SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES ON PHASED LIFTING OF ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST FORMER YUGOSLAVIA BY VOTE OF 14 TO NONE, WITH RUSSIAN FEDERATION ABSTAINING
SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES ON PHASED LIFTING OF ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST FORMER YUGOSLAVIA BY VOTE OF 14 TO NONE, WITH RUSSIAN FEDERATION ABSTAINING
SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES ON PHASED LIFTING OF ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST FORMER YUGOSLAVIA BY VOTE OF 14 TO NONE, WITH RUSSIAN FEDERATION ABSTAINING19951122 Unanimously Decides on Conditional Suspension of General Sanctions Against Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Subject to Follow-Up of Peace Agreement
The Security Council this afternoon decided to end the arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia and to indefinitely suspend a series of sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) which have been in place since May 1992.
By a vote of 14 in favour, none against and one abstention (Russian Federation), the Council decided to end its prohibition on the delivery of weapons and military equipment to the territory of the former Yugoslavia put in place by its resolution 713 (1991). It decided that the lifting of the embargo would commence when the Secretary-General reported to the Council that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had signed the Peace Agreement agreed to at Dayton, Ohio.
By the resolution, the embargo would remain in place during the first 90 days following the submission of such a report. During the second 90 days, all provisions of the arms embargo will be terminated, with the exception that the delivery of heavy weapons and ammunition (as defined in the Peace Agreement), mines, military aircraft and helicopters shall continue to be prohibited until an arms control agreement has taken effect. On the one hundred eightieth day following the report, and after the submission of a report from the Secretary-General on the implementation of an Agreement on Regional Stabilization, all provisions of the arms embargo would terminate unless the Council decided otherwise. The draft was adopted as resolution 1021 (1995).
Unanimously adopting resolution 1022 (1995), the Council decided to immediately and indefinitely suspend sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), with effect upon the withdrawal of all Bosnian Serb forces behind the zones of separation established in the Peace Agreement. The suspension of sanctions would be subject to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serbs meeting their obligations under the Peace Agreement announced at Dayton, Ohio.
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The Council also decided that sanctions would be terminated on the tenth day after the holding of free and fair elections provided for in the Peace Agreement, provided the Bosnian Serbs had withdrawn from and respected the agreed zones of separation.
It also decided that all funds and assets frozen or impounded under the sanctions regime shall likewise be released in accordance with applicable law. It added that suspension or termination of obligations pursuant to the action would be without prejudice to the claims of successor States to the former Yugoslavia.
Also by the resolution, the Council urged all concerned parties to assist in locating the two French pilots missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that weapons in the hands of the victims would not be used to correct past wrongs but to deter a resumption of aggression. When international negotiators turned their attention elsewhere and peace-keepers had returned home, the defence of peace would be left to the Bosnians themselves.
The representative of Croatia said that the peace accords had been brought about by the Council's sanctions regime against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro); the joint Croatian/Bosnian military offensives and later NATO intervention; and by the new leadership role assumed by the United States.
Mr. Jovanovic said that the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina could have been avoided had the European Union plan of Ambassador Cutileiro been accepted, and had one of the parties, encouraged from the outside, not withdrawn its consent. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had strongly supported the Cutileiro plan, he said.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that the lifting of the arms embargo ran counter to the spirit of the debate, which had emphasized peace and stability. The resolution lifting sanctions was a balanced document, with provisos for reimposition in the event of non-compliance with the agreement.
The representative of the United States said that leaders of the three countries involved had made difficult choices to bridge their past grievances and embrace future possibilities. The task for the Council was to provide the first concrete results of the Dayton agreement.
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Statements were also made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, Germany, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Botswana, Honduras, France, Italy, Argentina, Rwanda, Oman, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Canada, Norway, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Colombia and Brazil.
The meeting, which was called to order at 4:14 p.m., was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.
Situation in Former Yugoslavia
The Security Council meets this afternoon to review the situation in the former Yugoslavia, and specifically to consider lifting the arms embargo in effect since September 1991 and the sanctions regime in effect against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) since May 1992. Today's review of the situation follows the initialling at the proximity talks in Dayton, Ohio, on 21 November of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (or Peace Agreement) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Before the Council were two draft resolutions.
The first (document S/1995/977), sponsored by Argentina, France, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Oman, Rwanda, United Kingdom and the United States, reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions concerning the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and in particular its resolutions 713 (1991) and 727 (1992),
"Reaffirming its commitment to a negotiated political settlement of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, preserving the territorial integrity of all States there within their internationally recognized borders,
"Welcoming the initialling of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Annexes thereto (collectively the Peace Agreement) by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other parties thereto on 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, signifying agreement between the parties to sign formally the Peace Agreement,
"Welcoming also the commitments of the parties set out in Annex 1B (Agreement on Regional Stabilization) of the Peace Agreement,
"Determining that the situation in the Region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Decides that the embargo on deliveries of weapons and military equipment imposed by resolution 713 (1991) shall be terminated as follows,
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beginning from the day the Secretary-General submits to the Council a report stating that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia signed the Peace Agreement:
"during the fist ninety days following the submission of such a report, all the provisions of the embargo shall remain in place;
"during the second ninety days following the submission of such a report, all provisions of the arms embargo shall be terminated, except that the delivery of heavy weapons (as defined in the Peace Agreement), ammunition therefor, mines, military aircraft and helicopters shall continue to be prohibited until the arms control agreement referred to in Annex 1B has taken effect; and
"after the 180th days following the submission of such a report and after the submission of a report from the Secretary-General on the implementation of Annex 1B (Agreement on Regional Stabilization), all provisions of the arms embargo terminate unless the Council decides otherwise;
"2. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare in a timely way and to submit to the Council the reports referred to in paragraph 1 above;
"3. Maintains its commitment to progressive measures for regional stability and arms control and, if the situation requires, to consider further action;
"4. Requests the Committee established pursuant to resolution 724 (1991) to review and to amend its guidelines in the light of the provisions of this resolution;
"5. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
The second draft resolution (document S/1995/978), sponsored by Argentina, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Russian Federation, Rwanda, United Kingdom and the United States, reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions concerning the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia,
"Reaffirming its commitment to a negotiated political settlement of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, preserving the territorial integrity of all States there within their internationally recognized borders,
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"Commending the efforts of the international community, including those of the Contact Group, to assist the parties in reaching a settlement,
"Praising the decision of the Governments of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to attend and participate constructively in proximity talks in the United States of America, and acknowledging with appreciation the efforts made by these Governments to reach a lasting peace settlement in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
"Welcoming the initialling of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Annexes thereto (collectively the Peace Agreement) by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other parties thereto on 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, signifying agreement between the parties to sign formally the Peace Agreement,
"Noting the Concluding Statement issued at the adjournment of the proximity talks, in which all parties undertook, iter alia, to assist in locating the two French pilots missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to ensure their immediate and safe return,
"Stressing the need for all parties to comply fully with all provisions of the Peace Agreement,
"Noting that compliance with the requests and orders of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia constitutes an essential aspect of implementing the Peace Agreement,
"Recognizing the interests of all States in the implementation of the suspension and subsequent termination of measures imposed by the Council, and in particular the interests of the successor States to the State formerly known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with respect to the disposition of assets affected by the fact that that State has ceased to exist, and the desirability of accelerating the process now under way under the auspices of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia (ICFY) to reach a consensual agreement among the successor States as to the disposition of such assets,
"Determining that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Decides that the measures imposed by or reaffirmed in resolutions 757 (1992), 787 (1992), 820 (1993), 942 (1994), 943 (1994), 988 (1995), 992
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(1995), 1003 (1995) and 1015 (1995) are suspended indefinitely with immediate effect subject to the provisions of paragraphs 2 to 5 below, and provided that if the Secretary-General reports to the Council that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has failed formally to sign the Peace Agreement on the date announced by the contact Group for such purpose, and that the other parties thereto have expressed their readiness so to sign, the measures described above shall be automatically reimposed from the fifth day following the date of such report;
"2. Decides also that the suspension referred to in paragraph 1 above shall not apply to the measures imposed on the Bosnian Serb party until the day after the commander of the international force to be deployed in accordance with the Peace Agreement, on the basis of a report transmitted through the appropriate political authorities, informs the Council via the Secretary-General that all Bosnian Serb forces have withdrawn behind the zones of separation established in the Peace Agreement; and urges all parties concerned to take all necessary measures to assist in locating the two French pilots missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to ensure their immediate and safe return;
"3. Further decides that if at any time, with regard to a matter within the scope of their respective mandates and after joint consultation if appropriate, either the High Representative described in the Peace Agreement, or the commander of the international force to be deployed in accordance with the Peace Agreement, on the basis of a report transmitted through the appropriate political authorities, informs the Council via the Secretary- General that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or the Bosnian Serb authorities are failing significantly to meet their obligations under the Peace Agreement, the suspension referred to in paragraph 1 above shall terminate on the fifth day following the Council's receipt of such a report, unless the Council decides otherwise taking into consideration the nature of the non-compliance;
"4. Further decides that it will terminate the measures described in paragraph 1 above on the tenth day following the occurrence of the first free and fair elections provided for in annex 3 of the Peace Agreement, provided that the Bosnian Serb forces have withdrawn from, and have continued to respect, the zones of separation as provided in the Peace Agreement;
"5. Further decides that so long as the measures referred to in paragraph 1 above remain suspended, or are terminated by a subsequent Council decision in accordance with paragraph 4 above, all funds and assets previously frozen or impounded pursuant to resolutions 757 (1992) and 820 (1993) may be released by States in accordance with law, provided that any such funds and assets that are subject to any claims, liens, judgements, or encumbrances, or
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which are the funds or assets of any person, partnership, corporation, or other entity found or deemed insolvent under law or the accounting principles prevailing in such State, shall remain frozen or impounded until released in accordance with applicable law, and decides further that obligations of States related to freezing or impounding funds and assets contained in such resolutions shall be suspended pursuant to paragraph 1 above with respect to all funds and assets not currently frozen or impounded until the measures concerned are terminated by a subsequent Council decision;
"6. Further decides that the suspension or termination of obligations pursuant to this resolution is without prejudice to claims of successor States to the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with respect to funds and assets; stresses the need for the successor States to reach agreement on the distribution of funds and assets and the allocation of liabilities of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; encourages all States to make provision under their national law for addressing competing claims of States, as well as claims of private parties affecting funds and assets; and further encourages States to take appropriate measures to facilitate the expeditious collection of any funds and assets by the appropriate parties and the resolution of claims related thereto;
"7. Further decides that all States shall continue to take the necessary measures to ensure that there shall be no claim in connection with the performance of any contract or other transaction where such performance was affected by the measures imposed by the resolutions referred to in paragraph 1 above and related resolutions;
"8. Requests the Committee established pursuant to resolution 724 (1991) to review and to amend the guidelines in the light of the provisions of this resolution.
"9. Pays tribute to the neighbouring States, the ICFY mission, the European Union/Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe Sanctions Coordinator, the Sanctions Communications Centre and the Sanctions Assistance Missions, the Western European Union operation on the Danube and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization/Western European Union Sharp Guard operation in the Adriatic Sea for their significant contribution to the achievement of a negotiated peace;
"10. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said that as a member of the Contact Group, as the major contributor for much of this year of peace-keepers on the ground, and as one of the major contributors to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) programme for the former Yugoslavia, the
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United Kingdom had played a central role in the cumulative efforts over the last four years that led to the Agreement. The United Kingdom warmly welcomed the recent turn of events. There were already those among the parties who claimed that this Agreement was unfair, that more could have been gained by continuing the fight. He could not share their view. The British Government had always believed a negotiated settlement was the only way in which lasting peace could be achieved. The Peace Agreement preserved Bosnia as a single State. It laid the basis for strengthening its independence and security.
He also paid tribute to all those who had helped bring about this Agreement. It would not have been possible without the international community's collective determination to secure a negotiated settlement: without the dedication of past negotiators; nor could it have been achieved without the courage and perseverance of United Nations troops, the UNHCR and other agencies on the ground, and the commitment of governments to make peace- keeping troops available in the first place.
The existence of the Peace Agreement was the clearest possible vindication of the Council's use of economic sanctions to bring about change. It was therefore right that the Council should now reward Belgrade's contribution to the successful outcome of the Dayton negotiations by granting very substantial sanctions relief. But this Council was giving a conditional reward. The draft resolution held out the prospect of the permanent removal of sanctions when the Agreement had been implemented, and when free and fair elections had been held. It also held out the prospect that sanctions relief could be taken away at any time should there be failure to cooperate over implementation.
As well as suspending sanctions, it was also right that the Council should allow a phased lifting of the arms embargo, in the context of implementation of the Peace Agreement and given the shared interests of all the States in the region to conclude regional arms control arrangements. The Council had seen several lively debates on the question of the arms embargo over the last few years. It remained a contentious issue. But there could be no doubt that both economic sanctions and the arms embargo played an important part in containing the conflict and persuading the parties to turn aside from the military option and to negotiate in earnest.
But the Agreement would be worth little if it was not implemented urgently and in full by the parties. This would require dedication and perseverance. There would be many difficulties along the way. But the parties must remain determined to see the task through, because their only alternative was a slide back into the suffering and misery of the last four years. The next step was for the parties to sign the Agreement at the
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Conference to be held in Paris in the near future. The United Kingdom was ready to play its part.
TONO EITEL (Germany) said that as imperfect as the Agreement was, it represented the best chance in a long time for a durable peace in the region. All sides had to make painful concessions. He urged the parties to be steadfast in their acceptance and pursuit of a peace as outlined in the Agreement. It was essentially they and not the international community who must build a durable peace. The resolutions on the lifting of the arms embargo and the suspension of sanctions were the first step of the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
The unfreezing of funds and assets which could be allocated to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would hopefully enable it to re-establish trade links and commerce with other countries as soon as the sanctions were suspended. Assets and funds that were subject to third party claims would remain frozen. All measures would be taken to ensure that those assets and funds remained impounded in accordance with the applicable law. With regard to conflicting claims of the successor States, he urged them to seek an agreement on the distribution of disputed funds and assets and the allocation of liabilities in general as soon as possible.
He appealed to the international community to do all it could to further the successful completion of the peace process. Germany would do its part. It had been intensively involved in the negotiation efforts of the International Contact Group. He stressed the importance of substantial arms control agreements as outlined in Annex 1B of the Peace Agreement to offset the danger of the lifting the arms embargo triggering a new arms race in the region. The military balance in the region should be established at the lowest possible level.
He said the Foreign Ministry of Germany intended to invite all parties concerned to a first meeting on arms control in Bonn, at the earliest possible date. His Government wanted to give an initial momentum to the negotiations under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as envisaged in the Agreement on Regional Stabilization.
NUGROHO WISNUMURTI (Indonesia) said that while the Dayton Agreement constituted a milestone in the efforts towards the attainment of a comprehensive peace in the former Yugoslavia, the solution to the conflict as agreed in Dayton was perhaps less than what fairness and justice required. That was especially true in view of the fact that some of the basic elements contained in the Agreement reflected a virtual recognition of the gains derived from, and losses suffered as a consequence of, the war. The Council
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should be under no illusion that Bosnia and Herzegovina was the real victim of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
He said Indonesia had consistently called on the Security Council to pronounce itself unequivocally on the non-applicability of the arms embargo against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The arms embargo imposed in 1991 on the former Yugoslavia had the unintended effect of freezing the advantage in weapons in favour of the Bosnian Serbs, who ruthlessly exploited it with harrowing consequences in human life and suffering. Indonesia had therefore decided to co-sponsor the draft resolution on the termination of the arms embargo.
There were sufficient grounds to believe that stark military imbalance in favour of the Bosnian Serbs had helped to sustain their aggression, and that the recent revitalization of the peace process could not be entirely detached from the noticeably more determined response by the international community to Bosnian Serb violations of Security Council resolutions. It was therefore imperative to ensure that such conditions of sharp military imbalances were not allowed to repeat themselves.
He said Indonesia was sensitive to the inherent limitations of sanctions as an instrument to maintain or restore international peace and security. Nevertheless, it was its view that the Council had succeeded in clearly defining the objectives of the application of sanctions. The sanctions imposed by the Security Council were not punitive measures designed to inflict hardship and pain on the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but were intended to encourage the Government in Belgrade to modify its policy by playing a constructive role in the peace process commensurate with its influence in the region. Sanctions imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had contributed to its adoption of a more realistic and balanced approach to the peace talks.
He went on to say that his country welcomed the positive role which the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had recently played in the peace process and hence deemed it appropriate for the Council to suspend the sanctions imposed against it. But, he emphasized, the continuation of the suspension of sanctions was contingent upon the fulfilment by the authorities in Belgrade and by the Bosnian Serbs of their obligations under the Peace Agreement. With regard to the provisions contained in the draft resolution relating to funds and assets frozen or impounded by the Security Council resolutions, there was a need for caution. Funds or assets shot not be unfrozen prematurely, as such hasty action might preempt a consensual agreement among the successor States as to the disposition of such funds and assets.
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With specific reference to the proposed international force to implement the peace accord, Indonesia considered that the legitimacy and credibility as well as the ultimate success of that force would, to a large extent, be influenced by the manner in which the Council reaches its ultimate decisions. Transparency, consultation and consensus should be the minimum criteria in guiding those critical and urgent decisions of the Council.
In light of those considerations, Indonesia would vote in favour of the two draft resolutions before the Security Council.
QIN HUASUN (China) welcomed the Peace Agreement, which served the fundamental interests of all peoples in the region and contributed to peace and stability in Europe and the world as a whole. The initialling of the Peace Agreement reflected the war-weariness of the people in the region and their sincere desire for peace and a tranquil life at an early date. However, China had also noted that the initialling of the Agreement was just the start of a comprehensive political settlement of the question of the former Yugoslavia. It was essential to implement the Agreement in order to translate the desire for peace into reality. He therefore hoped that the parties concerned would cherish this hard-won peace opportunity by implementing in real earnest the Agreement so as to end for good the three-year war. China hoped that the international community would create favourable conditions for the implementation of the Agreement.
The international community, and the Security Council in particular, had all along made unremitting political and diplomatic efforts to push forward the peace process in the region of the former Yugoslavia. Any action taken by the Council at this critical turn for the better in the peace process should contribute to, rather than undermine, the consolidation of the negotiation result and the realization of peace and stability at an early date. China feared that lifting the arms embargo now might produce an adverse impact on peace and stability in the region.
China had never been in favour of exerting pressure by sanctions in the region of the former Yugoslavia and stood for an early lifting of sanctions against that country. The tremendous efforts made by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to promote the Bosnian peace process should be acknowledged by the international community. But it should be pointed out that it was extremely inappropriate and unprecedented to link the lifting of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) with the holding of elections in Bosnia. He believed that this would set a bad precedent; he expressed China's serious reservation and asked to have it placed on record. It would be necessary to consider addressing the status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in the United Nations after the Peace Agreement was reached by all parties.
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Based on China's principled position of supporting the peaceful settlement of the former Yugoslavia question, and considering the attitude of the parties concerned and the desire of the Non-Aligned Movement countries, the Chinese delegation would vote in favour of the two draft resolutions before the Council.
IBRAHIM A. GAMBARI (Nigeria) recalled that his country had been one of the first to contribute a battalion of troops to the initial United Nations peace-keeping operation deployed in Croatia in 1992; even now, its personnel were part of the military observer component of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). Furthermore, it had supported all well-meaning proposals on the question, either in the form of resolutions or presidential statements adopted by the Council, aimed at moving forward the peace process.
It was in that context that Nigeria joined in welcoming the initialling of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said. It was particularly delighted that the three leaders did not allow the opportunity offered by the Dayton talks to slip away.
The Agreement represented the best opportunity since the beginning of the Balkan war to end the conflict. He called upon all the parties to sign the general Peace Agreement at the meeting expected to take place in Paris in a few weeks time. In the meantime, he urged them to refrain from any activities that could destabilize the fragile truce on the ground.
The general Peace Agreement required a lot more work and painstaking negotiations in the weeks and months ahead if the peace process was to be made truly irreversible.
He said the two draft resolutions before the Council testified to members' concern for the situation in the former Yugoslavia, as well as their readiness to give all the necessary assistance and support to the parties by creating an enabling environment that would assist them to implement the agreements. Consistent with its position, Nigeria was able to go along with the thrust of the resolutions, as a package meant to underpin the Peace Agreement and thus promote the overriding goal of peace and stability in a region that had recently been ravaged by war.
However, he said, concerning the resolution on the lifting of the arms embargo, his delegation hoped none of the parties would view that as a license to re-launch any military campaign. He hoped that the lifting of the arms embargo would play a positive and reassuring role in ensuring that all States of the region had the means to defend their respective sovereignty and territorial integrity. In that regard, the Agreement's provisions for regional stabilization was a necessary and important corollary to the lifting
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of the arms embargo, and he urged all concerned to abide by the spirit and letter of that annex.
Suspension of the sanctions against the Federal republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) was consistent with Nigeria's belief that sanctions should not be punitive, but designed to modify the behaviour of governments, he continued. Later today, the Council would hopefully be adopting a resolution on the basic agreement on the region of eastern Slavonia, Baranja and western Sirmium that was signed on 12 November, between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the local Serb representatives. His delegation welcomed the Agreement and called upon the parties fully to implement their commitments under it.
As for the actual implementation on the ground of the various aspects of the Agreement, entailing a reconfiguration of the force that would oversee its implementation, Nigeria at this stage would like to thank all those who had served under UNPROFOR for their tireless sacrifice in stabilizing the situation and saving thousands of lives. Without their efforts, the conditions in the Balkans would have been worse, and a conducive climate for the recent peace talks might not have been created.
KAREL KOVANDA (Czech Republic) said that today was a happy occasion by any standards. The end of the war might not be at hand, but the beginning of peace was. The coming weeks would see whether any of the complex agreements reached at Dayton would flourish and which would wither on the vine.
The Council's role was now that of a supporting actor, entrusted with undoing what it had once put together under sadder circumstances. The draft resolution on the lifting of sanctions, he noted, provided for a gentle process, with a proviso for reimposition in the event of non-compliance. Although the draft before the Council made only passing reference to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, he stressed that that reference was a vital component of the Dayton Agreement. One of the difficult issues among the South Slav States was the question of succession. The Czech Republic had some experience with the question of dividing countries and their assets, and would be glad to contribute its expertise.
He questioned, however, whether the proposed lifting of the arms embargo only three months after the signing of the agreement was judicious. Surely, introducing added weaponry into a region where it was proposed to send the international force raised unacceptable risks. Nevertheless, having registered that concern, the Czech Republic would vote in favour of the two draft resolutions before the Council.
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LEGWAILA J.M.J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) said that the initialling and signature of the Agreement should not be an end in themselves, but the beginning of a process that would bring about peace and stability in the former Yugoslavia. But peace would only come if the peoples of former Yugoslavia learned to tolerate one another. The right to existence for one ethnic group was not a negation of the right of others.
Security Council resolution 713 of 25 September 1991, which imposed an embargo on weapons deliveries to Yugoslavia, had been intended to restrict the flow of arms and minimize the possibility of a wider war, he said. It was ironic that the Agreement would lift the arms embargo before there was the certainty of peace. While concerned that the massing of weapons by the parties might re-ignite the conflict, his delegation had no problem supporting the draft resolution on the lifting of the arms embargo.
Botswana would also vote in favour of the draft resolution on the suspension of sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said. Those sanctions had been imposed to pressure the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to accept political dialogue. Now that that objective had been realized, the sanctions should be lifted.
A lot remained to be done to secure the peace in the Balkans, he said. The parties needed continuous encouragement and persuasion. Botswana's support for the suspension of the sanctions until such time that the Peace Agreement would be implemented should be understood in that context. He hoped the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would do everything in its power to ensure that the implementation of the Peace Agreement progressed without hindrance, opening the way for that country to take its rightful place in the family of nations.
At an appropriate time in the near future the Security Council would discuss the role of the United Nations in the implementation of the General Framework Agreement, including the authorization of a multinational force, its mandate, composition and command and control structure, and the relationship between the United Nations and the force commander. Several questions still begged for answers.
GERARD MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said his country's views favouring a political and negotiated solution of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia had been stated in the Council on several occasions. He welcomed the Peace Agreement which provided that Bosnia and Herzegovina would continue to be a sovereign State within its international borders and that the parties had agreed to guarantee respect for human rights in the highest degree and they would cooperate fully with the prosecution of war crimes.
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He said the readiness of the parties for peace must be translated into specific actions. The Council's decisions would assist in that process.
There was still a threat to international peace and security, he said. He supported the termination of the arms embargo on the conditions stipulated in the resolution before the Council. He hoped that the commitment achieved in Dayton would be successfully fulfilled to the benefit of the successor States of the former Yugoslavia and to world peace. He would vote in favour of the resolutions before the Council.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) hailed the peace agreement as a major step towards settlement of the most tragic conflict to have taken place in Europe since World War Two. In that context he paid tribute to the staff and personnel of UNPROFOR.
There had been no victors in the four-year conflict, nor could there ever have been, he said. Fortunately, the parties to the conflict had succeeded in rising above their differences and agreeing on the only course open to them, namely the search for peace. Now they would have to work towards the implementation of the agreement, and in that effort they would be answerable to their own people and to the international community.
Russia would welcome the lifting of economic sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said. It had consistently argued that the conditions for such a lifting of sanctions had long since been achieved. To the rigours of the economic blockade had been added the economic and humanitarian catastrophe engendered by the influx into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of hundreds of thousands of refugees. The draft on the lifting of sanctions was a balanced document, with the proviso for reimposition in the event of non-compliance with the agreement.
As for the draft on lifting the arms embargo, it was by and large a satisfactory document, he said. Nevertheless, the Russian Federation had serious doubts and concerns. What it proposed ran counter to the spirit of today's debate, which emphasized the need for the fostering of peace and stability. Russia could not associate itself with the draft, and would therefore abstain in the coming vote.
Action on Resolutions
The Council then adopted draft resolution S/1995/977 by a vote of 14 votes in favour to none against, with one abstention (Russian Federation). The draft resolution was adopted as resolution 1021 (1995)
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The Council unanimously adopted draft resolution S/1995/978 as resolution 1022 (1995).
Statements After Vote
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the peace agreement would permit stability and an atmosphere of good neighbourliness to begin. France had resolved to take steps to help a democratic and pluralistic Bosnia and Herzegovina to be able to take its proper place in Europe. He expressed concern for the refugees and the relatives of the countless victims.
He expressed gratitude to all the actors of the United Nations and those who had worked unceasingly under difficult conditions to preserve human life, restore the dialogue and move towards a peaceful settlement. The resolutions marked a new chapter in history -- the transition from war to peace.
He said peace could not be achieved through an arms race. The lifting of the embargo would be phased and based on reports to the Council on the implementation of the peace agreement. The suspension of the sanctions reflected the positive role played by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in recent months. His country was particularly pleased as it would allow the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to return to normalcy and to reintegrate fully in the international community.
He called attention to a key provision to which his Government would be attaching the highest value. The parties had to take all the necessary measures to locate the two missing French pilots in Bosnia and Herzegovina and facilitate their immediate and safe return. France would see to it that that provision was implemented.
The definitive lifting of sanctions could only take place after key phases were implemented, he said. The two resolutions adopted completed a balanced whole. They were an incentive to all the parties to faithfully implement the conditions of the peace agreement that would soon be signed in France. He supported the adoption of those resolutions.
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said the efforts of deputy Foreign Minister Ivanov, former Prime Minister Bildt and -- she was proud to say -- American diplomats led by Secretary of State Christopher and Richard Holbrooke had succeeded in part because the leaders of the three countries involved were willing to make the hard choices necessary to bridge past grievances and embrace future possibility. For the Council, the task now was to provide the first concrete results reflecting the decisions in Dayton. By lifting the arms embargo and suspending economic sanctions, it had kick-started that long
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journey. The Council was today truly helping make the promise of peace a reality.
Under the resolution providing for the phased lifting of the arms embargo, the embargo would remain in place for 90 days after a final peace agreement was reached, she said. A prohibition on the transfer of heavy weapons would continue until 180 days had elapsed or until the arms control pact envisioned by the agreement was signed. It was logical now, in light of the events in Dayton, to lift the embargo against Bosnia. An embargo should not be maintained against a country whose only crime was to preserve its sovereignty, defend its people and sign every peace agreement put before it. Today, the Council was bringing that injustice and folly to an end.
The second resolution approved today suspended the economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, she continued. That was a conditional step. The sanctions would be reimposed if the government in Belgrade failed to sign the formal peace agreement and the other parties did. Sanctions would also be reimposed if Belgrade or the Pale Serbs failed to meet their obligations under the Peace Agreement. The international community must be vigilant in monitoring compliance with the terms of that Agreement. She pointed to the explicit language of the resolution, which noted that compliance with the requests and orders of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia -- the war crimes Tribunal -- was an essential part of the Agreement's implementation. To answer the Ambassador of Botswana, the war criminals were not "freed" by the Dayton agreement.
She warned that compliance by the Bosnian Serbs could not be assumed. After the siege of Sarajevo, the market place shelling, the years of ethnic cleansing and the unforgivable savagery at Srebrenica, the world had had enough of Bosnian Serb arrogance and brutality, she said. Their compliance with that Agreement must be demanded by the government in Belgrade, by this Council and by every civilized person on Earth.
In crafting the resolution in question, the Council had also sought to protect the interests of all the States which were part of the former Yugoslavia, including those not directly involved in the fighting. The resolution was not intended to allow any Member State currently blocking assets of the former Yugoslavia to release those assets where there existed the possibility of ownership in whole or in part by another successor State.
EMILIO CARDENAS (Argentina) said that the Dayton agreements would perhaps finally bring the chance of a peaceful future to the long-suffering peoples of the former Yugoslavia. He praised the tireless efforts not only of the negotiators but also the personnel of UNPROFOR.
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As for the indefinite -- and for the time being conditional -- suspension of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and against the Bosnian Serbs, just adopted by the Council, he stressed that the objectives of sanctions had from the start been the restoration of peace. He praised all who had worked tirelessly with the Council to make the sanctions regime effective. As Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, he had had the daily opportunity of witnessing the hard work of maintaining the sanctions regime. It would be no easier to monitor the new operational rules to cover the changing situation. But it was vital at least for the time being to maintain the Committee's existing monitoring capacity intact.
Argentina's last thought on that issue was for the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who had borne the main brunt of sanctions. Now that the correct course had been set, it was essential for their leaders to ensure that all the provisions of the agreement be met.
As to the resolution just adopted on the lifting of the arms embargo, he prayed that those responsible would understand that they must commit themselves to the arms control provisions embodied in the Dayton agreement. The best approach now would of course be general disarmament. Armed violence must now at last be replaced by reasoned dialogue.
LORENZO FERRARIN (Italy) said the international community must not lose the momentum gained in Dayton. The peace agreement should be quickly signed in Paris. The upcoming London Conference could help to create the bases for the economic reconstruction of the former Yugoslavia. Economic rehabilitation and development were essential components of the general process of pacification and reconciliation. Italy was ready to make a significant contribution to that purpose, together with its partners in the European Union.
He said the linkage of the resolution on the arms embargo with the Agreement on Regional Stabilization was particularly important. That was an essential instrument to prevent the lifting of the embargo from turning into a new arms race. The resolution to suspend the sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) was an important step towards full integration of that country into the family of nations. As for the Bosnian Serbs, the suspension of sanctions against them was made to depend on the withdrawal of their forces behind the zone of separation established in the peace agreement.
He emphasized the importance of urging the successor States of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to reach an agreement on the problem of succession to that State, including the distribution of its funds and assets and the allocation of its liabilities.
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MANZI BAKURAMUTSA (Rwanda) said he congratulated the different parties for making concessions to end four years of fratricide in which crimes against humanity were committed. It was a war in which innocent people suffered, particularly women, children and others who had no part in the war.
He said that what had happened in Bosnia should be a lesson of humility to the world. What had happened in that country could happen anywhere. It had also impressed on the international community the need for the Security Council to begin the battle against crimes against humanity. At the end of the Second World War, mechanisms had been established to avoid the repeat of the crimes against humanity witnessed in that war. Subsequently, a generalized amnesia along with nationalist interests tended to minimize the lessons learned after the Second World War.
He said the embargo imposed on Bosnia had many similarities with those imposed on Rwanda. He was pleased that the embargo had been lifted. He was confident that the members of the international community would support the consolidation of the return to peace and stability to the region.
Council President SALIM AL-KHUSAIBY (Oman) speaking as representative of his country, said Oman believed in dialogue and political solutions in order to solve problems and resolve differences, not only in the area of the former Yugoslavia but in all areas where conflicts existed. In the area of the former Yugoslavia, the warring parties finally had realized that fact and also that violence produced nothing but violence.
He said the agreement and the annexes were not an end in themselves but rather a first step in the direction of peace and normalcy in the area. The days to come would be a testing ground for the intentions of all parties in order for them to translate their commitments into a working and genuine reality. Oman attached great importance to the question of mutual recognition of all States in the region, preserving their territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence within their internationally recognized borders.
Oman supported both resolutions, he said. The international community had done commendable work when it came to helping the parties to resolve their differences and to minimize the humanitarian difficulties. It was now in the hands of the States in the region to work together for confidence and for peace in order to alleviate the suffering of the people.
MARIO NOBILO (Croatia) said that the Dayton accords would become valid upon the expected mutual recognition of the successor States of the former Yugoslavia next month. With the accords and mutual recognition, the biggest
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policy obstacles to a lasting and just peace in the region had been overcome. Agreement had been achieved because the Council's sanctions regime against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) had fulfilled its intentions; because the joint Croatian/Bosnian offensives and later the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervention had created new realities on the ground; and because of the new leadership role assumed by the United States.
For years, he said, Croatia had argued that NATO was the only institution that could impose peace in the region and make reconciliation and economic reconstruction profitable. Thanks to the leadership of the United States and the efforts of the European Union and the Russian Federation, a negotiated settlement, an implementation force and remedies for horrible crimes had been achieved.
At Dayton, Croatia had made the largest compromise, he said. The Dayton accords had offered many promises and commitments. About 125,000 non-Serb Croatian citizens who had been ethnically cleansed from the occupied Vukovar region since 1991, would never forgive the international community if they were still displaced one year from now.
Only four months ago the Bihac safe area had been on the verge of being overrun. Europe was about to face another 200,000 Bosnian refugees, and a possible repeat in Bihac of the Srebrenica massacre. The balance of power established by the Croatian Army could secure peace and stability in the region, but only if NATO and the international community fulfilled their promises and commitments to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Croatia. The occupied Vukovar region of Croatia should be no more or less important than the occupied parts in Bosnia if lasting peace in the region was to be achieved.
Over the past four years, Croatia had played a constructive role in the region, he said. Its strategic and humanitarian assistance to the Bosnian Muslim community had never been acknowledged by the Council.
Croatia supported the draft resolutions before the Council and hoped that the sanctions relief resolution would send a message to the Serbian people that the world was not against them. The sanctions regime had been a just and necessary mechanism to make the Serbian leadership accept responsibility for the ills they had brought upon other peoples and their own ethnic kin in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Regarding paragraphs 5 and 6 of the resolution, Croatia understood that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) would be prevented from transferring and using common funds of successor States of the dissolved Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, until an agreement on succession and distribution of
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common assets was reached among all successor States and approved by the Council. Any unfreezing and misuse of funds by governments and international financial institutions could nullify the succession negotiations, and the Peace Agreement. The Council should endorse the existing succession and asset distribution agreement proposed by the European Union and the Russian Federation.
Croatia hoped that the resolution lifting the arms embargo would achieve a balance of power in the region, and not become a source of new instability. Croatia called for prudent use of that resolution, within a broader framework of collective security arrangements in Europe.
Croatia especially welcomed the third draft resolution related to the Dayton accords which endorses the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, and reaffirmed that those areas were an integral part of Croatia. The Basic Agreement had been the first accord achieved in Dayton, setting up later accords that completed the package arrangement for the region as a whole. That resolution was needed to define the new implementation force for Croatia. That force should be established as quickly as possible, and should have a Chapter VII mandate, with clearly defined military and civilian roles, as called for in the Erdut Basic Agreement and the preceding Erdut Principles. Those two documents, both of which were equally valid, would eliminate any misunderstandings or lack of information.
He went on to say that the Erdut Principles had left no ambiguity about the structure of the transitional authority and the new police force. The Agreement eliminated the legal and security vacuum in the occupied Vukovar region by reinstating Croatian law, social and utility services, and border controls throughout the region; and called for the timely return of displaced persons and refugees prior to local elections. It required that the region must be demilitarized in 30 days. The only elements to be decided are related to economic reconstruction, especially in the levelled city of Vukovar, and the division of responsibility between the military and civilian component of the transitional implementation mechanism.
The United Nations Operation in Croatia mandate expired in nine days, he said. Croatia had made it clear that the mandate could not be extended. Because the United Nations could not fulfil its two mandates while operating under Chapter VI. The situation in Croatia required a Chapter VII mandate that could only be realized through regional arrangements. The existing resources of the operation could remain in Croatia as a nucleus for the new implementation force. The Belgian and Russian battalions could be quickly reinforced by a United States battalion, so that the most important element of the Basic Agreement, the demilitarization of the region, could commence immediately.
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A large and expensive force was not needed, he said. What was needed was a proactive and robust force that could implement the demilitarization requirements immediately, and quickly turn over the remaining elements of the mandate to the civilian administration. Croatia looked forward to continuing United States leadership in that regard. The United States was trusted by both sides in the region, and was committed to the peace process -- including the credible threat and use of force. Croatia also supported the appointment of a United States national to lead the civilian part of the mandate as head of the transitional authority.
The new implementation force and the transitional authority could not overlook the spirit of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions which supported the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Croatia by allowing the Croatian Government to regulate all export, import and transshipments through its territory. Croatia expected the Council, the implementation force and the transitional authority to respect the sovereignty granted to all Member States by the Charter.
MUHAMED SACIRBEY, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that peace should have come much sooner. If it had, it would have been at a lower cost for the international community, its principles and its most prized institutions; at a lower cost to justice and most importantly to millions of Bosnian victims. Weapons in the hands of the victims would not be used to correct yesterday's wrongs but to deter a resumption of the aggression and crimes. Yesterday's crimes must be redressed by institutions of law and justice. However, the defense of tomorrow's peace would ultimately be left to Bosnians when all the negotiators had turned their attention elsewhere and the foreign peace-keepers had left.
He said that by securing Bosnia's capability to defend itself, the need for foreign peace-keepers would be lessened. However, the Bosnians would still have to raise the numbers and quality of weapons to produce the goal of regional balance. Bosnia was prepared to do its part for the course of peace.
Continuing, he said the sanctions regime with respect to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) was a self-inflicted wound but "ours is not". None the less, his Government wished them a quick recovery and looked forward to the improvement of sovereign relations. It should be ensured, however, that the suspension of sanctions was only a reprieve, and not an exoneration. Failure to fully honour the peace, its implementation and Bosnia and Herzegovina's sovereignty and territorial integrity would result in immediate reversal and reimposition of sanctions.
He said sanctions could not be fully terminated until the peace agreement was fully implemented. Also, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
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(Serbia and Montenegro) must reverse its current course and exhibit commitment to respect the national and minority rights of the people of Kosovo, Sandzak and Vojvodina. That should go hand-in-hand with the introduction of compliance with human rights and democratic standards in all of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).
The commitment to peace and justice could only be ascertained from the willingness of both Belgrade and the Bosnian Serbs to comply fully with the International War Crimes Tribunal, he said. No sanctions could be lifted until such compliance was exhibited. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) could not be admitted as a member of the United Nations and other relevant international institutions pending such compliance.
He expressed appreciation for the support of past and present members of the Council who had fought nobly to free the hands of the victims. He said he also appreciated the statement of support from the victims of genocide in Rwanda. He also expressed appreciation to the peace-keepers and the three martyred American diplomats. He said his thoughts also went out to the people in their homes in Sarajevo. At the same time, he expressed concern that the thousands of refugees and victims of crime might feel that they had been abandoned. He pledged support for the International War Crimes Tribunals. He asked what would become of the thousands now confined to concentration camps and condemned to forced labour until death overtook them. What about the two missing pilots? he asked. He asked all to labour for their salvation.
To his former enemy, he said, he offered one word: "peace".
ANATOLI M. ZLENKO (Ukraine) said that after 43 months of the fratricidal war in the Balkans, the common people were finally getting a chance to wake up in the morning without fear of being killed and to look into the future with grounded optimism. By initialling the Peace Agreement, the leaders of the three Balkan States had made a choice in favour of peace. The common sense and logic of life had gained the upper hand over the irrationality of war.
The main responsibility for the further development of the peace process lay with the parties to the conflict, he said. Without their political will, it would be impossible to make that process irreversible and to break the vicious circle of violence in the Balkans. It was hoped that all of the parties to the Agreement would faithfully honour their obligations. At the same time, the international community must contribute to the process of implementing the Agreement. Ukraine supported the idea of deployment of the Peace Implementation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina and would participate in its mission with the troops on the ground.
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The initialling of the Peace Agreement was only the first step along the road of rehabilitation and renewal, he said. That process required not only rebuilding of the destroyed houses and factories, but also the revival of confidence between the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ukraine was ready to join the efforts of other States in reconstruction of the war-torn country, to help normalize the life of the common people.
Initiation of the process of suspending the economic sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) would contribute to the confidence-building process in the Balkans and give additional powerful impetus to implementation of the Agreement, he said. The suspension and then lifting of the sanctions regime was of extreme importance. It will give a powerful impetus to the economic development of the neighbouring countries, and to re-establishment of the traditional economic links between the countries in the region. Peace would bring prosperity to all. It was time to begin the process of reintegrating the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into the international community.
The tribute paid by the Security Council to the neighbouring States for their significant contribution to the achievement of a negotiated peace was of exceptional political and moral importance, he said. Ukraine, as well as a number of other States, had suffered huge economic losses but strictly observed the sanctions imposed by the international community.
He said his country had some reservations concerning the draft resolution on lifting of the arms embargo. At the same time, he understood that it was a part of a compromise which had been reached between the parties. That decision should be seen in the light of the confidence-building measures. It was hoped that the meeting on arms control in Bonn would make military build-up in the region redundant.
HUSEYIN E. CELEM (Turkey) said that, for almost four years now, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina had suffered enormously. It was hoped that the initialling of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina would end that suffering and pave the way for a just and viable peace. The process had started. The commitments undertaken in the Agreement should be honoured with goodwill. The focus of attention of the international community should now be put on implementation of the Agreement and the reconstruction of the country.
Preservation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina within its internationally recognized borders was and would remain vital for a lasting peace and for stability in the region, he said. With that in mind, Turkey welcomed the Agreement initialled yesterday and the draft resolutions before the Council.
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Turkey remained committed to shouldering its share of the responsibility for successful implementation of the Agreement, he said. As a coordinator of the Assistance Mobilization Group established within the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Turkey would actively participate in the rehabilitation and reconstruction work ahead. It attached utmost importance to the international conferences to be convened in the coming weeks. Turkey would contribute to the military and civilian aspects of the peace implementation. Preparations were under way for its participation in the International Force.
As stated by the President of the International Criminal Tribunal, "peace without justice is no peace at all", he said. Lasting peace must be accompanied by a sense of justice in the minds of all citizens and, in particular, the victims of atrocities. If, at the end of a war, torturers and their victims were treated alike, the war's legacy of hatred and resentment would continue to smolder. The existence of peace in such a climate would be precarious. If peace was to triumph justice must prevail. Only then could a climate be created where the people could live and work together free from fear. Turkey would continue to stand by the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their struggle for freedom and democracy.
RAZALI ISMAEIL (Malaysia) told the Council that he shared the universal relief at the initialling of the Peace Agreement. The role of the United States had been pivotal in the outcome, and so had that of others, including the Russian Federation. Malaysia also wished to single out the courageous decision of President Alija Izetbegovic, who represented the aggrieved and aggressed party, which had experienced brutalization and devastation. He prayed that the months and events ahead would prove that that faith had been justified.
On paper, the General Framework Agreement provided a formula for the peaceful return to normalcy of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, certain critical issues had not been adequately addressed. Those included the arming and training of the Bosnian Government forces so as to equalize force strength. Further, there was no provision to ensure safe and secure elections. That vacuum in the enforcement of security leading up to and through the first elections was highly unsatisfactory, since it provided the opportunity for intimidation, duress and fear. Finally, the Dayton documents had sidestepped the obligation to arrest and hand over individuals to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
As for the resolutions just adopted by the Council, Malaysia believed that the arms embargo must be lifted immediately to ensure that the Bosnians were adequately prepared to defend themselves. On the other hand, Malaysia continued to oppose the lifting of economic sanctions without proof that the
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Serbs honoured their part of the agreement. Those two resolutions were however important steps in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
But of all the challenges confronting Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most immediate and fundamental would be reconstruction -- of its economy, infrastructure as well as its society. The Muslim community in Bosnia and Herzegovina must enjoy the right to development and to an environment free of coercion and threat. It was equally important that the entity of the Republic of Srpska adhere to the spirit and substance of the agreements and not attempt to undermine the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The international guarantees so necessary to ensure the fulfilment of the Dayton agreements must ensure that Srpska remains part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
KAMAL KHARRAZI (Iran) said that from the beginning of the crisis in the Balkans, the world had witnessed the tremendous sufferings of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in dealing with foreign aggression. Rape, murder, mass killing, wanton destruction of properties and ethnic cleansing had been persistently practised against Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conscience of the whole world was wounded by the level of these atrocities, which was the reason behind the establishment of the war crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The world rightly expected that regardless of political considerations, the perpetrators of the grave crimes against humanity and the violators of international law in the former Yugoslavia should be brought to justice as soon as possible.
The Peace Agreement just signed once again attested to the desire of the Bosnian Government to arrive at a peaceful conclusion to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iran shared the belief of Bosnians that although the Agreement was not just, it was a move to prevent further bloodshed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Despite the Agreement's shortcomings, every effort should be made to implement it. What was needed now was the supervision of the international community over the implementation of the Agreement, in order to maintain the unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to restore peace and security in that country. Past events had demonstrated that Bosnian Serbs had not honoured their commitments. The Security Council had to ensure compliance with the agreements, and take the necessary and immediate measures in case of non- compliance.
The overwhelming majority of Member States had consistently called for the lifting of the arms embargo against Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the signing of the Dayton agreement, and the adoption of a new resolution by the Council on lifting the arms embargo, Iran hoped that the defence requirements
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of the victim would be adequately addressed so that future aggression against Bosnia was prevented.
He concluded by stressing the responsibility of the United Nations in the operation of the international force to be dispatched to monitor the Agreement. The United Nations should have the final say in operations, and any arrangement in that regard should have the clear endorsement of the Security Council.
NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt) said his country had always supported the requests of the newly independent State of Bosnia and Herzegovina to live within its international borders. It had also supported the Council's decisions and now welcomed the Peace Agreement. He called on the international community to contribute to the reconstruction efforts to restore the city of Sarajevo to its past beauty.
The signing of the accords was an important step but there must be practical, bona fide implementation. The international community should commit itself to guarantee the voluntary return of refugees and to subject all those responsible for war crimes to trial.
He underscored the importance of Bosnia's legitimizing its right to self-defence. The international community should provide them with the necessary defensive means to establish the military balance of power in the region.
He said Egypt has played a part in the international efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular as a part of UNPROFOR. He called on all Member States, especially the richer ones, to contribute to the trust fund to be established. In abiding by international law and as a member of the Islamic Contact Group, his Government hoped that implementation of the accords would bring peace to the Balkans.
VLADISLAV JOVANOVIC said the agreement initialled on 20 November created the conditions for turning a dangerous crisis in Bosnia and Herzevogina into a period of peace, stability and cooperation. The Peace Agreement was not a perfect one: it was the result of necessary though at times painful and difficult compromises. All parties to the crisis had come to realize that an imperfect peace was better than a protracted and uncertain war and that only in peace could just goals be best achieved.
It would have been best, he said, if the bloody civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina had not been waged at all. It could have been avoided had Ambassador Cutileiro's plan been accepted in time, and had not one of the sides -- encouraged from the outside -- subsequently withdrawn its consent.
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The Yugoslav side had strongly supported the Cutileiro plan and solemnly expressed its readiness to recognize Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent State after its completion. That most effectively contradicted all subsequent charges that Yugoslavia had harboured territorial pretensions against that former Yugoslav republic.
Putting an end to the war and crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not, however, enough, he said. It was also essential to end all other forms of war, which had been systematically waged against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serb people as a whole. Media, economic, psychological and propaganda warfare against the Federal Republic and the Serb people represented an essential part of the war in Bosnia and therefore, with the ending of war, they should also be eliminated. The cruel and comprehensive sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which had brought about enormous suffering to the civilian population and economically crippled the entire region of south-eastern Europe, should immediately cease.
He went on to say that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had unequivocally demonstrated its commitment towards peace and overcoming the consequences of the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As was the case throughout the peace process, Yugoslavia would continue to be a reliable bulwark in the process of implementation of the peace agreement as well. It was confident that the Republic of Srpska would follow the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in its constructive approach towards the Peace Agreement. We hope that other sides to this agreement would do the same. A huge responsibility in that regard also rested with the international community, embodied particularly in the Security Council and the Contact Group. The international community should treat all sides to the conflict equally.
AHMAD KAMAL (Pakistan) hoped that the Dayton agreement would guarantee, once and for all, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also hoped the broader consideration of peace would not eclipse the realization of effective prosecution of war criminals, and that the international community would contribute generously towards the reconstruction of the war-devastated economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The holocaust in that country was an object lesson for international politics and diplomacy. It had demonstrated that procrastination and prevarication in the face of aggression could encourage aggressors and pose an even greater threat to peace and security. It had also demonstrated that the United Nations did not quite have the capacity to handle such crises with the necessary speed, efficiency and effectiveness.
Pakistan, along with many other countries, had repeatedly urged that robust military action should have been undertaken right at the outset. Had
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that been done, and had the unjust arms embargo against Bosnia and Herzegovina been lifted then, perhaps today's agreement would have seen the light of the day earlier, and much pain and suffering and shame averted.
The United Nations would have to find ways and means to activate its roles of mediation and arbitration for conflict prevention. Once a conflict had erupted, the United Nations should make strong interventions through the full use of peace-keeping and the enforcement of collective security.
This was now a time for reconciliation, for healing deep scars; but some wounds could never be healed. Some heinous crimes must not go unpunished. The principle of international prosecution, established and reaffirmed during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, should not be scuttled. Those responsible for inflicting grievous harm to hundreds of thousands of people must face the consequences of their crimes.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said that hard as the negotiating process had been, the implementation of the peace agreement would be even more difficult. The restoration of peace and the future development of the region that was formerly Yugoslavia would depend directly on full implementation of the agreement. The parties to the conflict must strive to build a new order which would foster the process of reconciliation among various ethnic groups and the repatriation and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons. Moreover, they must cooperate fully with the efforts of the international community towards the implementation of the agreement. He looked forward to the formal signing of the peace agreement and then the meeting in London, where the concrete implementation scheme would be worked out. The successful implementation of the agreement would depend in no small part on the smooth deployment of the international force. That was a task which the Security Council would have to supervise with utmost care.
He said it was of vital importance that the respective roles of the various organizations involved be clarified, and that all civilian activities be coordinated. Furthermore, coordination between the international force and the organizations engaged in civilian activities, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was also essential. Japan intended to cooperate in the rehabilitation of the region once the conflict was brought to an end and to take an active part in the international assistance efforts for the region of the former Yugoslavia.
He welcomed the resolution to lift the sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as an acknowledgement by the international community of the cooperative spirit demonstrated by that country. Regarding the resolution to terminate the arms embargo, he said that an unbridled increase in arms in the region could be dangerous. He emphasized the importance of establishing a
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system for the control of arms in the region. Also, he hoped that the leaders of the three countries would work steadfastly for the implementation of the agreement, and would not be deterred from their task to ensure that their people could live in peace, secure within their national borders. Their efforts would have the full support and assistance of the entire international community.
JUAN ANTONIO YANEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain), speaking on behalf of the European Union, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Cyprus, Malta and Poland, said since the crisis in the former Yugoslavia started, the Union had spared no efforts in pursuing a lasting solution through negotiations, and it had been among the first in alleviating the suffering of the civilian population. The Union wholeheartedly welcomed the initialling in Dayton of the peace agreement by the Presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and urged the parties to sign the agreements at the Paris peace conference. The ratification and fulfilment of the agreement was for the benefit of the peoples who had suffered through almost four years of war.
Peace was still fragile and required strengthening, he said. The basis for the mutual recognition of the States of the former Yugoslavia had been established. The draft resolutions on the suspension of sanctions and a phased lifting of the arms embargo, which the European Union supported, would lead to the normalization of relations among them, as well as with the international community. Implementation of the provisions concerning regional stabilization and arms control and the holding of free and fair elections would be crucial.
The Union also fully supported the request for assistance in locating the two French pilots missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to ensure their immediate and safe return.
The wounds must be healed, and peace made lasting, he said. The human rights and fundamental freedoms of all those in the former Yugoslavia must be strictly respected. The parties must also cooperate with the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The right of refugees and displaced persons to return voluntarily to their homes in safety, to recover their properties, or to receive a just compensation, must be guaranteed. The perpetrators of violations of human rights and the norms of international humanitarian law must be held responsible for their acts.
The multinational force to monitor the implementation of the agreements on Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as on the Eastern Slavonia region, must be deployed as soon as possible, he said. The civilian aspects of the peace plan would have to be implemented, and the enormous task of reconstruction should
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begin. It was hoped that the questions derived from the succession of States in the former Yugoslavia would also be speedily resolved.
The European Union remained firmly committed to participating in the tasks of reconstruction, he said. It would provide its full support for the next London conference on implementation of the peace agreement and the planned conference of donor countries at Brussels. However, the parties must always bear in mind that it was their responsibility to consolidate the peace and prevent the resurgence of conflicts. It was only with their political will and cooperation that the help of the international community would be fully effective.
DAVID KARSGAARD (Canada) said that he looked forward to the next steps to consolidate the historic agreement and ensure its full implementation. The London, Paris and Bonn conferences, which Canada looked forward to taking part in, would be the key in that regard.
The success at Dayton had shown that sanctions could have an important effect. They could be suspended and lifted within the context of the Peace Agreement. Re-establishing peace and stability in the region remained a major Canadian objective. He welcomed the parties' agreement to establish a regional arms control regime with the help of the OSCE. The international community should exercise restraint in arms transfers and ensure full transparency. The States of the former Yugoslavia should contribute data annually to the United Nations Arms Register.
The peace agreement marked the end of the war in the former Yugoslavia and the beginning of a long reconstruction and rehabilitation process that would need the concerted efforts of the international community, he concluded.
HANS JACOB BIORN LIAN (Norway) praised the United States for helping to achieve the agreement, also stressing the roles of the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations and its mediator, Thorvald Stoltenberg. "We now have peace on paper -- the challenge will be to put it into practice", he said. The international community's task now was to secure and strengthen the fragile peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Norway supported the two resolutions before the Council. The suspension of sanctions and gradual lifting of the arms embargo, in the context of the Agreement on Regional Stabilization and arms control, were important steps towards normalizing relations between the States in the region and the international community.
He said that his country would continue playing a significant part in the international efforts to ensure the return of peace and normality. Since the war began, Norway had been one of the largest contributors to the United
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Nations operations in the former Yugoslavia. It had close to 1,000 personnel on the ground, three quarters of whom were in the Nordic peace-keeping battalion in Tuzla. Several Norwegian non-governmental organizations had also made considerable efforts. Norway had so far provided $160 million in humanitarian assistance and would provide another $70 million for 1996. It would contribute some 1,000 troops to the NATO-led multinational force to be deployed to monitor the implementation of the peace agreement. It would also help in the reconstruction work ahead.
The main responsibility for achieving peace and stability lay with the parties themselves and their political and military leaders, he said. They should implement the agreements in good faith by ensuring respect for human rights and the rights of minorities and by allowing refugees and displaced persons to return home. They must also cooperate with the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
AHMED SNOUSSI (Morocco) said he hoped all the victims and their families knew that the crimes committed against them would forever be a blot on the history of mankind. The intrinsic value of the human being prohibited them from being exclusive. Morocco had followed the tragedy with solidarity and compassion and at the same time with repugnance. He expressed the profound desire of his country to see the conflict peacefully resolved.
He said the Agreement constituted a decisive breakthrough and a step forward. He expressed appreciation for the efforts of the United States and the members of the Contact Group. The arrangements provided for in the Agreement would initiate a process of irreversible peace. All the conditions existed for thwarting saboteurs who wished to undermine the Agreement.
He said 43 months of mindless and relentless war had left a country traumatized and in ruins. The parties to the conflict and the international community must take the opportunity to consolidate the emerging peace. They must devise and put into effect a plan for the rehabilitation of public services in order to restore confidence. The Council must take concrete measures to apply the measures agreed upon in Dayton. It must bring to bear all its weight and authority to promote peace in that part of the world.
DANILO TURK (Slovenia) stressed the importance of the ninth preambular paragraph of the resolution on the suspension of sanctions, which had reiterated that the "State formerly known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ... has ceased to exist". The extinction of that State had affected the disposition of its assets. It was crucial that the suspension of sanctions did not apply to the frozen assets that were the common property of the former State. They were the subject of succession by all the successor States and should be divided among them. All necessary measures should be
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taken to prevent the unfreezing of those assets and their use to the benefit of only one of those States. The issue was more specifically addressed in the same draft resolution's operative paragraphs 5 and 6.
Slovenia officially requested the authorities of all Member States to consider all assets of the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), including any of its subdivisions and other agencies such as the National Bank of Yugoslavia, as assets to which Slovenia had legal and legitimate claims. The same applied to entities directly or indirectly owned and controlled by the government or governmental agency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In that regard, he agreed with the interpretation of paragraph 5 provided in explanation of vote by the United States. All States should consider those assets frozen until the final resolution regarding the distribution of the assets and liabilities was reached by the successor States. Any unilateral disposal of the relevant funds would force Slovenia to take the appropriate legal steps to have any transactions declared null and void.
The arms embargo was among the least fortunate measures taken by the Council, he said. Slovenia welcomed the resolution to end the arms embargo as a wise move and the concept of graduality as correct. There was a just link between the final lifting of the embargo with respect to the signatories of the Agreement for Peace and their implementing their arms control agreement. Slovenia had regarded the arms embargo imposed by resolution 713 as unjustified all along. Slovenia had not been and was not a party to any military conflict and had never had a peace-keeping mission established in its territory. The application of the embargo represented an impediment to Slovenia's international cooperation and was an unjustified limitation to its sovereignty. His country was satisfied that the Council had adopted a resolution ending the embargo and expected its immediate termination as far as Slovenia was concerned.
DENKO MALESKI (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) welcomed the successful outcome of the proximity talks in Dayton, Ohio. The signing of the Peace Agreement between the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia put an end to nearly four years of bloodshed that had taken many lives and caused huge destruction. His Government commends the Government of the United States, which demonstrated in practice that when the leading Power gathered the will to lead, the others would follow. It also commended the efforts of all the members of the Contact Group.
However, even after the ending of a war fought in the name of "ethnic purity", the Balkans remained an ethnically mixed region, where State borders did not follow ethnic lines, but cut across them.
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That was why today, as it celebrated the end of yet another Balkan war, the world was confronted with the same old dilemma: How to live in peace with neighbours and with minorities. Once again, the question of security in the Balkans became a question of democracy, tolerance, pluralism and cooperation inside and among States. The alternative continued to be a brutal and senseless ethnic war. It was up to the peoples of the Balkans to make the choice. The Bosnians, the Croats and the Serbs had made the right choice in Dayton.
JULIO LONDONO-PAREDES (Colombia), speaking on behalf of his Government in its capacity as Chairman of the Group of Non-Aligned countries, told the Council that the Group warmly welcomed the news of the Dayton Peace Agreement. The return of stability to the Balkan region corresponded to one of the most cherished aspirations of the Non-Aligned Group of nations, which called for full implementation of the resolutions just adopted by the Council. He expressed gratitude to the President of the United States and others who, through their unremitting efforts, had once again demonstrated that negotiation and dialogue constituted the best alternative.
CELSO LUIZ NUNES AMORIM (Brazil) said that the successful outcome of the negotiations in Ohio had created the conditions for the opening of a new chapter in relations among all peoples in the Balkans region, after almost four years of violence and destruction. As the world celebrated that historic occasion, his first thoughts went to the innocent civilians and the brave peace-keepers who had been caught in the crossfire, as well as to all the victims of the massive human rights violations associated with the heinous conflict. The initialling of the peace agreements in Dayton, Ohio, would not have been possible, however, without the leadership provided by the United States Government in bringing the belligerents together.
The challenges faced by the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia had been enormous, he said, and the frustrations bred by the involuntary involvement of a peace-keeping operation in armed combat had been many. It was undeniable that without UNPROFOR and its successors, the humanitarian catastrophe in the region would have reached even greater proportions and the conflict might have spread even further. Brazil had remained firmly committed to the achievement of peace in the Balkans throughout the conflict, and stood behind efforts directed at avoiding escalation and promoting an agreed settlement, including through its participation in UNPROFOR.
PARK SOO-GIL (Republic of Korea) said the General Framework Agreement was the first important phase on the long road to peace in the former Yugoslavia, He hoped that the spirit of compromise, reconciliation and tolerance which first brought about the agreement would continue to flourish so that it would be faithfully implemented. He also hoped that it would open
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up a new era for consolidating the prospect of peace and stability in the Balkans. The prompt action of the Council to suspend economic sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and to lift the arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia was timely and appropriate in that it would facilitate the process of further reconciliation and reconstruction in the region.
He said the former Yugoslavia was an area with far-reaching implications for the peace and stability of the world. The international community bore the moral obligation to extend its full-fledged support to bring the conflict to an end. The community of nations must cooperate to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and prevent further violations of human rights. An important part of the agreement was the provision which ensured that war criminals not be allowed to hold any elected office. It was incumbent on the international community to guarantee that a crime such as ethnic cleansing did not go unpunished. It was crucial to encourage the parties to the conflict to implement the Agreement.
He said that Korea, a nation which had suffered a devastating war a half century ago, would do its share to contribute to the implementation of the Dayton accord as a responsible member of the Council next year.
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