14/08/2002
Press Release
SC/7481/Rev.1



Security Council                                            SC/7481/Rev.1**

4600th Meeting* (AM)                                         14 August 2002


SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION ADJUSTING MANDATE OF UNITED NATIONS


MISSION IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA


Mission to Undertake Demining in Support of Boundary Demarcation


Recalling the Delimitation Decision by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission of 13 April embraced by the parties as "final and binding", the Security Council this morning adjusted the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to assist in the expeditious and orderly implementation of its Delimitation Decision. 


The Council, unanimously adopting resolution 1430 (2002), decided that the Mission's mandate would immediately include:  demining in key areas to support demarcation; and administrative and logistical support for the Field Offices of the Boundary Commission.


In accordance with the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report of 10 July, concerning the Mission's expanded demining role and its provision of administrative and logistical support for demarcation, the Council called on the parties to cooperate fully and expeditiously with UNMEE in implementing its adjusted mandate by abiding scrupulously by their agreements, and by resolving all outstanding issues in accordance with the Algiers Agreements.


The Council also called on the parties to:  cooperate fully and promptly with the Boundary Commission, including by implementing without conditions its binding Demarcation Directions, and by taking all steps necessary to ensure the personal security of the Commission's staff; refrain from unilateral troop or population movements, including establishment of any new settlements in areas near the border, pending demarcation; and release and return, without further delay, all remaining prisoners of war and civilian internees under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


Further by the text, the Council demanded that the parties allow UNMEE full freedom of movement and remove immediately any and all restrictions on, and impediments to, the work of UNMEE and its staff in discharging its mandate.


The meeting, which began at 11 a.m., adjourned at 11:04 a.m.


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*     The 4597th, 4598th and 4599th meetings were closed.


**    Revised to include additional information.

Following is the full text of resolution 1430 (2002):


"The Security Council,


"Recalling its relevant resolutions concerning the situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia, in particular resolution 1398 (2002) of 15 March 2002,


"Further recalling the report of 27 February 2002 of the Security Council Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea undertaken in the period 21-25 February 2002 (S/2002/205),


"Recalling the Delimitation Decision by the Boundary Commission of 13 April 2002 (S/2002/423), subsequently embraced by the parties as final and binding in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in Algiers on 12 December 2000 (S/2000/1183),


"Reaffirming its strong support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the preceding Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (S/2000/601), signed in Algiers on 18 June 2000 (hereafter referred to collectively as the ‘Algiers Agreements’),


"Further reaffirming its strong support for the help in implementing the Algiers Agreements continuously provided by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, including through their good offices, and for the role played by the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) in the implementation of its mandate thereby contributing towards the completion of the peace process,


"Reaffirming the need for both parties to fulfil their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law, and to ensure the safety of all personnel of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian organizations,


"Further reaffirming its strong support for the African Union Liaison Mission in Ethiopia-Eritrea, and inviting the President by interim of the Commission of the African Union to continue actively the role of the former Organization of African Unity in support of the peace process,


"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 10 July 2002 (S/2002/744),


"1.   Decides to adjust the mandate of UNMEE, in order to assist the Boundary Commission in the expeditious and orderly implementation of its Delimitation Decision, to include with immediate effect:


"(a)  demining in key areas to support demarcation, and


"(b)  administrative and logistical support for the Field Offices of the Boundary Commission,


in accordance with the recommendations provided by the Secretary-General in paragraphs 13, 14 and 17 of the above report, and resolution 1398 (2002), with the costs of civilian demining contractors and Field Office support to be funded as outlined in paragraphs 14 and 17 of the report;


"2.   Endorses the technical steps for territorial transfers as a broad framework for the process as recommended by the Secretary-General in his report, and decides to review, as necessary, the implications for UNMEE in this regard, while strongly urging the parties to provide their full and prompt cooperation in the process with a view to ensuring an expeditious transition for the benefit of the affected populations;


"3.   Calls on the parties to cooperate fully and expeditiously with UNMEE in the implementation of its mandate, as adjusted through this resolution, by abiding scrupulously by the letter and spirit of their agreements, and by resolving all outstanding issues in accordance with the Algiers Agreements;


"4.   Encourages the parties to continue cooperating, fully and expeditiously, with UNMEE on providing the information and maps required by the Mission for the demining process;


"5.   Calls on the parties to cooperate fully and promptly with the Boundary Commission, including by implementing without conditions its binding Demarcation Directions, by abiding promptly by all its Orders, including the two issued on 17 July 2002 (S/2002/853), and by taking all steps necessary to ensure the personal security of the staff of the Commission when operating in territories under their control;


"6.   Appeals to the parties to exercise restraint, and emphasizes that in accordance with article 14 of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, the security arrangements are to remain in effect, and that, accordingly, arrangements for the separation of forces, as achieved by the Temporary Security Zone and through the contributions of UNMEE, will continue to be of key importance;


"7.   Calls on the parties to refrain from unilateral troop or population movements, including establishment of any new settlements in areas near the border, until demarcation and orderly transfer of territorial control has been accomplished, in accordance with article 4.16 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement;


"8.   Demands that the parties allow UNMEE full freedom of movement and remove with immediate effect any and all restrictions on, and impediments to the work of, UNMEE and its staff in the discharge of its mandate;


"9.   Expresses its disappointment that there has been no progress regarding the establishment of a direct high-altitude flight route for UNMEE between Asmara and Addis Ababa, given the importance to the demarcation process of a direct flight route, and renews its appeal to the parties to work with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in a spirit of compromise to settle the issue for the mutual benefit of all;


"10.  Calls again on the parties to release and return without further delay all remaining prisoners of war and civilian internees under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and the Algiers Agreements;


"11.  Further calls on the parties to increase their efforts to take other measures that will build confidence and promote reconciliation between the two peoples for their mutual benefit, including in particular the areas listed in paragraph 14 of resolution 1398 (2002);


"12.  Encourages the guarantors, facilitators and witnesses of the Algiers Agreements and the Friends of UNMEE to intensify their contacts with the authorities of both countries with the view to contribute to an expeditious demarcation process;


"13.  Strongly emphasizes the importance of an expeditious and orderly demarcation process in order to further peace and normalize the relations between the parties, to enable displaced persons to return home and in order for the parties to move completely beyond the border issue and pave the way for reconstruction and development as well as political and economic cooperation;


14.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


Background


When the Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the situation there (document S/2002/744).


The July report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1398 (2002), by which the mandate of UNMEE was extended until 15 September, proposes, subject to the agreement of the two parties, ways in which UNMEE can contribute to the orderly and expeditious implementation of the 13 April delimitation decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.


According to the report, the parties accepted the delimitation decision of the Boundary Commission as "final and binding" promptly after its announcement on 13 April.  That was a clear manifestation of their desire for a final settlement and yearning for a lasting peace.  The Commission's handling of demarcation will be thorough, objective, and exceptionally professional, as was the case with delimitation; all parties concerned must do their part to allow the Commission's work to move forward quickly.


Until the completion of demarcation and the transfer of territorial control, the security arrangements maintained by UNMEE will remain essential, the report states.  In connection with the maintenance of stability in areas adjacent to the Temporary Security Zone, the Secretary-General expresses concern about recent press reports regarding new settlements in the border area.  He understands that Eritrea has requested from the Commission an order for interim measures of protection.  Without in any way intervening in the Commission's responsibilities, and irrespective of where any such settlements might fall in relation to the delimitation line, it is clear that the risk of misperception on either side could be high.


The Secretary-General, therefore, appeals to the parties to refrain from establishing any new settlements in areas near the border until they have been demarcated and the orderly transfer of territorial control has been accomplished.  He recommends, meanwhile, that the Security Council adjust UNMEE's mandate, so that it can carry out the tasks requested by the Boundary Commission.  The practical capabilities available to UNMEE on the ground make it particularly suitable to assist the Boundary Commission promptly and effective.


As part of its operational demining, UNMEE has continued to clear access routes to the border area, which may also be helpful in reaching pillar sites during the demarcation process, the report states.  The Secretary-General proposes that, subject to the Council's agreement, the Mission is also prepared to clear

the pillar sites themselves, once these are determined, in addition to any other sites required for surveying purposes by the Commission's Field Office.  That work would be carried out by the Mission's military component in coordination with the Mine Action Coordination Centre and national authorities.  Since there is no other entity in a position to initiate operational demining for demarcation in a timely and effective manner, the Secretary-General believes UNMEE is best suited to undertake those tasks.


In addition, the Secretary-General states, civilian contractors would provide quality assurance and verification, a standard practice in such circumstances.  Such contractors would be managed by UNMEE Mine Action Coordination Centre and funded from the United Nations Trust Fund for the Delimitation and Demarcation of the Border.  The parties would continue to carry out humanitarian demining in the border area, so that their respective peoples could inhabit and productively utilize the land.  In that connection, he appeals to the donor community to continue supporting the important work of humanitarian mine clearance in the two countries.


Under a section on administrative and logistical support for demarcation, the report states that, in accordance with resolution 1344 (2001), UNMEE has responded favourably to the Boundary Commission's explicit request for administrative and logistical support to its Field Office.  That includes such assistance as the provision of office space, communications, transport, medical evaluation services and liaison functions.  Costs related to the provision of such assistance are defrayed from the United Nations Trust Fund for the Delimitation and Demarcation of the Border.  The Mission's assistance is limited to practical support; UNMEE has no involvement in, or influence upon, the decisions of the Boundary Commission and its Field Office.


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