretary-General is to report back to the Council on the implementation of the resolution by 15 April.


This afternoon’s meeting, which began at 1:05 p.m., adjourned at 1:10 p.m.


Draft Resolution


The full text of Security Council resolution 1335 (2001), reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling all its earlier relevant resolutions, including resolutions 779 (1992) of 6 October 1992, 981 (1995) of 31 March 1995, 1088 (1996) of

12 December 1996, 1147 (1998) of 13 January 1998, 1183 (1998) of

15 July 1998, 1222 (1999) of 15 January 1999, 1252 (1999) of 15 July 1999, 1285 (2000) of 13 January 2000, 1305 (2000) of 21 June 2000 and 1307 (2000) of 13 July 2000,


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 29 December (S/2000/1251) on the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP),


Recalling also the letters to its President from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of 22 December 2000 (S/2000/1235) and from the Permanent Representative of Croatia of 5 January 2001 (S/2001/13), concerning the disputed issue of Prevlaka,


Reaffirming once again its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia within its internationally recognized borders,


Noting once again that the Joint Declaration signed at Geneva on

30 September 1992 by the Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in particular articles 1 and 3 thereof, the latter reaffirming their agreement concerning the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula,


Noting with satisfaction that the overall situation in the UNMOP area of responsibility has remained stable and calm,


Reiterating its concern about continuing violations of the demilitarization regime, including limitations placed on the free movement of United Nations military observers,


Noting with satisfaction that the opening of crossing points between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the demilitarized zone continues to facilitate civilian and commercial traffic in both directions without security incidents and continues to represent a significant confidence-building measure in the normalization of relations between the two parties, and urging the parties to utilize these openings as a basis for further confidence-building measures to achieve the normalization of relations between them,


Welcoming the commitment of the democratic Governments of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as expressed by the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (S/2000/1235) and the Foreign Minister of Croatia (S/2001/13), to resume as soon as possible bilateral talks on the disputed issue of Prevlaka pursuant to the Agreement on Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of 23 August 1996 (S/1996/706, annex), which would end a long period during which no substantive progress was made on the issue,


Expressing its concern over the delay in putting in place a comprehensive demining programme by the parties,


Commending the role played by UNMOP, and noting also that the presence of the United Nations military observers continues to be essential to maintaining conditions that are conducive to a negotiated settlement of the disputed issue of Prevlaka,


Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and of Associated Personnel adopted on

9 December 1994 and the statement of its President of 10 February 2000 (S/PRST/2000/4),


Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations,


“1.  Authorizes the United Nations military observers to continue 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 (S/1995/1028), until

15 July 2001;


“2.  Reiterates its calls upon the parties to cease all violations of the demilitarized regime in the United Nations designated zones, to take steps further to reduce tension and to improve safety and security in the area, to cooperate fully with the United Nations military observers and to ensure their safety and full and unrestricted freedom of movement;


“3.  Calls on the parties to resume talks on the disputed issue of Prevlaka as soon as possible and encourages them to make use of the recommendations and options to develop confidence-building measures with which they were provided pursuant to its request in resolution 1252 (1999) with a view to, inter alia, further facilitating the freedom of movement of the civilian population, and requests the Secretary-General to report by

15 April 2001;


“4.  Urges once again that parties abide by their mutual commitments and implement fully the Agreement on Normalization of Relations, and stresses in particular the urgent need for them to fulfil rapidly and in good faith their commitment to reach a negotiated resolution of the disputed issue of Prevlaka in accordance with article 4 of that Agreement;


“5.  Requests the parties to continue to report at least bi-monthly to the Secretary-General on the status of their bilateral negotiations;


“6.  Reiterates its call upon the parties to put a comprehensive demining programme in place in the identified minefields in the UNMOP area of responsibility;


“7.  Requests the United Nations military observers and the multinational stabilization force authorized by the Council in resolution 1088 (1996) of 12 December 1996 and extended by resolution 1305 (2000) of

21 June 2000 to cooperate fully with each other;


“8.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


      Secretary-General's Report


Before the Council was a report from the Secretary-General on UNMOP (document S/2000/1251).  The Secretary-General recommends that the mandate for the Mission be extended for a further six months, until 15 July.


[UNMOP was established in January 1996 to monitor the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, a strategic area disputed by Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  However, United Nations military observers have been deployed there since October 1992, first as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), and subsequently as part of the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation (UNCRO).


The Council established UNMOP on 15 January 1996, following the Secretary-General's recommendation that monitoring on the peninsula continue when UNCRO's mandate was terminated.  Extensions to UNMOP's mandate have been dependent on his reporting that its presence will continue to help decrease tension.


UNMOP currently has 27 military observers.  While it is an independent mission, it is treated as part of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) for administrative and budgetary purposes.]


The report states that the situation in the demilitarized zone has not changed and remains calm and stable, and, in general, both parties have respected the zone.  Observers have freedom of movement on the Yugoslav side of the zone, but are still required by Croatia to provide advance written notice before patrolling in the northern area.  Those restrictions should be lifted, Montenegrin and Croatian police should be withdrawn from the United Nations-controlled zone and the continued operation of checkpoints at Cape Kobila should be resolved.


In April 2000, Croatia invited Yugoslavia to attend a fifth round of settlement talks, and Yugoslavia responded, the report states.  Despite express willingness by both sides to settle the issue through negotiation, those talks have yet to take place.  It is evident the parties continue to hold divergent views on the nature of the dispute and the way forward.  The Secretary-General suggests the Council may wish to ask the parties to report regularly on progress in their bilateral settlement discussions.


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