SECURITY COUNCIL, WELCOMING YUGOSLAVIA'S ACCEPTANCE OF PEACE PRINCIPLES, AUTHORIZES CIVIL, SECURITY PRESENCE IN KOSOVO19990610 Adopts Resolution 1244 (1999) by 14-0-1 (China); Requests Appointment of Special Representative To Implement Civil Operation
The Security Council today, welcoming the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis, including an immediate end to violence and a rapid withdrawal of its military, police and paramilitary forces, decided to deploy international civil and security presences in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council, adopting resolution 1244 (1999) by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (China), also decided that the political solution to the crisis shall be based on the general principles adopted on 6 May by the Foreign Ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries and the Russian Federation -- Group of 8 -- and the principles contained in the paper presented in Belgrade by the President of Finland and the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation, which was accepted by the Government of the Federal Republic on 3 June. Both documents are included as annexes to the resolution.
The principles include, among others: an immediate and verifiable end to violence and repression in Kosovo; the withdrawal of the military, police and paramilitary forces of the Federal Republic; deployment of effective international civil and security presences, with substantial North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) participation in the security presence; establishment of an interim administration; the safe and free return of all refugees; a political process providing for substantial self-government, as well as the demilitarization of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA); and a comprehensive approach to the economic development of the crisis region.
The Council today authorized Member States and relevant international organizations to establish the international security presence and decided that its responsibilities will include deterring renewed hostilities, demilitarizing the KLA and establishing a secure environment for the return of refugees and in which the international civil presence can operate.
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Further, the Council authorized the Secretary-General to establish the international civil presence, requesting him to appoint a Special Representative to control its implementation, and decided that the responsibilities of the civil presence will be, among others: promoting the establishment of substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo; performing basic civilian administrative functions; facilitating a political process to determine Kosovo's future status; supporting the reconstruction of key infrastructure and humanitarian and disaster relief; maintaining civil law and order; promoting human rights; and assuring the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo.
The Council also confirmed that, after the withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serb military and police personnel will be permitted to return to Kosovo to liaison with the international civil and security presence, mark and clear minefields, and maintain a presence at Serb patrimonial sites and at key border crossings.
The international security and civil presences have been established for an initial period of 12 months, to continue thereafter unless the Council decides otherwise. The Secretary-General is requested to report at regular intervals on implementation of the resolution, with the first report to be submitted within 30 days of today's adoption.
Statements were made by the representatives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Namibia, Russian Federation, China, Slovenia, France, Netherlands, Canada, United States, Malaysia, Brazil, United Kingdom, Argentina, Bahrain, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Costa Rica, Belarus, Cuba, Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Iran, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Mexico.
The Secretary-General also made a statement.
The meeting, which began at 12:14 p.m., was suspended at 2:23 p.m. Resumed at 3:44 p.m., the meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.
Council Work Programme
When the Security Council met this afternoon to take up the question of Kosovo, it had before it several letters, as well as a draft resolution.
A letter dated 6 May 1999 from the Permanent Representative of Germany to the President of the Security Council (document S/1999/516) contains the statement on the same date by the Chairman of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Group of 8, which outlines the general principles adopted by the Group on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis.
A letter dated 7 June from the Permanent Representative of Germany to the Council President (document S/1999/649) brings the Council's attention to the agreement on the principles (peace plan) to move towards a resolution of the Kosovo crisis, presented to the leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by the President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, representing the European Union, and Viktor Chernomyrdin, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation. The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia accepted the document on 3 June.
The Federal Republic's acceptance of the plan is contained in a letter from its Foreign Minister dated 4 June (S/1999/646).
A 10 June letter from the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (document S/1999/663), transmitted to the Council by the Secretary-General, indicates that the security forces of the Federal Republic had begun a withdrawal from Kosovo in accordance with procedures agreed to the day before. As such, NATO air operations against the Federal Republic had been suspended.
Both the statement of general principles and the plan presented to and accepted by the Federal Republic are contained in annexes to the draft resolution before the Council, which follows.
The draft resolution before the Council (document S/1999/661), sponsored by Canada, France, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States, reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Bearing in mind the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, including the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security,
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"Recalling its resolutions 1160 (1998) of 31 March 1998, 1199 (1998) of 23 September 1998, 1203 (1998) of 24 October 1998 and 1239 (1999) of 14 May 1999,
"Regretting that there has not been full compliance with the requirements of these resolutions,
"Determined to resolve the grave humanitarian situation in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and to provide for the safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes,
"Condemning all acts of violence against the Kosovo population, as well as all terrorist acts by any party,
"Recalling the statement made by the Secretary-General on 9 April 1999, expressing concern at the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Kosovo,
"Reaffirming the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety,
"Recalling the jurisdiction and the mandate of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,
"Welcoming the general principles on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis adopted on 6 May 1999 (S/1999/516, annex 1 to this resolution) and welcoming also the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles set forth in points 1 to 9 of the paper presented in Belgrade on 2 June 1999 (S/1999/649, annex 2 to this resolution), and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's agreement to that paper,
"Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act and annex 2,
"Reaffirming the call in previous resolutions for substantial autonomy and meaningful self-administration for Kosovo,
"Determining that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Determined to ensure the safety and security of international personnel and the implementation by all concerned of their responsibilities under the present resolution, and acting for these purposes under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Decides that a political solution to the Kosovo crisis shall be based on the general principles in annex 1 and as further elaborated in the principles and other required elements in annex 2;
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"2. Welcomes the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles and other required elements referred to in paragraph 1 above, and demands the full cooperation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in their rapid implementation;
"3. Demands in particular that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia put an immediate and verifiable end to violence and repression in Kosovo, and begin and complete verifiable phased withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable, with which the deployment of the international security presence in Kosovo will be synchronized;
"4. Confirms that after the withdrawal an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serb military and police personnel will be permitted to return to Kosovo to perform the functions in accordance with annex 2;
"5. Decides on the deployment in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices, of international civil and security presences, with appropriate equipment and personnel as required, and welcomes the agreement of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to such presences;
"6. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint, in consultation with the Security Council, a Special Representative to control the implementation of the international civil presence, and further requests the Secretary-General to instruct his Special Representative to coordinate closely with the international security presence to ensure that both presences operate towards the same goals and in a mutually supportive manner;
"7. Authorizes Member States and relevant international organizations to establish the international security presence in Kosovo as set out in point 4 of annex 2 with all necessary means to fulfil its responsibilities under paragraph 9 below;
"8. Affirms the need for the rapid early deployment of effective international civil and security presences to Kosovo, and demands that the parties cooperate fully in their deployment;
"9. Decides that the responsibilities of the international security presence to be deployed and acting in Kosovo will include:
"(a) Deterring renewed hostilities, maintaining and where necessary enforcing a ceasefire, and ensuring the withdrawal and preventing the return into Kosovo of Federal and Republic military, police and paramilitary forces, except as provided in point 6 of annex 2;
"(b) Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups as required in paragraph 15 below;
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"(c) Establishing a secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return home in safety, the international civil presence can operate, a transitional administration can be established, and humanitarian aid can be delivered;
"(d) Ensuring public safety and order until the international civil presence can take responsibility for this task;
"(e) Supervising demining until the international civil presence can, as appropriate, take over responsibility for this task;
"(f) Supporting, as appropriate, and coordinating closely with the work of the international civil presence;
"(g) Conducting border monitoring duties as required;
"(h) Ensuring the protection and freedom of movement of itself, the international civil presence, and other international organizations;
"10. Authorizes the Secretary-General, with the assistance of relevant international organizations, to establish an international civil presence in Kosovo in order to provide an interim administration for Kosovo under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and which will provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo;
"11. Decides that the main responsibilities of the international civil presence will include:
"(a) Promoting the establishment, pending a final settlement, of substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo, taking full account of annex 2 and of the Rambouillet accords (S/1999/648);
"(b) Performing basic civilian administrative functions where and as long as required;
"(c) Organizing and overseeing the development of provisional institutions for democratic and autonomous self-government pending a political settlement, including the holding of elections;
"(d) Transferring, as these institutions are established, its administrative responsibilities while overseeing and supporting the consolidation of Kosovo's local provisional institutions and other peace- building activities;
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"(e) Facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovo's future status, taking into account the Rambouillet accords (S/1999/648);
"(f) In a final stage, overseeing the transfer of authority from Kosovo's provisional institutions to institutions established under a political settlement;
"(g) Supporting the reconstruction of key infrastructure and other economic reconstruction;
"(h) Supporting, in coordination with international humanitarian organizations, humanitarian and disaster relief aid;
"(i) Maintaining civil law and order, including establishing local police forces and meanwhile through the deployment of international police personnel to serve in Kosovo;
"(j) Protecting and promoting human rights;
"(k) Assuring the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo;
"12. Emphasizes the need for coordinated humanitarian relief operations, and for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to allow unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations and to cooperate with such organizations so as to ensure the fast and effective delivery of international aid;
"13. Encourages all Member States and international organizations to contribute to economic and social reconstruction as well as to the safe return of refugees and displaced persons, and emphasizes in this context the importance of convening an international donors' conference, particularly for the purposes set out in paragraph 11 (g) above, at the earliest possible date;
"14. Demands full cooperation by all concerned, including the international security presence, with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia;
"15. Demands that the KLA and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups end immediately all offensive actions and comply with the requirements for demilitarization as laid down by the head of the international security presence in consultation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General;
"16. Decides that the prohibitions imposed by paragraph 8 of resolution 1160 (1998) shall not apply to arms and related matériel for the use of the international civil and security presences;
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"17. Welcomes the work in hand in the European Union and other international organizations to develop a comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the region affected by the Kosovo crisis, including the implementation of a Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further the promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation;
"18. Demands that all States in the region cooperate fully in the implementation of all aspects of this resolution;
"19. Decides that the international civil and security presences are established for an initial period of 12 months, to continue thereafter unless the Security Council decides otherwise;
"20. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council at regular intervals on the implementation of this resolution, including reports from the leaderships of the international civil and security presences, the first reports to be submitted within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution;
"21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
Statement by the Chairman on the conclusion of the meeting of the G-8 Foreign Ministers held at the Petersberg Centre on 6 May 1999
The G-8 Foreign Ministers adopted the following general principles on the political solution to the Kosovo crisis:
- Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo;
- Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police and paramilitary forces;
- Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the common objectives;
- Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo;
- The safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations;
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- A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for a substantial self- government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of the KLA;
- Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region."
Agreement should be reached on the following principles to move towards a resolution of the Kosovo crisis:
1. An immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo.
2. Verifiable withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable.
3. Deployment in Kosovo under United Nations auspices of effective international civil and security presences, acting as may be decided under Chapter VII of the Charter, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of common objectives.
4. The international security presence with substantial North Atlantic Treaty Organization participation must be deployed under unified command and control and authorized to establish a safe environment for all people in Kosovo and to facilitate the safe return to their homes of all displaced persons and refugees.
5. Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo as a part of the international civil presence under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations. The interim administration to provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo.
6. After withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions:
- Liaison with the international civil mission and the international security presence;
- Marking/clearing minefields;
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- Maintaining a presence at Serb patrimonial sites;
- Maintaining a presence at key border crossings.
7. Safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons under the supervision of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations.
8. A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of UCK. Negotiations between the parties for a settlement should not delay or disrupt the establishment of democratic self-governing institutions.
9. A comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region. This will include the implementation of a stability pact for South-Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation.
10. Suspension of military activity will require acceptance of the principles set forth above in addition to agreement to other, previously identified, required elements, which are specified in the footnote below.1 A military-technical agreement will then be rapidly concluded that would, among other things, specify additional modalities, including the roles and functions of Yugoslav/Serb personnel in Kosovo:
- Procedures for withdrawals, including the phased, detailed schedule and delineation of a buffer area in Serbia beyond which forces will be withdrawn;
- Equipment associated with returning personnel;
- Terms of reference for their functional responsibilities;
- Timetable for their return;
- Delineation of their geographical areas of operation;
- Rules governing their relationship to the international security presence and the international civil mission."
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1 Other required elements:
- A rapid and precise timetable for withdrawals, meaning, e.g., seven days to complete withdrawal and air defence weapons withdrawn outside a 25 kilometre mutual safety zone within 48 hours;
- Return of personnel for the four functions specified above will be under the supervision of the international security presence and will be limited to a small agreed number (hundreds, not thousands);
- Suspension of military activity will occur after the beginning of verifiable withdrawals;
- The discussion and achievement of a military-technical agreement shall not extend the previously determined time for completion of withdrawals.
VLADISLAV JOVANOVIC (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) said his country, as the victim of the brutal aggression of the United States and others, had two goals. One was to protect itself and the other was to have all questions regarding Kosovo shifted from the area of war and destruction to that of political decision-making and law. The unauthorized action of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had lasted two months, and the Security Council resolution had come only after great delay. During that time, aggression had been directed not just against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but against all mankind, and it had been based on global hegemony and domination. The aggression and the killing had been against the Charter of the United Nations. As a founding Member of the United Nations, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had made timely warnings and had requested assistance from the United Nations. The Security Council had turned a deaf ear. The record of 78 days of aggression against a peace-loving nation was a disgrace. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had not attacked any of its neighbours.
At the beginning of NATO's aggression, he said, alternatives had been suggested as the aggressors broke all civilian laws. No civilian target had been spared, he continued, detailing damages such as the striking of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. The NATO had created an ecological catastrophe, and the Security Council resolution should accomplish three things: it should point out the responsibility of NATO States in causing destruction to innocent people; it should stress the moral and material obligations of States to compensate the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; and it should restore all of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's suspended rights in the world Organization and in other international institutions.
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The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had accepted the G-8 principles of 7 May and the Ahtisaari/Chernomyrdin plan for the political solution of the crisis, he said. That agreement had confirmed the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and had reaffirmed the role of the United Nations. This resolution, however, was proof that the aggressor was trying to bypass the Organization.
He said the Security Council resolution should contain a number of positions, such as full respect for the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Also, the solution for Kosovo must fall within the laws of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia. The resolution should bear no reference to the International Tribunal, which had not been part of the previous plans. Insurance of safe passage had to be extended to all refugees who had left under NATO aggression. The United Nations mission should have the mandate of and be under the command of the Security Council, which would supervise implementation of the resolution and protection to all who needed it.
The resolution should guarantee protection to all, regardless of ethnic background or religion, he continued. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia could not accept any mission that would act as a foreign government in Kosovo. The mission must reflect equal representation, including the participation of such countries as the Russian Federation and developing countries from various regions of the world. Attempts to grant an open mandate for the United Nations mission was unacceptable to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as it was a flagrant violation of its sovereignty.
The entire world public knew who was the victim and who was guilty, he said. The proposed solutions set a terrible precedent for those who committed genocide and terrorism all over the world. Adopting the resolution in its present form would mark a dark day for the Security Council, signalling danger to other small- and medium-sized developing countries. It would open the gates for partial sovereignty.
MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said it was regrettable that it was only after large-scale senseless killings and destruction of property that a peace plan had been achieved in Kosovo. While an end to the hostilities in the Balkans was in sight, the root historical causes of the conflict must be addressed fully. Only then could a lasting peace be achieved in Kosovo, and in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a whole. Namibia did not condone ethnic cleansing, but it opposed any dismemberment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia now or in the future.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his delegation had sternly condemned the unilateral action of NATO, which had severely destabilized the system of international relations. Enormous and irreparable harm had been done to the economy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and those of other Balkan States. The tragic consequences of the bombing campaign clearly
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demonstrated that violations of human rights could not be solved by acts of further aggression and wanton violence, but only on the basis of the United Nations Charter and relevant multilateral instruments.
He said the Russian Federation was glad that NATO had realized the futility of its actions and had recognized that the Security Council was the body primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. The presence in Kosovo of the international civil and military contingents would be carried out under the Council's thorough control. The resolution's reference to Chapter VII of the Charter contained no hint of the possibility of any type of use of force except that set out in the peace agreement. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) must scrupulously comply with all demands of the Council and cease to exist as a military force.
The adoption and implementation of the resolution would make an essential contribution to resolving the Kosovo problem, he said. The Russian Federation reaffirmed the urgent need for a multilateral world order in which there would be no room for unilateral diktat.
SHEN GUOFANG (China) said that, over two months ago, without authorization by the Security Council, the United States-led NATO ha blatantly launched military strikes against the sovereign States of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In taking that action, NATO had seriously violated the Charter of the United Nations and norms of international law, had undermined the authority of the Security Council, and had, hence, set an extremely dangerous precedent in the history of international relations.
For over two months, the United States-led NATO had carried out an unprecedented and indiscriminate bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, killing over 1,000 civilians, injuring thousands and leaving nearly 1 million displaced persons and refugees. Civilian facilities, such as factories, bridges, schools and hospitals, had been wantonly destroyed. What was even more flagrant was that even the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Yugoslavia, which was under the protection of international conventions, had become one of NATO's bombing targets. That war, waged in the name of humanitarianism, had, in fact, produced the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in post-World War II Europe, and had seriously undermined peace and stability in the Balkans.
Though NATO's bombing had stopped, the damages it had inflicted on the Balkans and the suffering it had brought to the people there could not possibly disappear soon, he said. Meanwhile, it would give the world a lot to ponder over for a long time to come. There were nearly 200 countries and over 2,500 ethnic groups all over the world. The majority of the countries had ethnic problems, and the NATO countries were no exception. His delegation held that, in multi-ethnic countries, there should be equality, unity, harmony and common prosperity among different ethnic groups.
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China was not in favour of discrimination or oppression of any ethnic group, he said. At the same time, it was opposed to any act to create division between different ethnic groups and to undermine national unity. Ethnic problems within a State should be settled in a proper manner by its own government and people, by adopting sound polices. They should not be used as an excuse for external intervention, or be used by foreign States as an excuse for the use of force. Otherwise, there would be no genuine security for States and no normal order for the world.
The draft resolution before the Council failed to fully reflect China's principled stand and justified concerns, he said. In particular, it made no mention of the disaster caused by the NATO bombing, and it had failed to impose necessary restrictions on invoking Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. Therefore, his delegation had great problems with the resolution. However, in view of the fact that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had already accepted the peace plan; that NATO had suspended its bombing; and that the draft resolution reaffirmed the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security, and also reaffirmed the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Chinese delegation would abstain from voting on the resolution.
The Council then adopted resolution 1244 (1999) by a vote of 14 in favour, to none against, with one abstention (China).
DANILO TURK (Slovenia) said that, with the resolution, the Security Council realistically recognized the existence of the threat to international peace and security and, acting under Chapter VII, had provided the legitimacy for the necessary measures of implementation of the resolution. It also provided for comprehensive international military and civilian presences in Kosovo. The mandates of the mission were clear and precise and, at the same time, sufficiently flexible. Also, the resolution provided for a credible military force and authorized it to use all the necessary means to fulfil its mandate. Another important part of the resolution was devoted to humanitarian issues, which would constitute an essential priority in the immediate future.
Today, the Council was resuming its legitimate role in the Kosovo crisis, he said. That was an important beginning. The Council was being tested on whether it would be able to maintain and strengthen its role envisaged in the Charter. Success would depend primarily on the unity of the Council. Determined efforts would be necessary in the implementation of the resolution. With the right decisions in the coming months, the Council would have the opportunity to shape the future of Kosovo and the stability and prosperity of the region. Moreover, the Council would have an opportunity to
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define the patterns of division of work and new forms of cooperation between the United Nations and the regional organization concerned. That was an opportunity of great significance.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) recalled that the Rambouillet peace talks between the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Kosovar opposition had broken down due to the intransigence of the Belgrade side. The continued and mounting repression of the civilian population in Kosovo had compelled NATO to put an end to Belgrade's inadmissible policy of ethnic cleansing and deportation. Subsequent negotiations had happily yielded results, but a great deal of effort was still required. The resolution provided the legal and political framework for the restoration of peace in Kosovo.
He said it was the Security Council that was organizing Member States and the international organizations concerned to establish the international peace force in Kosovo, as well as the establishment by the Secretary-General of an international civil presence. Everyone deserved thanks for all the steps that had been taken by all sides to achieve the present result. The resolution blazed the way towards peace and underscored the role of the United Nations, but a great deal was still demanded of Member States.
A.P. VAN WALSUM (Netherlands) said that he voted for the resolution with a sense of relief. That had not stemmed from a feeling that a military operation that should not have begun was being concluded. He hoped that the few delegations that had maintained that the NATO air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were a violation of the Charter would one day realize that the Charter was not the only source of international law.
The Charter was much more specific on respect for sovereignty than on respect for human rights, he continued, but since the day it was drafted, the world had witnessed a gradual shift in that balance, making respect for human rights more mandatory and respect for sovereignty less absolute. Today, it was a generally accepted rule of international law that no sovereign State had the right to terrorize its own citizens.
One day, when the Kosovo crisis was a thing of the past, he hoped the Council would devote a debate to the balance between respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, on the one hand, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, on the other, as well as the shift he mentioned. That would not be a pro-Western or anti-third world debate. Times had changed. One could not imagine a replay in the twenty-first century of the shameful episode of the 1980s, when the United Nations had been more indignant at a Vietnamese military intervention in Cambodia, which almost all Cambodians had experienced as a liberation, than at three years of Khmer Rouge genocide. That misconception resulted in the majority of delegations, including his own, allowing the Khmer Rouge to continue to occupy the Cambodian seat in the General Assembly for more than a decade.
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Today, 20 years later, he said, it seemed inconceivable that respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity could once more prompt so many States to pursue such a mistaken policy.
ROBERT FOWLER (Canada) said the Council's decision was a clear demonstration of international unity on the way ahead in Kosovo, and was a success for diplomacy. The adopting of the text marked the Council's effective re-engagement in the search for peace in Kosovo. The Council's action had enhanced its credibility and, with it, international confidence in a rules-based collective security system. The text authorized actions and processes that posed new challenges for the international community. A complex but workable arrangement had been set in motion, involving multilateral, regional, national and non-governmental organizations. The Security Council could and must play a constructive leadership role in overseeing that process.
Canada was committed to the effort, and would contribute actively, he said. It was currently deploying a substantial number of Canadian Forces personnel to participate in the international security force for Kosovo. Its humanitarian and economic assistance to the region totalled $45 million in Canadian funds since March 1999. A lasting peace must be based on justice; for that reason, Canada had argued strongly for provisions in the resolution regarding the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Tribunal would be indispensable in building confidence in a just settlement in Kosovo.
From Rwanda to Kosovo, there was mounting historical evidence indicating that internal conflicts could destabilize entire regions, he said. Humanitarian and human rights concerns were not just internal matters; they must be given new weight in the Council's definition of security, and in its calculus as to when and how to engage. The tensions in the Charter between State sovereignty and the promotion of international peace and security must be more readily reconciled when internal conflicts became internationalized. Today's agreement was an important step towards a broader definition of security by the international community.
A. PETER BURLEIGH (United States) said the resolution laid out a concrete plan for ending the humanitarian tragedy in Kosovo and building a better future for its people. Regrettably, its adoption came much later than it should have. Months of death, destruction and forced displacement could have been avoided if Belgrade had joined the Kosovar Albanians last March in saying yes to peace and no to war.
The resolution, however, addressed all key objectives, as set out by NATO, he said. It provided that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia must ensure a verifiable and immediate end to violence and repression in Kosovo. It must withdraw all its military police and paramilitary forces from Kosovo, agree to the stationing in Kosovo of an international security presence with substantial
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NATO participation, agree to the unconditional and safe return of all refugees and provide credible assurance of willingness to engage in a political process aimed at establishing an interim political framework agreement providing for substantial self-government for Kosovo.
The resolution established an international security force in Kosovo, he said. It also set up a civilian United Nations mission to provide an interim administration for Kosovo. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had accepted the principles of the G-8 Foreign Ministers and had agreed to withdraw its security forces. There was full dedication to the vision of a region at peace and integrated fully into the Euro-Atlantic community. There was commitment to a robust programme of reconstruction and reconciliation through the European Union's Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.
For the people of Serbia, he continued, it was now time to look to the future and to abandon violence, repression and ethnic hatred. The journey towards integration into the community of nations dedicated to the principles of international law had begun. The people of Serbia deserved a chance at democracy and a better economic life as part of the Euro-Atlantic community, with a government leading responsibly towards those goals without resorting to repression and war.
The people of Montenegro were to be commended for their principled stance, he concluded, as well as for their pursuit of democracy and of economic and political reform. They were also to be commended for their tolerance and composure in shouldering the heavy burden of sheltering and providing for refugees and displaced persons. The resolution adopted by the Security Council was a tribute to the hard work of all envoys and personnel on the ground who were dedicated to the goal of peace around the world.
HASMY AGAM (Malaysia) said that, as the Council took tenuous and necessary steps towards a lasting peace in Kosovo, the atrocities and horrors that had been carried out in pursuit of the policy of ethnic cleansing must be addressed, as part of any consolidated efforts in the implementation of the peace plans. Ethnic cleansing, which reared its ugly head once again in the Balkans, was a crime against humanity and should not be brushed aside out of political expediency. Those responsible for such acts should not be allowed to go unpunished, nor the victims denied justice. It was important, therefore, that the work and jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia be fully recognized and strongly supported. The arrest and prosecution of indicted war criminals was not only an issue of justice, but one that would have important and long-lasting effects in the process of re-establishing the rule of law and for reconciliation in Kosovo.
Peace in Kosovo, and in the Balkans as a whole, should be viewed as a long-term process and not a quick-exit strategy from the Balkans by the international community, he said. As part of the international endeavours to
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nurture peace and restore normalcy in Kosovo, efforts towards infrastructure rehabilitation and economic reconstruction must be given immediate and priority attention. Given the immensity of the humanitarian and reconstruction tasks, there was an obvious need for effective coordination and cooperation between aid agencies and the members of the international community, so as to avoid unnecessary competition, duplication and the waste of resources.
GELSON FONSECA (Brazil) said that it was with considerable relief that he lent his support to a Council resolution paving the way for the return of refugees to Kosovo under conditions of safety. Even if a new regional agenda for cooperation took hold, it would be years before any semblance of normality was reached. At the same time, problematic precedents had been set in the resort to military force without Council authorization, that had neither contributed to upholding the Council's authority nor improved the humanitarian situation.
He said that it was possible to hope that today's meeting would herald a new chapter for the countless Kosovars and others in the region whose lives had been shattered by the ravages of the bloody conflict. It was also possible to hope that the Council would build on this day to find a new blend of realism and idealism that would translate itself into greater wisdom and true effectiveness. Further, it was possible to hope, together with the Secretary-General, that in the future countries would not have to choose between inaction and genocide, intervention and Council division.
The Council was now presented with a historic opportunity to demonstrate its unique capacity for legitimate joint action to promote reconciliation and stability, he said. No doubt, the path ahead would be fraught with great challenges, as an ambitious programme for a civil and security presence in Kosovo was established. However, he was confident that that was the correct way for the international community to proceed. As the Council resumed its rightful role in the treatment of the crisis, there was even reason to hope that a new disposition to find multilateral solutions to other serious problems affecting world security, within the Council, would gradually emerge.
Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said that Mr. Milosevic's Government had taken a long time to come to a political agreement on Kosovo. He had never shown any real interest, since 1998, in a status for Kosovo that met minimum international standards. He had been preparing something else for Kosovo. The world had witnessed the devastating effects. It was a tragedy for the Serb people that the NATO allies had had to act -- after trying every other avenue -- with force. But Mr. Milosevic's ethnic cleansing machine had been stopped in its tracks.
The authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serb Parliament had accepted the principles and demands set out in the G-8 statement of 6 May and in the Chernomyrdin-Ahtisaari paper. "But this is not a victory", he said. Not for the families who had lost loved ones, or for
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those whose lives had been torn apart or had their homes destroyed. The job now was to help them return home safely, get their lives back to normal, and assure their future in the Balkans without further fear of persecution.
The resolution and its annexes clearly set out the international community's key demands, which Belgrade must satisfy, he said. They provided for the deployment of an international civil presence, led by the United Nations, and for an effective international security presence to re-establish a safe environment in Kosovo. The force must command the confidence of the refugees, if they were to return home. That was why NATO had made clear that it would be essential to have a unified NATO chain of command under the political direction of the North Atlantic Council, in consultation with non- NATO force contributors. With NATO at its core, the force would be commanded by a British General. The United Kingdom would be providing the leading contribution, at least 13,000 troops.
The resolution also applied to the Kosovo Albanians, he continued. It required them to play their part in restoring normal life to Kosovo and creating democratic, self-governing institutions. The Kosovo Albanian people and leadership must rise to the challenge of peace by accepting the obligations of the resolution, in particular, to demilitarize the KLA and other armed groups.
To have come thus far had required a huge diplomatic effort, and his Government paid tribute to Mr. Chernomyrdin, President Ahtisaari and Mr. Talbott for their outstanding contribution. The positive engagement of the Russian Government, via its special envoy and in preparing the resolution, had been vital.
The common challenge now was to use the momentum towards peace generated by the settlement to move the whole region away from tension and ethnic conflict and towards durable peace and prosperity. As that would require sustained international effort, he welcomed the resolution's emphasis on a comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the region.
Today, the first step towards lasting peace in Kosovo was taken, he said. A vast amount of work remained to be done, but the resolution, and the shared resolve it reflected, constituted an essential contribution to the process. It brought the United Nations and the Secretary-General to the forefront of international action to give the Balkans a future in modern Europe. It had his country's unqualified support.
FERNANDO ENRIQUE PETRELLA (Argentina) said the resolution was one of singular importance. It marked an end to a humanitarian tragedy whose chief victims had been hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. It laid the foundation for a definitive political solution to the Kosovo crisis, which would ensure respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as for the rights of all minorities
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without exception. It also confirmed the central and irreplaceable role of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council and the Secretary- General, when there was a need to unite all efforts in order to maintain international peace and security. Finally, it reflected the international community's recognition of the importance of human rights.
Noting the valuable warnings, interventions and initiatives of the Secretary-General even before the beginning of military action, he said that the international community must do its utmost to enable the refugees and internally displaced to return home. It was essential to express gratitude to those who had tirelessly negotiated between the parties. Elsewhere, especially in Africa, hundreds of thousands of people also wished to live with dignity, in peace and harmony. The international community should not fail them.
JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said the violence in Serbia had brought back images of the violence of Bosnia. The draft resolution adopted today had made provisions for the end of violence. It should not be forgotten that the resolution should guarantee the return of refugees. The urgent question was: where and how and when would the displaced persons return? Their homes were demolished, their identity cards destroyed. It was a tragedy, one created on purpose and one that would have consequences for many years to come. International efforts should focus on ensuring the return of people to Kosovo. Bahrain had taken part on the humanitarian resolution on Kosovo. Today's resolution reaffirmed that one.
DENIS DANGUE REWAKA (Gabon) said the Group of 8 had striven unstintingly to devise a political solution to the Kosovo crisis. The Security Council had done so. All had called for an end to the violence, but no measures had succeeded before now. Should the tragedy in Kosovo have been allowed to go on? The answer, of course, was no. Regions needed to take care of their problems. The present resolution bolstered the very foundation of the United Nations. It upheld the principles of dialogue, negotiation and peace in solving problems. Those principles were all very dear to Gabon.
BABOUCARR-BLAISE ISMAILA JAGNE (Gambia), President of the Security Council, speaking in his capacity as Permanent Representative, said that, throughout the crisis over Kosovo, the Council had endeavoured to set out clearly the concerns of the international community. The more resolutions and statements the Council adopted on the issue, the more Belgrade brazenly stepped up its repression and violence against the civilian population in Kosovo. Such violence and flagrant violations of human rights had shocked the collective conscience of mankind. The international community could no longer afford the luxury of being a helpless spectator, while the policy of ethnic cleansing continued. It was regrettable that force had to be used to arrive at the current situation. His delegation, therefore, welcomed wholeheartedly the agreements reached a few hours ago for a political settlement of the Kosovo crisis.
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He said that the issue of Kosovo had divided the Council for a long time. At long last, the Council was once more able to find unity around the issue and, above all, it was again able to assume its primary responsibility in the maintenance of international peace and security. Its authority was recognized and restored. The present resolution took on particular importance for any delegation for two main reasons: it was a comprehensive and well- balanced text -- a blueprint for the peaceful resolution of the Kosovo crisis; and it recognized and restored the authority of the Council and placed it on a firmer footing to tackle other major crisis situations.
Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN said that the Security Council resolution had charted the way towards a better future for the inhabitants of Kosovo, one in which all the refugees and internally displaced persons could return safely to their homes and in which the civil, political and human rights of all were fully respected.
The path of peace would be marked by difficulties and dangers that would require no less courage and determination than the preceding events, he said. After the violence, human rights abuses, expulsions and devastation of the last year, the task of restoring Kosovo to a semblance of normal life was immense. Rebuilding homes, restoring infrastructure, renewing institutions and revitalizing civil society would require sacrifice, dedication and persistence on the part of all who shared responsibility for Kosovo's future. And, with winter fast approaching, it was a race against time.
He said the United Nations was determined to lead the civilian implementation of the peace effectively and efficiently. But, to do so, it needed the cooperation of all parties and the means to carry out the mandate.
What counted was not just the commitment to peace, but the will to implement it in all its aspects, he said. That included tasks for which the United Nations was not responsible, but which were vital if peace and stability were to be restored.
Stressing the need for the full withdrawal of Serb military, paramilitary and police forces, as well as for the demilitarization of the UCK, he said that those responsible for the security aspects of the resolution should act swiftly.
He said he intended to revert to the Council with specific proposals on how to make the civilian operation authorized by the resolution truly integrated and effective. There also lay ahead the hard and extremely complex work of building a durable peace, of reconciling positions which were far apart. In doing so, the roots of the crisis must be dealt with.
The meeting suspended at 2:23 p.m.
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The meeting resumed at 3:45 p.m.
DIETER KASTRUP (Germany) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the associated countries of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Iceland and Liechtenstein. He said the adoption of the resolution marked a moment of high importance to Europe and the United Nations. The door to peace in south- eastern Europe was being opened. Today's decision provided an opportunity to reverse the enormous humanitarian disaster that had been unfolding in Kosovo.
Some 1.5 million people had been forced to leave their homes as a result of ethnic cleansing and massed forced expulsions, he continued. More than 500,000 persons were displaced inside the province, which was now a panorama of empty villages, burned houses and looted shops. Too many men, women and children hade been killed and harassed, and forced to flee the country as a result of the criminal and barbaric acts perpetrated by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia.
The current humanitarian tragedy of enormous scale, and especially the repression of the civilian population in Kosovo, began last year and resumed with increasing intensity from the beginning of March this year, he said. That and the violations of Security Council resolutions, led the North Atlantic Alliance to take military action in support of the objectives of the international community. That necessary and warranted action, in combination with diplomatic activity, had brought about the agreement of the Yugoslav authorities to withdraw all military, police and paramilitary forces, thereby creating the conditions for the return of hundreds of thousands of Kosovars driven out of Kosovo.
"Let us be quite clear: full responsibility for this situation lies entirely with President Milosevic", he added. The European Union firmly believed that all those who planned, authorized and executed the campaign of forced deportation, torture and murder should be held personally accountable and be brought to justice before the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and it demanded full cooperation with the Tribunal by all concerned.
The Union reiterated its commitment to take a leading role in the reconstruction of Kosovo and called upon other donors to participate generously in the reconstruction effort, he said. With a view to enhancing peace, stability and prosperity in, and cooperation between, countries in the region, the Union had taken the initiative to establish a stability pact for south-eastern Europe. Today, a conference being held at Petersberg, near Bonn, will hopefully adopt that pact, thereby establishing a comprehensive mechanism for long-term political stabilization and economic reconstruction and development of the region.
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YUKIO SATOH (Japan) said it was important to ensure the full and faithful cooperation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to realize the general principles and other required elements accepted by that Government. It was also important to ensure the compliance of the KLA and other armed Kosovo-Albanian groups with the requirements for demilitarization. All had to support the activities of the international civil and security presences, cooperate in giving the best assistance and encouragement to those who had suffered from the crisis, and make the utmost effort to alleviate the difficulties caused to neighbouring countries by the crisis.
The return of refugees and displaced persons was a matter of particular urgency, he continued. The reconstruction of their destroyed towns and villages was crucially important to the future of Kosovo. The international community had to assist the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which would be the lead agency in addressing the enormous humanitarian problem. An international donors conference for assistance to Kosovo should be convened as soon as possible.
For its part, he said, Japan had announced a package of assistance in response to the Kosovo crisis amounting to some $200 million. Further, the leadership and expertise of the United Nations would be especially valuable in providing an interim civil administration for Kosovo. Therefore, the commitment to support the United Nations and other international organizations should be renewed.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said the international community had reached the current crucial moment thanks to international unity. It was clear that military action by the North Atlantic Alliance was a necessary requirement to accompany political efforts. The international community must now devote political and financial resources to end the humanitarian tragedy that had been unfolding in Kosovo and the neighbouring States. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia bore full responsibility for the tragic course of events. The world must not forget the causes of the conflict, and it must maintain unity in seeking a long-term solution for a peaceful, democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo.
As a political solution to the Kosovo crisis was now within reach, the international community must substantially intensify the planning and preparation for implementing a peace agreement, he added. The challenges were enormous and required a solid financial commitment by the whole international community. His country stood ready to keep its commitment, both with financial means and personnel. It will contribute troops to the deployment of the international security force and resources for humanitarian needs, demining operations and the rehabilitation of war-torn infrastructure. Also, as Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Norwegian Foreign Minister welcomed the decision to place the overall responsibility for the civilian presence with the United Nations.
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BERND NIEHAUS (Costa Rica) said that his country continued to repudiate the ethnic cleansing policy undertaken by the authorities of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and supported the international community's firm stand against it. Yet, Costa Rica opposed the use of force without the explicit authorization of the Security Council. While NATO had used the pretext of ending human rights violations against the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo, the innocent population of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been terrorized by the bombings. War was comfortable for leaders protected in presidential palaces. The real victims were children, young people, mothers, workers, students and the sick.
He said his country was concerned about the operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Just as in 1998, when Costa Rica chaired the Security Council, it believed that all measures taken in Kosovo must be in line with the legal, political and strategic terms of the United Nations Charter, and that any use of force must be authorized by the Security Council. The Council could not and should not shift, shirk or renounce that exclusive responsibility, nor accept any erosion of that authority. Economic development was essential for development. In the case of Kosovo, it also guaranteed peace and security. It was hoped that the measures agreed upon for Kosovo would also be applied to other areas, such as the Great Lakes region and West Africa.
ALYAKSANDR SYCHOV (Belarus) said today's important meeting demonstrated how the United Nations solved complex problems in a peaceful manner. It was important that today's resolution contained statements that his country had made. His Government had been against the aggression of NATO in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The question belonged in the Security Council. Intensive international efforts had shown that the most complex problems could be solved by the peaceful instruments of the Organization. Only through full compliance with international norms could the future be secure.
The adoption of the resolution today in the Security Council could not be the cause of celebration, he continued. There remained many tasks, such as demilitarization of the KLA. Peace in Yugoslavia had to be fully restored. The sovereignty of its Government had to be guaranteed, as well as the reconstruction of the entire country.
BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said the Security Council had acted late. The resolution would not change reality. The conflict had been and would continue to be a United States and NATO invasion, as would be seen when the real history was written. It had been seven days since the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serbian Parliament had accepted the proposals. The deliberate destruction of the country had continued. The NATO had not wanted to find a solution, but to institute a new form of world power based on the destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the degradation of its people.
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He said the Security Council's silence would not erase the images left by the campaign of indiscriminate bombing. Some of those claiming to protect human rights had, in the past, supported apartheid in South Africa, cohabited with military dictatorships in South America, and abetted the oppression of Arabs in the Middle East. They continued to segregate their own indigenous people.
What was being witnessed now was the manipulation of the United Nations Security Council, he said. After 79 days of being ignored, the Council was now being used to provide a stamp of approval. The United States was the only country that benefited from the weakening of the United Nations.
VOLODYMYR YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine) said situation in and around Kosovo could have been avoided if the Security Council had been prepared to exercise its powers under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter at a very early stage in the conflict. The Council resolution was of paramount importance to a final settlement of the Kosovo crisis. It also reconfirmed: the basic principles of international law; respect for the rights of all refugees and displaced persons to return home safely; and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
He added that there were a number of countries, in particular, those of the Danube region, which were now experiencing huge economic losses caused by the interruption of transport communications, reorientation of commodity flows, loss of traditional markets and other factors. The right to free and unimpeded use of that important international watercourse had been disrupted. He expected the Council to address the problem of the economic losses third countries had suffered in a positive and action-oriented way from military activities in Kosovo. He added that his country intended to get involved in the process of the economic reconstruction of Yugoslavia and to the stabilization of the countries in the region.
JELENA GRCIC POLIC (Croatia) said "peace breeds in and on economic prosperity". The challenges ahead should not be underestimated with regard to lessening and eventually overcoming economic hardship, not only in Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but throughout the region. As a neighbouring State, Croatia had so far suffered $2.5 billion in direct economic losses and an estimated $5 billion in overall economic losses due to the conflict in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The international community should strengthen its approach towards fostering the overall security, political and economic stability and prosperity of the region, widening the road to reintegration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, for those who sought it.
ANDRÉ ERDOS (Hungary) said that one of the major yardsticks by which the international community would measure the success of the huge operation about to begin was the return of the refugees and displaced persons to their homes
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in Kosovo. An effective international security and civil presence was the indispensable condition to help reach that objective. His country had been vocal in its firm opposition to aggressive nationalism, ethnocentrism, and religious and ethnic intolerance, which had led to so much suffering for all the peoples inhabiting the former Yugoslavia. To have allowed the systematic emptying of vast lands, well-organized campaigns of intimidation and atrocities to stand would have been a shameful betrayal of the ideal of a civilized world at the turn of the century.
Hungary was vitally interested in seeing peace re-established and the democratic values of Europe prevail in the region, he said. It was of paramount importance to proceed expeditiously with the elaboration and implementation of a comprehensive approach to the stabilization and development of the whole region. His country wished to take an active part in translating that endeavour into action, just as it intended to play a role in the implementation of the stability pact for south-eastern Europe. Those undertakings represented an overall political strategy aimed at the resolution of the present and potential problems threatening the south-eastern corner of Europe.
SEYED MOHAMMAD HADI NEJAD HOSSEINIAN (Iran) said his country welcomed and fully supported the resolution, adopted as a means to end violence, stabilize the situation, and help ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo. He would consult with the Secretary- General and his Special Representative, to be named, in considering how best to cooperate with the tasks assigned by the resolution.
In view of the outrage and growing concern in the Islamic countries over the crisis in Kosovo and its consequences, he said the Organization of the Islamic Conference Contact Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina and on Kosovo had taken a number of initiatives to help contain the crisis. The resolution was designed to put an immediate end to violence in Kosovo, to ensure the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo, and to recognize all legitimate rights of the Kosovar Albanians, including the establishment of substantial autonomy and self- government in Kosovo. The whole 11-week enterprise would be judged against the achievement of those objectives.
AGIM NESHO (Albania) said his country highly appreciated the irreplaceable role of NATO, which had stopped one of the greatest human catastrophes in Europe since the Second World War. From the beginning of the crisis in Kosovo, the Security Council had discussed the issue and adopted a number of important resolutions. Those resolutions had not been respected by the Belgrade regime, which had been pursuing its criminal policy in the region for 10 years.
Today's resolution contained important elements that guaranteed powerful support from the international community, he continued. The resolution
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enjoyed the consensus of the Group of 8 and expressed the international position. It was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and it expressed the principle, "there is no peace without justice".
Implementation of peace in Kosovo would have no tangible results and peace would be fragile if war criminals, such as President Milosevic, did not go to trial, he said. The military presence, with its core in the NATO forces, and the implementation of a civilian force under the leadership of the United Nations constituted indispensable measures for the quick return of the deportees to their lands and homes. The mission initiated by the resolution would achieve success when several essential conditions were considered by the international community. First, substantial economic assistance was needed for reconstructing Kosova. Second, any long-term solution to the Kosova problem had to consider and respect the will of the Kosova people to decide their own future.
The grave conflict with catastrophic dimensions had taught some important lessons to the Organization, he concluded. The international community had shown its determination to protect human values, and the Group of 8 had shown its determination to conclude a sustainable peace plan. The consensus in adopting the resolution showed that the United Nations was moving towards a new role, which put the rights of people at the centre of its responsibility for maintaining peace and security.
NASTE CALOVSKI (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) said his delegation hoped that the current conflict would be the last war in the Balkans. The Council should be witnessing the end of the "Balkanization" of the region and the beginning of the period of its "Europeanization", a period of peace, security and development. It was important that what happened in Kosovo be fully known. It was important to be fully aware of the consequences of Kosovo's tragic war, especially on his country and on Albania. Furthermore, it was important to be aware of the contribution of the Member States of the United Nations.
There was a need to alleviate the negative consequences of the Kosovo crisis on all States in the region, and international effort was crucial in that regard. Such international effort would be the best way to prevent new conflicts and the best way to support the hopes of all peoples in the region, allowing them to enter a period of normal life, without fear, hate and revenge. The first priority of the peace agreements was to enable each refugee and every displaced person to go home in safety and with dignity. That was a huge task and it should be tackled and achieved without hesitation. Another priority was the recovery and reconstruction of the region.
VLADIMIR SOTIROV (Bulgaria) said a stable and lasting solution in Kosovo should be based on substantial autonomy and self-government within the internationally recognized borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The
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political solution should be followed by specific steps for establishment of the structures of a civilian administration, economic rebuilding and development, as well as the creation of democratic institutions and the rule of law. The return before the winter of all ethnic Albanian refugees that wish to return to their homes in Kosovo was the key to a durable resolution of the current conflict. The presence of huge masses of refugees in the neighbouring countries constituted a threat to international peace and security and to the stability of the region.
Therefore, he said, the priority task of the international community was to create a secure environment and all the other necessary prerequisites for the returning refugees. That process should be based on a coherent and credible return plan. It was of utmost importance to render effective assistance to the returnees in the field, including temporary housing and other means for acceptable living conditions. Anything short of a successful return of the refugees would mean a victory for the unacceptable policies of ethnic cleansing. Also, in order to avoid further crises in the Balkans, comprehensive stabilization and development of the States affected by the crisis was needed. The international community should play a decisive role in that regard.
MANUEL TELLO (Mexico) said that while Mexico shared the international community's outrage at the humanitarian situation in Kosovo, the use of force, even when spurred by the noblest aims, only led to more violence. The Mexican delegation was disturbed that the United Nations should have been so marginalized in the handling of the conflict. Mexico had always believed that solutions should be sought within the Organization's institutional framework and in compliance with international law.
He said Mexico was pleased that the Security Council and the United Nations were resuming their primary role in the maintenance for international peace and security, in general, and in the search for a lasting peace in the Balkans, in particular. The loss of so much human life could never be remedied, but it was essential that the return of refugees and displaced persons be carried out in such a way that they could continue with their normal lives.
It would not be easy to rebuild Yugoslavia, he said. It would take a long time and be expensive. Today's achievement must be accompanied by efforts to restore the destroyed infrastructure, which was essential for stability, which, in turn, was essential for the establishment of peace.
Given the floor for an additional comment, Mr. BURLEIGH (United States) said he was used to the charges of Cuba and did not normally respond. However, he had been struck by the astonishing lack of acknowledgment of the human crisis in Kosovo. The significance of that intellectual blanking out on the reality was clear.
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Mr. RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said he had referred accurately and respectfully to historic events. It had not been his intention to blame. He spoke only of facts. One could not launch a war in the name of peace and stability. One could not commit genocide for any reason. The bombing in Serbia was genocide in the clearest sense. There were two wars. One was the virtual war of high technology and collateral damage, the television war were people were intoxicated into thinking nothing was happening. The other war was the one he had meant, where people had died and children were killed, buses burned up and diplomatic headquarters destroyed. History would never forgive the use of the term, "collateral damage", which was the euphemism for children being destroyed.
The NATO had no respect for the United Nations, he continued. It flagrantly violated the Charter and then bombed when people protested. The people of Cuba could come to the United Nations with head high as independent people, defending their revolution.
Mr. HAMER (Netherlands) said it was no surprise that Cuba alone would speak up in favour of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The United Nations Charter explicitly forbade the repression of one's own people. It was also no surprise that the Cuban representative would cling to the notion of sovereignty to justify a State's persecution of its own people.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ PARILLA (Cuba) said the old colonialists could not try to teach Cuba lessons. In the past weeks, there were alarming indications that an old cycle was starting up. The future would tell what was obsolete. Cuba would defend the countries of the South, which were also the interests of NATO.
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