SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES ARMS EMBARGO ON FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA, PENDING ACTION TO RESOLVE KOSOVO CRISIS

31 March 1998
SC/6496

SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES ARMS EMBARGO ON FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA, PENDING ACTION TO RESOLVE KOSOVO CRISIS

31 March 1998

Press ReleaseSC/6496

SECURITY COUNCIL IMPOSES ARMS EMBARGO ON FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA, PENDING ACTION TO RESOLVE KOSOVO CRISIS

19980331 Resolution 1160 (1998), Adopted by 14-0-1 Vote Aims to Foster Peace and Stability by Urging Dialogue

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, for the purposes of fostering peace and stability in Kosovo, the Security Council this afternoon decided to ban the sale or supply to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and munitions, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts for them. It also decided that States shall prevent arming and training for terrorist activities there.

It took that action through its adoption of resolution 1160 (1998), by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (China).

Underlining that the way to defeat violence and terrorism in Kosovo is for the authorities in Belgrade to offer the Kosovar Albanian community a genuine political process, the Council urgently called upon the authorities in Belgrade and the leaders of that community to enter without preconditions into a meaningful dialogue on political status issues. It also urged the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to begin gathering information relating to the violence in Kosovo that might fall within its jurisdiction.

The Council also decided to establish a Committee, consisting of all of its members, to carry out various functions relating to the arms embargo. These include: to seek information from all States regarding their actions to implement the ban and to examine those reports; to consider information brought to it by any State concerning violations of the ban and recommend appropriate measures in response; to report periodically to the Council on such alleged violations; to promulgate guidelines as necessary, to facilitate implementation of the ban; and to report to the Council on its work, along with observations and recommendations.

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By the terms of the text, the Council called upon the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia immediately to take the further necessary steps to achieve a political solution to the issue of Kosovo through dialogue, and called upon the Kosovar Albanian leadership to condemn all terrorist action, emphasizing that all elements of the community should pursue the goals by peaceful means only. It also expressed its support for an enhanced status for Kosovo, which would include a substantially greater degree of autonomy and meaningful self- administration.

The Federal Republic was also called upon to implement actions in the recent statements by the Contact Group composed of France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. Among those actions, the Group called on the Republic to withdraw the special police units in Kosovo, cease acts by the security forces that affected the civilian population there, and allow access to Kosovo for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian organizations, as well as by representatives of the Contact Group and other embassies.

The Secretary-General was asked to report to the Council on the situation in Kosovo and the implementation of the resolution no later than 30 days following its adoption and every 30 days thereafter. He was also asked, in consultation with appropriate regional organizations, to include in his first report a comprehensive regime to monitor the implementation of the prohibitions imposed by the resolution. States were asked to report to the new Committee within 30 days of the adoption of the resolution on the steps they have taken to give effect to the resolution.

The Council decided that it will review the situation on the basis of the reports of the Secretary-General, which are to take into account the assessments of such bodies as the Contact Group, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union. It emphasized that failure to make constructive progress towards the peaceful resolution of the situation in Kosovo would lead to the consideration of additional measures.

It also decided to reconsider the prohibitions imposed by the resolution, including action to terminate them, following receipt of the assessment of the Secretary-General that the Federal Republic, cooperating with the Contact Group, has taken the following measures: began a substantive dialogue with the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community without preconditions on political status issues; withdrawn the special police units and cease action by the security forces affecting the civilian population; allowed access to Kosovo by humanitarian organizations, representatives of the Contact Group and other embassies; accepted a mission by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; and facilitated a mission to Kosovo by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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In addition, the Council affirmed that concrete progress to resolve the serious political and human rights issues in Kosovo would improve the international position of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and prospects for normalization of its international relationships and full participation in international institutions.

The Council called on all States and all international and regional organizations to act strictly in conformity with the resolution, notwithstanding the existence of any rights granted or obligations conferred or imposed by any international agreement or of any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the entry into force of the prohibitions imposed. It also stressed the importance of continuing the implementation of the Agreement on Subregional Arms Control signed in Florence on 14 June 1996.

Statements were made by the representatives of Japan, Costa Rica, France, Kenya, Sweden, Brazil, Slovenia, Bahrain, Portugal, the Russian Federation, China, the United States, Gambia, the United Kingdom (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, Albania, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Ukraine and Iran.

The meeting, which was called to order at 4:04 p.m., was adjourned at 7:12 p.m.

Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Kosovo, in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It had before it statements on the situation there dated 9 and 25 March, by the Contact Group composed of France, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States. It also had before it a declaration dated 18 March by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Milan Milutinovic, on the political process in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as an 11 March decision of the special session of the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The 9 March statement by the Contact Group, attached to a letter from the United Kingdom (document S/1998/223), endorses a number of measures to be pursued immediately, including consideration by the Security Council of a comprehensive arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo; and the denial of visas for senior representatives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia responsible for repressive action by the Republic's security forces in Kosovo.

The Contact Group calls upon President Slobodan Milosevic to take rapid and effective steps to stop the violence in Kosovo and engage in a commitment to find a political solution to the issue of Kosovo through dialogue. It calls upon him to withdraw the special police units, to cease action by the security forces there affecting the civilian population, and to allow access to Kosovo by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian organizations, as well as by representatives of the Contact Group and other embassies. The Group also urges him to commit himself publicly to beginning a process of dialogue with the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community, and to cooperate constructively with the Contact Group.

By its 25 March statement, attached to a letter from the United States (document S/1998/272), the Contact Group agrees to maintain and implement the measures announced on 9 March -- including seeking the adoption, by 31 March, of an arms embargo by the Security Council. It again calls upon President Milosevic to implement fully all the relevant steps outlined in the 9 March statement. The Contact Group states that its fundamental position on the situation remains the same: its members support neither independence nor the maintenance of the status quo as the end result of negotiations between the Belgrade authorities and the Kosovo Albanian leadership on the status of Kosovo.

The Contact Group states that they base their principles for a solution to the Kosovo problem on the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, based on the standards of the OSCE, the Helsinki principles, and the Charter of the United Nations. "Such a solution must also take into account the rights of the Kosovar Albanians and all those who live in Kosovo",

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the Group states. "We support a substantially greater degree of autonomy for Kosovo which must include meaningful self-administration."

In the declaration by the President of Serbia, forwarded by the Permanent Mission of Yugoslavia (document S/1998/25), Mr. Milutinovic calls on the leaders of the political parties of the Albanian national minority in Kosovo and Metohija to commence political dialogue without postponement or conditions. He calls the delays in the holding of a direct political dialogue between the representatives of the Government of Serbia and the Albanian political parties in Kosovo and Metohija unjustified and harmful.

The President states his readiness to act as guarantor of such talks, based on the preservation of territorial integrity and including in their agenda the questions of self-government in Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia. He emphasizes the importance of the continued involvement and presence of the ICRC in the realization of humanitarian activities, and states that the authorities will guarantee all conditions for its normal work also in the future.

Mr. Milutinovic goes on to say that the international community, and particularly the countries of the region, should refrain from all actions that could increase tension and encourage separatism or could constitute interference in the country's internal affairs. Serbia was interested in and open to cooperation with the OSCE, which entailed restoration of membership rights and obligations to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. To that end, cooperation should be renewed with the OSCE mission for a longer duration.

The decision of the special session of the OSCE Permanent Council, transmitted in a letter from Poland (document S/1998/246), calls on the authorities in Belgrade and the leadership of the Kosovar Albanians to enter without preconditions into meaningful dialogue, based on full observance of OSCE principles and commitments.

The Permanent Council calls on the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to halt the excessive use of force in Kosovo, to vigorously investigate and accept international investigation of reported summary executions, and to bring to justice those found responsible.

Those authorities were also called on to take a number of steps, including: to cooperate fully with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office's Personal Representative to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; to allow access to Kosovo by the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations; to implement without delay the Education Agreement and seek agreements on further confidence- building measures; and to accept without preconditions an immediate return of the OSCE missions to Kosovo, Sandjak and Vojvodina.

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Draft Resolution

The Council had before it the following draft resolution (document S/1998/284), sponsored by France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States:

"The Security Council,

"Noting with appreciation the statements of the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America (the Contact Group) of 9 and 25 March 1998 (S/1998/223 and S/1998/272), including the proposal on a comprehensive arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo,

"Welcoming the decision of the Special Session of the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of 11 March 1998 (S/1998/246),

"Condemning the use of excessive force by Serbian police forces against civilians and peaceful demonstrators in Kosovo, as well as all acts of terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all external support for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms and training, "Noting the declaration of 18 March 1998 by the President of the Republic of Serbia on the political process in Kosovo and Metohija (S/1998/250),

"Noting also the clear commitment of senior representatives of the Kosovar Albanian community to non-violence,

"Noting that there has been some progress in implementing the actions indicated in the Contact Group statement of 9 March 1998, but stressing that further progress is required,

"Affirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1. Calls upon the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia immediately to take the further necessary steps to achieve a political solution to the issue of Kosovo through dialogue and to implement the actions indicated in the Contact Group statements of 9 and 25 March 1998;

"2. Calls also upon the Kosovar Albanian leadership to condemn all terrorist action, and emphasizes that all elements in the Kosovar Albanian community should pursue their goals by peaceful means only;

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"3. Underlines that the way to defeat violence and terrorism in Kosovo is for the authorities in Belgrade to offer the Kosovar Albanian community a genuine political process;

"4. Calls upon the authorities in Belgrade and the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community urgently to enter without preconditions into a meaningful dialogue on political status issues, and notes the readiness of the Contact Group to facilitate such a dialogue;

"5. Agrees, without prejudging the outcome of that dialogue, with the proposal in the Contact Group statements of 9 and 25 March 1998 that the principles for a solution of the Kosovo problem should be based on the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and should be in accordance with OSCE standards, including those set out in the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe of 1975, and the Charter of the United Nations, and that such a solution must also take into account the rights of the Kosovar Albanians and all who live in Kosovo, and expresses its support for an enhanced status for Kosovo which would include a substantially greater degree of autonomy and meaningful self-administration;

"6. Welcomes the signature on 23 March 1998 of an agreement on measures to implement the 1996 Education Agreement, calls upon all parties to ensure that its implementation proceeds smoothly and without delay according to the agreed timetable, and expresses its readiness to consider measures if either party blocks implementation;

"7. Expresses its support for the efforts of the OSCE for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Kosovo, including through the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who is also the Special Representative of the European Union, and the return of the OSCE long-term missions;

"8. Decides that all States shall, for the purposes of fostering peace and stability in Kosovo, prevent the sale or supply to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels and aircraft, of arms and related matériel of all types, such as weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts for the aforementioned, and shall prevent arming and training for terrorist activities there; "9. Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a committee of the Security Council, consisting of all the members of the Council, to undertake the following tasks and to report on its work to the Council with its observations and recommendations:

"(a) to seek from all States information regarding the action taken by them concerning the effective implementation of the prohibitions imposed by this resolution;

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"(b) to consider any information brought to its attention by any State concerning violations of the prohibitions imposed by this resolution and to recommend appropriate measures in response thereto;

"(c) to make periodic reports to the Security Council on information submitted to it regarding alleged violations of the prohibitions imposed by this resolution;

"(d) to promulgate such guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the prohibitions imposed by this resolution;

"(e) to examine the reports submitted pursuant to paragraph 12 below;

"10. Calls upon all States and all international and regional organizations to act strictly in conformity with this resolution, notwithstanding the existence of any rights granted or obligations conferred or imposed by any international agreement or of any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the entry into force of the prohibitions imposed by this resolution, and stresses in this context the importance of continuing implementation of the Agreement on Subregional Arms Control signed in Florence on 14 June 1996;

"11. Requests the Secretary-General to provide all necessary assistance to the committee established by paragraph 9 above and to make the necessary arrangements in the Secretariat for this purpose;

"12. Requests States to report to the committee established by paragraph 9 above within 30 days of adoption of this resolution on the steps they have taken to give effect to the prohibitions imposed by this resolution;

"13. Invites the OSCE to keep the Secretary-General informed on the situation in Kosovo and on measures taken by that organization in this regard;

"14. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed and to report on the situation in Kosovo and the implementation of this resolution no later than 30 days following the adoption of this resolution and every 30 days thereafter;

"15. Further requests that the Secretary-General, in consultation with appropriate regional organizations, include in his first report recommendations for the establishment of a comprehensive regime to monitor the implementation of the prohibitions imposed by this resolution, and calls upon all States, in particular neighbouring States, to extend full cooperation in this regard;

"16. Decides to review the situation on the basis of the reports of the Secretary-General, which will take into account the assessments of, inter alia, the Contact Group, the OSCE and the European Union, and decides also to

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reconsider the prohibitions imposed by this resolution, including action to terminate them, following receipt of the assessment of the Secretary-General that the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, cooperating in a constructive manner with the Contact Group, have:

"(a) begun a substantive dialogue in accordance with paragraph 4 above, including the participation of an outside representative or representatives, unless any failure to do so is not because of the position of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or Serbian authorities;

"(b) withdrawn the special police units and ceased action by the security forces affecting the civilian population;

"(c) allowed access to Kosovo by humanitarian organizations, as well as representatives of Contact Group and other embassies;

"(d) accepted a mission by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that would include a new and specific mandate for addressing the problems in Kosovo, as well as the return of the OSCE long-term missions;

"(e) facilitated a mission to Kosovo by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

"17. Urges the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal established pursuant to resolution 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993 to begin gathering information related to the violence in Kosovo that may fall within its jurisdiction, and notes that the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have an obligation to cooperate with the Tribunal and that the Contact Group countries will make available to the Tribunal substantiated relevant information in their possession;

"18. Affirms that concrete progress to resolve the serious political and human rights issues in Kosovo will improve the international position of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and prospects for normalization of its international relationships and full participation in international institutions;

"19. Emphasizes that failure to make constructive progress towards the peaceful resolution of the situation in Kosovo will lead to the consideration of additional measures;

"20. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

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HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said the draft resolution before the Council was intended to send a clear message that the parties concerned must stop the violence in Kosovo and begin the process of finding a solution to the serious political and human rights problems there. Japan was deeply concerned about the recent deterioration of the situation in Kosovo, with its mounting death toll. He strongly condemned both the use of excessive force by the Serbian police against civilians in Kosovo, and the use of violence, especially terrorist acts, by the Kosovo Liberation Army as a means to a political end.

The current situation posed a threat to international and regional peace and security, with the further spread of violence raising the spectre of destabilizing the entire Balkan region, he said. The draft resolution, which would impose an arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia including Kosovo, would be an effective instrument in preventing such destabilization.

Neither the repression of the human and political rights of the Albanian population in Kosovo nor the separation and independence of Kosovo was acceptable, he said. The Belgrade authorities and the Albanian community leadership in Kosovo were urged to enter immediately into a substantive dialogue without preconditions, to enable the citizens of Kosovo to enjoy a sufficient degree of autonomy with meaningful self-administration, as well as complete respect for their human rights.

He said Japan fully supported the efforts in Kosovo by the relevant international organizations. Meanwhile, the Belgrade authorities were urged to cooperate fully with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to take steps to implement, without delay, the actions set out by the Contact Group in its statement of 9 March. At the same time, Japan called upon all elements of the Albanian community in Kosovo to accept dialogue immediately and to categorically denounce terrorist activities, as well as external support for such activities.

MELVIN SAENZ BIOLLEY (Costa Rica) said human rights violations had led to dozens of deaths of citizens in Kosovo. The Serbian police forces had used unjustified force against demonstrators, and terrorist attacks had also been committed. The situation in the country represented a threat to regional and international peace and security. The protection of human rights was not solely and exclusively under the jurisdiction of the individual State but was of utmost interest to the international community. There were situations when the violations of human rights were so serious that they threatened international peace and security and therefore came under the jurisdiction of the Council.

Combating terrorism did not in any way justify the violation of human rights or disrespect for humanitarian law, he said. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia must respect all the human rights of all its citizens, irrespective

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of their religion or political views. It should prosecute its accused citizens and cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. There should be dialogue between the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Albanian community. If the authorities continued to violate the human rights of their populations, the Council would be duty-bound to contemplate further measures. Imposing an arms embargo was the rock-bottom response the Council could provide at the current time.

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the situation in Kosovo called for a response from the Council. The Contact Group and the European Union had intervened since the beginning of the crisis, stressing the importance of the cessation of violence and of achieving a solution through dialogue. That solution should include substantially greater autonomy for Kosovo. Recent developments had shown that it was possible to achieve a negotiated solution on sensitive issues. Additional steps must be taken by the Belgrade authorities and the Kosovo Albanians for a substantial dialogue to begin without any prerequisites.

The arms embargo was devised by the European Union in 1991 and confirmed earlier this month, he said. Measures stipulated in the draft resolution should be seen as means towards the achievement of a negotiated settlement. The prohibitions could be lifted when the Secretary-General provided an assessment which confirmed that the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had completed the requirements set out by the Council. France considered the draft resolution to be a balanced text which might contribute to a peaceful political solution in Kosovo.

THOMAS B. AMOLO (Kenya) said his Government supported the draft resolution before the Council and was concerned about the recent development in Kosovo. While there had been some progress in implementing the actions outlined by the Contact Group, a lot more was required. Kenya called upon the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to move expeditiously to achieve a political solution to the issue of Kosovo through dialogue. It also called upon the Kosovo Albanian leadership to condemn all terrorist action and urged them to pursue their political, social and economic goals by peaceful means alone.

The proliferation of arms had exacerbated the tense political and security situation in Kosovo, he said. An arms embargo would assist in fostering peace and stability there. Kenya called upon all States to strictly observe the embargo.

ANDERS LIDEN (Sweden) said that peace and stability in the Balkans was a necessary prerequisite for European security. Sweden condemned the excessive use of force by Serbian special police in Kosovo. It also condemned all acts of terrorism. Both sides must exercise restraint and enter into serious political dialogue on how to settle their differences through exclusively peaceful means, on the basis of human rights and the rule of law. Sweden

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supported the declarations of the Contact Group Ministers on 9 and 25 March and agreed with the measures they recommended to persuade the authorities in Belgrade to take steps towards an acceptable solution. It was incumbent upon the Kosovar Albanian leadership to act responsibly and to facilitate the beginning of a constructive dialogue.

He said the arms embargo imposed by the Council must be immediately and strictly implemented by all States. As a member of the European Union, Sweden had already decided to implement the arms embargo and the other sanctions recommended by the Contact Group, including the refusal to supply equipment which could be used for internal repression or for terrorism, the denial of visas to officials responsible for the repression, and a moratorium on government-financed export credits.

HENRIQUE R. VALLE (Brazil) said that while supporting the imposition of an arms embargo, his delegation stressed that it would not yield the desired effect if it was not accompanied by parallel diplomatic efforts to promote a safer and more harmonious environment for those who had been most directly affected by the unrest. Furthermore, if there was movement in a positive direction, the Security Council should acknowledge it promptly.

The declaration by the President of Serbia on the political process in Kosovo had been received by the international community as an auspicious sign, he said. In the face of further and sustained progress, there should be no reason to doubt that the Council would respond accordingly. At the present stage, Council members should confine themselves to the measures contained in the draft, in the expectation that developments would render needless the consideration of additional restrictions.

He stressed Brazil's commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes within a context of respect for a State's sovereignty and territorial integrity. By exercising caution in resorting to coercive measures, Council members were actually strengthening the Council's authority in the face of serious and otherwise intractable situations.

DANILO TURK (Slovenia) said the situation in Kosovo had the potential to seriously destabilize the region. The situation was difficult and the capacities for a quick political settlement were limited, but it would be wrong to conclude that violence would be inevitable in the future. Much would depend on the ability of the international actors to guide future developments towards genuine political solutions. Those solutions would have to include arrangements to satisfy the needs of both the Albanian and the Serb populations in Kosovo. It was also essential that the political process be started on the basis of the broad and fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. In addition, it was

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important to ensure that intellectual and moral accuracy prevailed in international efforts to help resolve the situation. The problems should be defined accurately and honestly.

He said his country shared the concern expressed by the Contact Group at its meetings on 9 and 25 March and would support the draft resolution before the Council. That text represented an additional piece in the mosaic of international pressure on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to start immediately and without conditions serious negotiations on the final status of Kosovo. It should demonstrate the determination of the international community to act to prevent a massive humanitarian tragedy.

A solution to the Kosovo crisis could only be found by the parties themselves, but not by themselves alone, he said. The animosities between them and the tensions in the region were already too high. The international community should help the parties by applying pressure and providing mediation in negotiations. The efforts of the OSCE and the Personal Representative of the Chairman would be supported by the Council in the draft resolution.

The Council should be ready to evaluate the real effects of the draft resolution, he went on to say. Recent experience has shown that the political measure of an arms embargo might not properly be understood and that its results might leave much to be desired. The Council should therefore remain actively seized of the matter in an effort to help resolve the situation and to maintain peace and security in the region.

JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said his delegation would have been more pleased about the draft text if its concerns had been taken into account. However, it did not want to be outside the consensus reached in the consultations, even though its concerns were legitimate. It condemned the practices of the Serbian authorities against the civilian populations in Kosovo. International and regional efforts had been made to restrain the Serbian authorities and to have them engage in dialogue with the people. Belgrade had refused all efforts to resolve the crisis and continued its intransigence.

He said that a recent summit of the OSCE had called for the protection of human rights, prevention of the escalation of violence, and the reopening of educational and scientific organizations and of dialogue. It was hoped that the Government would respond to the call of the international community to provide for the real political rights of the people. Bahrain supported the draft resolution and would vote for it.

JOSE TADEU SOARES (Portugal) said the statement to be made by the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union fully reflected the views of his country. Its deep concern over the situation in Kosovo could not be overstated. Not only were issues of political and human rights at stake, but

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the instability of Kosovo threatened international peace and security in the region. The international community should send an unambiguous signal of its concern and unite in its efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution.

Portugal fully supported the Contact Group's role in defining an action plan to end the violence and bring about a political solution through unconditional dialogue, he said. Consequently, it strongly supported the draft resolution establishing an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Its goal of unconditional dialogue should be oriented towards a greater autonomy for Kosovo, including meaningful self-administration. The outcome should not be predetermined, but rather based on the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the United Nations Charter.

He said his country neither supported independence nor the status quo. Rather, it called on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Kosovar Albanian community to renounce violence and pursue a dialogue aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. It utterly condemned the use of force by either side. The 1996 Education Agreement was another important step towards a process of dialogue and should be effectively followed through. The role of the OSCE was equally important. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was urged to cooperate fully with the OCSE Chairman-in-Office and with the European Union in order to enable the return of the OSCE long-term mission.

YURIY V. FEDOTOV (Russian Federation) said his Government strongly believed that the basis for a settlement in Kosovo was the retention of the autonomous region within Serbia on the basis of sovereignty and territorial integrity. A solution could be achieved through dialogue. The Contact Group had condemned the use of excessive force by the Serbian police force, as well as any terrorist acts by the Kosovar Albanians. It also condemned other manifestations of extremism which strongly complicated a political solution. Terrorism was categorically unacceptable and deserved condemnation by the international community. Any foreign support for terrorism must be nipped in the bud. That required a coordinated international effort.

It was difficult for the Russian Federation to agree to imposing an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said. It would support that action on an understanding that there was no threat to international peace and security. The draft contained measures that would prevent mounting tensions and lead to a political settlement. Both sides needed to work constructively towards that end. Illegal trafficking in weapons must be reliably impeded, and mere declarations on that issue did not suffice. It might be useful for the Secretary-General to conduct investigations on the supply of armaments, and on training for terrorist activities in Kosovo that were carried out in neighbouring territories. His Government would continue to advocate the need to limit the arms embargo by calling for a clear time-frame.

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The draft resolution had been able to define strict criteria that would cause the Council to lift the embargo, he said. The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had already taken important steps in that direction. It had announced the withdrawal of certain police units and allowed access to Kosovo by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Russian Federation urged Belgrade to step up its efforts, in order to further that progress. The efforts of all interested parties must be directed to fostering the dialogue and preventing a reversal of the situation.

SHEN GUOFANG (China) said the question of Kosovo was in essence an internal matter of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It should be resolved properly through negotiations between both parties concerned on the basis of the principle of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had taken a series of positive measures in that regard and the situation on the ground was moving towards stability. China did not believe that the situation in Kosovo endangered international peace and security.

Ethnic issues were extremely complicated and sensitive, especially in the Balkans, he said. On the one hand, the legitimate rights and interests of all ethnic groups should be protected. On the other hand, secessionist activities by various extremist elements should be prevented. Many countries in the region were multi-ethnic. If the Council was to get involved in a dispute without a request from the country concerned, it might create a bad precedent. It should therefore be cautious when addressing those issues.

The priority in solving the question of Kosovo was for the parties to begin political talks soon, he said. The draft resolution before the Council would not help move the parties towards negotiations. Furthermore, it was inappropriate to bring to the Council the differences between OSCE and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the human rights issues in Kosovo, nor was it proper to link the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's return to the international community with the question of Kosovo. China would abstain in the voting.

The draft resolution was adopted by 14 votes in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (China), as resolution 1160 (1998).

DAVID RICHMOND (United Kingdom) said the Council had sent an unmistakeable message, by acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, that it considered that the situation in Kosovo to represent a threat to international peace and security. Today's action told Belgrade that repression in Kosovo would not be tolerated, and told the Kosovar side that terrorism was unacceptable. The United Kingdom's record against terrorism was firm and resolute, but terrorism could not be a pretext for the disproportionate use of force against a civilian population. Belgrade could not pass off the repressive acts of recent weeks as purely an internal affair. Human rights

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abuses were a matter of common concern. The international community had a particular responsibility to reduce tension in the region before it caused instability in neighbouring countries.

He said his country did not support separatism or independence in Kosovo, but it insisted that Belgrade should grant Kosovo an enhanced status, including self-administration. It also insisted upon a halt to all special police operations in Kosovo. The United Kingdom looked forward to the day when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would be welcomed into the family of democratic nations in Europe.

BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said the Council was today taking a clear stand for peace and security in the Balkans. By imposing an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, it was sending an unambiguous message that the international community would not tolerate violence and ethnic cleansing in the region. The mistakes of the past, when the international community waited too long before taking decisive action, must be avoided. The security in the region directly affected broader international interests, and deterioration of the situation in Kosovo constituted a threat to international peace and security.

The United States joined the Council in supporting an enhanced status for Kosovo, including greater autonomy and meaningful self-administration, he said. That was the only way to achieve long-term peace and a satisfactory resolution to the conflict in the region. His Government also strongly welcomed the clear commitment of the senior representatives of the Kosovar Albanian leadership to non-violence and to a negotiated solution to the crisis.

He said the resolution underlined the important role of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal in gathering evidence about violence in Kosovo, which might fall within its jurisdiction. The authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should be reminded of their obligation to extend full cooperation in that effort, as well as of their commitments under the Bosnia peace agreement to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal. Only sustained international pressure would ensure continued progress towards the goal of a peacefully negotiated solution in Kosovo. The resolution confirmed that the international community would hold President Milosevic responsible for meeting in full the benchmarks of the Contact Group; otherwise, additional measures might be needed.

ABDOULIE MOMODOU SALLAH (Gambia) said that although progress had been made in implementing the actions indicated by the Contact Group, there was still more to be done and the situation remained precarious. The Contact Group had offered a diplomatic and political opportunity for the solution of the problems in Kosovo. The parties should give diplomacy a chance and take advantage of the window of opportunity opened for them by the OSCE. The

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situation could not be settled without meaningful dialogue between the parties.

The use of force, unprovoked violence and terrorism was no answer, he said. Political problems should be solved politically. The use of force more often than not exacerbated a problem further, or produced compliance based on a fragile foundation. The parties must exercise the utmost restraint and work out measures to find a political solution.

The availability of arms and other military material to parties in a conflict usually led them to armed confrontation, he said. The lack of access by the parties to military material would reduce their capability to fight and hence the incidence of violence. The establishment of a committee to monitor the implementation of the measures contained in the resolution was welcomed, and all States were urged to respect those measures. However, while an arms embargo represented a necessary step in halting the continued degeneration of the situation in Kosovo, it was not sufficient alone to change the situation. The parties to the conflict should be genuinely committed to working out a diplomatic solution.

DAVID RICHMOND (United Kingdom) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Norway. He said the Union was deeply concerned about the threat to regional peace and security posed by the situation in Kosovo. The international community must send a clear message to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbian authorities that the excessive violence by military police units, involving deaths and injury among the civilian population, was unacceptable. The Union also condemned all terrorist acts and called on those supplying financial support, arms or training for them to cease doing so. It also urged both sides to engage immediately in genuine and unconditional dialogue with the participation of an outside representative.

Pressure must be maintained to bring the Belgrade authorities to the negotiating table, he said. That meant implementing the measures agreed at the London Contract Group meeting on 9 March. The Union already had a comprehensive arms embargo in place against the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Today's resolution sent a powerful signal to the authorities in Belgrade that the international community was united in its desire to see real progress in Kosovo and was monitoring events there closely. Neighbouring States had already expressed concern that further turmoil might spread instability beyond the borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The European Union favoured granting a large degree of autonomy to Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said. That must include meaningful self-administration for the local population. The key was getting both sides to talk. The Union would support a settlement on Kosovo's status which was reached by mutual agreement.

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VLADISLAV JOVANOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that members of the Albanian minority were granted the same rights as other citizens. However, while all other citizens exercised their rights, a large part of the Albanian minority boycotted a part of those rights under pressure and blackmail by their separatist representatives. Their exercise of the right to information was attested to by the fact that over 50 private dailies, weeklies and periodicals were printed in the Albanian language, the aggregate circulation of which amounted to 2.5 million copies. The selective boycott of some rights and the exercise of others was not a result of the free will of the members of the Albanian national minority, most of whom were responsible, loyal and law- abiding citizens.

He drew attention to terrorist actions, including the killing of Albanians loyal to Serbia, the assassination of public officials, attacks on public institutions and the ambushing of police officers. Those acts were designed to intimidate ethnic Albanians into closing ranks, increase tension, draw the attention of the international public, and substantiate requests for mediation and internationalization of the situation. The ultimate goal was the secession of Serbian land from Serbia. Serbia could not and would not allow that to happen.

He said the Council's action was unacceptable to his Government. It considered the question of Kosovo to be an internal matter which could not be the subject of deliberation in any international forum without the consent of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. There had been many instances all over the world of police and military actions against terrorists in which civilians had been victims, but the Council had never found it fit to increase the responsibility of States in defending themselves against terrorism and protecting their territorial integrity and sovereignty. The would be ill-advised to do so now. Such a move would have catastrophic consequences for the struggle against terrorism in general. It would erode trust in the Security Council and the entire United Nations system and would allow international relations to be governed by the right of might instead of by law and principle.

The Contact Group was not authorized to create obligations, legal or factual, for the Council by its statements, or to set the Council's calendar and decisions and to determine the content of those decisions, he said. That would seriously dent the dignity of the Council. The real threat to regional peace and security was the overt or covert support that certain circles rendered to secessionism, under the influence of Albanian lobbies in some countries and the permanent members of the Security Council.

He said the Government of Serbia had addressed a number of public and direct calls to the representatives of the political parties of the Albanian minority for unconditional, direct and genuine political dialogue. The representatives of all other minorities who had lived in Kosovo and Metohija

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for centuries had asked to take part in the dialogue. Only the leaders of some political parties of the Albanian minority had failed to heed the invitation by the Government of Serbia to unconditional dialogue. They continued to turn a deaf ear to the appeals of the international community to condemn terrorism publicly and to give up the idea of independence. Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had nothing to hide in Kosovo and Metohija. Kosovo and Metohija was an integral part of Serbia and every problem arising in that Serbian province was its internal affair. Serbia was firmly committed to an unconditional dialogue with the members of the Albanian minority.

TONO EITEL (Germany) said that his country, perhaps more than most other States, was affected by the humanitarian situation in Kosovo. Germany was the refuge of an estimated 300,000 ethnic Albanians, mostly from Kosovo. A total of about 1.3 million persons from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were currently living in Germany. The explosive situation in the Kosovo region was a clear threat to international peace and security. The outside world could not simply stand by and watch a new, potentially dangerous conflict develop in the region.

Today's resolution sent two very clear messages, he said. First, the international community would do its utmost to avoid a resurgence of violence in the Balkan region. Secondly, a political solution for the Kosovo problems was more than overdue. His Government condemned violence and terrorism, no matter which side was to blame. Without prejudging the results of a dialogue, the resolution supported an enhanced status for Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and meaningful self-administration. Such a solution would by no means impair the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The arms embargo represent an attempt to prevent an arms buildup by the opposing sides, he said. It was also a political measure which showed that resort to violence and a refusal to enter into meaningful dialogue would bring those responsible farther away from the beneficial normalizing of their relations with the outside world.

GUILIO TERZI DI SANT'AGATA (Italy) said his country fully supported the European Union's position on the situation in Kosovo. In light of the current crisis, the international community had stepped up initiatives to prevent the conflict from plunging the region into yet another vicious cycle of ethnic bloodshed, which would destroy the delicate balance achieved after years of civil war. The Kosovo question could have repercussions in the entire Balkan region, where the international community had waged a monumental effort to halt the process of disintegration and foster the healing and rehabilitation of State institutions.

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Italy had played an active role in those efforts, he said. It had made a substantial contribution through its leadership of the Multinational Force in Albania last year. It had also supported economic development cooperation in that country and in the area, and made a sizable contribution to the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. It would also continue to contribute to the decision-making process in the Contact Group, the European Union, and here at the United Nations.

The international community must insist that Belgrade implement all its requests, he said. It must be equally steadfast in urging the Pristina authorities to accept the offer to begin a political dialogue without preconditions. A greater degree of autonomy on the basis of the territorial integrity of the Yugoslav Federation could be negotiated. At the same time, the Kosovar Albanians must bear in mind that the road to independence would only create new conflicts; a radical position would only void attempts at compromise.

He expressed the hope that the beginning of a concrete, open-minded dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, if it bore fruit, would better the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's prospects of full participation in the international organizations. Talks should be pursued with both parties. Moreover, Belgrade must be urged to fulfil the requests that had been made, including its unconditional participation in political dialogue, the withdrawal of its special police forces, consent to a joint OSCE/European Union mission, and access to Kosovo for humanitarian organizations.

Today's resolution imposed an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in order to prevent the aggravation of an already unstable situation where weapons prevailed over dialogue, he said. It firmly condemned violence and terrorism, and completed the package of measures adopted in London on 9 March.

TULUY TANC (Turkey) said that unless an agreed solution was found, the explosion in Kosovo might shake all the neighbouring countries and lead to a wider international crisis. The presence of a Turkish community in Kosovo, the large number of Turkish citizens of Balkan origin and Turkey's geographic location explained his Government's close attention to the crisis. Turkey was interested in finding a satisfactory solution to the plight of the people of Kosovo and in protecting their human rights. A solution to the dispute must be found through comprehensive dialogue between the parties and within the framework of the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Any resort to acts of terrorism or violence must be avoided. A third party, to be chosen by the two sides, should help facilitate the reaching of a settlement.

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The dialogue on reinstating the rights of all the ethnic minorities should begin immediately, he said. The Turkish community should be represented in the talks on the future of Kosovo. Any solution to the problem should guarantee the rights of all the ethnic minority groups, together with the Albanian majority. Effective measures should be taken, with the participation of the international community, against the possibility of violence and repression in Kosovo. The international community should also contribute to meeting the urgent economic and humanitarian needs of the people of Kosovo and of displaced persons.

KHALID AZIZ BABAR (Pakistan) said the situation in Kosovo was a matter of concern for the international community. The reign of terror let loose by the Serbian forces had resulted in the killing of a large number of civilians, including women, children and the elderly. Pakistan was deeply concerned that the Serbian forces had yet again resorted to ethnic cleansing, which should be deplored by the international community in the strongest possible terms.

The Serbian forces should immediately cease their coercive actions against the people of Kosovo and take steps to protect and promote internationally accepted norms of human rights, he said. The international community must not allow the perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity to go unpunished. Pakistan supported the measures approved by the Council in its resolution. The international community must not allow a repetition of genocide and ethnic cleansing by alien oppressors anywhere in the world.

AGIM NESHO (Albania) said his Government supported every initiative or action offered by the Contact Group, the OSCE and other countries or international organizations which contributed to bringing an end to the crisis in Kosovo. In Kosovo, where the ethnic Albanians constituted over 90 per cent of the population, the violence and terror exercised by the Serbian authorities were suppressing the rights and freedoms of the citizens. They were also denying the Albanian people their right to life. There would be no peace in the region as long as there was no political and economic balance between the forces and the States involved. His Government favoured a peaceful solution to the conflict and opposed the use of violence. It called for a harsh condemnation of Serbia, the immediate withdrawal of the Serbian military, paramilitary and police forces, and serious talks.

The resolution adopted by the Council, along with all initiatives and actions of individual countries and international organizations, represented a guarantee for the establishment of the necessary balance in the region, he said. The dimensions of the crisis in Kosovo and its danger to the region made it a threat to regional security. It was hoped the Council would act to preserve peace and security in the area in order to avoid a new tragedy. The spirit of responsibility and understanding should guide its member States in their future actions on the issue.

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EUGENIUSZ WYZNER (Poland) said it was clear that decisive steps remained to be taken by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serbian authorities in order to make a peaceful solution to the Kosovo situation possible. His Government called for the urgent start of the process of unconditional dialogue with the Kosovar Albanian community, involving the federal Yugoslav and Serbian republican levels of government. It was imperative that both sides promptly convene talks in order to reach agreement on a framework for substantive negotiations with the participation of an outside representative or representatives.

He said that Poland supported the right of Kosovar Albanians to enjoy a substantially greater degree of autonomy, including meaningful self- administration within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Any attempt to suppress that right, especially by the use of force, deserved condemnation. The only way to resolve the situation was through peaceful dialogue and negotiations. Violence led nowhere. That was true for extremist elements among the Kosovar Albanians and it was also true for the excessive and indiscriminate use of force by the police in Kosovo.

By adopting today's resolution, the Council was sending an appropriately strong signal that the international community was determined not to allow deterioration of the situation in Kosovo, and that it expected the parties concerned to implement the steps leading to a genuine, lasting and peaceful solution to the crisis.

ANDRE ERDOS (Hungary) said that as a neighbouring country, hungary was alarmed by the situation in Kosovo. The Kosovo crisis was not of recent origin and should have been dealt with earlier by the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Kosovo was part of the Federal Republic, and a lasting solution should be found to its status. The lack of appropriate attention over the years to the rights of minorities and their legitimate aspirations had led to the present crisis. Hungary condemned the resort to terrorism.

Resolution of the crisis depended on dialogue between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic Albanians, he said. Patient and systematic work was needed; dialogue would have to be pursued relentlessly. Hungary could not accept that the crisis was an internal matter of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That Government must look forward to the future and base its policies not on history, but on a vision of tomorrow, together with the community of different ethnic groups in the country. It must sit at the same table with them.

He stressed the need for the return of minorities, recognition of their rights, and their participation in the life of the country. The Government must grant to non-Serbian communities the rights which it invoked for Serbians

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living outside the country. The Council's action would help promote the long- term resolution of the crisis.

IVAN SIMONOVIC (Croatia) said his country believed that all political issues in Kosovo, including its future status, must be resolved between the Belgrade authorities and Kosovar Albanians through a genuinely democratic political process. The dialogue should take account of both the opinions of the Arbitration Commission of the European Union/United Nations Conference on the former Yugoslavia on the inviolability of borders of the new States established following the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, and the tradition of territorial autonomy in Kosovo. The willingness of the international community to play an active role in alleviating the tensions was vital for the achievement of a political solution. Croatia supported all the efforts of the international community to halt the escalation of the conflict, particularly the endeavours of the Contact Group and of the OSCE.

He said that Croatia condemned the violation of human rights in Kosovo and denounced all forms of terrorism, whether committed by a State, group or individuals. It was particularly concerned by the possible humanitarian catastrophe which the present crisis could cause. The international community could not allow the same pattern of humanitarian disasters experienced in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to be repeated in Kosovo. It welcomed the fact that the resolution called upon the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to allow international humanitarian organizations access to Kosovo to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.

He stressed that the participation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in international institutions was conditional upon its application for membership and the fulfilment of all criteria for acceptance into those bodies. The issue of succession to the former Yugoslavia could not be linked to the Kosovo crisis.

CHRISTOS ZACHARAKIS (Greece) said his Government was concerned over developments in Kosovo and with the repercussions that the possible deterioration of the situation could have on the stability of the region. Greece actively participated in the Contact Group meetings and adhered to the joint statements adopted by them. A solution in Kosovo must be sought through peaceful means, as well as through dialogue between the Government in Belgrade and the Kosovar Albanian leadership. Terrorism and the excessive use of force must be wholly condemned.

Existing international borders must be safeguarded, he said. That was a fundamental requirement for peace and stability in the Balkans. Greece fully supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and categorically rejected any secessionist claims. Actions against that country should take account of the stability of south-eastern

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Europe and not unduly harm States in the region, which had been particularly hard hit by the negative consequences of the sanctions regime between 1992 to 1996.

MUHAMED SACIRBEY (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that development of the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina could not help but be affected by the situation in Kosovo. The long-term developments in Kosovo would have a substantial impact on peace, stability, human rights and minority and national rights in the region. His Government welcomed the Council's role in addressing the issue and emphasized the importance of the Council remaining seized of the matter.

The authorities in Belgrade should not be allowed to do in Kosovo what they could no longer get away with in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said. Ethnic cleansing was intolerable. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the States in the region should be stressed, without prejudice to the eventual solution. At the same time, the basis for a solution lay in full respect for the democratic, human, national and minority rights of all the citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

He stressed the importance of the arms control arrangements negotiated under the authority of the OSCE, both in the region and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The heightened vigilance of monitors could be helpful in assuring that new abuses were not invented and old abuses were not repeated. The international community should give its support to arms monitoring in order to ensure compliance and deter cross-border transfers.

NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt) said that today's resolution sent a message, and expressed the hope that the parties would understand the need to prevent a deterioration of the situation in Kosovo. The resolution condemned acts against the civilian population and outlined measures the Government should take to resolve the crisis. The Council had acted under Chapter VII of the Charter but had not determined that the situation affected international peace and security.

He said that Egypt supported the resolution and urged the parties to enter into dialogue. The situation in Kosovo was a source of great concern. The Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference had recently condemned the actions taken against civilians. Dialogue must be undertaken so that peace might be achieved.

VOLODYMYR Y. YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine) said while the situation in Kosovo was an internal affair of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the current situation was a matter of grave concern. The possibility of further confrontation and escalation could lead to destabilization of the entire region, where concrete measures towards normalization were being undertaken with the active involvement of the international community. It was hoped that

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the situation in Kosovo would be settled in the near future through existing multilateral mechanisms, by means of peaceful dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding.

He expressed the hope that today's action would foster the search for peaceful solutions to the serious problem in Kosovo. The Council should also consider any negative consequences which might affect third States as a result of further restrictions it was imposing today. He called on the authorities in Belgrade and the leadership of the Kosovar Albanian community to enter urgently and without preconditions into a meaningful dialogue on political status issues.

HADI NEJAD-JOSSEINIAN (Iran) said the situation in Kosovo has provoked considerable international outrage because of the excessive use of force by Serbian police against the ethnic Albanians, resulting in considerable loss of life and material damage. International concern was amplified by the previous events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which could not and should not be allowed to be repeated. Iran condemned the suppression and use of force by Serbian special police against Kosovar Albanians. The use of force and violence must be rejected, and the authorities in Belgrade should take the necessary steps to guarantee the rights of the Albanian community there.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should be persuaded that the solution to the problem in Kosovo could only be found in a genuine and serious process of political negotiations with its ethnic minority, he said. The Twenty-fifth Ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held in Qatar from 15 to 17 March, expressed deep concern about the violation of political and human rights in Kosovo. The meeting also condemned the use of force by Serbian police and called for the withdrawal of military forces from Kosovo.

The solution to the problem in Kosovo lay in respecting the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said. At the same time, the parties must arrive at an agreed formula for the political future of the Kosovar Albanian community, through political dialogue. Iran supported today's resolution in the framework of the international efforts taken to curb further bloodshed in Kosovo and to bring about a political solution to the conflict. Both sides must exercise restraint and engage in serious political negotiations, without preconditions, on the political status of Kosovo.

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For information media. Not an official record.