26/09/2001
Press Release
SC/7153



Security Council

4381st Meeting (PM)


UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1371 ON FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA,


SECURITY COUNCIL AGAIN REJECTS VIOLENCE IN PURSUIT OF POLITICAL AIMS


The Security Council this afternoon called for the full implementation of its resolution 1345 (2001) as it met on the situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


In that resolution, adopted on 21 March, the Council strongly condemned extremist violence, including terrorist activities, in certain parts of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and certain municipalities in southern Serbia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  It also noted that such violence had support from ethnic Albanian extremists outside those areas, and constituted a threat to the security and stability of the wider region.


Also by that text, the Council demanded that all those currently engaged in armed action against the authorities of those States should immediately cease all such actions, lay down their weapons and return to their homes.  It also called on Kosovo Albanian political leaders, and leaders of the ethnic Albanian communities in the former Yugoslav Republic, southern Serbia and elsewhere, to publicly condemn violence and ethnic intolerance and to use their influence to secure peace.  It also called on those who had contact with armed extremist groups to make clear that they had no support from any quarter in the international community.


In unanimously adopting resolution 1371 (2001) this afternoon, the Council supported the full and timely implementation of the Framework Agreement; rejected the use of violence in pursuit of political aims; and stressed that only peaceful political solutions could assure a stable and more democratic future in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


President Boris Trajkovski of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the leaders of four political parties signed the Framework Agreement at Skopje on

13 August.  The Agreement promotes the peaceful and harmonious development of civil society, while respecting the ethnic identity and interests of all Macedonian citizens.


By other terms of the resolution, the Council endorsed the efforts of member States and relevant international organizations to support the implementation of the Agreement.  In that regard, it strongly supported the establishment of a multinational security presence in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to contribute to the security of observers as requested by that country’s Government.


By further terms, the Council demanded all concerned to ensure the safety of international personnel in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The meeting began at 12:35 p.m. and was adjourned at 12:39 p.m.


      Background 


      The United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was the first mission in the history of United Nations peacekeeping to have a preventive mandate.  On 21 February 1992, the Security Council, by resolution 743 (1992), established UNPROFOR for an initial period of 12 months to create the conditions of peace and security required for the negotiation of an overall settlement of the crisis in the former Yugoslavia.  The UNPREDEP's main mandated task was to monitor and report any developments in the border areas which could undermine confidence and stability in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and threaten its territory.  The mission served as an early warning source for the Council, helped to strengthen mutual dialogue among political parties and assisted in monitoring human rights as well as inter-ethnic relations in the country.


On 9 April 1997, in light of the volatile situation in Albania, the Council in resolution 1105 (1997) suspended the reduction of the military component of UNPREDEP.  By resolution 1110 (1997) of 28 May, it extended the Force's mandate for another six months until 30 November, at the same time that it decided on the start of a two-month phased reduction of the mission's military component by 300, beginning 1 October.


Later in that year, with positive developments reported in and around the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Council, in resolution 1142 (1997) of

4 December, extended UNPREDEP's mandate until 31 August 1998, and decided that its military component would remain at its current strength of 750 troops, and then be immediately withdrawn upon the expiration of that extension.  The Secretary-General was requested to make recommendations on the type of international presence appropriate as a follow-on to UNPREDEP.


On 26 June 1998, the Assembly appropriated $21.1 million to maintain the Force from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999.  In July 1998, the Council extended the mandate of UNPREDEP until 28 February 1999 and authorized increasing its troop strength up

to 1,050.  By resolution 1186 (1998), UNPREDEP would continue to deter threats and prevent clashes, and would report to the Secretary-General on developments which could threaten the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, including illicit arms flows and other activities which the Council had prohibited by its resolution 1160 (1998).  The extension altered the Council's earlier plan to continue the Force only through 31 August 1998.


As of 30 November 1998, the mission's total uniformed personnel strength stood at 906, comprised of 846 troops, 35 military observers and 25 civilian police.


On 25 February 1999, however, UNPREDEP's mandate was not renewed beyond

28 February 1999, as the Council failed to adopt a draft on a six-month extension due to a veto by China on that date.  By a vote of 13 in favour to one against (China), with one abstention (Russian Federation), the eight-nation draft resolution (S/1999/201), sponsored by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, United Kingdom and the United States -- which would have extended UNPREDEP's mandate for another six months -- was not adopted.


Speaking after the vote, China's representative said his Government had always maintained that United Nations peacekeeping operations, including preventive deployment missions, should not be open-ended.  The situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had apparently stabilized in the past few years and its relations with neighbouring countries had improved.  Several United Nations Member States, however, addressed the Council, and expressed regret at China's veto.  They argued that there could be a spillover of the tensions from Kosovo across the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement after the Council vote that a new approach would have to be adopted by the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and its neighbours, in consultation with regional organizations.  In a report before the Council prior to the vote, he had recommended that UNPREDEP be extended for another six-month period -- through 31 August.


The Force's extension was also requested by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in a letter dated 29 January 1999, based on concern over the spillover of the Kosovo conflict, increased tensions on the Albanian-Yugoslav border, the unstable situation in Albania and the lack of progress in the demarcation of the country's border with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.


After the mandate came to an end on 28 February 1999, the United Nations presence in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was officially renamed

UN SKOPJE.


Documents before Council


Before the Council is a letter dated 21 September, addressed to its President, from the Permanent Representative of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the United Nations (document S/2001/897).  The correspondence transmits:  a letter dated 18 September from the President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski, addressed to the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (see annex I); and a letter dated 17 September 2001 from the Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ilinka Mitreva, addressed to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office and Foreign Minister of Romania, Mircea Geona (see annex II).


Annex I


In the letter from the President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, he states that his country wishes to host an OSCE and European Union monitoring mission in the forthcoming phase of re-establishment of nationwide sovereignty.  While the authorities of his country would be primarily responsible for the security of any international monitors, he recognizes, however, that concerns may still remain about their security.


In that context, the letter continues, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would be prepared to support a light NATO presence in the country, following the conclusion of Operation Essential Harvest, which would also contribute to the security of monitors.  He asks whether NATO could accept such a mission.  According to the President, if there is agreement in principle to the suggestion, discussions can begin immediately on the modalities of such a security presence, which would be accordingly specified in a separate memorandum of understanding or other adequate arrangement.


Annex II


In her letter, the Foreign Minister states that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is soon to start the implementation of the fourth phase of the plan for overcoming the crisis in the country and the establishment of peace and security.  The overall aim is to restore normal conditions in her country.  Her Government, at its fifteenth session on 11 September, decided to increase the number of OSCE monitors in the country.  Her Government believed that there was need for further enhancement of the OSCE spillover monitor mission to Skopje, in order to provide the necessary support to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in facilitating, monitoring and assisting with the implementation of the Framework Agreement.


She goes on to say that her Government specifically requests, as a priority, a rapid deployment of OSCE monitors and police advisers in numbers sufficient to provide a visible presence throughout the sensitive areas, in accordance with needs defined by that Government.  The OSCE is also invited to provide assistance in other areas, especially  in the programmes on police training, media and inter-ethnic relations.  Some of those programmes should also have a strict time frame.  Her Government would also welcome OSCE involvement, through its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, during the forthcoming conduct of censuses and elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  The Government, she adds, reaffirms that it will be fully responsible for the protection, safety and security of the OSCE mission and its members.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1371 (2001) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its resolutions 1244 (1999) of 10 June 1999 and 1345 (2001) of

21 March 2001 and the statements of its President of 7 March 2001 (S/PRST/2001/7), 16 March 2001 (S/PRST/2001/8) and 13 August 2001 (S/PRST/2001/20),


Welcoming the steps taken by the Government of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to consolidate a multi-ethnic society within its borders, and expressing its full support for the further development of this process,


Welcoming in this regard the signing of the Framework Agreement at Skopje on 13 August 2001 by the President of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the leaders of four political parties,


Welcoming international efforts, including those of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in cooperation with the Government of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and other States, to prevent the escalation of ethnic tensions in the area and to facilitate the full implementation of the Framework Agreement, thus contributing to peace and stability in the region,


Welcoming the letter from the Permanent Representative of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the President of the Security Council of 21 September 2001 (S/2001/897),

“1.   Reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and other States of the region;


“2.   Calls for the full implementation of resolution 1345 (2001);


“3.   Supports the full and timely implementation of the Framework Agreement, rejects the use of violence in pursuit of political aims and stresses that only peaceful political solutions can assure a stable and democratic future for The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia;


“4.   Welcomes the efforts of the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to contribute to the implementation of the Framework Agreement, in particular through the presence of international observers;


“5.   Endorses the efforts of Member States and relevant international organizations to support the implementation of the Framework Agreement and strongly supports in that regard the establishment of a multinational security presence in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at the request of its Government to contribute towards the security of the observers, and invites the Government of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to keep the Council informed;


“6.   Demands that all concerned ensure the safety of international personnel in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia;


“7.   Welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and the international security presence (KFOR) to implement fully resolution 1244 (1999), in particular by further strengthening its efforts to prevent unauthorized movement and illegal arms shipments across borders and boundaries, to confiscate illegal weapons within Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and to keep the Council informed;


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


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