COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN MISSION OF OBSERVERS IN PREVLAKA UNTIL 15 OCTOBER 2002

12 July 2002
SC/7452

COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN MISSION OF OBSERVERS IN PREVLAKA UNTIL 15 OCTOBER 2002

12/07/2002
Press Release
SC/7452


Security Council

4574th Meeting (Night)


COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN MISSION OF OBSERVERS IN PREVLAKA

UNTIL 15 OCTOBER 2002


The Security Council, commending the role played by the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP), and noting its importance in maintaining conditions conducive to a negotiated settlement of the disputed issue of Prevlaka, this evening authorized UNMOP to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the peninsula for a further three months until 15 October.


Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1424 (2002), the Council reiterated its calls upon the parties to cease all violations of the demilitarized regime in the United Nations-designated zones, to cooperate fully with the United Nations military observers, and to ensure their safety and full and unrestricted freedom of movement.


Council members welcomed continuing progress in the normalization of relations between the Governments of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the establishment of an inter-State Border Commission.  At the same time, it urged the parties to accelerate efforts towards a negotiated settlement in accordance with the Agreement on Normalization of Relations, and expressed its intention to review the duration of the new mandate if the parties reached a negotiated agreement.


The meeting began at 6:17 p.m. and ended at 6:20 p.m.


Resolution


Security Council resolution 1424 (2002) reads, as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling all its earlier relevant resolutions, including resolutions 779 (1992) of 6 October 1992, 981 (1995) of 31 March 1995, 1088 (1996) of 12 December 1996, 1147 (1998) of 13 January 1998, 1183 (1998) of 15 July 1998, 1222 (1999) of 15 January 1999, 1252 (1999) of 15 July 1999, 1285 (2000) of 13 January 2000, 1307 (2000) of 13 July 2000, 1335 (2001) of 12 January 2001, 1357 (2001) of 21 June 2001, 1362 (2001) of 11 July 2001 and 1387 (2002) of 15 January 2002,


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 28 June 2002 (S/2002/713) on the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP),

Reaffirming once again its commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia within its internationally recognized borders,


Noting once again the Joint Declaration signed at Geneva on 30 September 1992 by the Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in particular articles 1 and 3 thereof the latter reaffirming their agreement concerning the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, and the Agreement on Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of 23 August 1996 (S/1996/706, annex),


Noting with satisfaction that the overall situation in the UNMOP area of responsibility has remained stable and calm, and encouraged by the progress made by the Parties in normalizing their bilateral relationship,


Commending the role played by UNMOP, and noting also that the presence of the United Nations military observers continues to be important in maintaining conditions that are conducive to a negotiated settlement of the disputed issue of Prevlaka,


Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention of the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994 and the statement of its President of 10 February 2000 (S/PRST/2000/4),


“1.   Authorizes the United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, in accordance with resolutions 779 (1992) and 981 (1995) and paragraphs 19 and 20 of the report of the Secretary-General of 13 December 1995 (S/1995/1028), until 15 October 2002, and requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council prior to this date, as appropriate;


“2.   Reiterates its calls upon the parties to cease all violations of the demilitarized regime in the United Nations designated zones, to cooperate fully with the United Nations military observers and to ensure their safety and full and unrestricted freedom of movement;


“3.   Welcomes continuing progress in the normalization of relations between the Governments of the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the establishment of an interstate Border Commission, and urges the parties to accelerate efforts towards a negotiated settlement on the disputed issue of Prevlaka in accordance with article 4 of the Agreement on Normalization of Relations, and expresses its intention to review the duration of the authority given in paragraph 1 above if the parties inform the Council that a negotiated agreement has been reached as described in section V of the report of the Secretary-General of 28 June 2002 (S/2002/713);


“4.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Background


In his report on the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP), dated 28 June 2002, and covering the period since 2 January 2002, the Secretary-General says he is encouraged by the progress made by the Federal

Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia towards resolving their dispute over Prevlaka through meetings of the Interstate Diplomatic Commission and its subordinate bodies.


He recommends the extension of UNMOP’s mandate until 15 October in order to maintain conditions propitious to a successful conclusion of those efforts by the parties to agree on a transitional border-crossing regime that would allow the Mission to withdraw.


[The Mission is mandated to monitor the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula and the neighbouring areas in Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Although UNMOP, comprising 27 United Nations military observers, is an independent mission, it draws its administrative and budgetary support from the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH)].


According to the report, a substantial number of violations of the security regime have occurred in the United Nations-controlled zone, though none of them gave rise to security concerns.  The violations result largely from a failure to enact appropriate control measures at the zone’s boundaries.  The Secretary-General recommends that the manned checkpoints at Cape Kobila should be relocated to the boundaries or legitimized by agreement between the parties.


The report says that while the situation in the demilitarized zone and the United Nations-controlled zone remained calm and stable, a number of Croatian and Montenegrin soldiers were usually stationed inside the United Nations-controlled zone, in continuing violation of the agreed security regime.  The Croatian and Montenegrin authorities continued to permit civilians to enter the zone.  Given the large number of unauthorized persons entering the zone, UNMOP had re-marked suspected minefields as a precaution against accidents.


With minor exceptions, both parties respected the demilitarized zone during the reporting period, the report says.  The United Nations observers continued to enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement on the Yugoslav side of the zone, but the Croatians maintained their requirement that UNMOP provide advance written notice before going on patrol in the northern region.


The report states that should the Security Council decide to extend UNMOP's mandate beyond 15 July, the costs of maintaining the Mission would be met from within UNMIBH’s budget.  Requirements for ongoing support to UNMOP will be constantly reviewed in the context of the liquidation of UNMIBH, scheduled to commence on 1 January 2003.


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For information media. Not an official record.