|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Qin Huasun
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
|Sir John Weston
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 1026 (1995) (S/1995/1031)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I have received a request dated 15 December 1995 from Mr. Vladislav Jovanovic to address the Council. With the consent of the Council, I would propose to invite him to address the Council in the course of the discussion of the item before it.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 1026 (1995), document S/1995/1031. Members of the Council have before them document S/1995/1033, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by Argentina, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to the following other documents: S/1995/999, letter dated 29 November 1995 from the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General; S/1995/1021, letter dated 7 December 1995 from the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General; S/1995/1029, letter dated 11 December 1995 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General; and S/1995/1034, letter dated 14 December 1995 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council.
In view of the exceptional importance of the entry into force as soon as possible of the draft resolution under consideration today, members of the Council agreed in the course of prior consultations on the following procedure for the meeting: First, representatives of the three countries whose Presidents signed in Paris the Peace Agreements on Bosnia and Herzegovina will be invited to speak; the Council will then proceed to the voting; upon the conclusion of the voting, the representatives of those countries that have expressed the wish to speak in the course of the discussion of the agenda item will be called on to speak.
Taking into account the fact that the content of this draft resolution has been the subject of fairly detailed discussion, in particular in the briefing given a short while ago by the President of the Security Council for the non-members of the Security Council, and also in the light of the urgent need to which I have already referred to ensure its immediate entry into force, members of the Security Council express the hope that Member States concerned will show understanding of this proposed procedure.
The first speaker is the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on whom I now call.
At the outset, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. The task before you is challenging and I recognize the able manner in which you have led the deliberations of this body so far.
Allow me also to extend my sincere congratulations to Ambassador Al-Khussaiby of Oman, who presided over the Council last month. His leadership was outstanding.
Today, the Council will decide upon a comprehensive resolution on the various aspects of the implementation of the Peace Agreement reached in Dayton and signed in Paris yesterday. Allow me to express our appreciation to all the members of the Contact Group for their tireless efforts towards a peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. My special gratitude goes to President Clinton, his Administration, the American people and the United States Congress, and to the French people, President Chirac and the French Government for their recent hosting of the peace talks in Dayton and yesterday’s signing ceremony in Paris.
As we move on, ushering the new mission for the implementation of the Peace Agreement into my country — for too long a victim of aggression — I note with appreciation the overall efforts of the United Nations Peace Forces to help create the conditions for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to provide protection for various humanitarian actions, which has often placed many of them in perilous situations. I also recognize the role that the United Nations has played in the promotion of human rights, though in some instances, regrettably, as has been the case in parts of my country under Serb control, it had little effect.
I would also like to take a moment to remember all those committed and devoted peace-keepers and aid workers who have spent some of the last three-and-a-half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina trying to alleviate the suffering of the innocent civilians. In particular, we remember all those peace-keepers and humanitarian workers who have given their lives in the performance of their noble duties in my country. Their work and commitment will always be remembered with solemn gratitude, but also with sadness for their loss, by the people and the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As a host country to the Implementation Force, we pledge our unwavering support, cooperation and, more important, partnership in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
With the Peace Agreement initialled in Dayton on 21 November and signed yesterday in Paris, one of the most savage aggressions against a Member State may have come to an end and the restoration of the culture of peace may be under way. In this regard, the international community must make sure that any further economic or other assistance be tailored in such a way as to promote peace, democracy and human rights for all.
This Peace Agreement may have many faults now. Primarily, it can hardly be seen as a perfect or just one. However, we believe that it is more just than the continuation of war and that, in the long run, it can work for all people in my country and against notorious war criminals and the crimes they have committed. We tend to believe that, in the course of time, this peace will mature and become just and that, through measures ensuring the return of refugees and guaranteeing human rights for all, the logic of peace, tolerance and coexistence shall gradually replace the logic of division along ethnic and religious lines, even on the side and in the minds of those who have pursued it for too long. They shall have to learn that the effects of crimes must be reversed and that they will have to abide by law and by the standards of civilized society, since that will be the only way to final peace.
However, they will also have to accept the fact that there will be no refuge from justice, since absolution from the crimes committed has never been, and will never be, a part of a peace deal. In this regard, the commitment to the pursuit of justice through the international war crimes Tribunal must be unwavering on our part and on the part of all members of the international community. Without justice, there shall be no reconciliation. Without reconciliation, this peace may not endure.
As for us, we will not seek revenge. We have learned, despite painful concessions for peace, to define our victory in the lives that we can save and in the opportunity to rebuild and reinstate, throughout our country, democracy, the highest standards of human rights, safety and security for all our citizens, and at least a minimum of conditions necessary for a decent life.
In this context, I should like once again to stress the reassurances of my Government to the Serb population that will come under the control of the Government of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, emphasizing that we have always believed that a multi-ethnic Bosnia can be preserved only with Bosniacs, Croats, Serbs and others living together in equality, tolerance and respect for all.
In the coming days, we will have to exercise enormous patience, sensitivity and forgiveness. But above all, we are committed to furthering existing democratic institutions and establishing new ones in order to restore the rule of law and order in every part of our country, which will guarantee safety, justice and respect for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.
Restoration of mutual confidence will be possible if Bosnian Serb authorities do the same in the territories that will be under their control at the beginning of the process of peace and normalization in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This will be possible if those who have committed war crimes are brought to justice and are prevented from playing any future political role. Justice must not be sacrificed, as such a sacrifice would only threaten to destroy this whole peace project.
Not a single part of this peace package may be undermined, abandoned or deformed in its implementation, as that would shake confidence in the wholesomeness of the good intentions of the international community, a confidence which, after years of disappointment, has begun to return.
Bosnia and Herzegovina and its people have the courage for peace. Our ultimate goal is an undivided Bosnia and Herzegovina, with democracy and human rights fully restored throughout the country and with prosperity for all. We do not want to build ethnic divisions or walls in our country. We have a long tradition of tolerance and of a common and harmonious life among diverse communities. Sarajevo, as a united and undivided capital and as an open city for all its citizens, shall again be not only a symbol of the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity and richness of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but a new Babylon and the birthplace of new international hope and solidarity.
We have endured horrendous suffering during this long aggression, and we hope we shall even better endure the challenges of peace.
In conclusion, I would like remember and pay respect to all those Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs for whom the promise of peace came too late.
I thank the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Croatia, on whom I call.
At the outset, I should like to congratulate the Russian Federation on its assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month and to assure you, Sir, of my delegation’s full cooperation on the two other important regional issues that will come before the Council next week.
Likewise, I should like to commend the delegation of Oman for the able way in which it led the work of the Council last month.
My delegation welcomes the Security Council’s prompt consideration of and action upon the present draft resolution. This timely effort is another demonstration of the international community’s firm and resolute commitment to finally rescue Bosnia and Herzegovina and its people from four years of aggression, genocide and suffering.
History often tells us that this century began in 1914, with the tragic events in Sarajevo. The action by the Security Council today, to establish a multinational implementation force to police a final peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will show that the Council, in effect, has turned the closing page on the twentieth century. The ending of what we hope is the last European war has yielded not a just peace, but a fair peace based on a balance of power and the reality of scarce resources. A just peace remains attainable, however. It can come about only with the full implementation of all aspects of the Peace Agreement.
It was four years ago, on 1 October, that the first Bosnian-Herzegovinian village, Ravno, was “ethnically cleansed” by units of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and irregulars that entered Bosnia and Herzegovina from Montenegro. A few months later, at Kupres, the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina took up arms for the first time to defend themselves in an organized way from another long column of advancing JNA tanks. The defenders of Kupres, like the innocent victims of Ravno, paid a heavy price. What followed thereafter in Sarajevo and elsewhere in Bosnia, as we all know, was much worse.
However, what made it all somewhat less devastating, if that seems possible, was the people themselves — such as the people of Kupres, who founded the Croatian Defence Council (HVO), which was the first institution to defend Bosnia and Herzegovina and was the first reason why Bosnia and Herzegovina was able to survive; such as the people of Sarajevo, who stood up bravely and relentlessly to defend the principles and ideals that today’s civilization holds dear and irreplaceable. They gave Bosnia the vitality and spirit to fight the ills imbedded in ideologies of the past, ideologies that were intent on destroying it and two of its peoples.
To this we can add the people who came to Bosnia and Herzegovina from all corners of the world. The political leaders, the peace-keepers, the journalists and the humanitarian workers: all of them helped Bosnia — some more, some less, but nevertheless, they helped all the same. My delegation, therefore, would like to note with emphasis paragraph 35 of draft resolution S/1995/1033, which recognizes the good will and sacrifices of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
No matter how difficult and tragic the past four years have been, the peace that was reached in Dayton on 22 November and signed in Paris yesterday will move Bosnia and the whole region forward. Many injustices are yet to be remedied, but we are confident that they will be. The momentum of peace that has carried us through since early autumn gives us hope and confidence. The timely deployment of the multinational Implementation Force (IFOR), which will be authorized by the present draft resolution, will continue this momentum.
The momentum of peace, however, cannot stop there. The economic and electoral aspects of the Peace Agreement must be implemented with the same commitment and vigour. IFOR alone cannot secure a lasting and just peace in Bosnia. To recall the words of my President spoken at Paris on Wednesday,
“All of us participating in this historic act face the responsibility not to allow the peace efforts that have been achieved with such difficulty to fail”.
We regret that the agreement on normalization of relations between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), including mutual recognition, was not signed in Paris. It has always been Croatia’s position that unconditional recognition is a prerequisite for the equitable resolution of all outstanding issues between any two sovereign States.
Bearing in mind that the present draft resolution is extensive in its content, my delegation would like to emphasize just one paragraph that is of particular importance to my Government. Paragraph 8 recognizes the right of all Bosnian refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes of origin in safety and calls on the United Nations to play a leading role in their repatriation.
My Government, as members may well know, is greatly burdened by the costs of the care of about 400,000 refugees and displaced persons now in Croatia, costs that are now approaching $2 billion. But we are even more concerned about the welfare of the close to 320,000 Bosnian Croat refugees and displaced persons who are now living throughout Europe. This number represents almost one half of the whole Bosnian Croat community. They must be provided with an opportunity to return to their homes or must be compensated for their property fairly and in a timely manner. We, of course, would prefer the former. The Bosnian Croat community, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole, would be significantly weakened politically if the majority of them did not return to their homes.
The present situation may allow the earliest repatriation to those Bosnian Croat refugees and displaced persons whose homes of origin are on Federation territory. Their number is by no means small. It may be as high as 200,000. The viability of the Federation and of the multiethnic fabric of Bosnia rests primarily upon the ability of this group of Croats to return home before the elections planned for next autumn. This Bosnian Croat community, which has often weathered severe international criticism — some of which may have been warranted — also deserves enormous praise for its defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its struggle for national rights and autonomy was wholly justified in view of the persecutions and depopulation it has suffered throughout the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Let me conclude by briefly presenting the position of my Government on the 12 December report of the Secretary-General concerning the implementation of another Dayton-related accord, the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, or the occupied Vukovar region of Croatia. Croatia is concerned that the options outlined in the report put counter-productive emphasis on region-external risks and not enough emphasis on the most important element of the Agreement, namely, rapid demilitarization.
The Croatian Government cannot accept an attempt to build a new and improved safe area in the occupied Vukovar region, nor should the Security Council. This approach would achieve nothing more than to preserve the status quo. This is not in the interest of the parties nor of the international community. Therefore, I should like to use this opportunity to state for the record that the proposals contained in the Secretary-General’s report of 13 December regarding the deployment of a large international force to Croatia is unacceptable to my Government.
Croatia is still of the view that a force of less than 5,000 is satisfactory for implementation of the Basic Agreement. The size of the force that is at present in the Vukovar region may even be adequate. But if the Council should decide to increase the size of that force, its numbers can again be reduced immediately following the first month of the implementation period. In fact, the military aspect of the new implementation force can be drawn down completely after the 30-day demilitarization period ends. The civilian aspect, meanwhile, can be strengthened.
The demilitarization period should begin as soon as possible, and therefore we call on the members of the Council to consider and decide on this issue next week, and certainly before 25 December. We believe that any delay in addressing the implementation of the Basic Agreement would minimize the possibility of its success. Croatia, therefore, cannot, under any circumstance, accept a new force that would take more than a month to deploy. The momentum for peace that is evident in implementing the Peace Agreement in Bosnia should be emulated and utilized to secure peace in Croatia as well. This important linkage between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is also noted in the 13 December report of the Secretary-General, which notes the threat that:
“failure to implement one would present to implementation of the other”. (S/1995/1031, para. 46)
I thank the representative of Croatia for his statement on the item on the Council’s agenda, as well as for his remarks on the item to be considered next week. I also thank him for his kind words addressed to me.
In accordance with the decision taken earlier in the meeting, I now call upon Mr. Vladislav Jovanovic.
First of all, I should like to express my satisfaction at seeing you, Ambassador Lavrov, presiding over the Security Council. Knowing your high professionalism, diplomatic skill and integrity, I have no doubt that you will discharge your duties in an exemplary fashion.
I should also like to extend my appreciation to your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Oman, Ambassador Al-Khussaiby, for the objective and professional manner in which he presided over the Council during the month of November.
Yesterday in Paris the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia signed the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, fully convinced that it establishes the equality of the constituent peoples of that country — Muslims, Serbs and Croats — and of its two entities, the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation, thereby creating the conditions for a long-sought, lasting and stable peace.
Following the signing of the Peace Agreement at Paris, which officially put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the successful conclusion of the London Conference, the basic task that now lies ahead is full implementation of the achieved Agreement. The responsibility lies, not only with the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation and other interested parties, but with the key international factors as well, particularly those assigned major tasks in the implementation.
It was not an easy task to have this comprehensive Agreement signed. All sides were compelled to make concessions. Consequently, there were no winners or losers. The essential thing is that peace finally prevailed and that full implementation of the Agreement will contribute to the strengthening of stability, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but further beyond, in the Balkans and Europe.
For its part, Yugoslavia stands ready to honour and implement fully all the commitments it has undertaken under the Agreement. After the signing of the Agreement, the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the international community as a whole are confronted with the difficult challenges of the implementation of peace and the normalization of life. For success to be achieved, it is imperative that the military and civilian components of the international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina take an impartial and objective position towards all parties.
During the negotiation process many difficult and painful compromises had to be made in order for peace to be achieved. One of the most sensitive issues is, without a doubt, the status of the Serbian population of Sarajevo. It is imperative that the Serbs of Sarajevo receive concrete and reliable guarantees that their freedom, security, equality and human rights will be fully and unconditionally respected. Throughout the whole process, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and President Milosevic in particular, steadfastly invested their efforts towards finding a peaceful solution. In so doing, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has repeatedly affirmed its peaceful and principled policy and commitment that all peoples in the region should be treated equally, which has been acknowledged by the international community.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia welcomes the appointment of Mr. Carl Bildt as the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The balanced and serious approach that he has embraced during his involvement in the crisis in the former Yugoslavia up to now will serve him in good stead in the challenges that will confront him in the future.
We rightfully expect that, in accordance with the Agreement, the Security Council will soon undertake measures totally to lift all sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Economic reconstruction and cooperation are of vital importance, and all parts of the former Yugoslavia should receive their equal share.
Crippled by international sanctions and isolated from the international community, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is eagerly seeking to restore its rightful place in the family of nations. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia believes that by pursuing a constructive policy geared to the establishment of peace in the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia it has earned the right to normalize its status in all international organizations, especially in the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and to normalize relations with the European Union.
We do appreciate the efforts made in the Contact Group with relation to normalizing the status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, particularly those made by the Russian Federation and France, as well as by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Italy.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia expresses its dissatisfaction over the fact that the Security Council did not take a decision to restore Yugoslavia’s status in the United Nations. That is even more surprising in view of the fact that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is expected to cooperate fully with the international organizations which play a specific role in the implementation of the peace agreement while the decision to suspend Yugoslavia from such cooperation is still kept in place.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia certainly cannot be responsible for unavoidable negative consequences. We consider that the new spirit of Dayton and Paris should not be burdened with the old approach to problems.
We had rightfully expected that the Security Council would, after the Dayton Agreement, the London Conference and the signing in Paris, take such a decision on the full restoration of Yugoslavia’s rights in the United Nations, without any problems. This would have been a normal continuation of the whole process, based on the landmark Dayton Agreement, which should create a favourable climate for the resolution of the problem as a whole.
It is surprising that the decision to restore Yugoslavia’s rights in the United Nations has not been taken, in view of the recognition that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has received for its peaceful policy and engagement in achieving the peace accord.
As a founding Member, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requests the Security Council to allow it to resume its rightful place in the United Nations without delay, on the basis of continuity and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.
The Security Council once again has succumbed to the pressures of some of its members. This negatively affects the credibility of this organ, whose task is the maintenance of international peace and security. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia can accept neither this nor the constant attempts to impose new conditions, contrary to the Agreement or any of its basic principles regarding the equality of all sides and an objective and impartial stance towards all of them.
It is particularly unacceptable that additional conditions are now being set for the normalization of the status of Yugoslavia in the United Nations. The exclusion of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from the work of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council has been directly linked to the crisis and war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the signing of the Peace Agreement and its implementation, it is only logical that Yugoslavia’s rights should be fully restored. Any delay in that regard would weaken rather than strengthen the peace process as a whole, and may be wrongly understood by some as a signal to take advantage of an uneven-handed and discriminatory approach.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia considers that it is not entitled to more than the others — that is to say, that its rights and duties should be equal to those of the other Member States of the United Nations. We cannot agree to fulfil our duties and at the same time have no rights, or to have more duties than other Members.
It is regrettable that Croatia has tacitly placed the burden and blame on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for the fact that the draft accord on normalization of relations and mutual recognition between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia was not reached in Paris yesterday. For the sake of truth, it should be noted that it was in fact Croatia that reneged on the draft agreement that it reached with our delegation in Dayton on the conditions for mutual recognition. Croatia voluntarily accepted these commitments and, according to the letter and the spirit of the draft agreement on the normalization of relations, was obliged to fulfil them.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia fully implemented its commitments. It is open to the normalization of relations, including mutual recognition in the sense of the draft agreement, as soon as Croatia fulfils its obligations.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution (S/1995/1033) before it. If I hear no objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
The signature of the Peace Agreement in Paris this week, following the London Peace Implementation Conference last week, and the imminent adoption of the draft resolution before us sound the clarion call for the most comprehensive operation to reconstruct a European country to be mounted by the international community since the Marshall Plan half a century ago. Sustaining that process will be vital if the promise of peace is to become a reality.
One important aspect of that task is military in nature. British troops have been in Bosnia from the beginning of efforts to reach a political settlement, first of all as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), facilitating the humanitarian aid effort to hundreds of thousands of people and keeping alive the chances for a negotiated settlement, even when at times that appeared to be no more than a remote possibility. Now British troops will take part in a multinational force to help provide the security necessary to allow the rebuilding of Bosnia. Out of the overall total of 60,000 troops that will make up the Implementation Force, the United Kingdom is sending over 13,000 for approximately one year. This is the clearest possible indication of our full-hearted commitment to European security.
The Implementation Force’s role, which has been accepted by all the parties, will be even-handed and limited in scope and duration. The force is not imposing the peace settlement, but it will take the necessary action to ensure compliance. And let me at this point also make it clear that should it be decided that, in the execution of its assigned tasks, the Implementation Force should detain and transfer to the appropriate authorities any persons indicted by the Tribunal who come into contact with it in Bosnia, then the authority to do so is provided by the draft resolution before us, read together with the provisions of the Peace Agreement.
The Implementation Force will indeed be a joint endeavour, involving troops from 32 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and non-NATO countries. It will also be the first time that NATO and Russian forces have worked together side by side for a common purpose — a fitting way in which to mark the end of the United Nations fiftieth-anniversary year. This gives me, as the former British Ambassador to NATO, particular satisfaction.
But implementation is not simply a military operation. The multinational military force is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for rebuilding the civil, political and economic institutions and structures that must form the basis of any society that wishes to remain unified, stable and prosperous — for, in a word, making peace stick. The scale of the task is daunting. It involves providing for the safe return of some 2 million refugees and creating the conditions by which multiethnic communities can once again flourish; it involves ensuring that the human rights of all the Bosnian people are fully and equally respected; it involves encouraging the emergence of an open and dynamic market economy to underpin peace with prosperity; it involves the holding of free and fair elections in the next six to nine months; and, last but not least, it involves convincing not only the parties but also other countries in the region that they must work earnestly and urgently towards a regional arms-control regime.
We are fortunate that this work, involving a number of different organizations and agencies, including the United Nations, will go forward under the able coordination and guidance of Mr. Carl Bildt, with the backing of the Peace Implementation Council recently established by the London Conference. It is perhaps appropriate here to note in particular the important continuing role for the United Nations and its agencies, as set out in the Secretary-General’s report, in such areas as humanitarian relief and refugees, civilian police, human rights protection, rehabilitation of infrastructure and advice on elections and on information networks and databases in the field of de-mining. This shows that the United Nations remains very much a part of the picture.
I agree with Mr. Jovanovic that the most pressing task in the immediate future is to convince the Serb population of Sarajevo that its future is secure and that its rights will be respected. The same, of course, applies to all other ethnic minorities elsewhere in Bosnia. That is why it is essential that this Council take urgent action to get the International Police Task Force recommended by the Secretary-General up and running as soon as possible. The action foreshadowed in paragraph 30 of this draft resolution on the International Police Task Force and on the United Nations civilian office needs to follow promptly next week.
All this adds up to a huge commitment from the international community. That commitment now needs to be matched by a similar determination from the Bosnian people, and also from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia, to make peace work. Failure to do so can only jeopardize the progress painfully achieved so far. In particular, failure by the Bosnian Serbs to cooperate could only lead to the continuation of economic sanctions. The challenge for each one of the Bosnian parties is formidable. But the international community is ready to help them face up to that challenge. The United Kingdom intends to remain in the vanguard of that effort.
With the English poet, let us be optimists this time.
“And not by Eastern windows only When daylight comes, comes in the light, In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly, But Westward, look, the land is bright!”
I thank the representative of the United Kingdom for his kind words addressed to me and for the poetic words addressed to all of us.
I now call on the representative of Germany.
Although we are already approaching the end of the first half of your presidency, Sir, it may not be too late for me to state the pleasure I derive from working in the Security Council under your able guidance. It is well in line with the kind and successful stewardship of last month’s President, that is, Ambassador Al-Khussaiby of Oman.
Germany fully supports the statement to be made by the representative of Spain on behalf of the European Union. In addition to what he will be saying, let me say that the draft resolution before the Security Council confers upon its members a challenging responsibility. By their affirmative vote, they set effectively in motion an enormous international operation — both in military and in civilian terms.
Today’s New York Times carries a photo of American soldier Peter Long of Buffalo, holding his wife, Stephanie, before leaving his Army base in Mannheim, Germany, en route to Bosnia. In the same manner, soldiers and civilians of many countries, including many Germans, will very soon go to Bosnia to safeguard peace, to help rebuild the country, to provide security by police work and to assist in bringing about democratic elections — all united in a joint, complex and far-reaching international peace endeavour.
For some time, at the end of the twentieth century, almost five decades after the Second World War, we did not really think that such an inhuman and brutal war would be possible in the middle of Europe, a war affecting millions of people, taking more than 250,000 lives, and displacing 2 million persons — 400,000 of whom have taken refuge in Germany and currently are waiting to be able to return to their homes in Bosnia.
Thus, today’s draft resolution is a signal of hope for the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We stand at the beginning of another even more intensive, phase of peace-securing and peace-building.
The draft resolution authorizes the deployment of a multinational force to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement, signed yesterday in Paris. This force will go to Bosnia for about one year. Until then, a durable peace will have to be achieved. In this context, it is important to note that all parties have consented to the deployment of the Implementation Force (IFOR) — including the use of force should this be necessary. It is absolutely essential that the parties comply with their commitment to refrain from the use of force and that they fully cooperate with IFOR also in the military side of the implementation of the Dayton Agreement.
Another remarkable aspect of the implementation of the Peace Agreement is, as has just been said by our British colleague, that the Russian Federation — for the first time — will cooperate with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in such an operation. We sincerely hope that this will give a new quality to the relationship between NATO and Russia.
The military part of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement is the foundation of the peace we are all hoping for. The actual construction — equally important — is, however, a civilian task. Among other things: we have to strengthen the political consensus that has been achieved and should lead to the holding of free and fair democratic elections; we have to assist the local security forces through the work of the members of the International Police Task Force to be established next week; human and minority rights must be monitored; important humanitarian tasks must be fulfilled; and we have to begin with the reconstruction and development of a devastated country and its economy.
In this effort, the United Nations will continue to have an important peace-keeping role in Bosnia. We fully support the concept of a strong International Police Task Force and of a United Nations civilian mission.
One remark on Sarajevo, this very special place: Out of our own sad experiences, the German side has made it clear right from the beginning that we would oppose any solution which would lead to a division of yet another European capital. This view has been confirmed in Dayton. On the other hand, we are also following with concern the current expressions of fear and anguish among the Serb population of Ilidza and other suburbs of Sarajevo — and this has just been voiced also by Mr. Jovanovic. While we trust that the Bosnian Government will honour its commitment to respect the rights of its Serb citizens, we support steps to strengthen security and confidence-building also in those parts of Sarajevo.
Since I have just mentioned Mr. Jovanovic, allow me a word concerning the admission of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to the General Assembly. Let me say that we shall welcome it — of course, under the conditions which have been determined by the respective organs of the United Nations.
The comprehensive endeavour on the civilian side will be led and coordinated by the High Representative, Mr. Carl Bildt, and his team, including German Ambassador Steiner, his Deputy in Sarajevo. There, as elsewhere in Bosnia, the many international organizations involved must all work in the same direction and must not stand in each other’s way. It is important that there be no overlapping or duplication of efforts. In this respect, the draft resolution spells out clearly the responsibilities of the High Representative as the final authority in theatre regarding civilian implementation and as coordinator of the civilian operation with the authority to give guidance as appropriate.
Both in the military and in the civilian fields Germany will contribute actively to the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The deployment of 4,000 troops marks the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that we are contributing on this scale to such a military mission abroad.
After having relied for decades on the solidarity of our allies, we think that it is now time for Germany to demonstrate solidarity and to show our readiness to assume responsibility in the maintenance of international peace and security on a larger scale.
Economic, political and social reconstruction is one prerequisite for stability. Other requirements are disarmament, arms control and a comprehensive system of confidence-building measures. As far as these are concerned, we hope that the Petersberg Conference to be held in Bonn on Monday will be the starting-point for intensive and successful negotiations in this regard.
While we are concentrating our efforts to restore peace in Bosnia, we must not forget that yet another, similar problem has to be solved in Eastern Slavonia — a region to which our Croatian colleague drew our attention. If the international community and the members of this Council are unable to live up to the responsibilities conferred upon them by the Basic Agreement, there is an additional risk that the peace process in Bosnia will be endangered.
In this hour, our thoughts go, with the highest respect, to the men and women who for more than three years have devoted themselves, and in some cases sacrificed their lives, in the service of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among them, our French partners have paid the heaviest price, with the death of 56 French Blue Helmets. Also for this reason, we have followed with particular joy the happy end of the release of the two French pilots who were held hostage for more than 100 days of uncertainty.
While we today look ahead, with cautious hope, to a better future for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are aware that wounds will not heal easily and that the families of the victims will need time. Those responsible for war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law must be brought to justice. Here, I agree fully with our colleague from Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 16 November 1995 the International Tribunal issued indictments against the Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic’ and Mladic’ for their supposed role in the atrocities committed against the Bosnian population of Srebrenica in July 1995.
Without uncovering of the truth, without justice, national reconciliation can hardly be achieved. It is therefore right that the draft resolution before us stresses the importance of full cooperation with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. This draft resolution also makes it clear that the Implementation Force has a role to play in this respect.
The international community will not be able indefinitely to sustain the peace operation that effectively begins today. Therefore, the parties themselves must face their responsibility. They must fully use this best chance in a long time to achieve peace with the help of the entire community of nations. If this effort fails, the parties will be alone — very alone — for a long time.
But, for now, together with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina — Bosnian and Bosnian Serb citizens alike — we are putting all our hope in the unique chance that the Peace Agreement and its full implementation offer to all of us. It seems that, for the first time in four years, people in Bosnia and in Europe will be able to celebrate Christmas without war.
Germany will therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The draft resolution on which we shall be voting sets in train a decisive phase in the peace process begun in Dayton, in which the entire international community has placed its hopes for the achievement of a lasting peace in the Balkans.
As is clearly set forth in one of the preambular paragraphs of the draft resolution, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia remains a threat to international peace and security. This explains the concern of one and all and the fact that, probably, the principal role for the United Nations, through action taken by the Security Council, will be to keep the implementation of the Peace Agreement under permanent review. In this sense, we take the view that it would be excessively naive to imagine that the signing of a Peace Agreement, of itself, means that peace has been achieved once and for all. There are a number of factors and variables impossible to predict, and these will have to be treated with the greatest care to avoid jeopardizing what was achieved in Dayton.
With this draft resolution, we also begin work of the greatest importance to the United Nations in such sensitive areas as the protection of human rights, humanitarian assistance, civil policing and the removal of mines. We applaud the fact that the parties opted for the proposal that these functions be undertaken by the United Nations. In our view, history will judge and experience will show that this was their best option.
However, we are stuck by the fact that the supervision of electoral processes — an area where the United Nations has outstanding and unparalleled experience and aptitude — has been assigned to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Therefore, we support the Secretary-General’s offer to that Organization that the invaluable experience of the United Nations in this field might be put to use in Bosnia to ensure that its political institutions are placed swiftly on a secure basis.
We consider it of great importance that the parties have entered into the agreements on the status of the peace forces that are to operate in Bosnian territory. Our basic assumption is that the outrages suffered recently by personnel of the United Nations Protection Force will pass into history as just a dubious distinction of the parties to this conflict.
In our view, it is indispensable that the Force to be deployed in Croatia in due course have a status agreement enabling it to play effectively the role required of it.
Once again in history, geographic and political frontiers are being drawn in this part of the Balkan region. This may mean that, as on countless occasions in the past, the migratory movements which have caused so much pain and suffering for the entire civilian population of Bosnia will recommence. This prospect is a source of great concern to us, and we take the view that the Security Council, as well as the bodies and entities that will deal with problems of this kind, will have to be aware of the instability factor which, of course, arises from the possibility that new migratory flows will be triggered as a result of the Dayton accords.
I take this opportunity to emphasize the importance that my delegation attaches to the work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. It is our view that only if those responsible for the atrocities which, until recently, convulsed the entire region are made to face the consequences of their actions, and if justice is done, will the peace be lasting.
In conclusion, we should like to highlight, for the record, that when discord dominated the work of the Security Council the international community was powerless to handle the difficult Balkan crisis. When, in contrast, the major Powers achieved consensus in their decisions, hopes for peace began to appear. God willing, this essential spirit of joint endeavour will be maintained until the obstacles that we have still to overcome together are indeed behind us.
Allow me, Sir, on behalf of the delegation of Oman, to congratulate you and your delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. We assure you of our cooperation at all times. We also appreciate the kind words addressed to me and my delegation.
My delegation received with great joy the good news from Paris on the official signing of the Peace Agreement between the parties to the conflict in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been nearly four years since the war broke out in that part of the world, resulting in the deaths of more than a quarter of a million people, and almost half of that nation’s population have become either refugees or displaced persons. Words cannot describe the events that occurred in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia will surely remain in our memory as a symbol of a nation’s unwavering defiance of tyranny, hatred and “ethnic cleansing”. The Bosnian nation wrote its independence with the blood of its people, and, undoubtedly, that is something the international community cannot and should not forget.
We cannot add much to what has been said and what will be said, here, today, or in Paris, except to remind the parties once again that they should live up to their commitments, for the world cannot see this Agreement violated or not adhered to in full. The price that has been paid so far is greater than words can describe.
“To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”: With these words the Charter of the United Nations begins, and with these words, we believe, a new era should begin in war-ravaged Bosnia. We cannot fail to remind the parties that the road to peace is not going to be easy. It is, rather, going to be tough and challenging. What has occurred in that part of the world over the last few years is greater than that which can be changed in days, months or even years. That chapter of history cannot be changed, but let us all ensure that the future will be made better and safer.
Many say that this Agreement is a new page in the chapter of events in Bosnia. We, on our part, say that this page does not mean changing to a new book. Thus, we believe justice must be exercised and mistakes of the past should therefore be corrected, and those involved, wherever they are in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or elsewhere in the area of the former Yugoslavia, if they have committed crimes against humanity or massive violations of international humanitarian law, should bear full responsibility for their acts. War criminals should not in any way roam freely before the eyes of the victims who have suffered under them; otherwise, we will risk a return to chaos that might lead to events similar to those we have witnessed in the past. Through resolution 827 (1993) of 25 May 1993, the international community established an International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to investigate these violations and prosecute those responsible for crimes and acts against humanity. We believe that much support should be given to the work of the International Tribunal in order to help it discharge its mandate effectively.
Oman welcomes the latest achievements, which have been long- awaited, and in this regard we commend the efforts of the Government of the United States in having hosted the proximity talks that led to the initial signing of the Peace Agreement at Dayton, Ohio. Our appreciation also goes to all those countries and organizations that participated at some stage in a collaborative effort to establish peace in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly that of the Contact Group which has seriously invested so much effort and time, the results of which we can all witness now, at last. We call on the parties to fulfil in good faith the commitments entered into in that Agreement, stressing that compliance with it is of vital importance in achieving a lasting peace and the creation of conditions conducive to the reconstruction and development of that country.
The days to come will test the intentions shown by the parties at Paris with regard to their commitments to this valuable peace. Oman will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us on the understanding that the Peace Agreement will be respected at all times, by all the parties concerned, in its entirety, and that they will refrain from any acts that might undermine the Peace Agreement. The new force that is going to be established will discharge its duties to the best of its ability, in accordance with the mandate given to it and with the Peace Agreement, respecting fully the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and United Nations efforts to help the people of Bosnia will continue.
As a result of the joint efforts of the international community, the peace process in the former Yugoslavia recently achieved an important breakthrough. Following the initialling of the Peace Agreement last month by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, the international Conference in London made decisions with regard to carrying out civilian tasks. The parties officially signed the Peace Agreement yesterday, thus providing an important opportunity for the speedy overall political settlement of the situation in the former Yugoslavia.
We warmly welcome these positive developments. We believe that the signing of these Agreements conforms with the fundamental interests of the people of the various countries in the former Yugoslavia and is conducive to the peace and stability of Europe and the world. We hope that the parties will respect this Agreement and work continuously for an early realization of peace and stability in the former Yugoslavia so that the countries of that region can live in harmony and its peoples and national groups can enjoy a peaceful life.
The fundamental solution for the former Yugoslavia is to achieve an overall political settlement by peaceful means. The international community should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries of the region and strive to enable those countries to live in harmony. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has made unremitting efforts in the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina and should be acknowledged and encouraged by the international community. The Security Council must strive to resolve soon the question of the status of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the United Nations.
In the last three years, the United Nations has made considerable efforts for the peace process in the former Yugoslavia. It has deployed peace-keeping forces in the former Yugoslavia and has played a role in containing the conflict, in providing humanitarian assistance and in preventive deployment. The actions of the United Nations in this area have achieved some results, but there are also lessons that can be used as references in undertaking future operations of this kind.
Implementing the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina is undoubtedly an important operation, and the United Nations and the Security Council must shoulder important responsibilities. Therefore, the Security Council, when it takes a decision, should abide strictly by the purposes and principles of the Charter.
On the basis of China’s position in support of the peace process in the former Yugoslavia and of its hope for an early realization of lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also in view of the urgent wishes of the parties concerned and the fact that this draft resolution calls for extraordinary action in extraordinary circumstances, the Chinese delegation will vote in support of the draft resolution before us. This does not mean however that China’s position has undergone any change: that is, China has all along disapproved of operations authorized by the Security Council when at every turn it invokes Chapter VII of the Charter and adopts mandatory measures. Still less can it approve the Security Council’s authorization of the unlimited use of force. We believe that the implementation force (IFOR), in carrying out its task, must maintain neutrality and impartiality and avoid wanton use of force so as to avoid damaging the image of the United Nations. We believe that IFOR should provide the Security Council with timely and full reports on its implementation task so that it can accept the necessary control of and guidance from the Security Council.
China is particularly concerned with the former Yugoslavia and the development of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We do not have, nor do we seek, selfish interests in the former Yugoslavia. We support the peace process in the former Yugoslavia and sincerely hope that peace, lasting peace, security and development can be realized as soon as possible and that the people will be able to live peaceful lives in this area. China will continue to make efforts to promote the peace process in the former Yugoslavia. On the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China has developed friendly and cooperative relations with the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
The delegation of Rwanda would like to thank and commend the countries that have helped to promote peace in the former Yugoslavia and have made it possible to put an end to four years of war. We also welcome the negotiated political settlement of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, particularly as regards the preservation of the territorial integrity of all States within their internationally recognized borders.
My delegation also welcomes the fact that these agreements put an end to a war which has caused suffering to innocent people, particularly women and children and others who did not take part in the fighting, and has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom died an atrocious death — for nothing.
My delegation notes with satisfaction that the draft resolution has a clause on the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. We firmly hope that the persons who have committed crimes against humanity will be prosecuted, that the prevailing impunity in this region and in the Great Lakes region will be lifted and that this will serve as an example for the world.
My delegation would like to conclude by expressing a wish — a request to the Council and the States Members of this Organization — that the impressive means which have just been made available to the former Yugoslavia to ensure respect for peace, and that the energy and speed used to arrive at this draft resolution and to implement it may provide a good example to be followed in the future and applied in the same way and without discrimination to any Member State of this Organization that finds itself in need.
Rwanda will vote in favour of this draft resolution.
With the signing of the Peace Agreement in Paris yesterday, the parties in the former Yugoslavia have taken another important step in their search for peace in their homelands. Although it is an important step, it is none the less a symbolic one: now comes the hard part of the implementation of the various accords they have entered into. We congratulate in this specific instance all the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their leaders for what seems like the dawn of peace in a country that has been ravaged by war during the last four years.
After the initialling of the Dayton Agreement on 21 November 1995, my delegation observed that the development represented an important breakthrough in the peace process. We saw it as a first step in what would undoubtedly be a long and difficult journey to peace. We none the less believed then, as we do now, that this agreement represents the best opportunity thus far to end the conflict. We therefore repeat our call to all the Bosnian parties and their respective allies to back their commitments with concrete steps on the ground.
The agreement reached will have a lot of humanitarian and emotional implications. It is likely to lead to the movement of peoples, with implications for their lives. People may have to make difficult decisions on whether to remain where their families have lived for hundreds of years or move to new areas where they would feel more secure. These are emotional questions, the resolution of which will determine the success of the Peace Agreement.
There is also the important question of justice as opposed to the exigency of securing peace for the present time. Let me, however, say that my Government will extend its full cooperation to the work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. This is because in the end there can be no lasting peace without justice, and unless justice is done, and seen to be done, the cycle of killings in the Balkans may never cease.
There will be no easy answers to all of these issues, yet there is no viable alternative to a determined effort to confront and resolve these problems if the peoples of Bosnia are to start enjoying peace and begin the process of rebuilding their lives and their homes. My Government will be behind them and give them all the support within our means. We wish them well.
In addition to the foregoing, the parties to the conflict and particularly all the States in the region must recognize the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of one another. There must be a genuine effort and commitment to abandon the military logic and the illusion that there could be the victor and the vanquished. In this regard, all the States must respect Annex 1-B of the Dayton Agreement on arms control and regional stabilization. And we call on the States in the region, many of them with the capacity for the production of armaments, to be responsible in their dealings with the parties. Furthermore, the multi-ethnic, multireligious and multicultural nature of the States in the region must be recognized, respected and preserved by all.
The draft resolution before us has been described as urgent and very critical to the implementation of peace in Bosnia. The Security Council has been requested to adopt this draft resolution so as to enable the implementation process to start. In principle, my delegation has no problems with that view. We are all for peace. However, let me state the following.
We would have preferred a United Nations operation under the policy control of the Security Council and the managerial supervision of the Secretary-General, in spite of the fact that the parties to the Agreement have requested a multinational force. We are of course mindful of the observations of the Secretary-General about the inability of the United Nations at present to undertake such an operation. In our view, what our Organization lacks in the present circumstances is the political backing and resource support of Member States to directly undertake enforcement operations as envisaged under Chapter VII of the Charter.
My delegation believes that we should not continue to contract out what would normally be a United Nations responsibility to a group of powerful States. It is my delegation’s belief that, with the necessary political will and commitment to the ideas of collective security enshrined in the United Nations Charter, multinational forces for peace enforcement should be placed at the disposal of the United Nations and operated under the command of the Secretary-General.
Concerning the various provisions of this extensive draft resolution, we should like to observe that it took members of the Contact Group about two weeks to discuss and resolve among themselves the various intricacies of what is undoubtedly a complex military, political and humanitarian operation. To have expected other members of the Security Council to make meaningful contributions towards its enrichment in less than 48 hours was certainly unrealistic. We would not like to believe that it was deliberately done to achieve the purpose of their not being able to contribute meaningfully.
For example, questions about the time-frame and concept of the operation are not quite clear, nor can one say exactly whence the post of High Representative — in spite of the qualities of the nominee — derives its legitimacy and authority. As Member States of the United Nations, we should not support decisions that have the effect of subordinating our Organization or our Secretary-General to another organization, no matter how powerful its members. After all, ours is still the most universal expression of the will of the international community.
However, in view of my Government’s policy of supporting all peace initiatives and the primary objective of helping to resolve the Balkan conflict, we are able to go along with the overriding purpose of this draft resolution. We are therefore able to support it.
The Security Council is meeting today at a critical juncture in the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our deliberations will have significant and far-reaching ramifications for progress towards the implementation of the Peace Agreement reached in Dayton, Ohio. In this respect, the Secretary-General’s report of 13 December provides a firm basis on which to address the issues contained in the draft resolution before us today.
My delegation attaches great importance to the resolution of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, because it has inflicted enormous suffering and carnage on all who have fallen into its path, including thousands of defenceless women and children. Indeed, few have been spared the unrelenting physical and emotional pain that has left profound scars on the people of that region.
The signing of the Peace Agreement in Paris on 14 December offers the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia real hope that they will be able to put behind them the worst conflict in Europe since the Second World War. The continuation of the conflict would not only adversely affect the people of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, but also bring instability to the region.
My delegation is of the view that the draft resolution before us today provides a valuable framework for the process of reconciliation to begin and for facilitating the framework for peace in the region. This draft resolution also encompasses important elements of further progress towards mutual recognition among the concerned parties in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which is the key element for providing peace and prosperity in the former Yugoslavia.
Peace and reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia would be elusive without the commitment of the parties, particularly in their relationships with one another, as set forth in operative paragraph 10 of the draft resolution, and without the urgently needed sustained efforts of the international community to provide assistance for programmes of reconstruction that address both the immediate and long-term needs of the country.
In this regard, my delegation believes it essential to create an atmosphere conducive to the pursuit of arms control, thus sustaining a climate that promotes sustainable development and prosperity. This will also require the neighbouring countries to bear the responsibility to cooperate in the implementation of these measures and to extend all assistance towards that end.
This draft resolution envisages the eventual conclusion and termination of the mandate of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). We should therefore like to pay tribute to all the women and men of UNPROFOR who have dedicated their talents and untiring efforts to the relentless pursuit of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past four years, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. As a troop-contributing nation, Indonesia is proud to have lent its support to the cause of peace.
The nearly four years of hostilities have created more than 2 million refugees and displaced persons, while crippling the country’s economic infrastructure. In this regard, my delegation supports the observations of the Secretary-General in his report that we need to focus on the problems and concerns of repatriation and the relief of refugees and displaced persons, as well as those pertaining to the promotion of human rights. We believe that these are areas in which the United Nations can continue to play a vital and indispensable role, thereby bolstering the peace process.
My delegation believes, moreover, that a considerable and sustained effort must be directed towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country’s economic infrastructure. We therefore strongly urge the international community to provide assistance for programmes of reconstruction that address both the immediate and long-term needs of the country.
In our view, the credibility of this Peace Agreement will be greatly impacted by the level of cooperation which the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia receives. The Indonesian delegation wishes to stress the importance of the provisions contained in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this draft resolution and reaffirms the call for all parties to comply with requests for assistance.
Having carefully examined the draft resolution before us today, we conclude that it provides the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the opportunity to end long years of bloodshed and strife that have torn at the very fabric of their country. While my delegation is cognizant of the fact that numerous circumstances will impact the future fate of the peace process, we nevertheless reiterate that the two critical conditions contained in the Secretary-General’s report for enhancing the peace process should be met. In this regard, the Security Council should remain actively seized of this crisis. My delegation also attaches great significance to its comprehensiveness and views it as an important conduit for providing an environment that is conducive to the peaceful resolution of this tragic war.
In view of the foregoing, my delegation, after careful deliberation and reflection, will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us today.
The prospects for peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina have never been brighter. The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina initialled in Dayton, Ohio, last month and signed in Paris yesterday ushers in a new era of hope where there was despair, accommodation and cooperation where there were confrontation and conflict. This is in no way a perfect peace; that is to be expected after three and half years of hostilities. There is no doubt that the scars of the deep wounds that the people of Bosnia inflicted upon one another during the war will remain visible for a long time to come, but the Agreement signed yesterday offers the best prospects for a peaceful future. The onus is squarely on the parties: resumption of hostilities or adherence to the Dayton Peace Agreement. They should seize the opportunity presented by this Agreement to create conditions conducive to a secure and durable peace in their country. They should turn over a new leaf and start a journey on the road to national reconciliation and healing and a peaceful future. They owe this to future generations of Bosnians. The international community can only assist them in building a sense of nationhood and unity, justice and a shared destiny.
We urge the donor community to contribute generously to the process of reconstruction and development in Bosnia. But this too will depend upon the readiness and willingness of the parties to cooperate not only with their partners but, more important, among themselves.
As we bid farewell to the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), we bow our heads in homage to the United Nations peace-keepers who paid the supreme price in the service of peace in the former Yugoslavia. We also pay a well deserved tribute to all the men and women of UNPROFOR who tried in difficult conditions to keep the peace when there was clearly none to keep. Their work, as well as that of those who lost their lives, was not in vain. Many lives were saved thanks to their contribution and sacrifices.
A lot has been said and written about the United Nations peace-keeping operation in the former Yugoslavia. The lessons to be drawn from it are not ordinary lessons. We have to do a lot of soul-searching in order to draw conclusions about the many setbacks and about the successes. There is no doubt that the United Nations peace forces played an important role in Bosnia. But they were sent on a mission impossible. The ferocity displayed by the warring parties, to kill each other with total abandon, made it imperative for the international community to intervene to rescue Bosnia from self-destruction. When the United Nations made the decision to get involved in Bosnia, this was in a bid to search for a peaceful solution to the conflict. Unfortunately, the United Nations peace-keeping operation became one of the victims of the war.
First of all, the parties to the conflict became unreliable partners in the search for peace. They felt, with differing degrees of bellicosity, that they could gain more on the battlefield than at the negotiating table. Secondly, the United Nations did not have at its disposal the financial, manpower and logistical resources required for the task. UNPROFOR came under heavy attack for failing to do things it was not equipped to do. Those who bore the main brunt of the war thought that UNPROFOR would fight the war on their behalf. In their situation of distress this was understandable. But they missed a fundamental point: UNPROFOR could not fight the war on the side of any of the parties, nor was it ever mandated to fight a war. It was of paramount importance that it remain an impartial arbiter, since its primary mission was to keep the warring parties separated and to ensure delivery of humanitarian supplies to the needy. But it was certainly not a fighting force. The population was disappointed that UNPROFOR could not provide them with the impenetrable protection against attack that they had hoped for.
Thus, the credibility of the United Nations was put on the line. Its reliability as an instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security was called into question. The perceived failure of the United Nations to restore peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina resulted in the parties seeking help elsewhere. Nevertheless, the victims of tragedies, such as that which befell the people of Bosnia, continue to look to the United Nations for assistance in the mitigation of their conflicts and the alleviation of the misery and wretchedness visited upon them by these wars.
To recap, the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina offers the best promise for peace in that area so far. Whether there will be a bright or a bleak future in that country and its surroundings rests with the people of the area themselves and with their neighbours. The Peace Agreement has laid down the framework, the starting point from which they can make improvements where there are shortcomings in the Agreement. But what is most important is the political will and the commitment to give peace a chance. Excruciating as it may sound, the unhappy past should, as much as possible, be forgotten and the innocent people exculpated so that they can resume leading normal lives. The machinery is in place to deal with the perpetrators of war crimes. There should be no place for them to hide; they must be pursued to the ends of the Earth and punished for their crimes.
My delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
My delegation welcomed yesterday’s official signing, at the Paris Peace Conference, of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Annexes thereto by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and other interested parties. That was a significant event, which my delegation applauds, for, together with the Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, it permits us to hope for a peaceful settlement in the region of the former Yugoslavia and for the end of a conflict that has brought unspeakable suffering to the peoples of that area.
We were also pleased by the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference, held at London on 8 and 9 December, on the need for the creation of a climate of stability and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the establishment of political arrangements that will lead the country along the path of democracy and the rule of law, for the protection and promotion of human rights, for the return of refugees and displaced persons, for the rapid commencement of national reconstruction, and for the normalization of relations with neighbouring States and with the international community. My delegation supports the objectives and tasks set out at the Conference, and hopes and expects that the international community will lend its support to this fresh opportunity for the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina to rebuild their lives in a climate of peace and prosperity.
The transition from the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) to the multinational military Implementation Force (IFOR) is an important aspect of the implementation of the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. That step will ensure continuity in complying with the Agreement on the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of forces from the Zone of Separation agreed upon for the purposes of the cease-fire, and assistance in ensuring freedom of movement to the civilian population, refugees and displaced persons as well as supervision of de-mining activities and, in so far as possible, assistance to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations in their humanitarian missions.
My delegation agrees with the establishment of the multinational Implementation Force under unified command and control to carry out the duties set forth in annexes 1-A and 2 of the Peace Agreement. We urge the Government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate with the multinational Implementation Force and to afford it every facility in carrying out its tasks.
The paramount objective of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) has been to protect the carrying out of humanitarian activities. In carrying out its mandate, UNPROFOR has provided invaluable support to UNHCR, which, under annex 7 of the Peace Agreement, is to continue to coordinate humanitarian aid and the implementation of a plan for the return of refugees and displaced persons. There are over a million refugees and displaced persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and their movement must be facilitated. We therefore view it as essential that help be provided by the multinational force for the implementation of the Peace Agreement to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations. Similarly, my delegation is of the view that measures must be adopted to build confidence in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in view of the human rights situation, that an International Police Task Force must be established to monitor respect for human rights, to ensure law enforcement and to oversee and assist in the training of personnel responsible for such activities and to help the parties to create conditions for the holding of free and fair elections in the country.
The human rights situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina must be carefully monitored. Thus, an important step towards the implementation of annex 6 of the Peace Agreement was the decision taken at the Peace Implementation Conference that the High Representative should preside over a human rights task force at Sarajevo to be made up of the organizations and bodies involved in this task.
My delegation recognizes and emphasizes the enormous importance of the adoption of this draft resolution to implement the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We support it and we will vote in favour of it.
I should like to conclude by expressing our admiration and respect for all the personnel who, with great courage and dedication, have participated in the peace-keeping operation in the former Yugoslavia and our appreciation for all the efforts in favour of peace that have been made by the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives and the commanders of the United Nations Protection Force.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution in document S/1995/1033.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Argentina, Botswana, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Rwanda, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1031 (1995).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
For four years, we have assembled in this Chamber to condemn violence, penalize aggression, authorize humanitarian relief and urge an end to the killing in former Yugoslavia.
While much of our work has borne fruit, often our resolutions and statements have promised much but accomplished little. On many of those occasions I have sat in this Chamber in anguish as I looked over at the representative of Bosnia, whose country was the victim of such brutal aggression. For often the Council’s message to the people of Bosnia was a tragic one: We cannot defend you and we will not let you defend yourselves.
Today, our message is a new one. Today, I am happy to say to the representative of Bosnia: We can talk about what we have done and will do to make peace in your country. We have helped Bosnia to negotiate a peace agreement, we are authorizing a powerful military force to implement that peace, and we will enable Bosnia to ensure that peace when we leave.
The Agreement forged in Dayton and signed yesterday in Paris is a historic achievement. It is the product partly of diplomatic skill, partly of courage and sacrifice and partly of simple exhaustion with the war. Our task now, and our responsibility, is to transform the Agreement’s vision of a united and democratic Bosnia into an enduring reality.
This resolution authorizes the Member States to establish a multinational force, under unified command and control, to implement aspects of the Peace Agreement. It notes that the deployment of this force, called IFOR, was requested by the signatories. It calls upon all Members, including those in the region, to cooperate with that force, and it recognizes the right of that force to take all necessary measures to defend itself from attack or threat of attack.
My Government welcomes the decision of more than two dozen countries to contribute troops to the Bosnia peace implementation force. Let me express my Government’s pleasure that the Russian Federation will participate in this path-breaking operation. We recognize as well the vital contribution being made by Belgium and others who we hope will help implement the Peace Agreement in Eastern Slavonia.
The decision to send troops to Bosnia was difficult for my Government, as it was for others. The men and women of our armed forces are our most precious resource. Even when the mission is to save lives, we must always bear in mind the lives we put at risk and the worry we will cause to families whose loved ones are so far away from home.
The forces we send will be well equipped, well trained and well endowed with courage and skill. We hope and expect that they will be able to accomplish their mission in approximately one year. But we are deeply conscious of the sacrifices already made there by troops serving under the command of the United Nations. We are mindful of the terrible carnage inflicted during the war, and we are aware of — but not deterred by — the dissatisfaction with which some in Bosnia have responded to the Peace Agreement.
So we remind ourselves that the Agreement is important not because it was easy to achieve, but because it was so hard, because the wounds it seeks to bind are so deep, and because the violence it is designed to end was so intolerable.
As President Clinton said yesterday in Paris, the mission of the Implementation Force is to allow the Bosnian people to emerge from a nightmare of fear into a new day of security, under terms that the parties themselves have approved. IFOR’s purpose is to make peace work, not to fight a war or to occupy a hostile country. It will treat all Bosnians with respect, and it will deal with contentious issues fairly and in accordance with its mandate.
But let no one doubt that if there are those in Bosnia foolish enough to attack or threaten these forces, they will regret doing so. That is a promise, and that promise will be kept whether the forces that are attacked are American or any other nationality.
The resolution we have adopted recognizes that the parties shall cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The resolution further recognizes that IFOR has the authority to take actions, including the use of necessary force, to ensure compliance with Annex 1-A of the Peace Agreement. This is a welcome supplement to the duties and authorities stemming from resolution 827 (1993).
Let me emphasize that Annex 1-A of the Dayton Agreement obligates the parties to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal. The North Atlantic Council can now underscore this obligation by explicitly authorizing IFOR to transfer indicted persons it comes across to the Tribunal and to detain such persons for that purpose.
My Government again stresses the importance of every country’s obligation to cooperate with the Tribunal and to comply with its orders. Unless they comply with their obligations, the parties to the conflict cannot expect to reap the benefits of peace, ensure the permanent easing of economic sanctions or hope to rejoin fully the community of civilized nations, including as a Member of the United Nations. Let me recall here today the important statement in the document approved at the London Conference, which underlined the relationship between the parties’ fulfilment of their obligations in this area and the readiness of the international community to commit financial resources for reconstruction. It is a simple proposition, but a critical one. The benefits of economic and financial assistance should not go to those who thwart the will of this Council’s requirement to cooperate with the war crimes Tribunal.
The resolution before us also stresses the importance of implementing the civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement. The success of this effort will be just as important as the success of IFOR. For if the civilian challenges are not met, IFOR’s military success will quickly fade, and Bosnia’s hopes for peace will remain unfulfilled.
As the United States made clear during the Peace Implementation Conference in London last weekend, we will cooperate fully with the new High Representative, Mr. Carl Bildt, in ensuring a well-coordinated and multifaceted effort on the civilian side.
Special attention must be given to holding democratic elections, ensuring respect for human rights, planning for the safe return of refugees and displaced persons, creating a professional police force and initiating a comprehensive programme of economic reconstruction. As the Secretary-General’s report illustrates, United Nations agencies will be deeply involved in many of these activities.
Over the past four years, a great deal has been said in this Council about the killing and destruction in Bosnia. The disparity between those words and the awful reality devalued language itself as a means for conveying truth. For as we listened, we also saw the shattered bodies of little children, the anguished faces of grandparents forced from their homes, the tears of young women brutalized and raped and the grisly evidence of newly upturned earth.
In the light of that painful history, let me share with this Council part of a letter written to President Clinton by a young girl whose moving account of life in Sarajevo made such an impact on civilized people everywhere.
“Dear Mr. President:
“I would like, … in the name of the children of Sarajevo, my home town, … to thank you most sincerely.
“Thank you for helping the civilization not to die, because ordinary people and children truly do not deserve it. Thank you for opening the door to the future for the children of my country, because everything that happened to them was a historical injustice.
“This century started with a war in Sarajevo; let it end with peace in Sarajevo.
“Once again, in the name of the children who have suffered, thank you, and we will not forget.”
[Signed] Zlata Filipovic, age 11.
Three weeks ago, in Dayton, and yesterday in Paris, one era ended and another began. The test of this new era will be whether the vows of peace will be matched by the symptoms of peace, by children playing, parents working and families gathering without cause for fear in city parks, village squares and busy markets.
Our task, set out in this resolution, is to give confidence to the people of Bosnia so that those prepared to work for peace will find its reality within their grasp. Our hope, as this holiday season approaches, is that Bosnians of all ethnic and religious backgrounds will seize that opportunity. Our prayer is that, through our combined efforts, the dark Balkan winter will finally give way to an enduring and bountiful spring.
The President of the French Republic, Mr. Jacques Chirac, and the French Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed France’s views at the Paris Peace Conference, during the signing of the Peace Agreement. I should like to quote the conclusion drawn by the President of the French Republic:
“All the peoples of the former Yugoslavia have their place in the European family. France, since the time of General de Gaulle, has always rejected the barriers erected in the heart of our continent. Today we offer to the peoples of the former Yugoslavia a promise of peace. But true peace remains to be built in people’s hearts and minds, and with it democracy, human freedom and the reconciliation of peoples”.
It was in this spirit that France sought the immediate initiation of a process of bringing stability and good-neighbourliness to south-eastern Europe. In the wake of the results already recorded at the London Conference, that process represents one of the achievements of the Paris Conference. It will be developed in Bonn, at the Petersberg conference. But we welcome the substantial progress already achieved towards mutual recognition among the States of the former Yugoslavia, and in particular the agreement reached in Paris between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This progress strengthens the Peace Agreement and the prospects of a lasting reconciliation in the region.
Our duty today, and that of this Council, is to look ahead to the future and assume our responsibilities by giving, as soon as possible, full effect to all the provisions of the Peace Agreement.
In my country’s view, the Security Council must take on three tasks. It must finalize the necessary arrangements to implement the civilian and military aspects, which are inextricably linked in the Peace Agreement.
It must also maintain the United Nations presence wherever it is indispensable. The United Nations played a fundamental role in the former Yugoslavia during the harshest years of the conflict. Quite rightly, the Secretary-General of the Organization recalled this fact yesterday in Paris. The United Nations has made peace possible, and its role will continue to be irreplaceable.
Finally, the authority of the Security Council must be affirmed. It is the Council, and the Council alone, that under the Charter can give legitimacy to the military means that will be used. Only the Council can — and it must — ensure the overall coherence of the operation by regularly assessing both the civilian and military aspects of its implementation.
The resolution we have just adopted meets these objectives. It authorizes the establishment and deployment of a multinational Implementation Force for the Peace Agreement, endowed with a specific mandate and necessary and adequate means. France will play a key role in this effort on the ground in Sarajevo and throughout southern Bosnia, in Mostar and Gorazde. It will continue to act as it has done, in tribute to its soldiers who have fallen under the flag of the United Nations, in whose memory my German colleague so movingly spoke.
As regards the International Tribunal, the resolution in paragraph 5 recognizes the role that IFOR may play to ensure proper cooperation with this body. The resolution enables the Atlantic Council to specify the modalities for the intervention of the Force for this purpose.
The resolution simultaneously establishes an important civilian apparatus whose role will be crucial for the success of the Peace Agreement. The resolution establishes the major role to be played by the High Representative and endorses the designation of Mr. Carl Bildt. His task is fundamental. In the framework defined by the resolution, the High Representative is, indeed, not only required to monitor the implementation of the peace plan and to report to the Security Council, but also has general responsibility for guidance and coordination in all civilian matters related to the Agreement’s implementation. France is gratified that Mr. Carl Bildt, whom it had proposed last June as mediator on behalf of the European Union, has accepted this weighty and grave responsibility. It should like to assure him of its full support.
The resolution defines the role which remains for the United Nations on the ground: a civilian mission, civilian police, indispensable tasks inter alia in Sarajevo. In all these areas, as in that of humanitarian issues, assistance to refugees and displaced persons and human rights monitoring, the experience accumulated by the United Nations and the devotion of its staff is irreplaceable. The coordination of all United Nations activities under the authority of the Secretary-General will contribute to their effectiveness. In the immediate future, these tasks will be performed in Bosnia and Herzegovina by staff already present on the ground in the former Yugoslavia. France expects, as our colleague from the United Kingdom just underscored, that the arrangements for the civilian mission and the police force intended by the resolution will be determined as early as next week.
Lastly, the resolution is the expression of the authority of the Security Council. The resolution that has been adopted determines the imminent deployment of the multinational force. Reports on the activity of this Force will be regularly submitted to the Security Council. It will thus be able to follow the conduct of the operation. Lastly, it is important for the Security Council to take a further decision on the mandate which it has today delivered and to decide whether the extension of that mandate is necessary. The High Representative for his part will also report regularly on overall progress and implementation of the peace plan.
On the eve of this new era — the new era that Mrs. Albright has welcomed — France’s hope is that the next few months will finally bring peace, security and dignity to all the inhabitants of a devastated Bosnia and Herzegovina, which should nevertheless remain united, multicultural and democratic, as an example of the victory of our values — the values of concord and peace over hatred and war. With that hope our thoughts go out to all those who have suffered and to all those who have given their lives in the last four years to achieve peace. Our thoughts accompany all those who will henceforth make peace a reality.
To begin, allow me to subscribe fully to the statement the Permanent Representative of Spain, Ambassador Yáñez-Barnuevo, will shortly make on behalf of the European Union.
It is with particular satisfaction that Italy co-sponsored and voted in favour of today’s resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina — a resolution indeed of historic importance, since it creates a new scenario for the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed yesterday at the Paris Conference.
In the first place, the resolution authorizes the establishment of a multinational force — lFOR — to implement the Agreement. Italy will participate in this Force with a contingent of 2,300 men in the theatre, with naval forces that will continue to operate in the Adriatic Sea, and air force and naval personnel at 20 air bases and nine ports directly and constantly supporting the new Bosnian operation. This makes for a total of 11,000 men. Our troops will be deployed alongside those of other countries in the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — that same NATO that without firing a single shot prevented a third world war from happening in the second half of this century. NATO will assume a central responsibility in this new operation, which is also open to the contributions of the Russian Federation and other countries not members of the Alliance, which we warmly welcome.
We are convinced that the presence of a force of 60,000 men in Bosnia will have a decisive impact on the implementation of the Peace Agreement, acting as an effective deterrent to any and all attempts to destabilize the situation. In this way, the Force will also help facilitate the peace process.
In the second place, paragraph 26 of the resolution endorses the establishment of a High Representative and the appointment of Mr. Carl Bildt to this post. The High Representative will be a central figure in the civilian component of the operation, in view of the guidance and coordination functions assigned to him by the Dayton Agreement. The civilian activities sector is one in which the United Nations will maintain a key position, thanks largely to the leadership role granted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the area of the return of refugees and displaced persons, and to other significant responsibilities in the humanitarian field, which are entrusted to a United Nations Coordinator, as announced in a recent report by the Secretary-General.
With regard to these competences, the establishment of a United Nations police force — which we hope can be decided on as soon as possible — will be crucial in stabilizing the situation and safeguarding human rights. The withdrawal of the forces behind the Zones of Separation established by the Peace Agreement must not cause a new exodus of the civilian population, or new instances of “ethnic cleansing”. The presence of International Police Task Force monitors can play a fundamental role in protecting the local population against this threat.
Today’s resolution also emphasizes the need to safeguard human rights, which the Bosnian parties pledged to respect according to the highest international standards. There cannot be peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina without a full restoration of human rights, which have been repeatedly and tragically violated in the last few years.
Reconstruction and development are another priority for the consolidation of peace and for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These are areas in which the European Union is called on to play a guiding role, and in which Italy is ready to make a generous and qualified contribution. The meeting on development, organized in Rome last October, demonstrates our commitment to this key aspect of the peace process.
Today’s resolution also establishes the modalities for the expiration of the mandate of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). UNPROFOR has played an essential role in recent years, often with inadequate means. International public opinion has not always given it proper recognition. We have heard uncharitable and often unjust criticisms. For my part, I wish to pay tribute to the thousands of people who performed their duties in extremely difficult conditions, particularly the many members of UNPROFOR who lost their lives or who suffered serious injuries — beginning with the brave French soldiers who paid the highest price of all. The prospects for peace that seem to be unfolding these days are also the legacy of their dedication and the sacrifice of their lives.
Today’s resolution continues a process that has recently gone through important stages: the initialling of the Dayton Peace Agreement; the London Conference, which created a new institutional framework for the implementation of the Agreement, with a Peace Implementation Council and its Steering Board; the Paris Peace Conference, where the Agreement was signed yesterday, and where progress was made towards the mutual recognition of the successor States of the former Yugoslavia. In the view of Italy, such recognition remains a basic feature of a comprehensive political solution to the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
Other important appointments await us in the future: the meeting of aid donors in Brussels, scheduled for 20 to 21 December; the meeting in Bonn, for the opening of negotiations on regional stabilization and on the reduction of weapons; the first meeting of the Peace Implementation Council, which Italy will host next June. The last of these will be an important occasion for a first verification of the progress in implementation of the peace plan and of the prospects for reconstruction.
This process will in all likelihood be long, difficult and complex. It will not be easy to heal the wounds of four years of fighting or to forget the untold misery, the devastating violence and the long suffering of war. But the process has begun, and today’s resolution constitutes one of its essential moments. We are convinced that it will ultimately lead to the normalization of life in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the peaceful coexistence of communities that have lived side by side in the same territory for centuries. Having exacerbated their differences, they have now come to the time to rediscover and appreciate the far greater importance of what they have in common, of what must unite them.
For Italy, Bosnia is a neighbour and a friend, whose tragedy has deeply moved our public opinion. It is a country that can rise again — that will rise again — forget the past and move towards a better future. This is the message that the Italian delegation would like to convey to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, through their representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Ivan Misic’.
Since this is the first time my delegation has spoken this month at a formal meeting of the Security Council, let me congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of December. I should also like to express my delegation’s deep appreciation to Ambassador Al-Khussaiby of Oman for the efficient way in which he and his delegation guided the affairs of the Security Council during the month of November.
The formal signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Presidents of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in Paris yesterday is the most important milestone so far in the effort to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. We could almost hear the world sigh with relief that the most terrible conflict to have rocked Europe since the Second World War was at last over.
After four years of war, after hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed, after horrific destruction, there is finally a solid basis for peace. Guns must remain silent in Bosnia, and the order of the day for former adversaries must be reconciliation and reconstruction.
While today we applaud the political leaders of the South Slavs for the courageous step that they finally took in Dayton and sealed in Paris, we cannot but think of all the death, human suffering and destruction that particularly the civilian population of the region had to endure over the past four years.
Was it really impossible to achieve a political settlement that would have prevented this senseless war? Was it really unavoidable to spill the blood of all those innocent people and to endure all the horrific destruction and suffering, before it dawned on some politicians that true and lasting peace does not come out of a barrel of a Kalashnikov, but is achieved through dialogue at the negotiating table?
The resolution that we have just adopted gives a green light to the deployment of the multinational Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among the IFOR contingents that will in the next days pour into Bosnia and Herzegovina will be almost a thousand young men and women from my country. The decision of the Government and Parliament of the Czech Republic to participate in IFOR is an unequivocal expression of my country’s deep interest in the establishment of durable peace and stability in the region of the South Slavs. It is also the continuation of the Czech involvement in the United Nations peace-keeping efforts.
IFOR, authorized by the Security Council and under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), will be in Bosnia to keep peace at the request of the parties themselves. IFOR forces will be tough and uncompromising in carrying out their mandate. Their one-year mission has clear objectives, and IFOR has the necessary means to fulfil them.
The deployment of IFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina constitutes a serious commitment on the part of the international community to help the peace process. However, let there be no mistake: the main burden of responsibility for the success or failure of the peace process rests squarely on the shoulders of the Bosniacs, the Croats and the Serbs. They have one year to translate, with the help of the international community, the still-fragile peace into an irreversible process.
Despite our great satisfaction over the success of the peace talks in Dayton and the signing of the Peace Agreement in Paris, we are very much aware of the crucial linkage between maintaining and strengthening peace in the region and the urgent need for its reconstruction. We therefore welcome the establishment, at the London Conference on implementing civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement, of the office of the High Representative, who will coordinate the reconstruction effort in the regions devastated by war.
The Czech Republic also welcomes the establishment of the Peace Implementation Council and its Steering Board. By taking this decision, the London Conference has established a proper framework for the implementation of particularly the civilian aspects of the Dayton Agreement and is moving the process of reconstruction into its practical phase.
The role of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina does not end today. On the contrary, it should be revitalized. The United Nations should, together with or in parallel with other institutions and organizations, focus on activities which will contribute most to the advancement of the peace process in Bosnia. In this endeavour it can count on the full support of the Czech Republic.
I would now like to make a statement in my capacity as representative of the Russian Federation.
The successful conclusion of the London and Paris Conferences, where we witnessed the signing by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia of the Peace Agreement, began a culminating breakthrough in the peaceful settlement of the problem of the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which was begun with the Dayton Agreement. As a result of the steadfast efforts of the United Nations and the Security Council, the Contact Group, the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and international mediators, it was possible to convert the compromises reached in the course of the negotiating process into a tangible language of international agreements.
Clearly, no diplomatic efforts at that time or today can replace the sincere efforts of the parties themselves to resolve existing differences through negotiations and through their rejection of solutions of force. Today the Security Council has adopted a draft resolution which makes it possible to begin the practical implementation of the Peace Agreement. Thereby, the parties receive the support of the international community in their aspirations for peace. But at the same time they must now bear the full responsibility before the international community for compliance with the commitments that they have entered into.
It is of prime significance that, in full accordance with the Dayton Agreement, the resolution deals with the forthcoming operation in all its civilian and military aspects. The Security Council has welcomed the readiness of Member States to respond to the requests of the parties and to render assistance to them in implementing the military aspects of the Peace Agreement through the deployment of the multinational force.
I would like to emphasize the most important feature of the resolution, which is that the Member States providing forces are authorized by the resolution to do only what the Bosnian sides themselves have agreed to, together with the leaders of the Balkan States that signed the Agreement. Thus, should force be used against violators of the Agreement, the resolution clearly makes those sides’ agreement conditional on an equal, impartial approach to all sides in the Bosnian conflict. Russia will consistently defend the need to avoid unjustified use of force in the course of the operation.
It is important that under the resolution the Security Council of the United Nations specifically — and no other Council — must in a year take a decision regarding the need to extend the military component of the operation. This provision, together with the regular reports to the Council on the conduct of the entire operation, ensures reliable political control by the Security Council and clearly indicates that the massive military operation under way in Bosnia in no way means a replacement of the United Nations by individual or regional organizations.
This will not be the first time that Russia has taken part in a military peace-keeping operation, side by side with Western partners. In the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) Russian soldiers and officers serve together with French and Belgian soldiers. In the multinational Force they will serve together with Americans on the basis of mutually agreed procedures.
Genuine peace can be achieved in Bosnia only on the basis of political decisions. A particular role here must be played by the political structure for the implementation machinery, headed by the High Representative, machinery elaborated and agreed at the London Conference and “sanctified” by the resolution. We welcome the designation of Mr. Carl Bildt to this post, and we will support him in his activities.
The resolution defines the need to strengthen regional stability and control over armaments. It clearly follows from the resolution that all sides must ensure that the arms reserves of the Bosnian side should be reduced, rather than built up. The Security Council has confirmed that the achievement of a just and lasting peace is impossible without securing internationally recognized human rights, including the right of refugees and displaced persons freely to return. Another necessity is all parties’ cooperation with the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in accordance with Security Council decisions and the commitments entered into by the parties themselves in Dayton.
Of primary importance in creating an appropriate climate in relations between the parties are the immediate measures to strengthen and build confidence, particularly in areas where ethnic groups live side by side. The most complex situation arises in Sarajevo, where there is an urgent need to prevent a massive exodus of the Serbian population. We expect immediate implementation of the tasks entrusted to the Secretary-General by the resolution to ensure a speedy redeployment to Sarajevo of additional contingents of the United Nations Civilian Police.
An important stage in the process of a peaceful settlement was the adoption by the Council of its resolution 1022 (1995) on the suspension of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, without which we would not have had the successes of Dayton, London and Paris. At the same time, events are developing so fast that today the situation in that regard cannot be a source of satisfaction; the signing of the Peace Agreement has resulted in a qualitatively new situation. We are in favour of deciding on an immediate repeal of sanctions against Belgrade and against the Serb Republic, which undoubtedly would foster the successful implementation of the Agreements that have been reached. Similarly, the time is ripe for reaching an agreement on the return of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
The signing in Paris of the Peace Agreement does not complete the peace process; it only opens its most responsible phase. In the course of the year to come multilateral meetings on Bosnia will continue, aimed at further promoting the peace process. The Russian invitation to hold a meeting in Moscow still stands.
Today I must dwell specifically on the role of the United Nations and of its “blue helmets”, who bore the greatest burden of peace-keeping in the former Yugoslavia at the most difficult time. Risking their lives, and often paying with their lives, the “blue helmets” have saved the defenceless and have delivered clothing, foodstuffs and medicine to the homeless, the hungry and the sick. The mandate of the “blue helmets” was not impeccable. But this mandate was approved not by them, the “blue helmets”, but by us. The greatest of pressures were brought to bear on the United Nations and its “blue helmets” to force them to exceed their authority. It is not surprising that in the light of all this, the United Nations peace-keepers made mistakes in the course of an unprecedented operation designed to deal with humanitarian problems in the midst of a war and, in such circumstances, only someone who did nothing would have made no mistakes.
Let us not forget that United Nations peace-keepers were in Bosnia precisely when all Bosnian sides were counting on a military solution and were not prepared for peace. It is universally recognized that if the United Nations had not gone into Bosnia, the number of victims in the conflict would have been immeasurably greater.
The unique peace-keeping experience the United Nations has accumulated at great cost in Bosnia and Herzegovina must be preserved. One of the most important lessons of the crisis is the need for joint action on the part of all parties concerned, including those in the United Nations and its Security Council. Such joint action is extremely important in the present phase if we are to overcome the consequences of the conflict, restore peace to the region and ensure that it shall enjoy democratic rights and freedoms.
We are convinced that without the active role of the United Nations, it would be difficult to solve these problems. Russia will from this time on work consistently towards strengthening peace and stability in the Balkans and other regions to preserve and develop the potential of the Charter of the United Nations in the area of peace-keeping and security.
I now resume my function as President of the Council.
The next speaker is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
May I convey to you, Mr. President, first of all, my delegation’s satisfaction at participating in this debate under your competent presidency. We are certain that the Security Council will benefit greatly from your wide-ranging diplomatic experience and personal talent during this busy month. I also take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Al-Khussaiby of Oman for his excellent performance as President of the Council during November.
The signing ceremony which took place at the Elysée Palace in Paris yesterday among the leaders of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia represents a momentous diplomatic achievement.
For all those who participated in the struggle for peace in the Balkans, the entry into effect of the Agreement comes as a belated relief and heralds a new era of hope. To the innocent victims of the conflict and to the peace-keepers who lost their lives, we pay our heartfelt tribute. To the tortured and the maimed, to the displaced and to all the survivors of the hateful practices carried out under the evil banner of ethnic and religious rivalry, we lend our solidarity.
Having celebrated the end of several decades of East-West tension, the international community was taken by incredulity when the ominous forces of intolerance and destruction were revived in the Balkans after having been defeated in 1945. The United Nations, rising from the ashes of the deadliest world conflict ever, became involved in the efforts to thwart this new threat to international security with the only weapons at its disposal: its Charter, and its commitment to peace.
This involvement became a major operation, draining considerable human and material resources, for which a useful role had to be devised in a shifting and complex scenario. In cooperation with those more closely affected by the conflict, the Security Council attempted to contain the war, to minimize the suffering and to present peaceful alternatives for settling differences. As a country that contributed military observers and police officers to the United Nations peace-keeping effort in the former Yugoslavia, we are convinced that the Organization has made a positive contribution to setting the stage for peace in the region.
An opportunity has now been created for the leaders of the former Yugoslavia to choose a new path: one that leads to reconciliation, to democracy, to economic and social reconstruction and development.
Having participated in the work of the Security Council during two of the four years in which the situation in the Balkans has been permanently on its agenda, Brazil experienced the difficulties in dealing with the war in the Balkans with extreme concern and intense frustration. Persuaded — by our own historical legacy — that fruitful coexistence among peoples of different religious, racial and cultural backgrounds is viable and natural, we consistently and vigorously rejected the twisted logic of the ethnic borderline.
This logic has yet to be defeated in the Balkans as it was during the Second World War in Europe, and as it has been overcome — with the active assistance of the United Nations — in South Africa. The Peace Agreement, which will, we hope, usher in a new chapter in the tragic history of the Balkans, deserves credit for putting an end to bloody fighting and to an institutional breakdown. But it is now up to the leaders and the peoples who have lived through this nightmare to create a new environment through tolerance and respect for diversity.
As we contemplate the transfer of authority from the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia to an implementation force (IFOR) whose command will be entrusted to a regional organization, we must reflect upon the role of the Security Council in matters relating to the former Yugoslavia in the stages that lie ahead.
In the resolution that has been adopted the States Members of the Organization referred to in Annex 1-A of the Peace Agreement are requested to report to the Security Council on a monthly basis. As the implementation force takes up its position in a terrain that is still fraught with uncertainties, it is essential that the organ responsible for safeguarding international peace and security be given the necessary tools to enable it to exercise the role ascribed to it by the Charter.
The creation of multinational forces at the behest of the Security Council has ceased to be an unusual feature. If these forces are to be perceived by the international community as legitimate and credible, however, the necessary accountability towards the Security Council must be strictly observed.
As an organ acting on behalf of the entire United Nations membership, the Security Council is given wide powers in responding promptly to evolving situations. That it should envisage the creation of multinational forces for dealing with certain situations and not with others is a matter that deserves to be clarified for all United Nations Members in the most satisfactory manner if support for such decisions is to have the desired firmness and unanimity.
Mutual recognition among the three States having signed the Peace Agreement in Paris seems to be a prerequisite for its success. We welcome the decision of two of the parties to recognize each other and urge those not having done so to complete the necessary procedures for there to be full official ties among the three capitals.
I am pleased to announce that Brazil established full diplomatic relations with the Bosnian Government on 6 December. We look forward to developing close and mutually beneficial ties with all States in the region in the context of a lasting peace and improved living conditions for all in the Balkans.
I thank the representative of Brazil for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Canada. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
The conflict that degenerated into violence in the former Yugoslavia in 1991 forced us to come to grips with a virulent nationalism and an undemocratic power struggle that was an assault on our fundamental values.
Yesterday, in Paris, a historic Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina, aimed at putting an end to the bloodshed in that country, was signed. We hope that it will pave the way to lasting peace. We can now turn to the task of building a democratic society that fully respects human rights.
In marking this achievement, it is important to recognize the contribution of the international community. The role of the United Nations and its Blue Helmets merits special mention. From the outset, the presence of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) helped to moderate the scope, intensity and consequences of the conflict, in many, often unheralded, ways. UNPROFOR allowed peace negotiations to proceed. It was UNPROFOR personnel who made it possible for humanitarian organizations — in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — to bring essential food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies to the long suffering, isolated and needy civilian population.
For the past three and half years, United Nations Blue Helmets and other personnel have served courageously under dangerous and often degrading circumstances. Many, including 10 Canadians, have given their lives. Many more will bear the scars of their all too often thankless task for the remainder of their lives. As we look towards the end of UNPROFOR’s mission, my delegation joins others in paying tribute to every one of these dedicated individuals from more than 35 countries who participated in and supported this operation.
The difficulties experienced by the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia provide important lessons for the future. We welcome the views and observations of the Secretary-General in his report on the implementation of the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia. His remarks strongly echo the views we and a number of others have expressed in a wide variety of United Nations forums over the past many weeks.
As we begin the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, it is clear that the challenges facing us are daunting and complex. Most importantly, it will require from the parties sustained commitment and the willingness to make and adhere to difficult compromises. It will also require the continued and active involvement of all of us. Canada will contribute to this process, working closely with allies and friends. The Security Council has given the Implementation Force (IFOR) the key task of carrying out the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. Through our participation in IFOR, we will be working to help ensure the full success of the Force in fulfilling its mandate.
Moving forward rapidly and effectively on the civilian component of the Peace Agreement is equally important to building lasting peace. In this regard, we regret that it was not possible to authorize today the United Nations civilian police mission and the United Nations civilian office recommended by the Secretary-General. We look forward to early action by the Security Council in this area.
For its part, Canada will continue its engagement on the humanitarian front and in providing assistance to refugees. We will engage ourselves fully in the multinational efforts aimed at economic reconstruction and social rehabilitation in the former Yugoslavia.
Implementing the Peace Agreement involves more than just separating the forces and economic reconstruction. We must also use the next year to press forward urgently on the political and humanitarian aspects of the Agreement. As peace, justice and good governance take root, a return to war will become ever less likely.
The international community has made great sacrifices over the past four years in the former Yugoslavia. The cost in resources and in people has been enormous. This demonstration of international solidarity will continue, but in the end it is for the parties themselves and their neighbours to consolidate and ensure the peace. It is for the parties themselves to take advantage of the opportunities at hand and of the willingness of the international community to help.
Canada would like again to congratulate all those whose efforts and sacrifices have brought us to this historic moment. We are hopeful that the will for peace will prevail. We are hopeful that armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia has finally ended and that the building of civil societies, truly just and democratic, can at last begin.
The next speaker is the representative of Ukraine. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
On behalf of the delegation of Ukraine, I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council at this extremely important time in its work, when its decisions will directly determine whether war will end in Europe. Over the past few days, we have witnessed the way in which your diplomatic skills, tact and patience promoted the adoption of constructive decisions on very important issues related to the maintenance of international peace and security.
I should also like to express the gratitude of my delegation to the Permanent Representative of the Sultanate of Oman, Mr. Al-Khussaiby, for his successful presidency of the Council in November.
Only five months ago nobody could have foreseen or even imagined that the peoples of war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina would enter the Christmas holidays in peace. Yesterday in Paris the parties to the conflicts on the territory of the former Yugoslavia made this peace more real by signing the Peace Agreement. Fear and mistrust in the future have yielded to hopes and concrete plans.
We would like to stress that the ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the Peace Agreement rests with the conflicting parties. In this context, the delegation of Ukraine fully supports paragraph 10 of resolution 1031 (1995), by which the Security Council underlines the relationship between the fulfilment by the parties of their commitments in the Peace Agreement and the readiness of the international community to commit financial resources for reconstruction and development. The parties should realize that the international community can only assist in securing peace in the region. Whether or not it becomes a lasting peace completely depends on the political will of the leaders of the former Yugoslav republics.
Ukraine supports the authorization by the Security Council of the multinational implementation force (IFOR), which will provide monthly reports to the Council on its activities. This will serve as an appropriate means of political monitoring by the Security Council of the IFOR operation. By authorizing the establishment of a multinational implementation force, the Security Council is taking a decisive step towards a comprehensive settlement of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. IFOR will be deployed as a neutral and impartial force capable of ensuring implementation of the provisions of the Peace Agreement, and capable of protecting itself.
In our opinion, this provides proper guarantees that the parties will live up to their commitments. At the same time, the delegation of Ukraine hopes that the IFOR commanders will interpret paragraph 17 of the draft resolution in a restrictive manner. The right given to IFOR to take all necessary measures to defend itself from threat of attack should not be abused.
Ukraine, as one of the major troop contributors to the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), was invited by the North Atlantic Council to participate in IFOR. We see this as a great honour, and at the same time as recognition of the constructive role played by Ukraine in the efforts of the international community to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Balkans. We are confident that the experience and authority of Ukrainian peace-keepers, shown during their participation in the United Nations operation, will constitute a reliable guarantee of our effective contribution to IFOR.
Several days ago in London, Ukraine voiced its support for the process of post-conflict peace-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina and expressed its willingness to actively join in that process. The establishment of the post of High Representative under the civilian implementation Annex to the Peace Agreement will contribute to the enhancement of international efforts in providing humanitarian aid, in the rehabilitation of infrastructure and economic reconstruction, in the establishment of political and constitutional institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the promotion of respect for human rights, in the return of displaced persons and refugees, and in the holding of free and fair elections. The delegation of Ukraine shares the satisfaction expressed by other delegations at the fact that the Security Council has agreed the designation of Mr. Carl Bildt as High Representative.
My delegation would like to reaffirm its readiness to place at the High Representative’s disposal experts in the field of the establishment of democratic institutions, and in the organization and monitoring of elections.
The success of the peace process in Bosnia will depend on the restoration of confidence among the peoples of the country. In our opinion, the States members of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council recently formed at London should take early action in Sarajevo to create an atmosphere of confidence between the communities and extend the guarantees of respect for their rights. In this context, Ukraine supports the Security Council’s request to the Secretary-General to ensure early redeployment of elements of United Nations civilian police from the Republic of Croatia to Sarajevo.
In our opinion, the restoration of the war-torn and exhausted economy of the region should be a prerequisite for lasting peace in the Balkans. Ukraine has already declared its interest in and readiness to participate directly in the economic reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The delegation of Ukraine believes that the establishment of a special regime of participation in the rehabilitation and development of Bosnia for the States economically most affected by their strict observance of the regime of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would be fair and timely. This could be regarded as partial compensation for the billion dollars in losses suffered by the States neighbouring the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Equitable distribution of international assistance among all regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina is of extreme importance. A sound economy should become a unifying factor and a reliable basis for preserving the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would guarantee the prosperity of all peoples living in its territory.
Bearing in mind the unique, extraordinary and complex character of the present situation in Bosnia, which requires an exceptional response, I cannot but recall the words of the famous British writer Somerset Maugham:
“You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences”.
I hope that by adopting this resolution the Security Council has shown the readiness of the international community to shoulder such a responsibility.
I thank the representative of Ukraine for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Norway. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me first to say that it is a particular pleasure to see you, Sir, presiding over this very important meeting. Allow me also to thank Ambassador Al-Khussaiby of Oman for the excellent manner in which he carried out his duties as President in November.
Norway welcomes today’s resolution authorizing the deployment of the multinational implementation force (IFOR). It authorizes a multinational force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with important contributions also from several non-NATO States, including the Russian Federation. In the European context, this stands out as a hallmark event.
For its part, Norway will participate in IFOR with approximately 1,000 troops. We are satisfied that today’s resolution contains the elements necessary for IFOR to carry out its task efficiently. A heavy responsibility now rests with the parties to show a spirit of reconciliation and a genuine will to avail themselves of the presence of IFOR to build the foundations for peace and stability.
The contribution of IFOR to preventing a resumption of the war must be supplemented by concentrated efforts aimed at peace-building, nation-building and economic reconstruction. We believe that the Peace Implementation Conference in London last week created a good framework for the coordination of these efforts. The success of implementing peace in Bosnia will also depend upon developments in the rest of former Yugoslavia, and in particular, we feel, on the follow-up of the Basic Agreement for Eastern Slavonia.
The Norwegian Government is fully committed to a continued policy of active involvement through our contribution to IFOR and through our extensive participation in the humanitarian efforts and the process of reconstruction. We are looking forward to working together with the High Representative, Mr. Carl Bildt, and relevant organizations in this crucial endeavour. The High Representative will need the support of all organizations and countries involved in order to ensure the rational utilization of the resources available. We would also like to emphasize, as does the resolution, the relationship between the fulfilment by the parties of their commitments in the Peace Agreement and the willingness of the international community to provide funds for reconstruction. It must be clear that international patience can have its limits.
For the initial phase of the peace-building in 1996, Norway is prepared to commit close to $50 million. Half of that amount will be earmarked for reconstruction and rehabilitation purposes. The remainder will cover areas of a more short-term humanitarian nature such as health and programmes for children and youth, as well as human rights monitoring.
The return of refugees and displaced persons is a key element in the comprehensive peace settlement. Norway fully supports the role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the lead agency responsible for promoting the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons. The Norwegian Government also attaches great importance to the principles and recommendations concerning the repatriation of refugees advocated by the UNHCR. We urge other States acting as hosts to refugees from the former Yugoslavia to cooperate with the UNHCR with a view to integrating repatriation into the overall peace process.
Justice must be an integral part of a comprehensive and lasting peace. The parties have an obligation to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as one of the entities involved in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. All competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina should cooperate fully and provide unrestricted access for the Tribunal’s investigators to any person and to any site they may want to visit.
We expect a decision by the Council next week to establish the United Nations civilian International Police Task Force (IPTF), to be financed through assessed contributions. Its task should consist mainly of monitoring, observing and inspecting law-enforcement activities and facilities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. The effectiveness of the IPTF will depend to a major extent on the willingness of the parties to cooperate, and its operational guidelines should be formulated accordingly. Norway has been a major contributor to the United Nations civilian police force in the former Yugoslavia up to now, and we are prepared to continue our cooperation with the United Nations in this field.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will be put to its greatest challenge up to now. It will be instrumental in establishing a democratic constitutional structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will contribute to the humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, in cooperation with the United Nations and other international organizations. Norway will actively support the OSCE with respect to the very difficult tasks it has been given in the field of democratic elections and human rights monitoring. The successful conclusion of an arms-control agreement for the Balkans is an indispensable part of the broader peace process. The ambitious task is to remove the use of military forces as an instrument of policy in this war-tormented region, and we are honoured that Ambassador Vigleik Eide of Norway has been designated for this important task. In order to succeed, he will need full support from all of us.
Today is an occasion to pay tribute to all those who have served in the United Nations peace-keeping and humanitarian operations in former Yugoslavia, including those who lost their lives, and to the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives and Mediators. All of them have in a very substantial way helped prepare the ground for peace and deserve proper recognition for their role.
I thank the representative of Norway for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Spain. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. President, allow me at the outset to tell you how pleased my delegation is to see you presiding over this especially important meeting of the Security Council. We wish you every success in your work in guiding the work of the Council this month.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania and Slovakia have also associated themselves with this statement.
The European Union warmly welcomes the signing on 14 December 1995 at the Paris Peace Conference of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The European Union has always called for a peaceful solution to this painful conflict. Today, we want to reaffirm our determination to make a substantial contribution to assisting all the parties concerned in implementing the provisions of the Peace Agreement.
The resolution unanimously adopted today by the Security Council authorizes the establishment of a multinational force to implement the Peace Agreement.
The member States of the European Union have in the past been the major contributors of United Nations peace-keeping troops on the ground and will continue to play a major part not only in the multinational force, where thousands of our troops stand ready for deployment, but also in the civil and humanitarian tasks involved in implementing the Peace Agreement.
The Peace Agreement needs the full cooperation of the parties. We call upon them to fulfil in good faith the commitments they have entered into, bearing in mind that they have the primary responsibility for the consolidation of the peace and the prevention of the resurgence of conflicts.
We expect that a process of stability will be initiated in the entire region. In this context, we call upon the parties to mutually recognize those States which have emerged in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Such recognition will lead to the normalization of relations among them as well as with the international community. We warmly welcome the acts of mutual recognition that have already taken place.
In order to create a stable peace in the region, the promotion of regional stability and arms control are essential. The conference to be held in Bonn next week provides an early opportunity to initiate such a process.
We remain deeply concerned at the precarious situation in Eastern Slavonia. Any failure to implement the Basic Agreement could have very serious consequences for stability in the whole region. We urge the parties to cooperate fully in the implementation of the Agreement. We hope that in the near future the Security Council will address this issue on the basis of the report of the Secretary-General.
We are confident that the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina will at last be able to live in peace. Reconciliation is one of the vital ingredients in any process of building a society. The holding of free, fair and democratic elections throughout the territory is crucial in this respect. The European Union will fully support the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in carrying out the functions entrusted to it by the parties under the Peace Agreement.
Absolute priority must be given to respect for human rights. Without genuine improvements in the human rights situation, no peace agreement can have a solid foundation.
The serious human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law in various parts of the former Yugoslavia must come to an end once and for all. The European Union strongly supports the work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The parties must cooperate with it and fully comply with its decisions. There must be no impunity for the guilty.
We welcome the parties’ agreement to ensure all persons under their jurisdiction the highest level of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, among them the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes. The behaviour of all parties in this regard will be closely monitored by the European Union.
The time has come for reconstruction. Our main task will be to help restore hope and provide decent living conditions, particularly in the areas most affected by the conflict.
The European Union, which was among the first to provide relief for the terrible suffering of the civilian population, reaffirms its decision to continue its humanitarian contribution in the former Yugoslavia and to participate, along with non-European Union countries, in the enormous task of reconstruction, in response to specific, identified needs.
All these efforts must, in accordance with the newly created structures, come together around the High Representative. We support his key role as coordinator and guide of the many organizations and agencies involved in the process. We welcome the appointment of Mr. Carl Bildt, who will have the full support of the European Union.
Some important aspects still remain to be resolved. We hope that next week the Security Council will approve the establishment of an International Police Task Force and of a United Nations civilian mission, to be financed through assessed contributions.
Thousands of men and women from the member States of the European Union and from other countries have served in Bosnia over the last three years as peace-keepers, as humanitarian aid workers, as monitors and as searchers for peace. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice: their lives. We pay tribute to them, to all those who have joined them in the work for peace and to those hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians who have perished in the conflict. Now the time has come to build a just and lasting peace.
I thank the representative of Spain for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Egypt. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me, at the outset, to congratulate you on your election to the presidency of the Security Council. We are all aware of your sagacity and of your great leadership skills which are the best guarantee that the Council’s activities will be successful under your presidency. We also extend our thanks to your predecessor, Ambassador Salim Al-Khussaiby, the Permanent Representative of Oman, on his constructive efforts during his presidency of the Council.
Today we witness the beginnings of a turning point in the direction of events in Bosnia and Herzegovina and throughout the region of the former Yugoslavia. This takes place after a four-year armed conflict that ravaged the region and brought suffering to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is high time that people enjoyed a life of safety in a climate of peace, stability and sound democracy.
In this context, we welcome the Dayton Agreement and the results of the Peace Conference that was held in Paris yesterday and in which the parties signed the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the same token, we welcome the resolution just adopted unanimously by the Security Council.
The agreements reached thus far constitute a major historic achievement. The delegation of Egypt is pleased to express great appreciation for the sustained efforts that led to this achievement, and in particular applauds the efforts of the Contact Group and of the United States of America. At the same time, we must stress the fact that the efficacy of the agreements and the credibility of the international Contact Group, under whose auspices the Agreement was reached, will depend entirely on the effective implementation, in good faith, on the ground, by all parties, of all the provisions and the measures embodied in the General Framework Agreement. It goes without saying that only if all sides scrupulously abide by those agreements in good faith can the desired stability be restored to the region.
In this respect, Egypt affirms its support for the diplomatic efforts deployed in the framework of the London Conference on the former Yugoslavia. We hope that a negotiated settlement will be reached by all the parties concerned with the issues relating to the succession of States within the former Yugoslavia so that the successor States may resume the international role that the Federated Republic of Yugoslavia played in the past. We hope also that all the peoples of those successor States will be able to live in safety, security and dignity in the context of mutual friendly relations amongst all the successor States with which, without exception, we have ties of profound friendship that, we hope, will grow warmer and stronger and develop further in the future.
It is time for the international community to focus its efforts on dealing with the disastrous consequences of the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We should like here and now to recall the need for us to come to grips with urgent questions, including the following:
First, to guarantee the voluntary return, in secure conditions, of all refugees and displaced persons forcibly expelled, and in particular the victims of the hateful policy of “ethnic cleansing”, while providing the necessary international protection for their reintegration and their reinstallation in the homes they were expelled from.
Secondly, the international Tribunal responsible for bringing to justice war criminals, as well as those responsible for flagrant violations of international humanitarian law, must be supported. The necessary human and material resources must be provided to the Tribunal in order for it to be able to pursue its efforts; the fact being that the Tribunal is at present the only international competent body entrusted with the task of restoring the credibility of international law and of deterring those who would violate it. All States must cooperate in enforcing the Tribunal’s judgments.
The multinational implementation force (IFOR) led by NATO, which will be deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina will, in actual fact, act in the context of a Security Council resolution. This is a point we wish to stress: this is a force that acts on behalf of the international community. Proceeding from this, it is important that all geographical regions and all the groups concerned should be represented in the composition of the force.
In this regard, I wish to point out that Egypt, which actually participates in the UNPROFOR, has offered, officially, to participate in IFOR with a contingent of 700 troops.
In conclusion, I must state that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina look up with hope to the international community and expect generous support from the international parties as proof of international credibility in caring for this people. This is expected in the form of resources that would be provided and efforts that would be deployed towards the comprehensive reconstruction that would restore to Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in particular, to the city of Sarajevo, its historic status as a symbol of peaceful coexistence amongst cultures, religions and ethnicities in Central Europe.
In this context, Egypt will pursue its efforts in participation with the States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, striving one and all to rebuild Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I thank the representative of Egypt for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Japan. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me to begin my statement by congratulating you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. The thanks of my delegation go as well to your predecessor, the representative of Oman, for the excellent manner in which he carried out his responsibilities in November.
I should like to express the gratitude of my Government for the opportunity given to me to address the Security Council on this historic occasion. The Government of Japan applauds wholeheartedly the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina effected in Paris on 14 December 1995 as a truly monumental achievement. This epoch-making development signifies that the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, which have caused unspeakable human and material loss, have, after four years, finally come to an end.
I wish to take this opportunity to express the most sincere appreciation of the Government and the people of Japan to all those whose tireless toil and labour, protracted over the years, have resulted in this breakthrough. For this achievement, thanks are in order to the Secretary-General and his Special Representatives, the Force Commanders, as well as to the members of the Contact Group and other countries which have contributed so much to this process, in particular the United States.
Remarkable as the achievement is, we must remain keenly aware that the peace that has come to prevail in the former Yugoslavia is still a fragile peace. In order to ensure that there be durable peace, it is essential that all parties strictly abide by the terms of the agreement. They must exercise maximum restraint so that this fragile peace may not be broken. They must demonstrate an unfailing determination to scrupulously honour the rights and duties they have respectively accepted so that a genuine spirit of reconciliation and cooperation may come to prevail in the region.
While the conclusion of this peace agreement is a monumental achievement, it is nevertheless but a first step on a long and arduous road to reconstruction and rehabilitation. For the purpose of realizing true and lasting peace and stability throughout the region, the international community will have to offer its full-fledged cooperation for the full implementation of the agreement.
The Government of Japan, as a member of the Steering Board, will be prepared to extend its utmost cooperation for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the former Yugoslavia. Conscious of its responsibility in the global context, Japan is determined to be an integral part of this historic process on the basis of the agreement in ways that are consistent with the basic stance of Japan as a peace-loving nation. To carry out this responsibility, Japan intends to dispatch a government mission to analyse the local situation. In addition, in view of the importance of promoting a transition to a market economy, Japan is considering assistance in this area as well.
It should be emphasized in this connection that assistance for humanitarian relief and for the complete and safe return of all refugees and displaced persons will have to be extended not only with respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina but also with respect to the whole region, including Serbia and Montenegro and Croatia. Extending assistance to all the parties that play key roles in the lasting peace of the region will be crucial to the durable peace and stability within the region as a whole.
In this spirit, I wish to reaffirm the commitment of Japan to providing humanitarian assistance for the stability of the region. In fact, my Government has already provided approximately $180 million since the outbreak of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia to assist refugees and persons affected by war in the region. Japan has now decided to make an additional contribution of about $20 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other relevant international organizations for the purpose of easing the suffering during the severe winter months and in response to the United Nations consolidated appeal. It will consider further contributions to those organizations in accordance with their needs.
I should like to conclude my brief intervention today by urging the leaders of the parties concerned to continue to strengthen the peace that has been wrought with such difficulty. The efforts in this direction on their part will have the full support and assistance of the entire international community, including my own country.
I thank the representative of Japan for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Malaysia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I am happy to see you, Sir, presiding over the Security Council for the month of December, especially at a time when the Council has taken another important decision regarding the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Your country played an important role in advancing the peace process. I also wish to extend my appreciation to your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Oman, who presided over the Council during the month of November.
My delegation participated at the Security Council meeting of 22 November, when the Council took two significant decisions — namely, those regarding the arms embargo and the lifting of economic sanctions following the initialling of the Dayton Agreement. Today, we meet again following the formal signing of the Bosnian Peace Agreement in Paris yesterday.
The Agreement is just the beginning in the search for permanent peace, justice and development in the region. While not wishing to downplay the many potential pitfalls, we recognize that the Agreement offers real hope of bringing an end to the cataclysmic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If the Agreement is to work, it requires the full and genuine cooperation of the parties to the conflict, as well as the strong support of the international community.
The resolution before the Council endorses the agreements among the warring parties, while upholding fundamental principles, including those dealing with the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the crimes against humanity.
One of the centrepieces of the Dayton/Paris Agreement pertains to the establishment of the Implementation Force (IFOR) under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As a country which has agreed to participate in IFOR, we fervently hope that it will be able to discharge its mandate effectively and fully. The role of IFOR is critical to the successful implementation of the Agreement.
At this critical juncture, every effort must be made to ensure the success of the mission to be undertaken by IFOR. Any attempt to undermine the Peace Agreement should be resolutely resisted. The credibility of the multinational force will be judged by its actions to fully and effectively implement the Agreement. Its failure to achieve strict and immediate implementation would have catastrophic implications for the region and for the rest of the world.
While we take these tenuous but necessary steps towards peace, the atrocities and horrors carried out in the name of “ethnic cleansing” for the past four years remain fresh in our minds. “Ethnic cleansing”, which constitutes a crime against humanity, should not be brushed aside for political expediency. Those responsible for such acts should not be allowed to go unpunished, nor the victims denied justice. The work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia deserves the continued and full support of the international community.
In this regard, the Council’s decision, as contained in the resolution adopted today, which calls on all Member States to cooperate and comply with the orders issued by the Tribunal regarding the arrest or detention of persons accused of committing violations of international humanitarian law, is indeed commendable.
As part of the international endeavours to nurture peace and to restore normality, efforts towards infrastructure rehabilitation and economic reconstruction in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be given immediate, priority attention. In this connection, my delegation welcomes the decision of the London Conference held on 8 and 9 December that the World Bank and the European Commission should take the lead in the efforts for the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We also share the view of the Secretary-General, expressed in his report (S/1995/1031), that the United Nations too has a role to play in such endeavours. Malaysia has on various occasions expressed its readiness to contribute to the country’s reconstruction and humanitarian projects. We are willing to offer our expertise in different areas to help rebuild the country. As a member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council established at the London Conference, Malaysia will continue to play an active role and to contribute to the process to ensure that peace endures.
Given the immensity of the humanitarian and reconstruction tasks, there is an obvious need for effective coordination and cooperation between those aid agencies to avoid competition, duplication and wastage of resources.
Another issue that demands our immediate attention pertains to the plight of 2.1 million refugees and displaced persons. The safe and early return of refugees and displaced person is essential to the holding of fair elections, and the provision of shelter for them is crucial. In this regard, we share the views expressed by the High Commissioner for Refugees on the need for organized and phased movement. Arrangements should also be made for voluntary return. In this regard, we hope that IFOR will provide the logistic and other necessary support to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Finally, we fully endorse the observation made by the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier today regarding safeguards to ensure
“the holding of democratic, fair, just, free and secure elections throughout the country, without fear or intimidation”.
I thank the representative of Malaysia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Turkey. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. We are confident that under your skilful guidance the Council will be able to fulfil its responsibilities successfully. I should also like to pay tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Al-Khussaiby of Oman, for the outstanding manner in which he conducted the work of the Council in November.
For almost four years, unspeakable horror prevailed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina resisted with determination the evil forces of ethnic and xenophobic nationalism. They struggled for survival and democracy. Their aim was to maintain the spirit and tradition of living and working together in Bosnia, to preserve the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of their multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. The tragedy unfolded before our eyes. Yesterday, the signing, in Paris, of the Dayton Agreement marked, we hope, the beginning of a new era in Bosnia. We welcome the prospect and promise of peace embodied in this Agreement.
The resolution just adopted starts the implementation process. For a just and viable peace, the commitments undertaken through this Agreement should be honoured in good faith. Here, I should like to underline once again that preservation of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, within its internationally recognized borders, is and will remain vital for a lasting peace and for stability in the region.
Turkey will actively participate in all the military and civilian aspects of peace implementation. We will contribute troops to the Implementation Force (IFOR). The Turkish civilian police have already assumed responsibility as part of a joint police force which is overseeing the return of refugees from Croatia to Bihac’. We will also shoulder our share of the responsibility for the rehabilitation and reconstruction work ahead within the Steering Board established for this purpose.
The conflict in the former Yugoslavia has illustrated that ethnic nationalism, racism and intolerance are the biggest threats to freedom and democracy, peace and prosperity. Therefore, we should never forget the terrible suffering of the Bosnian people, the mass executions, the concentration camps, the “ethnic cleansing”, the campaigns of rape and terror. The Agreement signed yesterday promises that those who have committed crimes, that is, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes which threaten international peace and security, will be brought to justice. As was stated by the President and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal, justice is an indispensable ingredient of the process of national reconciliation and peace. If peace is to take hold, justice must prevail. Turkey will continue to stand by the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their march on the long and difficult road to reconciliation.
I thank the representative of Turkey for his kind words addressed to me.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda. The Security Council will remain seized of this matter.