United Nations

A/50/517


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 October 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 45


       THE SITUATION IN CENTRAL AMERICA:  PROCEDURES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT
       OF A FIRM AND LASTING PEACE AND PROGRESS IN FASHIONING A REGION OF
PEACE, FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT
                                
Report of the Secretary-General


I.  INTRODUCTION

1.  The present report is  submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution
49/137 of  19 December  1994,  in which  I  was  requested, inter  alia,  to
devise,  in consultation  with the  Government  of  El Salvador,  the Member
States and the  specialized agencies, "procedures for providing El Salvador,
in the context  of the Peace  Agreement, with the necessary  cooperation and
assistance in  the period after  the United  Nations Observer Mission  in El
Salvador  (ONUSAL), in order  to safeguard  peace and  the strengthening and
consolidation  of   national  reconciliation,   democracy  and   sustainable
development".

2.  It will  be recalled that  on 6 February 1995, before the  expiration of
the mandate of ONUSAL,  I informed the President  of the Security Council of
my intention  to set up  a team of United Nations  officials to provide good
offices  and  verify implementation  of  the  outstanding provisions  of the
peace  agreements  (S/1995/143).   The  President  of  the  Security Council
subsequently notified  me that  the Security Council  members welcomed  this
arrangement (S/1995/144).   

3.   On  27 April  1995, the  parties to  the Chapultepec  peace  agreements
signed a programme of  work for the completion  of all outstanding  areas of
the peace  accords (S/1995/407).  On  the following day the Security Council
adopted resolution 991 (1995),  formally marking the  end of the mandate  of
ONUSAL.  The  new Mission of  the United  Nations in  El Salvador  (MINUSAL)
began  its work as  planned on 1 May 1995, led  by Mr. Enrique ter Horst, my
Special  Representative.    With  its  staff  partly  funded  by   voluntary
contributions,  MINUSAL  has  represented  a  much  reduced  United  Nations
presence, but  one that  confirms the  Organization's continuing  support of
peace-building in El Salvador.  In May 1995 I established



95-30080 (E)   161095/...

*9530080*
the Trust Fund for MINUSAL in order to support the Mission's  activities.  I
would like  to take  this opportunity  to thank  those  countries that  have
already made  contributions to  the fund  (Denmark, Norway  and Sweden)  and
encourage others to do so.
 
4.   The programme of work had divided the remaining  accords into six areas
(public security, land  transfer, human settlements, reinsertion programmes,
Fund  for  the Protection  of  the  Wounded  and  Disabled, and  legislative
reforms)  and established dates  by which  specific provisions  in each area
must be  completed. It also  provided for weekly convening  of bilateral and
trilateral monitoring  and follow-up mechanisms  which facilitated the  work
of the mission and, in some  areas, accelerated execution of pending points.
Monthly  updates on  the  status of  the programme  of  work, which  I  have
circulated informally to members of the  Security Council, have revealed the
continuing  determination of the  parties to  the peace  agreements to bring
them to completion.   They have also revealed the difficulties and obstacles
in carrying this process  forward, as well as  the need for  the authorities
concerned  to apply themselves  to this  task with  vigour, addressing these
difficulties and obstacles with all necessary sense of purpose.

5.   MINUSAL  has continued  to exercise  its  good offices  with a  view to
assisting in carrying the  process forward, and in  so doing has contributed
to the  generation of  confidence in  the ongoing  process of  consolidating
advances   through   the   strengthening   of   El   Salvador's   democratic
institutions, as  well as the full  implementation of  the peace agreements.
Five  months  after the  establishment  of the  Mission,  it is  clear  that
implementation  of some  elements of  the peace accords  remains incomplete,
while significant delays persist in the case of others. 

6.  The present  report assesses the state  of implementation of the various
aspects of  the peace agreements verified  by MINUSAL between  1 May and  30
September 1995.   Besides  the introduction and my  concluding observations,
the report  is divided  into  six sections,  related to:   public  security;
human rights and the judicial system;  economic and social issues; electoral
matters; technical assistance programmes; and administrative aspects.


II.  PUBLIC SECURITY

7.  The  creation of a new civilian police force, the  National Civil Police
(PNC), was  one of the  fundamental elements  of the  peace agreements,  and
perhaps their most ambitious single component.  In  the two and a half years
that  have  elapsed since  its  initial  deployment,  PNC  has expanded  and
assumed virtually all public  security functions.  In  the three years since
its foundation, the National Public Security  Academy (ANSP) has graduated a
total of 8,482  agents, of whom some 200  are mid- and high-level  officers.
While  the strength  of  PNC has  now  exceeded  by  some 2,700  the  target
indicated  in  the accords,  it  has  continued  to  appear insufficient  to
counter  the  growing  tide  of  crime   afflicting  the  country.    Public
insecurity, fostered by already high  levels of common crime, has only grown
in  the face of  an increase in  violence associated  with drug trafficking,
organized crime  and the proliferation of  street gangs  and illegally armed
vigilante groups that have arisen to combat them.

 8.   In this  disturbing situation,  the authorities  have argued that  the
continuing deployment of joint patrols of PNC and  the Armed Forces in rural
areas  is necessary to  combat and  deter delinquency.  In  August 1995 some
officials publicly  recommended extending  these patrols to  urban areas,  a
suggestion that was officially  dismissed by the Armed  Forces.  As  I noted
in my last  report on the work of ONUSAL (S/1995/220, para. 23),  the use of
military forces for public security  purposes is not in  compliance with the
constitutional procedures established pursuant to the peace accords,  except
when the  National Civil Police  has been  found incapable  of addressing  a
specific crisis.  The President  may then issue such an order only if it  is
accompanied by  a notification to the Legislative Assembly.  The Mission has

suggested  that this  constitutional provision  be regulated by  a secondary
law.

9.   Compliance with  most of  the points  in  the area  of public  security
identified  by  the programme  of work,  while  welcome in  itself, has  not
served to strengthen  PNC and ANSP institutionally.   Rather, in this domain
a series  of troubling developments  have arisen  that point to  a potential
reversal in  the  process of  consolidating  PNC  and  highlight a  lack  of
coherence between  its development and the  public security scheme  designed
in the peace accords.   These developments  have included:  months of  delay
in the  naming of  an  Inspector General  of PNC  during a  period in  which
reported irregularities  within PNC have evidenced  the urgent  need for the
effective  occupation of  this position;  a  reluctance  to renew  fully the
Division  of   Criminal  Investigation   and  develop   the  Department   of
Investigation  of  Organized   Crime;  strong  indications  of  criminality,
including alleged assassination and  the membership of illegal armed groups,
within PNC  itself; and initiatives to  develop and  enhance public security
structures parallel to and possibly undermining  those mandated by the peace
agreements.

10.   Indicative of these  developments is the  fact that  the Police Career
Law,  indispensable  for   guaranteeing  the  professional  proficiency  and
ethical conduct  of PNC,  has yet  to be  approved.   However, it  is to  be
welcomed that  the  Government has  requested  that  MINUSAL advise  on  the
drafting of the Law,  and that it  be submitted to the Legislative  Assembly
before  the end of November 1995.  At the further request of the Government,
the  Mission  has carried  out a  second evaluation  of the  public security
sector with recommendations for governmental action.

11.   The developments outlined  above make it  clear that  it is of crucial
importance that government efforts to counter the  exceptionally high levels
of  criminality affecting  the country  should  not be  carried out  at  the
expense of  training new  police agents and  the further development  of PNC
into an institution which  will be effective in protecting the rights of all
Salvadorians.


III.  HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

12.   The profile  of the  office of  the National Counsel  for Human Rights
(NCHR) has risen markedly  since the election of a new ombudswoman in  March
1995.   Its institutional  development, which  is supported  by a  technical
assistance  project of  the  United Nations  Development  Programme  (UNDP),
moves steadily  forward.   It is  to be welcomed  that coordination  between
NCHR  and PNC  in handling  public disturbances  has improved  considerably,
particularly in the  capital.  However,  in order  to discharge its  mandate
fully NCHR  will  require  continued strengthening  and a  higher  budgetary
provision.

13.  The  area of  the programme of  work that  has seen  the least  advance
during the past five months  is approval of the legislative reforms required
to comply with the binding recommendations of  the Commission on the  Truth.
The Legislative Assembly has approved only  the Government's ratification of
international human  rights legal  agreements and deposit  of the  necessary
instruments   with  the   secretariats  of   the  United  Nations   and  the
Organization  of American  States  and the  Government's recognition  of the
jurisdiction of  the Inter-American  Court of  Human Rights.   However,  two
MINUSAL  staff  members are  actively  participating  in  current  technical
discussions being carried out  in the Assembly.  Four of the most  important
legal  texts  (the  new  Penal  and   Criminal  Procedures  codes,  the  new
Penitentiary  Law and the  Constitutional Reforms  related to the guarantees
of due process) seem likely to be approved before the end of November  1995.
The other  reforms for  which the  programme of  work set  a deadline of  31
October 1995 will not be ready for approval before mid-1996.

14.  The  screening and vetting  of judges  by the Supreme Court  of Justice

elected in July 1994  has been proceeding slowly.   MINUSAL has continued to
encourage  the Court in the good  work it has initiated, but  this effort is
far from nearing  completion.  The  preparation by  the Court  of the  legal
texts  mandating further judicial reforms for submission  to the Legislative
Assembly in accordance with the programme of work has yet to begin.


IV.  ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ISSUES

15.  The delays  that have plagued the land transfer programme (PTT) persist
as it  enters  into  its  final and  most  difficult  stage.   They  can  be
attributed both to continuing problems of  a legal, technical and procedural
nature and to the  increasing scarcity of land for sale.  Recurring problems
with  mid-level  administrators  in  the  Lands  Bank  in  particular   have
suggested that political factors may also have contributed to the delays.

16.  Increased efforts by the relevant Government bodies from April to  July
1995 led  to a  notable  increase in  the  number  of beneficiaries  (to  an
average of 1,400  a month)  who received  land titles.   As of 19  September
1995, 74  per cent of  the potential  beneficiaries had  received titles  to
land.   However, it  has recently  come to  light that  only 25 per  cent of
these beneficiaries had had  their titles filed  with the land registry.   A
follow-up  team  has been  formed  to  facilitate  the  legal processes  for
registration.   The  land programme  can  only  be considered  to have  been
completed when the beneficiaries are able to register  their titles and thus
to sell the land if they  so wish.  A sharp decline in the rate of  transfer
in the  month  of  August  is  a  source  of concern  and  could  portend  a
considerable delay in meeting the goals of the programme of work.

17.   It is consistent  with the logic  of the  land transfer programme that
the complex issue of  relocation has been left to the end.  In coming months
the rate of  transfer is  likely to  remain low as  it becomes necessary  to
relocate  both those who are on lands  whose owners do not want  to sell and
those within human settlements who are  also potential beneficiaries of  PTT
but are unable to satisfy their  land requirements nearby.   Past experience
of  relocation   has  been   discouraging,  with  most   of  the   relocated
beneficiaries abandoning their land or returning to their place of origin.

18.     Firm advances  have recently  been registered in  the area  of rural
human settlements,  albeit  after lengthy  delays  in  the approval  of  the
special regime for  their transfer.   This  was finally  achieved in  August
1995, together with agreement on an operational plan.   At current rates  of
progress it is foreseeable  that before 31 October  1995 the transfer of the
rural human  settlements may have  begun.  The complex  social and political
circumstances of the rural human settlements  indicates that the transfer of
their  productive, social  and habitational  infrastructure will  remain  an
issue  of  particular  delicacy,  with  a  potential for  aggravated  social
tension within the regions where they are situated.   If these problems  are
not sorted  out, the goal of  completing this area of  the programme in  the
second quarter of 1996 could be in jeopardy.

19.    All  certificates   within  the  initial  universe  of  beneficiaries
identified  by the Frente  Farabundo Marti  para Liberacion  Nacional (FMLN)
for  the  urban  human  settlements  have  been  distributed  by  Government
authorities.   However,  the  legalization and  registry  of  beneficiaries'
titles, a prerequisite for  the disbursement of funds, is likely to prove  a
complex and lengthy process.

20.   Reintegration programmes  have been advancing  steadily.   Only a  few
specific  components remain  and it  is likely that  they will  be completed
before the end of the year.   However, concerns have been growing  about the
impact  of   the  programmes  on  those   they  have   benefited  and  their
sustainability  over  the  medium  and  long   term.  In  this  context  the
Government  has recently  requested UNDP  to  prepare  an evaluation  of the
effectiveness of the reintegration programmes.

V.  ELECTORAL MATTERS

21.   The experience of the  presidential, legislative  and local government
elections  of 1994 convinced participants and observers  alike that profound
reforms  to the  Salvadorian electoral  system were  necessary  (S/1994/536,
para. 17).  During 1995, pursuant to an  agreement outside the framework  of
the peace accords, a presidentially appointed inter-party commission  issued
a series of recommendations on electoral reform.   The commission called for
a new  single identity  and  voter registration  card  to  be issued  by  an
autonomous body created for that end  alone, the introduction of residential
voting,  the drawing-up  of  a new  electoral roll  and  the reform  of  the
Supreme Electoral  Tribunal.   However, progress  in the  area of  electoral
reforms  has  recently  been  hindered  by  the   proposed  introduction  of
proportional representation  at the municipal level,  to which the  majority
within the Legislative Assembly objects.

22.    In order  to  ensure  the  legitimacy of  the  local  government  and
legislative elections  of 1997,  I  would  urge members  of all  parties  to
ensure the timely adoption of  the electoral reforms.  I  would also like to
reiterate that an administrative and structural transformation is  necessary
if  the Supreme Electoral  Tribunal is  to become  a credible, professional,
democratic and non-partisan institution.


VI.  TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES

23.   MINUSAL  and  UNDP  have  jointly  prepared  a  set  of  10  technical
assistance  projects critical  for consolidating  the peace process  and, in
particular, for strengthening  the institutions  created or reformed by  the
peace accords.   These  technical assistance  projects, which  have a  total
cost of  US$ 9.8 million, cover  administration of  justice, public security
and  land and  reintegration programmes  and  have  been submitted  to donor
countries  for  funding.   As  of September  1995,  the donor  community had
announced  the  contribution, via  distinct  funding  mechanisms,  of  $4.23
million, which will allow for four projects in the areas of public  security
and administration  of justice  to be  implemented.   Activities within  two
further  projects in  the area  of  administration of  justice can  also  be
initiated.  UNDP, responding at the  Government's request, continues to seek
funds for the remaining programmes.


VII.  ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECTS

24.    MINUSAL   comprises  11  international   staff,  8   civilian  police
consultants and a small administrative team and is  supported by UNDP in the
financial   disbursement   of  allotted   funds  and   other  administrative
functions. 

25.   MINUSAL has  deployed its  police consultants  throughout the country,
thus facilitating on-the-spot verification of compliance with the  programme
of  work. The  advances registered  since 1  May  1995  make it  possible to
reduce their  number and bring down  MINUSAL's strength  to 10 international
staff, 4 civilian police consultants and support staff.

26.   Mr. Enrique  ter Horst, who has  been Chief of Mission  of both ONUSAL
(since April  1994) and MINUSAL, left  El Salvador at  the end of  September
1995 to return to the Venezuelan diplomatic service.   He has been  replaced
as my  Representative and  Director of  Mission by  Mr. Ricardo Vigil.   Mr.
Vigil  is  well known  to  the  parties in  El  Salvador  as  he opened  the
preparatory  office for what  eventually became  ONUSAL in  January 1991 and
then  served with  ONUSAL as  Principal Political  and Legal Adviser  to the
Chief of Mission until March 1992.


VIII.  OBSERVATIONS

27.   MINUSAL's ability  to carry  out its  functions successfully has  been
attributable in  large measure  to its  retention of  some of  ONUSAL's most
experienced  civilian  and   police  staff,  thus  ensuring  continuity   in
verification of  the outstanding areas  of the peace  agreements and in  the
exercise of good offices.

28.   While  there  is  no question  of the  Government's political  will to
comply fully with its commitments under the  peace agreements, I agree  with
it and FMLN that the continued presence  of a small Mission is  necessary to
fulfil  the undertaking of  the United  Nations to  verify implementation of
the peace  agreements.   Depending on  the rate  of progress  in the  coming
months, it should be possible to reduce further the  size of the Mission and
gradually phase it out.

29.  In the immediate future, it is of paramount importance  that efforts to
counter  the   increase  in   criminal  activity   do  not   jeopardize  the
institutional  development of  PNC and  the  Police  Academy and  that these
objectives be pursued  simultaneously and in a mutually reinforcing  manner.
The concept of the  National Civil Police, as embodied in the peace accords,
must be preserved and  sustained.  It is encouraging that the Government  is
aware  of the  need to  change course  and,  in  agreement with  FMLN, asked
MINUSAL to  evaluate the publicsecurity  sector and present  recommendations
to that end.

30.  Close monitoring  and support for the  land transfer programme, as well
as for  the transfer  of the rural  human settlements, will  continue to  be
necessary  at  the  regional  and  central   levels  in  order  to   address
bottlenecks  and  encourage  an  increase in  the  pace  of  implementation.
MINUSAL will  also continue to provide  advisory support  to the formulation
of  the  legislative  reforms  required   by  the  recommendations   of  the
Commission on the Truth.

31.   For the above reasons, I  propose to extend the Mission  for a further
six months, until 30  April 1996, with  a gradual reduction of its  strength
and costs.  I am  encouraged to believe  that a substantial  portion of  the
budget for its  extension will be  funded by  donor countries,  a number  of
whom have already generously contributed to  the process of implementing and
consolidating the peace accords.


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