GENERAL ASSEMBLY URGES ENHANCED COOPERATION BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE

7 December 1998
GA/9527

GENERAL ASSEMBLY URGES ENHANCED COOPERATION BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE

7 December 1998

Press ReleaseGA/9527

GENERAL ASSEMBLY URGES ENHANCED COOPERATION BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE

19981207 Welcomes OSCE Activities in Kosovo, Nagorny Karabakh, Also Adds Agenda Item on Aggression in Democratic Republic of Congo

The General Assembly this morning requested the Secretary-General to continue exploring the possibilities of enhancing cooperation, information exchange and coordination between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Adopting a resolution on the issue, by a vote of 143 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions, the Assembly welcomed a number of activities by the OSCE, among them: the Kosovo Verification Mission; its role in Bosnia and Herzegovina in police, judiciary and human rights reform; its assumption of responsibilities for the United Nations Police Support Group in Croatia; and efforts in the peace process in Georgia. (For details of the vote see Annex III).

By the text, the Assembly also expressed full support for the OSCE's assistance to Albania, its efforts in the eastern zone of the Republic of Moldova and its efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Assembly also welcomed the invitation to the United Nations and its agencies to contribute to the discussion on a document Charter on European security.

Prior to taking action on the draft as a whole, the Assembly took action on an amendment introduced by the representative of Azerbaijan, which added language concerning "the conflict in and around the region of the Republic of Azerbaijan". The amendment was adopted by a vote of 114 in favour to 1 against (Armenia), with 20 abstentions (Annex II).

Before its adoption, the representative of Armenia proposed that no action be taken on the amendment proposed by Azerbaijan. The motion was rejected by a vote of 1 in favour (Armenia) to 32 against, with 96 abstentions (Annex I).

The representative of Austria, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the OSCE had become a key forum for the management of the changes that have occurred in Europe in recent years. The Union had

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contributed to the strengthening of the OSCE and would continue to do so. The dynamic development of the OSCE's role on the ground called for the establishment of a politically binding charter on European security reflecting, in particular, its invigorated role and the vital importance of inter-institutional cooperation.

The Secretary-General of the OSCE, Giancarlo Aragona, said that after Kosovo, the OSCE would never be the same. The operations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia had put it on the map, while the Kosovo Mission took it to another dimension. That operation and cooperation with other international organizations in the field would redefine the organization and decisively influence the European security architecture.

In other action this morning, the Assembly decided to include a new agenda item -- entitled "Armed aggression against the Democratic Republic of the Congo" -- directly in plenary. It also decided to include in the provisional agenda of the fifty-fourth session an additional item entitled "Observer status for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in the General Assembly".

The Assembly also decided to include an additional sub-item in the agenda of the current session entitled "Appointment of a member of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee" and decided to allocate the item to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Also this morning, the Assembly, on the recommendation of its Credentials Committee, decided to accept the credentials of the representative of Cambodia.

Statements on cooperation with the OSCE were also made by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Malta, Ukraine, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Croatia, Russian Federation, Republic of Moldova and Kazakhstan. The representative of Poland introduced the draft resolution.

Statements in explanations of vote were made by the representatives of Austria (on behalf of the European Union), Armenia and China.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cambodia, Hor Namhong, also made a statement, following acceptance of his delegation's credentials, saying a new coalition government had been formed and his country was resuming its place in the family of nations.

The Assembly will meet again at 3 p.m. today to take up the following: global implications for the year 2000 date conversion problems of computers; strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations; implementation of the United Nations new agenda for the development of Africa in the 1990s; cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU); causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa; the situation in Central America; appointment of members of the Committee on Conferences; and reports of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Assembly Work Programme

The General Assembly met this morning to consider the recommendations of its General Committee and its Credentials Committee, and to discuss cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

General Committee Reports

The Assembly had before it the third report of the General Committee (document A/53/250/add.2), which states that, on 28 October, the Assembly decided to include in the agenda of the current session item 167 entitled "Armed aggression against the Democratic Republic of the Congo". On 1 December, the General Committee recommended that the Assembly consider it directly in plenary meeting.

Also on 1 December, the Committee considered a request submitted by the Dominican Republic for the inclusion in the agenda of an additional item entitled "Observer status for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in the General Assembly". In that connection, the Committee decided to recommend that the item be included in the provisional agenda of the fifty-fourth session.

The Assembly also had before it a note from the Secretary-General (document A/53/235) stating that, due to the resignation of a member of the United Nations Pension Committee effective 1 January 1999, a new sub-item entitled "Appointment of a member of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee" will need to be included under the item of appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary bodies (item 17).

United Nations Cooperation with OSCE

The report by the Secretary-General on cooperation with the OSCE (document A/53/672) notes that during the past year, multifaceted cooperation between the organizations has significantly been enhanced at a variety of levels.

According to the report, the United Nations took the lead in peacemaking efforts in Abkhazia, Georgia and Tajikistan, while the OSCE did the same in the Republic of Moldova; South Ossetia, Georgia; and in Nagorny Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Both the United Nations and the OSCE have improved coordination in the field and between their respective headquarters.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the OSCE cooperate on human and minority rights, the issue of freedom of movement and choice of place of residence, the restitution of property of returnees, and reintegration of refugees and displaced persons in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and Albania, states the report. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two organizations in October. In June, another memorandum was signed between the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human

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Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The high-level tripartite consultations between the United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, were launched in 1994, and the most recent meeting was held in January in Geneva, the report continues. During those consultations, special emphasis was placed on regional activities. Activities in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Belarus, as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia, were reviewed. Participants agreed on mutually supportive action in democratization, the rule of law and minority rights. They also welcomed the appointment of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. They also agreed to enhance the sharing of information through electronic means.

The report goes on to say that the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the OSCE are enhancing cooperation concerning the economic aspects of security in Europe, such as energy development. The establishment, within the OSCE secretariat, of an office of coordinator for economic and environmental activities will further facilitate interaction with the ECE and help to develop a joint response by the United Nations system and the OSCE. Cooperation between United Nations peacekeeping and the OSCE in field activities has been further strengthened in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) cooperated with the OSCE on elections there and on media matters, while the UNHCR and the OSCE seek to create a returnee monitoring framework involving human rights and democratic institution-building structures.

Noting that the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES) expired in January, the report states that the OSCE is monitoring Croatia's compliance with its obligations assumed under the Basic Agreement of November 1995. The OSCE continues to cooperate with the United Nations Police Support Group there with regard to refugees and displaced persons.

The organizations have continued cooperation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and in Albania. Cooperation in the former State includes monitoring and reporting on developments in the border areas adjacent to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while efforts in the latter involve the initiatives of the Group of Friends of Albania. As the OSCE retains the political lead in Albania, it works with the United Nations on strategies for weapons collection, the establishment of an independent national human rights or ombudsman institution and jointly providing donor coordination.

All United Nations agencies operating in Kosovo will establish communication with the Kosovo Verification Mission, a 2,000 strong deployment between the former Republic of Yugoslavia and the OSCE, to monitor compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions, according to the report. Also, measures contributing to confidence-building and stabilizing the conflicts in Georgia have been undertaken by both organizations, while the OSCE has retained the lead in conflict resolution in Nagorny Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Furthermore, the United Nations and the OSCE mission in Tajikistan work

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closely to promote human rights, democratic institution-building and the protection of refugees and displaced persons in the country.

By the terms of a related draft resolution (document A/53/L.60), the General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue exploring the possibilities of enhancing cooperation, information exchange and coordination between the United Nations and the OSCE.

The Assembly would welcome the invitation to the United Nations and its agencies to the discussion on a platform for cooperative security as part of the document charter on European security being developed by the OSCE. It would further encourage OSCE efforts to foster regional security and stability through early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post- conflict rehabilitation, as referred to in the 1996 summit declaration adopted in Lisbon, as well as through continued promotion of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The text would further welcome the establishment by the OSCE of the Kosovo Verification Mission to verify the implementation of relevant Council resolutions; the readiness of that organization to fulfil its role in the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the United Nations, to which new elements have been added during 1998 in the fields of police, judiciary and human rights reform; and, the cooperation between both organizations in the peace process in Georgia, including through the Human Rights Office in Sukhumi.

The draft resolution would further commend the OSCE for its contribution to the implementation of Security Council resolution 1160 (1998) of 31 March, including the contribution of the Chairman-in-Office of that organization to the reports of the United Nations Secretary-General. By its terms, it would also commend the OSCE for the provision of civilian police monitors who have assumed the responsibilities of the United Nations Police Support Group in the Danubian region of Croatia.

The text would fully support the continued advice and assistance by the OSCE within its field of expertise to Albania, also by furnishing the overall framework for the Group of Friends of Albania; the activities of the OSCE to achieve a peaceful solution of the conflict dealt with by the Minsk Conference; and, the OSCE efforts aimed at achieving a settlement of the problems in the eastern zone of the Republic of Moldova, and welcomes the commitment of that organization to facilitating the implementation of the relevant decisions of the Budapest and Lisbon Summits.

Co-sponsoring the draft are Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

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An amendment to the draft resolution sponsored by Azerbaijan (document A/53/L.61) would replace operative paragraph 12, which describes cooperation in the conflict dealt with by the Minsk Conference, with the following:

"Fully supports the activities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and welcomes cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in that regard."

General Committee

The Assembly decided to consider a new agenda item -- entitled "Armed aggression against the Democratic Republic of the Congo" -- directly in plenary meeting.

It also decided to include in the provisional agenda of the fifty-fourth session an additional item entitled "Observer status for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in the General Assembly".

The Assembly also decided to include an additional sub-item in the agenda of the current session entitled "Appointment of a member of the United Nations Staff Pension Committee". Further, it decided to allocate the item to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), owing to its nature.

Credentials Committee

The Assembly decided to adopt the recommendation of the Credentials Committee set forth in paragraph 7 of the special report.

Cooperation with OSCE

EUGENIUSZ WYZNER (Poland), introducing the draft, said that Tajikistan had joined the original list of sponsors. As the risks and challenges in today's world were complex and multifaceted, no organization was capable of dealing with them alone. That was not only a positive development, but a prerequisite for effective responses by the international community to contemporary crises and conflicts. The examples of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and, most recently, Kosovo fully confirmed that statement.

Only through cooperation could the comparative advantages of organizations involved in a given crisis be optimized, he said. In that respect, the OSCE promoted the best possible use of the unique potential of each and every institution to tackle security problems and to avoid sterile competition. All partners should preserve their respective identities while cooperating in a non-hierarchical manner. The OSCE had been focusing attention on promoting a synergy of efforts in the field of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. It aimed to create an efficient and flexible system of cooperative security, enabling organizations to combine their comparative advantages and resources

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to respond effectively to threats and challenges.

The draft resolution before the Assembly, he continued, acknowledged the increasing contribution of the OSCE to the establishment of international peace and security within its own geographical area through specific activities, whether political, military, human or economic. It also noted the improved cooperation and coordination between that organization and the United Nations, as well as highlighted new developments in the field of security, human rights and democracy building.

In conclusion, he invoked the statement of the Secretary-General at the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council held in Oslo last week. The Secretary-General had acknowledged that, in the case of the OSCE, the promise contained in his programme of organizational reform "that regional organizations would increasingly become partners of the United Nations in all activities related to the maintenance of international peace and security, including conflict prevention, is well on the way to fulfilment".

ELDAR G. KOULIEV (Azerbaijan) introduced the amendment being put forward by his Government.

The basis to advance the amendment were valid, he said. Operative paragraph 12 of the draft resolution being amended did not address the main core of the problem and departed from the language adopted previously by the General Assembly. That matter directly involved the highest interests of his country -- its sovereignty and territorial integrity -- which had been repeatedly reaffirmed by relevant Security Council resolutions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region.

The text of the proposed amendment was not new and it was well known to all, he said. The Secretary-General, in his report on the item under consideration, had unequivocally defined the matter, ascertaining that Nagorny Karabakh was an integral part of Azerbaijan. The General Assembly had adopted that text at its forty-ninth, fifty-first and fifty-second sessions. Regrettably, drafters of the text had failed to reflect the content of the amendment in the draft itself. In conclusion, he called on Member States to reconfirm their principled support to Azerbaijan and to adopt the amendment.

ERNST SUCHARIPA (Austria), on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, said that the OSCE had become a key forum for the management of the changes that have occurred in Europe in recent years and that the European Union had contributed to the strengthening of the OSCE and would continue to do so.

The OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission was undoubtebly the greatest challenge the OSCE had yet undertaken, he continued. With a projected strength of around 2,000 observers, the Mission's size was unprecedented and it represented a new quality of activities. This new operation underlined the growing importance of the organization in the field of conflict management.

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The dynamic development of the OSCE's role on the ground called for the establishment of a solid conceptual bedrock in the form of a politically binding charter on European security, reflecting in particular the invigorated role of the OSCE and the vital importance of inter-institutional cooperation on the basis of a platform for cooperative security. The European Union believed that such an objective was attainable. Welcoming the conclusions of the ministerial meeting held in Oslo last week, he said they provided a new momentum for ongoing discussions.

JAN VARSO (Slovakia) expressed his full support for the statement made by the representative of Austria on behalf of the European Union.

He said that the creation of a new comprehensive security model for Europe was a common responsibility of all involved. The OSCE had proved to be an important element in that regard. His country supported the regional organization's enhanced role as a primary instrument of preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation in the OSCE region. As the OSCE monitoring mission in the Danube region of Croatia had shown, a regional organization could be a valuable part of the United Nations exit strategy from a country in conflict, by playing a lead following the withdrawal of the peacekeeping operation.

Monitoring and enforcement of an arms embargo could be another area of fruitful cooperation between the two organizations, he went on. The Secretary-General should undertake further work on the modalities for establishing a comprehensive regime to monitor the implementation of the prohibitions imposed by the Security Council. To further enhance the interaction between the United Nations and the OSCE, the establishment of a United Nations liaison office to the OSCE in Vienna could be a useful step, as well as the convening of a workshop aimed at ensuring results-oriented planning and collaboration and making better use of the international community's resources in the interests of the countries being assisted.

ELAINE MILLER (Malta) said the recent experience in Kosovo had demonstrated the advantage of utilizing regional organizations in the field. The responsibility of the OSCE with respect to the Kosovo Verification Mission proved that the United Nations efforts could be complemented efficiently by the activities of regional organizations. Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean was important for stability in the OSCE region, she said. Consistent engagement by successive Malta Goverments had contributed towards the greater involvement of the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation in the work of the OSCE. The annual OSCE Mediterranean Seminar, held in Malta in October, had involved the broad participation of the OSCE community and a number of international organizations. Malta looked forward to renewing that experience when it hosts another OSCE seminar in February 1999 on the economic and environmental aspects of security in the OSCE region.

VOLODYMYR YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine) said there existed a wide range of activities where the two organizations should develop effective cooperation.

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Of special importance was interaction in the fields of early warning and preventive diplomacy, crisis management, arms control and disarmament, as well as post-crisis stabilization and rehabilitation. Such cooperation was evidenced in the implementation of the Dayton accords in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was even more obvious in launching efforts to support a peaceful settlement in Kosovo.

He said the Kosovo lesson should be a warning for all of us that similar "frozen" conflicts could erupt at any time into new dangers. It was evident that such "frozen" conflicts not only undermined the stability of newly independent States, but also made them potentially weak partners in building a regional security structure. Lack of progress in resolving those conflicts also undermined the prestige of both the United Nations and the OSCE. Ukraine advocated the settlement of those conflicts in Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, on the basis of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

His delegation favoured drafting a European security model, he added. It attached top priority to elaborating the future charter on European security as a platform for cooperative security, providing a core of equal partnerships between leading security organizations on the continent with the active involvement of the United Nations. Furthermore, Ukraine favoured strengthening cooperation between both organizations in the settlement of issues related to forced migration, refugees and displaced persons and minorities. For example, Ukraine needed help in solving citizenship issues of formerly deported people returning to their original homeland in the Crimea. Other important areas for cooperation included economic and ecological fields, in particular, providing assistance to economies in transition.

CLAUDIA FRITSCHE (Liechtenstein) said that avoiding duplication of activities was a key element of the cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE, especially in the area of peacekeeping and conflict prevention. Effective coordination was required to ensure avoidance of such duplication. The OSCE had in some instances taken political responsibility in situations with which the United Nations had never been actively seized, such as the conflict in Chechnya where OSCE mediation had proven extremely useful to bring the armed conflict to an end.

The most prominent example of OSCE involvement in issues on the United Nations agenda over the past year was the situation in Kosovo, which had deteriorated dramatically since April, she said. The Kosovo Verification Mission was the greatest challenge undertaken so far by the OSCE. Further cooperation and coordination would be needed, particularly with regard to on the ground activities of the OSCE and of United Nations agencies. Efforts could only be successful if they led to, and were complemented by, a lasting political solution to the Kosovo crisis. Such a solution had to be based on an enhanced status for Kosovo, a substantially greater degree of autonomy, and meaningful self-administration for the people of Kosovo, in accordance with the rights guaranteed to them under international law.

There was an enhanced political will within the OSCE to place a stronger emphasis on the necessity of preventive action, she said. The efforts to

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draft a charter on European security were a worthwhile and important undertaking. Liechtenstein took a keen interest in that process and hoped that the charter would also contain elements which enabled the OSCE to help prevent conflicts between communities and central governments, as well as among such communities, based on the principle of self-determination of all peoples. A forward-looking charter, which focused on the prevention of conflicts in the region, would provide a framework for preventing such tensions, which often constituted the root causes for armed and other conflicts in Europe and worldwide.

OSKARAS JUSYS (Lithuania) said that the United Nations and the OSCE, whose security dimension was largely based on confidence-building policies, could complement one another by responding to security challenges. The degree of cooperation within the OSCE in the sphere of arms and weapons transparency could be exemplary to the United Nations and, through that Organization, to other regions of the world. Celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promoted the human dimension of the OSCE. Through many documents signed at the highest level, the Europeans were bound by standards of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. New norms and stronger enforcement mechanisms were being devised. Events that deserved special recognition were the informal high-level tripartite consultations and target-oriented meetings between the United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

Turning to the regional economic difficulties, he said that Lithuania had made contributions aimed at relieving them. His Government had assigned $1.25 million for food and medicine assistance to hospitals and other institutions in the Kaliningrad district of the Russian Federation. Lithuania was currently presiding over the 10-member Council of the Baltic Sea States, he said. The mandate of the Council was complementary to the mandates of the United Nations and the OSCE. It worked to fight illegal migration and organized crime, as well as to strengthen the freedom of press and rights of national minorities. Special attention was also devoted to environmental issues, and practical issues of subregional cooperation.

OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said the broadening cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE was a response to the real demands placed on them as a result of the increasing multi-dimensionality of security. That situation demanded increased coordination by organizations with varying mandates covering different aspects of security. Cooperation between the two organizations was vital to effectively promote peace and stability in the OSCE region.

The recently established Kosovo Verification Mission was the largest endeavour the OSCE had ever undertaken, he said. Norway had taken on the establishment of the Mission's headquarters, an effort to which it would have contributed $21 million by June of next year. The establishment of the Kosovo Mission would undoubtedly be one of the greatest challenges for the Norwegian OSCE chairmanship next year. Norway would strive, in cooperation with the UNHCR and other United Nations agencies, to ensure that it was able to fulfil its mandate.

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At the recent OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Oslo, participants had adopted a decision regarding the charter on European security, he said. That involved, among other things, the so-called "platform for cooperative security" on the development of a non-hierarchical cooperation between those organizations and institutions concerned with the promotion of comprehensive security within the OSCE area. The United Nations and its agencies had been invited to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on that cooperation, which would continue in 1999. As Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 1999, Norway would place great emphasis on maintaining and further developing ties between the OSCE and the United Nations.

SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that cooperation under Chapter VIII of the Charter, which had lately entered a new stage, should be focused on the prevention and settlement of conflicts, peacebuilding and on humanitarian aspects of security and development, including monitoring of human rights. Such cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE should be flexible and based on the maximum use of comparative advantages of each organization, with division of labour between them. One of the priority areas of cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE remained the growing all-over European potential in peacekeeping. Closer cooperation in drafting common principles and approaches to peacekeeping, especially in civilian police operations, could be of positive significance.

He said the experience of cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE formed a stable basis for work on the charter on European security -- which was being developed on the initiative of Russia. Joint efforts were needed for that important document to be signed at the next summit meeting of the OSCE in Istanbul. Russia supported the efforts of the OSCE to settle a number of conflicts on the territory of the CIS, including the Nagorny Karabakh crises, as well as its growing support for the peace process in Tajikistan.

He said that Russia also welcomed the decision by the OSCE to establish an observer mission in Kosovo. Observers of the OSCE would be regularly reporting to the Security Council, a new step in peacekeeping cooperation between the two organizations. For the first time, the United Nations had given the OSCE the mandate to conduct peacekeeping operations on that scale. The OSCE mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina also should continue its activities in close contact with the United Nations. He noted effective cooperation in "passing the baton" from the United Nations to the OSCE in monitoring the activities of the local police in Croatia and welcomed the OSCE's initiative to promote stabilization and rehabilitation in Albania.

JELENA GRCIC POLIC (Croatia) said that cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was essential to stimulate and consolidate peacekeeping and peace-building initiatives, building democratic processes and sustainable development. Her delegation welcomed OSCE efforts, in coordination with the United Nations, in facilitating police and judicial reform. She noted the readiness of the OSCE to take over the responsibilities of the United Nations Police Support Group in its eastern Slavonia region. The OSCE role in organizing and monitoring elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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and monitoring compliance with media standards, as mandated by the Dayton accords, were furthermore appreciated.

Croatia welcomed the establishment by the OSCE Permanent Council of the Kosovo Verification Mission, in accordance with Council resolution 1203 (1998), she said. Croatia wished to see it fully operational as soon as possible. That mandate would guarantee the active involvement of the international community in the crisis, until its final settlement. As a neighbour of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia was vitally interested in a speedy resolution to the crisis. All political issues, including Kosovo's future status, must be resolved between the Belgrade authorities and the Kosovar Albanians, through a democratic political process.

The participation in the OSCE and the United Nations of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- as one of five successor-States of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- was conditional upon it submitting an application for membership and fulfilling their acceptance criteria, she continued. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's cooperation with the OSCE or the United Nations could not be linked to membership in those organizations. She called attention to the 1998 joint letter signed by the Foreign Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

and Slovenia, spelling out the joint position of the four other successor States on that matter.

In conclusion, she said that the basic tenants, adopted by the then Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe almost 25 years ago in Helsinki, were still valid.

ION BOTNARU (Republic of Moldova) said a new project under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) auspices was under consideration in the Republic of Moldova. The realization of that project would increase the understanding between the populations of the two Nistru River banks who had been separated since the 1992 conflict. Unfortunately, as was common to all conflicts in the area, international organizations have witnessed a lack of substantial progress in solving that conflict over the last year. In such a situation, all possibilities must be considered, while not undermining the system of division of labour. The OSCE mission was looking for the solution to the consequences of the conflict in the eastern part of the Republic of Moldova. Unfortunately, even after four years, there had been no progress in implementation of the Moldo-Russian agreement of October 1994. The early, orderly and complete withdrawal of Russian troops, vast quantities of weapons and ammunition from the territory of the Republic of Moldova would strengthen stability in the region while facilitating the process of settling the crisis.

MOVSES ABELIAN (Armenia) said the Nagorno Karabagh conflict was undoubtedly one of the challenges facing the OSCE today. While the ceasefire established in 1994 between the conflicting parties had put an end to fighting, the issue of Nagorno Karabagh was still unresolved. There could only be a political solution to the conflict, based on a mutual compromise.

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Based on that belief and on the willingness to establish a durable and lasting peace and stability in the region, Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh had given their accord to the proposal of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Conference. However, Azerbaijan had not been willing to meet Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh and the Co-Chairmen halfway. No durable and lasting solution could be found if one of the sides came out as a loser in the "game". That was why each side had to give up something. The renewed hopes that the revitalized efforts of the Co-Chairmen could bring everyone closer to the final solution had unfortunately disappeared when Azerbaijan refused to accept the proposal of the Co-Chairmen.

Armenia believed that such a major resolution on the issue of the cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE must note the milestones, but it must in no way do any harm, he said. The amendment proposed by Azerbaijan was one-sided, biased and imposed a compulsory framework which Armenia could not agree with. Being an obvious attempt to predetermine the outcome of negotiations, that amendment rejected the language proposed by the Chairman-in-Office. He said if emotions prevailed and created a more complicated situation, he would strongly doubt the seriousness of Azerbaijan's statements of their interest in resolution of the conflict. AKMARAL KH. ARYSTANBEKOVA (Kazakhstan) said the growing cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE was becoming enormously significant in today's multipolar world. That was especially true in early warning and preventive diplomacy activities, crisis management, arms control and disarmament.

She said that no international organization alone could counter the multifaceted threats to stability. Thus, a security platform should be developed that took into account the Eurasian factor and the capabilities of the Central Asian countries for strengthening security in the context of cooperation with the OSCE. For its part, Kazakhstan, together with Ukraine and Belarus, had removed all nuclear warheads from their territories. Hopefully, the strengthened cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE would promote international peace and security and provide for the humanitarian aspects of security and development, including respect for human rights and the development of democratic institutions.

GIANCARLO ARAGONA, Secretary-General of the OSCE, said the Kosovo Verification Mission was the largest and most difficult operation ever put into the field by the OSCE. The success of the Mission required effective cooperation with other intergovernmental bodies, as well as non-governmental organizations. The interplay between the United Nations and the OSCE, as well as among other international organizations, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), was an example of how the efforts of the international community could be coordinated.

He said the Mission would facilitate the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes. In addition, it would facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to them by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbian and Kosovo authorities, as well as by humanitarian organizations and non-governmental organizations. The OSCE's first objective

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in Kosovo -- to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe during the winter -- should, therefore, be accomplished.

He said that after Kosovo the OSCE would never be the same. The operations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia had put it on the map. The Kosovo Mission took it to another dimension. "Our operation in Kosovo -- and the shape that cooperation with other international organizations takes in the field -- will redefine the organization and will decisively influence the practical functioning of the European security architecture". In Croatia, in the last year, the OSCE assumed vital tasks from the Organization following the expiration in January of the mandate of UNTAES. The OSCE presence in Albania also continued to be an excellent example of the organization's ability to cooperate with other international organizations.

He said that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, cooperation between the OSCE and the United Nations had further deepened over the past year. "We have worked hand in hand on monitoring and promoting human rights in the country." The two organizations had also been cooperating on establishing a Returnee Monitoring Framework and closer cooperation also marked the work of the two organizations in Georgia. In addition, the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) and the OSCE mission in that county cooperated closely on a number of issues, such as the promotion of human rights, democratic institution-building, protection of refugees and internally displaced persons, assisting in drafting amendments to the constitution and electoral assistance.

Action on Draft Resolution

Mr. ABELIAN (Armenia) made a motion that no-action be taken on the proposed amendment by Azerbaijan. The common interpretations and definitions used by the OSCE were based on the decisions taken by the consensus during negotiations between the delegations of the OSCE member States during the meetings at various levels. They expressed the common position of all member States of the OSCE and were based on an awareness of the necessity to guarantee balance and objectiveness in the OSCE Minsk Group mediation efforts.

The amendment proposed by Azerbaijan was one-sided, biased and imposed a compulsory framework to which Armenia could not agree, he said. Being an obvious attempt to predetermine the outcome of negotiations, the amendment rejected the language proposed by the Chairman-in-Office. The preservation of the language presented by the Chairman-in-Office was an important issue. Such an amendment was an inappropriate move, since the OSCE was the sole mandated and authoritative body dealing with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.

His Government fully supported the draft presented by the Chairman-in- Office of the OSCE. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan had failed to take into account the arguments just mentioned. His Government disassociated itself from any interpretation of language that contradicted the decisions agreed on by consensus in the OSCE. He called on Member States to vote in favour of his no-action motion.

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ELDAR G. KOULIEV (Azerbaijan) said that, as in the past two years, Armenia was using a procedural measure to attempt to deprive Azerbaijan of protecting its highest national interests. He objected to that. His country had never claimed or was claiming to want anyone else's territory. At the same time, it would not allow anyone else to encroach on its territory. It was fighting for a cause and to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He hoped to receive the Assembly's support, which had previously rejected the procedural measure. Azerbaijan would vote against the no-action measure.

Mr. BOTNARU (Republic of Moldova) proposed a change in operative paragraph 14 of the draft resolution. In the third line, the word "facilitating" should be replaced with the word "facilitate".

In a recorded vote, the Assembly rejected the no-action motion on the amendment (document A/53/L.61), by a recorded vote of 1 in favour (Armenia) to 32 against, with 96 abstentions. (For details of the vote see Annex I.)

The Assembly then adopted the amendment to the draft (document A/53/L.61) by a vote of 114 in favour to 1 against (Armenia), with 20 abstentions (Annex II).

Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE (document A/53/L.60), as amended, by a vote of 143 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Armenia, China) (Annex III).

Explanation of Vote after Vote

BERNHARD WRABETZ (Austria), on behalf of the European Union, said that the Union regretted that it had not been possible to adopt the resolution without a vote. The Union would have preferred to focus the discussion on strengthening the cooperation and improving the coordination between the two organizations. As for the substance of the resolution, the Union hoped that substantial progress would be made to find a solution to the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, which was acceptable to all parties. The Union supported the OSCE efforts in that aspect, within the framework of the Minsk Conference.

Mr. ABELIAN (Armenia) said his delegation voted against the amendment proposed by the delegation of Azerbaijan and abstained on the resolution as a whole for the following reasons. The initial proposal put forward by the Chairman-in-Office was highly balanced and was dictated by the need to create a more favourable and unbiased environment in the peace process. The language he had proposed best reflected the concerns and current situation in the negotiations on the Nagorno Karabagh issue. Unfortunately, to try to make that language better meant to make things only worse for the whole negotiating process. He was surprised to see that the OSCE member States, including the European Union members, had voted in favour of the amendment. He was also particularly disappointed by the decision of the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group to support the amendment. That position undermined and dismissed the initial proposal of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

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He said that Azerbaijan had rejected the recent principles submitted by the OSCE, not taking a single step towards compromise, and presented an amendment for a third year in a row that prejudged the whole notion of a negotiated settlement. In doing so, Azerbaijan had shown neither the political will nor the disposition to take responsibilities for peace. The United Nations should not have second-guessed the language proposed by the Chairman-in-Office, since the OSCE was the sole mandated and authoritative body dealing with the Nagorno Karabagh problem. Those countries that had voted for the amendment had only encouraged Azerbaijan in its inflexible position. Moreover, the fact that the Minsk Group Co-Chairmen, who were supposed to be neutral and unbiased mediators, had voted for the amendment could only be interpreted as another encouragement for Azerbaijan's uncompromising position.

XIANG JIAGU (China) said that she endorsed further enhancement of cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE, so that they could play a more constructive role in international security and development. Her country had joined the consensus in voting in favour of the resolution in previous years. However, new elements had been added on the Kosovo question and, proceeding from the position of her Government on that issue, she had difficulty accepting the new elements. In view of that, she had abstained in the vote on the draft. She pointed out that she had no difficulties with other elements of the draft resolution, as amended.

Credentials

HOR NAMHONG, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, said that his country was resuming its place in the family of nations. In July, the elections in Cambodia had proven to be just, free and believable. A new coalition Government had been formed after a short period of difficulty. At present, his country was anxious to guarantee peace, stability and development and to contribute towards efforts for the establishment of political stability and active cooperation in the South-East Asia region. Cambodia hoped that it could join the family of countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the sixth summit of that organization in Hanoi. It was time to join together to turn South-East Asia into a region of peace, stability and prosperity. Cambodia believed that today there were no more obstacles to its admission into that regional organization.

Cambodians would never forget that the United Nations had helped them regain peace and stability through indispensable national reconciliation, he said. While it was only at the beginning of the rehabilitation and development process, Cambodia intended to continue to cooperate closely with the United Nations to reinforce peace, democracy and respect for human rights on the basis of respect for sovereignty and national independence. In that context, his Government had decided to extend the office of the United Nations Human Rights Centre in Phnom Penh until the year 2000. It also expressed its wish to widen its cooperation with the UNDP and other specialized agencies in the interest of economic and social development.

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(annexes follow)

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General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9527 80th Meeting (AM) 7 December 1998

ANNEX I

Vote on Motion of No Action

The motion to take no action on the amendment proposed by Azerbaijan on the draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE was not accepted by a recorded vote of 1 in favour to 32 against, with 96 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Armenia.

Against: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Djibouti, Egypt, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Abstain: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Absent: Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Palau, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam.

(END OF ANNEX I)

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General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9527 80th Meeting (AM) 7 December 1998

ANNEX II

Vote on Amendment to Draft

The amendment to the draft on text on cooperation with the OSCE (document A/53/L.60) was adopted by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 1 against, with 20 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Armenia.

Abstain: Bahamas, Barbados, Benin, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jamaica, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Absent: Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam.

(END OF ANNEX II)

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General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9527 80th Meeting (AM) 7 December 1998

ANNEX III

Vote on Cooperation between United Nations and OSCE

The draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE (document A/53/L.60) was adopted by a recorded vote of 143 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: None.

Abstain: Armenia, China.

Absent: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Guyana, Honduras, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam.

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For information media. Not an official record.