11/07/2001
Press Release
SC/7099



Security Council

4346th Meeting (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNMOP MANDATE FOR SIX MONTHS


Mission to Continue Monitoring

Demilitarization of Prevlaka Peninsula until 15 January 2002


The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) for another six months, until 15 January 2002, and authorized that Mission to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula


The Council took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1362 (2001).


By the terms of the resolution, the Council reiterated its call for all parties to cease violating the demilitarized regime in United Nations-designated zones, and to cooperate fully with the military observers, ensuring their safety and unrestricted freedom of movement.


By further terms of the text, the Council urged the Governments of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to continue their resumed talks with the aim of reaching a negotiated resolution of the disputed issue of Prevlaka, in accordance with article 4 of the Agreement on Normalization of Relations.  In addition, it encouraged the parties to consider all confidence-building measures that could help facilitate such a resolution, and it requested full and mutual cooperation between the United Nations military observers and the multinational stabilization force.


The 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, firstly 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 following the Secretary-General's recommendation that monitoring on the peninsula continue when UNCRO's mandate was terminated on 15 January 1996.  Extensions to its 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 meeting, which began at 10:39 a.m., was adjourned at 10:43 a.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1362 (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, 1307 (2000) of 13 July 2000, 1335 (2001) of 12 January 2001 and 1357 (2001) of 21 June 2001,


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 3 July (S/2001/661) 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 5 July 2001 (S/2001/668) and from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Republic of Croatia of 9 July 2001 (S/2001/680), 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 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, and 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),


Noting with satisfaction that the overall situation in the UNMOP area of responsibility has remained stable and calm despite 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 joint statement by the Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia issued in Verbania, Italy, on 8 June 2001 (A/56/116-S/2001/617) in which they expressed their commitment to normalize the bilateral relations between their countries, with a special emphasis on facilitating the free movement of persons, commodities and ideas, and to implement bilateral agreements already signed,


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 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 January 2002, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to report to the Council where appropriate;


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


“3.  Welcomes the resumption of talks between the Governments of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and urges the parties to continue their talks with the aim of fulfilling rapidly and in good faith their commitment to a negotiated resolution on the disputed issue of Prevlaka in accordance with article 4 of the Agreement on Normalization of Relations;


“4.  Encourages the parties to consider all confidence-building measures, including the options provided to them pursuant to resolution 1252 (1999), that could help facilitate a solution to the disputed issue of Prevlaka;


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


“6.  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 1357 (2001) of 21 June 2001 to cooperate fully with each other;


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


Background


As the Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Prevlaka, it had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Prevlaka (UNMOP) (document S/2001/661), covering developments since his last report of 11 April 2001 (document S/2001/350).


The report states that the area of responsibility of UNMOP and the designation of the demilitarized and United Nations-controlled zones remain as previously reported, and the situation has remained stable and calm.


It is encouraging, according to the report, that Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have resumed discussions on the Prevlaka dispute.  Since the last report, United Nations officials in New York have discussed advancing the political process on Prevlaka with the permanent representatives of the parties, while United Nations officials in the region have taken it up informally with their counterparts in Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  On the basis of their reports, the Secretary-General has concluded that the parties prefer to continue their efforts bilaterally.


As observed previously, the continuing long-standing violations of the security regime on Prevlaka are not conducive to the development of confidence.  In the United Nations-controlled zone, the presence of the Croatian police, albeit in reduced numbers, and the Montenegrin Border Police is a long-standing violation.  The illegal checkpoints at Cape Kobila interfere with the free movement of the United Nations military observers.


The Secretary-General states that the Montenegrin and Croatian police units should be withdrawn from the United Nations-controlled zone and the Cape Kobila checkpoint removed or legitimized by agreement between the parties.  The Croatian authorities should rescind the restriction on the movement of United Nations military observers in the demilitarized zone.


Given the importance of ensuring that conditions on the ground remain calm, and in order to maintain the stability that is essential to meaningful progress towards a political settlement, the Secretary-General recommends that the mandate of UNMOP be extended for a further six months until 15 January 2002.  He suggests that the Council may wish to request the parties to continue to report regularly on progress in their talks.


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