The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/2000/529)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)
|Mr. Shen Guofang
|Mr. van Walsum
Tribute to the memory of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic
At the outset of this meeting, I should like, on behalf of the Security Council, to express sorrow at the death of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, His Excellency Mr. Hafez Al-Assad. President Assad, a statesman committed to the greatness of his country and the destiny of the Arab nation, devoted his life to serving his country with great dedication. He also worked hard to contribute to the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution which all the peoples of the Middle East are waiting for.
On behalf of the Council, I should like to convey to the Government and the people of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the bereaved family deep condolences.
I now invite the members of the Security Council to stand and observe a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of President Hafez Al-Assad.
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/2000/529)
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations and in the absence of objection, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I invite Mr. Klein to take a seat at the Council table.
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 on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, document S/2000/529.
I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to document S/2000/486, letter dated 23 May 2000 from Portugal.
At this meeting, the Security Council will hear a briefing by Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am pleased to give him the floor.
I am honoured to be here to brief the Security Council in my capacity as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At a time when the role and achievements of the United Nations in the settlement of inter-ethnic conflicts are the object of close scrutiny by the international community, I am pleased to report that the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) has resolutely embarked upon the proper path and that it is making most impressive progress.
Before turning to the progress of UNMIBH, I must emphatically reject two allegations that have gained currency in public discourse and that have a bearing on our mission: first, the claims by some commentators that the United Nations is unable to perform the tasks of the “new international peacekeeping” in this period of inter-ethnic conflict and failed States; and secondly, that self-sustaining peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina will require decades, not years.
It should be recalled that in the former Yugoslavia, which is in some senses a paradigm of the failed State and inter-ethnic conflict between populations emerging from non-democratic traditions, only two international peacekeeping missions have finished successfully. From the beginning of the Yugoslav conflict, the ground-breaking United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ensured that war did not spill over into that fragile republic. And from 1996 to 1998 the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), with the strong support of the Security Council, a robust force structure and a clear mandate under a single chain of command, successfully retained the multi-ethnic character of the region of Eastern Slavonia as it was transitioned back to Croatian control.
Those two missions, one regrettably forgotten by commentators and the other often overlooked, demonstrate that with the right mandate, resource support and organizational structure, the United Nations has the ability and experience to manage complex conflicts. I do not deny that the international community faces a steep learning curve in meeting all the new challenges of peacekeeping. But, as a general, an ambassador and an operational peacekeeper, I can honestly say that no organization I have been involved with is further along on that learning curve than the United Nations. It is my firm commitment to the Security Council that UNMIBH will add another successful mission to the much overlooked list of United Nations successes.
The second claim I reject is that it will take decades of intensive and expensive intervention before the international community will finally conclude that the creation of a sovereign, democratic and multi-ethnic State of Bosnia and Herzegovina is somehow “mission impossible”. I suggest that avoiding that outcome depends almost entirely on our own policies and actions.
The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are now living in a kind of Balkan no-man’s land, unsure of their identity and of their place in the modern world. For centuries, the decisions which affected them were made in someone else’s court: Istanbul, Vienna or Belgrade. Their region was the historical political and religious fault-line between Europe and the Orient. It was where the military borders were drawn. Consequently, they were unable to participate in the democratic evolution of Western Europe. Their development was frozen in the political construct of group rights, not individual rights protected under the rule of law. And they were open to manipulation and chauvinism which, three times in the past century, necessitated massive international intervention and tempo-centric solutions that carried the seeds of even greater conflicts in the coming years.
The international community has a historic opportunity to put an end to the cycle of regional instability and external intervention, but it requires bold solutions and major steps. Bosnia and Herzegovina must not continue to be confined to the fringes of Europe. It needs to be brought into a larger European space where it can be given the attention, encouragement and mentoring it requires to become a stable and self-sustaining member of the wider region.
Everything we are trying to do depends on making a credible commitment, now, to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entry into Europe. From refugee return — why would any refugees in Europe want their children to grow up in a Balkan no-man’s land? — to keeping youth in the country and not in visa queues; from seriously attacking cross-border crime to breaking the hold of extremist politicians and partitionist tendencies: it all depends on changing the optics of this country, and of its neighbours, away from parochial sectarian divisiveness by giving them regional identity and inclusiveness.
The solutions that have worked inside Western Europe to defuse ethnic separatism should be applied to the Balkans. We should not fear that this will open the floodgates to undesirable elements. The reality is that the undesirable Balkan elements are already in Europe. Keeping the ordinary citizens out of Europe only denies us their cooperation in fighting our common problems: political extremism; organized crime; trafficking in people, drugs and arms; and illegal immigration.
Moreover, imposing strict conditionality on entry into Europe merely plays into the hands of those politicians who do not wish to be brought under the intrusive scrutiny of European legal and human rights institutions. The dysfunctional triumvirate model of political organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, exemplified by the failure of the three Presidents to uphold their commitments made before this Council in the New York Declaration, enables one or the other politician to ensure that the conditions set will never be met.
Regrettably, five sets of internationally run elections in five years have not yet had the desired effect of empowering democratic leaders who place the interests of all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina above their own. Even though the people themselves are tired of political exploitation — as is evidenced by the strong popular support of the international community every time local officials are removed from office — during election campaigns the three main nationalist parties consistently feed off each other, denying political space to alternative parties and candidates. No local election has yet been fought on non-ethnic and non-ideological grounds. Too many elections can be as debilitating and demoralizing as too few.
Despite this, we should not be pessimistic, far from it. The progress that has been made in the face of entrenched political obstruction has been substantial. But it has been expensive, arduous and slow. At a time of many calls on the attention and resources of the international community, it is necessary to plan the next steps in the Balkans on the basis of objective analysis. If you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have got.
Let us recognize that the strategy of exclusion from Europe together with piecemeal military intervention has been a failure. We need to have as much vision now as our fathers did when they successfully planned the reconstruction of Western Europe after the Second World War. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not mission impossible, and it does not have to be a never-ending story, if we get our own policy settings right and pursue vigorously the target of European political inclusiveness.
I turn now to the work of UNMIBH. The Secretary-General’s report, which is before you, details key achievements made by a mission that is dynamically on course. There has been tangible progress in all our core mandate areas of police restructuring, police reform and judicial reform.
Last Tuesday, 6 June 2000, at Sarajevo airport, we inaugurated the multi-ethnic State Border Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the first and only executive agency operating under the joint State institutions rather than the ethnically based entities. It is a major step towards building State identity, combating national and transnational crime and illegal immigration and preparing for entry into Europe.
On 5 June, I inspected the successful physical integration of the Ministry of the Interior in the Herzegovina-Neretva canton and welcomed the appointment of 70 judges and prosecutors to new multi-ethnic judicial institutions. UNMIBH has led the way in enabling Croats and Bosniacs to work together on the west side of the divided city of Mostar for the first time since the beginning of the war.
In April 2000, the first Bosnia and Herzegovina United Nations civilian police contingent was deployed to East Timor, where they are performing well. As a further demonstration that even former combatants are willing and able to work together harmoniously and effectively, we are now training 16 military officers to serve as United Nations military observers, and we have begun preparations to create a multi-ethnic logistics and engineering company for future United Nations missions from all three sides.
On 20 January, we inaugurated the multi-ethnic Brcko district police force. The ethnic composition of the force reflects the evolving demographics of the district — 45 per cent Serbs, 37 per cent Bosniacs, 16 per cent Croats and 2 per cent other — in a unified force, but the hiring of individual police officers was based strictly on professional competence.
Also in January, the ethnically separate Federation anti-terrorist specialist police units were restructured and physically integrated. Within the coming weeks, restructuring and retraining of the equivalent units in the Republika Srpska will be completed, and they will be transferred from SFOR supervision to civilian control under UNMIBH monitoring.
These tangible and important results that have been achieved over the past six months are only one part of the overall work of UNMIBH.
One of the yardsticks by which UNMIBH’s ultimate success will be measured is its contribution to changing the composition of the police forces to better reflect the multi-ethnic communities they serve and to provide confidence for minority returnees. We have placed the highest priority on the recruitment, deployment and transfer of minority police officers.
By the end of this October, over 600 minority cadets will have been trained or be in training in the two police academies we established last year. This progress is encouraging, but clearly it is not sufficient. We need more to have a quicker and more substantial impact.
The Ministerial Consultative Meeting on Police Matters (MCMP) that we established in March is starting to produce results. The basic conditions of employment for returning minority police officers have been settled. The first list of such officers is being processed. Moreover, the respective Ministers of the Interior have now requested that the MCMP agenda be expanded to include police cooperation in other areas, such as fighting illegal immigration.
I am pleased to report excellent progress in data collection and initial screening for the Law Enforcement Personnel Registry that we established last November to register and conduct background checks on all police personnel throughout the country. Last week we reached over 10,500 registrations, out of a total force of some 20,000.
The second phase of this project is beginning. All re-registered police will be tested, detailed background checks will be conducted and final certifications will be made. Concurrently, this process is assisting us to determine accurately the correct ethnic composition of the respective police forces and to identify displaced officers for possible return to their places of origin.
Minimizing political influence by creating a professional civil service is a serious challenge for all international efforts throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Police Commissioner programme that has been introduced in the Brcko district and in the State Border Service has established the precedent of a single chain of command under a professional and independent police commissioner who is selected on merit, not ethnicity.
This is a quantum leap away from the current administrative structure of every joint institution which is a “rotating ethnic triumvirate” of political appointees, a model ensures that there is no accountability, no responsibility and no continuity. Establishment of a police commissioner post, filled through open competition, is a major step forward for a professional civil service and administration.
We are also working to ensure objectivity in the judicial system, which has been rendered dysfunctional through political intimidation and lack of enforcement of decisions. However, the court police project remains in its initial stages, hampered by a lack of resources and legislative authority. The establishment of court police is absolutely essential to complement the judicial reform process. Until citizens know that witnesses will be protected and court decisions will be enforced, even an effective police force and an independent judiciary will not be able to guarantee the rule of law.
The role of UNMIBH with respect to refugees and displaced persons is to monitor police actions in establishing a safe environment for their return. The International Police Task Force (IPTF) monitors evictions, compiles comprehensive data on return-related incidents and assists the local police to develop comprehensive security plans against ethnically motivated intimidation and crime. In a period of major spontaneous returns to difficult areas, such as Prijedor and Gorazde, our role is an essential complement to the excellent work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
In all of these endeavours our focus is to ensure that police performance meets professional standards. This requires co-location of IPTF officers with local police for the purpose of monitoring and mentoring and the provision of training. In 1998, UNMIBH had 25 IPTF liaison officers in police stations. As of last week, over 700 IPTF officers were providing day and night oversight in 256 of the 318 local police stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
But the key to self-sustaining police reform is professional training. The excellent performance of local police during the recent municipal elections demonstrates that our training is working. We have now completed our essential programme of human-dignity and transitional training for every local police officer to be aware of the basic requirements for democratic policing. Henceforth, IPTF will provide such training only to local police trainers, who will then assume the responsibility of training their own personnel under IPTF monitoring, thus freeing our resources for more extensive co-location.
Our aim is to create an effective educational infrastructure within one year so that the local police can become self-sustaining in their training programmes. Our focus on train-the-trainers programmes has already resulted in local police instructors teaching the basic cadet training courses at the two police academies. The next step is to extend this to specialized areas such as management, community policing, firearms and traffic.
Let me now turn to UNMIBH’s work in the area of judicial reform. As I have often said, if police reform is not accompanied by judicial reform, it is like trying to clap with only one hand. Regrettably, the excellent judicial system assessment programme will be brought to an end towards the end of this year, at a time when there is a need not only to continue judicial reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina but, indeed, to quicken the pace. It is imperative that there should be no gap when this programme is handed on to another organization. Those entrusted with this programme and with the new judicial review process must be competent professionals who have the confidence and trust of the local judicial community. The overall management of the judicial reform and review should remain the responsibility of the Office of the High Representative, which should be assisted by another expert international organization. We favour the Council of Europe, or, to completely preserve continuity, expertise and resources, the United Nations Development Programme is another possibility.
The Council of Europe is an ideal partner because it was influential in the gestation of JSAP and is familiar with its work. It is active in judicial reform, including the drafting of key legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the development of norms and standards for European judicial systems generally. A field presence of the Council of Europe would significantly add to its ability to contribute to law drafting and the judicial reform process.
We understand that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is also a possible candidate as an organization to succeed the judicial system assessment programme. This requires cautious consideration for two main reasons. The local history of the OSCE in this area of work has been characterized by arbitrary decisions to cut successful programmes, which have resulted in a significant loss of credibility with the local community; and its staffing and recruiting policy militates against recruiting personnel with the necessary skills and experience. The cost of a continuing programme — whoever runs it — is approximately $1.5 million. We believe that the Council of Europe could attract such support.
The progress that UNMIBH has made has brought us to the point where, alone among the international agencies, we can begin to envisage an end stage for our particular slice of the international mandate in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are preparing a medium-term plan for the fulfilment of our core mandated tasks by December 2002. Last month, I convened a weekend strategy-planning workshop of all senior field personnel to develop specific integrated objectives for the coming six months, and modalities to reach those objectives. Tangible benchmarks were established for each field office, together with performance indicators. The workshop was also instrumental in the development of a major IPTF reorganization designed to put more IPTF officers in co-located positions in sensitive areas in the field.
Through these measures I am seeking to ensure that our organizational structure and culture is performance-oriented and results-based, and to extend this approach to the work of each of our personnel. This will also enable us to constantly review resource levels with a view to progressively reallocating and reducing them as programme objectives are met. The work we have done in our train-the-trainers programme is one example of this strategic approach.
This concludes my briefing on the achievements and plans of UNMIBH. Permit me briefly to comment on other matters affecting our work.
So much of the international effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been about physical reconstruction. The Peace Implementation Council has now set its sights on repairing the institutional infrastructure and concentrating on economic and corruption-related issues. This is an essential and timely endeavour. But it is my conviction that we must also not neglect the importance of social reconstruction. This is why I have been advocating several key projects to foster the development of State identity and social reconciliation.
I strongly support the development of a Bosnia and Herzegovina national university consisting of multiple campuses with international accreditation. We must give the young people a path to the future and entry into the modern world so Croats will not go to Zagreb and young Serbs will not go to Belgrade. Otherwise, Bosnia and Herzegovina will lose its best and brightest hopes for the future.
Restoration of a spirit of religious tolerance is essential for the long-term future and distinctive identity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is my hope that an international benefactor will come forward to endow a cornerstone inter-religious project involving the simultaneous reconstruction of four historic places of worship to symbolize the rejuvenation of the spirit of religious tolerance that dominated the history of this region for all but the past century.
I have also supported efforts to reconstruct the Sarajevo-Pale road. The collapse last year of the main artery between the eastern Republika Srpska and the national capital sent a symbolic reminder of wartime separation. It must not be allowed to continue because of lack of funds.
In the time available I have been able to highlight only some of the achievements of the past six months. UNMIBH’s tasks are complex and labour-intensive. Real progress is being made, but there are severe challenges ahead, including accelerating the rate of minority returns, particularly to the Republika Srpska, and bringing the eastern part of the Republika Srpska into the national domain as a constructive constitutional partner. Also, we are mindful that we function in a broader environment in which responsibility for peace implementation is shared among a number of actors, and that much of what we do, individually and collectively, is strongly affected by developments in the wider region.
I have consistently maintained that as long as there are not democratic regimes in Zagreb and Belgrade, everything we seek to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina is problematic. The accuracy of this analysis was underlined in the release of recordings from 1999 of the late President Tudjman’s instructions to senior Bosnian Croat officials, who were told to play along with the international community while continuing to work for partition. The change of Government in Croatia has already had a major, beneficial impact on our work in areas such as Mostar.
The Milosevi regime in Serbia remains the fundamental obstacle to improved regional peace and stability and a better life not only for the Serbs but for all people there. If I were to identify three international priorities of an essentially political nature for bringing self-sustaining peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I would choose entry into European institutions; the strongest possible measures to encourage and support democracy in Serbia; and more intensive efforts to apprehend war criminals. Until one identifies and punishes the guilty, one can never absolve or free the innocent.
The events that occurred last year once again showed that tangible progress is possible, but that if it is to be achieved, intensive, coordinated and robust commitment is necessary at the international level. I am fully aware of the urgent needs for human and financial resources for peacekeeping in other parts of the world. But it is with the continued support of the Council, as well as through the dynamism and determination of the men and women working on the ground for the United Nations, that UNMIBH’s basic mandate can be discharged in the next two and a half years. For the time being, I believe that we have to stay there so that we can leave later.
Next month we will move into our new headquarters, United Nations House. That House will include most of the United Nations family in Sarajevo. Using the money that we saved by terminating our very expensive leases on the five different locales we had been renting, we have restored and are now using a dormitory that had been bombed, which will later be returned to Sarajevo University.
I take this opportunity to invite members to the inauguration of the new United Nations building in Sarajevo. Citizens of 13 States members of the Council and 60 other nationalities are working for UNMIBH in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are witnessing international cooperation for peace. I encourage members to come see for themselves what their compatriots are doing in support of international peace and the United Nations.
In a region that remains unstable and tense, I actively urge members to abide by their commitment to a sovereign, multi-ethnic and democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina strongly anchored in its European context. The Security Council should not grow weary in any respect whatsoever, be it in compassion, politics or contributions. It should give us the tools and we will complete the job.
I thank Mr. Klein for his invitation to members of the Council to come see for themselves the work accomplished by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I should like to say that, as is customary, yesterday I had a meeting with representatives of the troop-contributing countries. Their comments and questions dealt with the criteria for selecting international police officers, including the criterion for the working language, and the creation of the police service for the courts. The Special Representative was present at that meeting and provided answers to these questions. In addition, I am very pleased to say that, during the meeting, some countries announced that they would be increasing their contributions.
I now call on members of the Council.
I should like to thank to the Secretary-General for his report and his Special Representative, Mr. Klein, for his eloquent and positive briefing.
As the Secretary-General has indicated in his report, stable peace cannot exist without appropriate mechanisms to promote the rule of law. Hence, the progress in the police and judicial areas described in the report is particularly important.
With respect to the police, we would stress, inter alia, the following progress: the establishment of the multi-ethnic police core in Brcko; the integration into the Federation of the specialized police units of Bosniacs and Croats; training in combating organized crime, corruption and prostitution; and the institution of a single chain of command by establishing a police commissioner post in cantonal police services, particularly in the canton of Sarajevo and to the Federation Ministry of the Interior. I would also highlight the decision taken by the Cantonal Assembly of canton 7 to endorse an UNMIBH-brokered agreement that enables Bosniacs to work with their Croat counterparts in west Mostar for the first time since the war.
Nevertheless, much remains to be done, particularly in order to achieve adequate representation of minorities in local police forces, both in the Republika Srpska and in the Federation.
With respect to the judiciary, I wish to convey our appreciation for all the efforts made by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) to implement the judicial system assessment programme. Since the programme will be coming to an end in December 2000 and the judicial system throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina remains inadequate, we must ensure that the assessment of the judicial system by the Mission is transferred smoothly to some other organization that will be equally efficient and make use of the experience acquired and build on the progress achieved by UNMIBH.
We feel that one achievement in particular deserves to be noted: the recent establishment of the State Border Service, which had long been pending.
We still need to give a lot of attention to the return of refugees and displaced persons, particularly minorities, to their homes. If adequate security is not provided, it will be difficult to accelerate the process of return.
As the report indicates, UNMIBH has begun the preparation of a strategic and operational framework for the fulfilment of its core mandate by December 2002. Since the Mission will not be staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina indefinitely, it is essential that the people and their leaders do their utmost to create and consolidate impartial and democratic institutions appropriate to a modern State.
We are grateful to the Secretary-General for his report and to Mr. Klein for his briefing and thorough assessment of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We note that there have been some important positive changes in that country that give grounds for optimism. The key to the success and irreversibility of the process of the Bosnian settlement is full and consistent compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement. We deem any attempted revision of that document to be inadmissible. It is solely on the basis of its implementation that any viable, multi-ethnic State can evolve, consisting of two equal entities and in respect for the rights of all peoples of that country.
The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) has made an important contribution to that process. Thanks to its efforts, it has been possible to strengthen the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to enhance the professionalism of the local police and reorganize it on a multi-ethnic basis, and to achieve a certain amount of progress in reforming the judicial system and in establishing a unified Border Service.
Positive changes are occurring in Brcko. Unified structures within the Ministry of the Interior in Mostar. In this way, a meaningful contribution has been made to the building of democratic institutions of authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, positive trends towards development, including the consolidation of statehood and the growth of pluralism in social life, should not give the international community any grounds for complacency. We note that this point was just made by Mr. Klein.
Unfortunately, a certain type of action and thought based on ethnic approaches continues to prevail in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ethnic confrontation and ethnic discrimination persist. Despite the success of moderate forces in the municipal elections, the prevalence of nationalist parties has not been eliminated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We cannot fail to be concerned by the fact that efforts to create effective central structures of authority are being blocked by the passivity of the unified institutions, which have no will or initiative to build consensus on reconciliation. It is extremely important to seek the further democratization of society in order to overcome any resumption of political extremism and to achieve the support of the independent media.
Due to the inactivity of Bosnian politicians, there is an acute problem relating to the return of refugees, approximately 300,000 of whom remain outside the country.
We need to continue to reform the armed forces and reduce the defence budget. Constant attention should be given to economic reform, which is being complicated by a reduction in the level of international assistance. Additional efforts should be made to attract foreign investment flows and to combat organized crime and corruption.
In the light of the experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, our highest priority remains freeing its activities from elements of politicization and short-term interests. We have repeatedly made this point recently.
The violation of the mandate of the Stabilization Force should be brought to an end. Such violations are taking the form, in particular, of the deliberate use of force to arrest people.
I also wish to note that the failure to invite the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the Brussels meeting of the Peace Implementation Council, which was held on 23 and 24 May, was a serious blow to the entire Dayton structure, I should like to recall that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is one of the parties to the Dayton Peace Agreement and is an essential guarantor of its implementation.
We are convinced that, unfortunately, the failure to invite the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the Brussels meeting of the Peace Implementation Council will have a negative impact. Recognizing that fact, and not wishing to bear the responsibility for it, Russia was compelled not to participate in the Brussels meeting.
We confirm our position that any attempt, under any pretext, to isolate the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from the processes relating to the settlement of the situation in Bosnia, Kosovo or the Balkans as a whole would be counter-productive and lead only to the further accumulation of problems, which could precipitate a new crisis.
In conclusion, I should like to say that Russia, as one of the main participants in the Bosnia settlement, will continue to make an active contribution to the development of the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will support the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in strict compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement.
I, too, would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and Special Representative Klein for his encouraging briefing. Five years have passed since the signing of the Dayton/Paris Accords, and during that time much has been achieved in terms of stabilization and reconstruction.
The international community has not let the call for assistance go unheeded. It has contributed $5.1 billion to the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from financial assistance, we are indebted to the indefatigable efforts of the men and women serving in UNMIBH and the Stabilization Force (SFOR).
As was noted by several participants in the 23 and 24 May session of the Peace Implementation Council, Bosnia and Herzegovina today stands at a crossroads. Now that reconstruction and stabilization have been achieved, all efforts should be focused on a new institutional infrastructure. The leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina must play a leading role here and should finally begin to meet this challenge. In this respect, much more could have been achieved over the past few years. It is the hope of my delegation that the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina will at last rise to the occasion and devote all of its efforts to comprehensive nation-building.
In this context, let me identify three areas which require immediate attention and action. First, with regard to the political domain, as we have stated many times before, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs functioning and democratically accountable common institutions. What we expect from the Bosnian authorities is the political will and leadership to bring this about.
Secondly, with regard to the field of economic reform, we must admit that not much has been achieved. Rather, we have witnessed a continuation of the economic status quo, which seems to serve both economic and political vested interests. We believe that a breakthrough can be achieved through privatization. We therefore call for a quick, equitable and transparent privatization process.
Thirdly, with regard to the return of refugees and displaced persons, the Secretary-General notes in paragraph 24 of his report (S/2000/529), that, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, minority returns quadrupled in the first quarter of this year, from 1,711 in 1999 to 7,300. In itself, this is a welcome development. But the Secretary-General also notes in paragraph 35 of his report that the rate of return is still unsatisfactory and far below expectations, especially with regard to areas where such returnees would now constitute a minority.
In the view of my delegation, all the authorities concerned, at all levels in particular, at the local level should give the highest priority to the question of the return of refugees and internally displaced persons. By the same token, the Netherlands pays tribute to the Special Representative and to UNMIBH for their commitment to this important matter.
Finally, we share Mr. Klein’s enthusiasm about the establishment of the State Border Service. But we would like to take this opportunity to recall and I will not try to conceal my delegation’s growing impatience in this respect that the Netherlands has offered to contribute to the operational costs of the State Border Service, on the condition that these costs appear in the national budget. Up until now, this simple condition has not been met. The question of the State Border Service is just one instance of the sort of renewal of the institutional infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina that the international community is eagerly waiting for.
My delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his report and the Special Representative, Mr. Jacques Klein, for his comprehensive briefing on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). We agree with the Secretary-General’s assessment that, nearly five years after the end of the war, peace is taking root, but that ultimately the success of the Mission’s work depends on the cooperation of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report concludes that acceptance of accountability and responsibility by local leaders is crucial to this endeavour.
It is against this background that my delegation commends the Special Representative and the men and women of UNMIBH for their commitment to implementing the Mission’s mandate to assist parties to the peace agreement in their obligations to provide a safe and secure environment for all persons in their respective jurisdictions by maintaining civilian law enforcement agencies operating in accordance with internationally recognized standards and with respect for internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We are pleased to note the efforts to restructure and reform the police force, the screening of law enforcement personnel and the incremental progress being made in changing the composition of the police force to reflect the multi-ethnic character of the communities it serves. We attach importance to the continued emphasis on the training of police officers and agree that the key to self-sustaining police reform is professional training.
We appreciate, however, that more needs to be done in increasing the recruitment of minority police officers. We have noted from paragraph 37 of the report that UNMIBH still requires some $40 million to support the operations of the State Border Service, to sustain police restructuring, including minority recruitment, and to attain a minimum standard of police efficiency and competence in specialized areas, including management. We therefore join Mr. Klein in his appeal for additional funds and generous contributions to the Trust Fund.
We also agree with the Special Representative that there is one gap in the progress that we have noted that must be filled. This is in the area of judicial reform. We were concerned to learn from the report that the judicial system assessment programme has found that the entire judiciary is, to a greater or a lesser degree, politically, professionally and structurally dysfunctional throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. If UNMIBH is to fulfil its mandate, the judicial system must be comprehensively reformed. It cannot be left to chance. It is therefore important that international assistance for this programme be maintained.
My delegation is pleased to note that UNMIBH’s components have begun the preparation of a strategic and operational framework for the fulfilment of the Mission by December 2000, and we sincerely hope that by that time the organizational structure of the police forces will incorporate the necessary mechanisms to ensure an acceptable amount of accountability and transparency, as well as freedom from political interference. For this to be accomplished, UNMIBH must be able to count on unwavering support from the people and the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Another issue that my delegation wishes to address is the situation of human rights. We note that the UNMIBH human rights office has broadened its approach from investigating individual cases to improving the institutional integrity of the police forces. At the same time, we believe that continued emphasis must be placed on rooting out the trafficking in human beings. We would therefore wish to ascertain from the Special Representative what action has been taken on the report prepared by UNMIBH with the assistance of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
My delegation believes that the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the creation of common multi-ethnic institutions and the continued normalization of relations between the various ethnic groups. It is in this context that we again emphasize the need for provision of adequate security for returnees and for their reintegration into the country.
In conclusion, I wish to underline Jamaica’s support for the extension of UNMIBH’s mandate in order to consolidate the gains already made and to address the challenges that remain.
We thank the Secretary-General for his report and Mr. Klein, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his statement. We are grateful to the diplomats and to the General for having reminded us of the essential elements of a peacekeeping operation — a clear mandate, consent of the parties and, above and beyond that consent, their full support for the efforts of the Mission, appropriate resources and, lastly, persistence in implementing the mandate with the difficult arbitration that this requires
In this spirit, the combined efforts of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and the Office of the High Representative contribute greatly to stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will remain a critical component in international efforts to guarantee a viable and durable peace in the region.
Canada commends the recent inauguration of the State Border Service at the Sarajevo airport and the support that was provided in this regard by UNMIBH and by the Special Representative from the outset. As Mr. Klein underscored, it constitutes an important step towards building the State identity and strengthening common institutions. This service will also provide more effective means to fight smuggling and corruption and will, therefore, bring Bosnia closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions.
We believe that a coherent and integrated strategy is essential to any lasting establishment of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this regard, Canada wishes to underscore the work and the achievements of the judicial system assessment programme under the auspices of UNMIBH. We believe it will be important to ensure that appropriate follow-up arrangements are made with competent bodies to ensure successful implementation of the recommendations of the judicial system assessment programme.
It is encouraging that progress is being made in changing the composition of police forces, which absolutely must reflect the multi-ethnic character of the communities which they serve. We encourage Bosnian authorities to cooperate fully with UNMIBH in establishing professional, accountable multi-ethnic police forces.
Lastly, the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes is a top priority. The Bosnian authorities must fully implement measures likely to foster returns, such as the property law, and cease obstructing legal evictions. Progress on this front will be critical in measuring the real commitment of Bosnia’s authorities to a lasting peace within the Framework of the Dayton Accords.
The role of the International Police Task Force in this regard is key, and we welcome their success in creating security in some parts of the country.
First of all, I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his report and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Klein, for his briefing.
The Chinese delegation supports the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in their work. We appreciate and welcome the progress that UNMIBH has made in police reform and police training. We note that this progress has been made under very difficult circumstances.
We feel that progress in the recruitment of ethnic minority police is not that satisfactory. Of course, we note that a lot of efforts have been made by UNMIBH, and we hope that such efforts will continue.
Moreover, progress in the return of refugees is very slow, especially in the ethnic minority areas. This situation is very disappointing. We hope this process will be expedited. The process has been going on for five years. This is not a short period. If it continues to be prolonged, it could change the demographic configuration and further complicate the situation. Therefore, we hope that UNMIBH will make further efforts to expedite this process.
Of course, the achievements of UNMIBH’s efforts to a large extent depend on cooperation and political will on the part of the different parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the simple reason that UNMIBH will not stay forever.
In the long run, the solution to the Bosnian problem rests in the hands of the leaders and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Part III of the Secretary-General’s report deals with joint activities of the United Nations system. We appreciate the constructive role that the United Nations system and other agencies have played in Bosnia and Herzegovina to achieve peace, reconciliation and peaceful reconstruction.
In our view, there must be coordination and a clear division of labour among United Nations and other international agencies in order to avoid any duplication, overlap, waste of resources or shirking of responsibilities. Mr. Klein’s predecessor, Ms. Rehn, in her briefing to the Council, made reference to the progress made in the coordination among these organizations and agencies.
The primary responsibility of UNMIBH rests in the judicial area and in the promotion of democracy. Indeed, greater cooperation and coordination among United Nations agencies would further facilitate progress in those areas.
In view of the requests made by the various parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the fact that UNMIBH has a great deal of work still to do, we are in favour of the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend UNMIBH’s mandate and will continue to support its work.
I should like to thank Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for his very articulate briefing and update to the report of the Secretary-General on developments there.
We had occasion to hear from Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch, High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 9 May. We supported his prioritization of the requirements of Bosnia for economic revitalization, return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and consolidation of common institutions. It is encouraging to note from the Secretary-General’s report that there are visible and encouraging signs that peace is taking root in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), which has the onerous responsibility of implementing the Dayton Peace Accord, is playing a significant role in achieving these priorities.
We would like in this statement to focus on three main points.
First, UNMIBH has made good progress in its mandated area within the past year. This includes establishment of the State Border Service, a very important undertaking; registration under the Law Enforcement Personnel Registry programme; recruitment and redeployment of minority police personnel; and building of the police institution.
Secondly, the establishment of court police services is still in its initial stages, particularly in the Republika Srpska. This initiative requires further emphasis. Not only is it a constitutional requirement, but the independence and effectiveness of work of the judicial institutions are dependent on these services.
Thirdly, an essential component of the International Police Task Force is the assessment of the judicial system over a period of two years, which is due to be completed by the end of this year. The findings so far have not been unexpected: the judiciary has been found to be dysfunctional, to a varying extent, politically, professionally and structurally. The work of UNMIBH in the judicial area, which includes its assessment, recommendations and advisory role, has been playing a crucial role in building the judicial system. We believe that UNMIBH should continue to retain the necessary expertise in this area.
It is a matter of satisfaction to note that some positive developments have occurred following the statement made on 22 March during the Bangladesh presidency of the Security Council. The recent breakthrough in the Herzegovina-Neretva canton, which allowed Bosniacs, for the first time since the war, to work in Croat-dominated Mostar, is a good example. The willingness of Croat leaders to make a constructive contribution to the peace process is commendable.
We also appreciate the contributions by Member States to the Trust Funds administered by UNMIBH. Additional funds, however, are necessary to support the operations of the State Border Service and police restructuring, and to improve their efficiency and minority recruitment. We hope that the international community will come forward with generous contributions in these efforts of the Mission.
In conclusion, while supporting strongly the extension of UNMIBH’s mandate by another year — that is, until 21 June 2001 — we would like to underscore that the key role of UNMIBH is in the area of police restructuring and of the consolidation of the judicial system. Although some important initiatives have been launched and gains achieved, much of the progress will depend on overcoming factors causing obstruction and delays. We hope that, with the willingness and commitment of all parties concerned, such cooperation will increase and considerable headway in the efforts of UNMIBH will be possible.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome Ambassador Klein back to the Council. He has done an outstanding job of reinvigorating the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) with a vibrant, results-oriented concept of operations, and we are grateful for his dedication and work.
We fully support the extension of UNMIBH’s mandate for another 12 months, and we are encouraged that this extension is backed by a clear strategy for completing the Mission by December 2002. As the Secretary-General makes clear in his latest report, this is a realistic objective that can be reached if we provide UNMIBH with the resources it needs to get its job done.
My Government supports the priorities established by the Peace Implementation Council at its last ministerial meeting — refugee returns, economic reform and the strengthening of State institutions. We have set aside significant resources for work in these areas, including $67.2 million to support minority refugee returns and close to $2 million for the new State Border Service. We will also continue our significant contribution, currently more than 10 per cent of the total force, to the International Police Task Force (IPTF).
We are encouraged by the positive developments referred to in the Secretary-General’s report. It is inspiring to see the dramatic increase in refugee returns, even of minority groups to areas that saw some of the most dramatic violence during the war. This would be more than a trend if some Government officials and other individuals would stop blocking the return of these courageous men and women. We must send a clear message that we will not tolerate this obstructionism.
In that regard, my delegation fully supports aggressive use by the High Representative and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia of the mandates provided by the international community. We should seek to remove or restrain all those standing in the way of Dayton’s full implementation — the war criminals remaining at large, the organized criminals and the national extremists. In that regard, with respect to the Peace Implementation Council ministerial meeting, I would simply note that the Belgrade regime has done nothing since the December 1998 Madrid ministerial meeting, which it walked out of, to merit its participation in the Peace Implementation Council. The ministerial is, after all, a meeting of those interested in advancing the peace in Bosnia, and that purpose speaks for itself.
We are encouraged by signs that the nationalism and hatred of the past is slowly albeit too slowly giving way to new respect for democracy and the rule of law. In that regard, the new democratic Mesic-Racan Government in Croatia has had a positive impact on the Croat community in Bosnia, and we are seeing positive developments in Mostar, which only recently was labeled the most divided city in Europe. We are also seeing slow but continuing progress in setting up the State Border Service, a key element of the New York Declaration agreed to by members of the joint Presidency during their appearance in the Council last November. Certainly, more work needs to be done in the area of joint institutions, and we support the efforts of the international community in Bosnia to reinforce progress in that area.
Finally, let me speak to the issue of judicial reform. My Government commends the work of UNMIBH’s judicial system assessment programme over the past two years. It has highlighted critical problems in the Bosnian judicial system and has made important recommendations. Its mandate, however, restricts the programme to passive monitoring and assessment activities. We understand that the Office of the High Representative has drafted a plan for next steps on judicial reform and is working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on a programme that can implement the recommendations of the judicial system assessment programme. We continue to believe that the OSCE, with its experience in rule-of-law and judicial-reform issues, and with its extensive field offices in Bosnia, is the organization best suited actively to assist the Office of the High Representative in this mission. We would welcome the addition of the Council of Europe and other regional organizations in an effort led by the Office of the High Representative and the OSCE.
My delegation is grateful to the Secretary-General for his latest report on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). We thank Ambassador Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his comprehensive and upbeat briefing and commend him for his dynamic leadership and for the efforts he has made in the further implementation of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We are happy to note that UNMIBH continues to make significant contributions in solidifying the establishment of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We fully appreciate the Mission’s ongoing efforts to restructure and reform the local police forces in both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are pleased with the progress made in consolidating the State Border Service and with the operational support extended to it by some Member States.
Another welcome development is the recent breakthrough in canton 7 in respect of the integration of the Ministry of the Interior and the appointment of judges. We also note that further progress has been made in the registration and certification of the local police, and we hope that the target of establishing the first transparent and comprehensive personnel data-bank of all authorized police officers will be reached within the set time-frame. Similar progress has been noted in the recruitment and selection of minority cadets for the police academies.
The role of a professional police force, comprising personnel from the different ethnic groups, is vitally important for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hence the need to ensure adequate representation of minorities in the local police forces in both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are therefore seriously concerned at the lack of progress in this area, especially in the case of the police force of the Republika Srpska, less than 1 per cent of which consists of minority officers, which misses the benchmark set in the 1998 Framework Agreement. We hope that progress in this area, as well as in the training of specialized police forces, can be made, with the necessary involvement of UNMIBH and the international community. We also look forward to the early establishment of a court police service in the Republika Srpska, which still lags far behind.
Important contributions by UNMIBH in other areas of the civilian component of the Peace Agreement, such as the assessment of the judicial system and the strengthening of the legal system’s respect for human rights, also deserve our commendation. Given the findings of the judicial system assessment programme regarding the current court system in Bosnia and Herzegovina that the entire judiciary is politically, professionally and structurally dysfunctional we feel that further determined efforts will be essential to remedy such serious shortcomings. In that regard, we would support further efforts through appropriate arrangements in that vitally important area.
Despite these achievements, much more still needs to be done. The progress made thus far must be further consolidated, and critical remaining tasks must be accomplished so that peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be irreversible. We note that the rate of return of refugees and displaced persons, in particular to the Republika Srpska, is still unsatisfactory and far below expectations. Clearly, reconciliation among the Bosnian ethnic communities has a very long way to go.
While economic recovery has begun to take root, it too is below expectations. There must be more tangible progress in all these areas to ensure viable statehood for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The success of the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina still depends very much at this stage on the commitment and sustained support of the international community. The continuing active involvement of the international community remains essential. The work of UNMIBH, including the International Police Task Force (IPTF), should continue as the international community strives to ensure a self-sustaining and enduring peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We therefore fully support the recommendation by the Secretary-General that UNMIBH’s mandate should be further extended for another period of 12 months, until 21 June 2001.
We agree with the Secretary-General that the effective presence of the Stabilization Force (SFOR) is essential. My delegation commends the important role of the international community, particularly that of the High Representative and his Office, the relevant Governments, all the personnel of SFOR and of UNMIBH, and other United Nations agencies, all of whose contributions have been invaluable in facilitating work towards the full implementation of the Peace Agreement. The commitment of the international community and its contribution to the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be matched by the commitment and full cooperation of the Bosnian leadership and the Bosnian people at every level. For ultimately, the main responsibility for achieving peace, national reconciliation and nation-building lies with them.
Malaysia is proud to be associated with the efforts to build peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will continue to be actively engaged in ensuring the full implementation of the Peace Agreement through our participation in UNMIBH and IPTF, by making available training and other facilities, and by sharing our experience in the field of socio-economic development and in the field of privatization, which has been successfully implemented in Malaysia.
I want to thank Mr. Klein for his very comprehensive, informative and encouraging briefing. I wish also to thank the Secretary-General for his latest report.
Since the adoption of resolution 1247 (1999) of 18 June 1999, the progress achieved in Bosnia and Herzegovina in furthering the implementation of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement has in fact been substantive. In our view, a significant contribution to the overall success achieved so far by the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been made by the United Nations system of organizations, headed and coordinated by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). My delegation feels that the UNMIBH and the International Police Task Force (IPTF), its core part, continue to play a crucial role in the implementation of the civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement, in particular with respect to establishing mechanisms for the rule of law.
Ukraine commends the work done by UNMIBH during this period in the fields of police restructuring and reform, building common institutions, establishing a judicial system and ensuring respect for human rights. We acknowledge the professionalism of the IPTF staff, who have been carrying out their mandate in the difficult conditions of an authorized strength that had been reduced, mainly because of the additional requirements for Kosovo.
My delegation would also like to congratulate Mr. Klein and the Mission personnel on a number of most important recent achievements in the field of establishing common institutions: the multi-ethnic integration of the parallel police structures and the municipal and cantonal court system in canton 7, the formation of the multi-ethnic Brcko district police force and the inauguration of the State Border Service at the Sarajevo airport just a week ago. Obviously, all these ground-breaking projects have at least one remarkable and noteworthy feature in common: they bring together the representatives of three major ethnicities in their joint endeavours to build a State. We were pleased to learn from the Secretary-General’s report that such significant developments towards integration of the police have enabled Croats and Bosniacs to work together in west Mostar for the first time since the war ended. The significance of the start of functioning of the State Border Service cannot be overestimated.
While praising UNMIBH and IPTF efforts in building common institutions, we fully agree with Mr. Klein that much more has yet to be done in the field of police minority recruitment in both entities, as well as in providing security to the minority returnees. We cannot be satisfied with the increased number of security incidents related to the minority returnees and the issues of their property rights. Such incidents are unacceptable. Undoubtedly, the IPTF and the Stabilization Force (SFOR) should undertake additional measures to remedy the situation. We also believe that more attention should be paid to accelerating the process of cross-border refugee return to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its neighbouring countries.
My delegation notes with satisfaction some positive steps outlined in the Secretary-General’s report, aimed at enhancing the coordination of joint efforts between United Nations bodies and other international organizations. Here I mean the idea of handing over in the future the work of the Mission’s judicial system assessment programme to an international organization that will be ready to carry on with this programme on the basis of UNMIBH’s experience.
My delegation welcomes the Secretary-General’s observation in paragraph 34 of the report that all the UNMIBH components have begun the preparation of a framework for the fulfilment of the core mandate of the Mission by December 2002. We take it as a positive sign that the United Nations Mission can fulfil its mandate by that time. Still, we think it is too early even to anticipate the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the near future.
It is well known that there is still a long way to go to make the process of peace and reconciliation, stability and democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina irreversible. One of the major problems, in our view, is ensuring that the leaders and the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina are totally committed to the implementation of the Peace Agreement in full, while realizing that the future of the country is their main responsibility. In this regard, we share certain misgivings expressed at the latest meeting of the Peace Implementation Council in Brussels on the current insufficient level of commitment demonstrated by the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to the peace process.
In this regard, we believe that the Council should continue to give its solid support to UNMIBH and strongly encourage the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to demonstrate their firm commitment to the implementation of the Peace Agreement in full cooperation with UNMIBH.
As an IPTF contributor, Ukraine is determined to continue its participation in IPTF activities. As a member of the Peace Implementation Council, my country has endorsed the three priorities for Bosnia for the next 18 months, as identified at the Peace Implementation Council meeting: specifically, pursuing market-economy reforms, accelerating refugee return and strengthening State democratic institutions. We call on the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure their implementation.
In our view, four and a half years of UNMIBH activities have been a worthwhile effort, since they have brought undeniable results, and the overall situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina seems to be quite promising. At the same time, we feel that, in view of the remaining problems, continued UNMIBH activities, secured by effective SFOR backing, are still required in Bosnia and Herzegovina to consolidate the peace process and move it forward. Therefore, my delegation supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend the UNMIBH mandate for a further 12-month period, until 21 June 2001.
In conclusion, let me wish further success to Mr. Klein and the entire staff of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina in pursuing our common strategy aimed at restoring lasting peace and stability to that part of the Balkans.
First, I wish to express sincere condolences on the passing of President Hafez Al-Assad of Syria. This was an immense loss not only for Syria, but also for the Arab world as a whole because Mr. Al-Assad had great personal qualities and did so much for the cause of the Middle East and the Arab cause. For 25 years he worked tirelessly and generously for his nation and his people. May God receive him in his mercy.
Thank you, Mr. President, for having convened this meeting on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I also wish to express our appreciation to Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina for all his work.
The Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) is instructive in several respects. It informs us on developments in the situation, which on the whole are positive. UNMIBH’s five priority areas of action have all, to varying degrees, seen positive developments towards the objective of consolidating peace in the region.
The municipal elections, held on 8 April 2000 without any major incident or disruptions and with a relatively high rate of participation, were in our view, another test demonstrating the determination of the people to move towards coexistence. These elections call for the international community to continue its effort and to support the parties that have chosen to cooperate with UNMIBH to attain the goals set for the restoration of lasting peace and the establishment of a democratic and multi-ethnic State.
Progress made in registering police personnel, as well as the representation of minorities within the police force, should be commended. The agreement on the voluntary transfer of police officers wishing to return to their former duty stations significantly improves the prospects for creating a multi-ethnic police force. We are convinced, however, that these efforts are inadequate and that we need to strengthen efforts in these areas.
The role of the police at this crucial stage is more than obvious. It is not merely a question of ensuring respect for the law and promoting social harmony, but also one of combating the scourges of drugs and organized crime. At this point, I would like to welcome the cooperation between UNMIBH and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the preparation of the report currently under way, which we eagerly await.
We welcome the results attained by UNMIBH in the past year. The establishment of the State Border Service and the integration of the Ministry of the Interior in canton 7 attest once again to the importance of the results achieved. In the same canton, we also take note of some equally important progress, namely, the appointment of judges from different ethnic groups. An independent and impartial judiciary is a guarantee of equality for defendants and of lasting social harmony.
The return of refugees and displaced persons is a major concern in implementing the Peace Agreements in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ensuring the security and well-being of all refugees, particularly minorities, is also a major responsibility. We welcome the massive return of refugees, who should have the support of actors on the ground. We stress the very positive role played in that regard by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
In order to give peace a solid foundation it is necessary to base that peace on the moral values of tolerance and respect for others’ differences. In this connection, we think schools should play a primary role in educating future generations. It therefore seems to us that it is important to work towards establishing a unified and multi-ethnic university in Bosnia and Herzegovina where young people can learn to live together and to coexist despite their differences.
In order to consolidate peace we need to give Bosnia and Herzegovina a major political plan to which all parties will adhere. The Stability Pact being put forward by the European Union is an interesting platform for making this project a reality. My delegation believes that economic vitality should be strengthened in the region in order to attain this goal.
It is clear that when the parties have shown that they want to cooperate with the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, important results have been attained. The full cooperation of all parties is a condition for the success of this operation, and we therefore call on the parties to cooperate further with UNMIBH.
We are aware of the seriousness of the obstacles hampering the smooth implementation of UNMIBH’s mandate. But those obstacles should not discourage us from continuing our efforts to make a better future for all the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The international community should support the tangible results achieved by UNMIBH and renew its mandate.
I thank Special Representative Klein for his very full and comprehensive briefing.
The hour is late, and I will try to be as brief as I can.
The Secretary-General’s report, for which we are extremely grateful, refers to significant operational successes. Mr. Klein and his team deserve our admiration and thanks for the commitment that has been required to bring about those successes. I should like to highlight a few of them.
The International Police Task Force (IPTF) continues to make steady progress on recruiting and training police and on reforming local structures to reflect the single-chain-of-command style more familiar in the rest of Europe.
As Mr. Klein has said, the establishment of the State Border Service, which was officially launched on 6 June, was a very significant step forward in the face of considerable local opposition. When Mr. Klein last briefed us, in March, we learned that he had been forced to impose the laws establishing the Border Service after Parliament failed to pass the necessary legislation. We have every confidence that the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), maintaining pressure where necessary, will ensure that the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina implement the Border Service laws in full.
The Secretary-General’s report also makes reference to the highly effective judicial system assessment programme. It has now reported its important, if disappointing, findings. It is now important that an effective way is found to hand over this work to another organization. It is for the Office of the High Representative, as the central coordinating agency in Bosnia, to propose a successor to UNMIBH in the area of judicial assessment and reform. We welcome the fact that UNMIBH representatives are working together with representatives of the Office of the High Representative to find the best home for this work.
Mr. Klein expressed his preferences to us this morning. I, in response, will express ours. Our own view is that neither the Council of Europe nor the United Nations Development Programme is an appropriate successor agency for UNMIBH in this area. We understand that the Office of the High Representative will probably propose an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/Office of the High Representative partnership. We have some doubts as to the need to move the programme away from UNMIBH, but we will of course consider carefully the eventual proposal of the Office of the High Representative.
I took careful note of Mr. Klein’s macro-objectives of greater integration with Europe, efforts to promote democracy in Serbia and a more intensified effort to track down war criminals. All these are laudable, wide objectives that my delegation supports.
At the more micro level, although it is not really micro, we welcome the fact that UNMIBH’s components have begun to prepare a strategic and operational framework for fulfilling its core mandate by December 2002. We welcome the focus this date will bring to the operation. However, we should not forget that an exit strategy must be tied to the achievement of objectives.
We welcome the recognition in the Secretary-General’s report of the need continuously to review progress, not least in order to ensure that resources are deployed where they can be of most use.
It will also be important to look at our wider successes. UNMIBH’s exit strategy will need to be carefully considered in the light of an overarching, coordinated assessment of all the international organization’s mandates and objectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We, too, thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on Bosnia and Herzegovina and would like to welcome his Special Representative, Mr. Jacques Klein, and to thank him for his valuable update on the implementation of the Peace Agreement in that country.
My delegation concurs with the Secretary-General and his Special Representative that without an effective police force and judicial institutions in place, all efforts by the international community for durable peace and self-sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina will indeed be incomplete.
Notwithstanding the difficulties encountered in the professionalization and reconstruction of the police and judiciary system, the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and the International Police Task Force (IPTF) have achieved tangible results, notably, the inauguration of the multi-ethnic State Border Service and the establishment of the multi-ethnic Brcko district police force, as well as many more.
We also take note from the Secretary-General’s report of the new spirit of cooperation in the Herzegovina-Neretva canton, which for the first time since the war allowed Bosniacs to work in west Mostar. We hope that this spirit will be replicated throughout the country.
On balance, my delegation also has some concern about the slow progress in the recruitment of minority police officers and in gender balance in both entities, about the return of minorities and internally displaced persons with dignity to their original homes, and about the issue of trafficking in human beings.
On the latter, we are glad that progress has been achieved and we are also looking forward to the report on that issue. It is the view of my delegation that the leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina ought to address these issues, because the colour and composition of a future united, multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina really depend on the harmonization of these basic ingredients.
Once again, we thank the Special Representative for his timely briefing. We encourage him to continue and we also commend the men and women of UNMIBH and the Stabilization Force for their valuable contribution to the maintenance of peace and the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this light, we support the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend the mandate of UNMIBH for a further 12 months, ending 21 June 2001.
I wish to associate myself with the words of welcome extended to Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I wish to thank him for his enlightening and detailed statement.
I also thank the Secretary-General for his report of 2 June 2000 on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
I wish to make three brief comments on the question under consideration. First of all, my delegation is gratified by the progress that has been made by UNMIBH within the framework of its overall mandate, which, we should recall, is to oversee and restructure the institutions of law and order in the Republic. On this basis, the establishment of the State Border Service and the multi-ethnic Brcko district police force are significant, as is the integration of the specialized police forces of the Federation. The Secretary-General’s report also mentions the progress achieved in establishing the Law Enforcement Personnel Registry and the initiatives to accelerate the recruitment, voluntary redeployment and return of minority police. Along these lines, we note the positive response of Croat leaders to the statement made by the President of the Security Council on 23 April calling on them to become constructive partners in the peace process. We should also mention the remarkable work done in the judicial system assessment programme.
Secondly, my delegation hopes that the progress made will be consolidated. To that end, and as emphasized by Mr. Klein in his statement, the ongoing and enduring commitment of the international community seems to be urgently needed. We welcome the efforts of the Member States that have contributed to the Trust Fund administered by UNMBIH, which we hope will receive further contributions for the Police Assistance Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Similarly, we hope that the Security Council and Member States that have an influence on the parties will give UNMIBH the support it needs. The cooperation of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina remains essential to the success of UNMIBH’s continued mission.
My third comment is on the return of refugees and displaced persons. This return is a major priority and must be accelerated. That is why we urge the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina fully to implement measures to encourage the populations to return, in particular through property legislation and the lifting of restrictions on legal evictions.
In conclusion, I stress Mali’s support for the extension of UNMIBH’s mandate for a further 12-month period to 21 June 2001. We thank Mr. Klein and all the staff of UNMIBH for their devotion to the cause of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of France.
I wish to make a few brief points. First, the existence of other regional crises must not lead to less energy and attention being devoted to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The lasting stabilization of Bosnia and Herzegovina is essential to the future of the region. It has not yet been definitively achieved. A great deal remains to be done before the local officials and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina can take charge of the destiny of their country. Yet, time is pressing. International assistance cannot remain forever at the current level. It is now that we must consolidate our achievements so that the enormous international investment made in Bosnia and Herzegovina can pay off. The coming few years will be decisive in obtaining important progress in several key sectors: the return of refugees and displaced persons; the consolidation of core institutions; the pluralism of political life; and economic reform.
Secondly, France remains strongly engaged in Bosnia and Herzegovina over four years after the peace accords signed in Paris. France remains one of the most important contributors to the Stabilization Force and to the International Police Task Force. France has also undertaken to ensure throughout its forthcoming presidency of the European Union that Bosnia and Herzegovina fully retains its role in the Union’s strategy for the Balkans, bearing in mind, of course, that this presupposes shared efforts. It bears recalling yet again that the European Union and its member States are by far the largest contributors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 1991, the European Union has provided over 2.5 billion euros to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is in a position to play a central role in the future of that country on the basis of this financial effort and because European perspectives are the decisive lever in the evolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
My third comment relates to UNMIBH and its main component, the International Police Task Force. This action is essential to establishing a genuine State and a state of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Behind the figures, which are impressive in themselves, just given to us by Mr. Klein on the training of police personnel and the recruitment of police officers from minority groups, and behind the facts on the judiciary system, we find both the reality of the past and the plan for the future.
The reality of the past was that of a police force that was too large and partial in the hands of the majority group. It was also a situation of justice subject to pressure. The plan for the future, which Mr. Klein and UNMIBH are steadily turning into reality day by day, is that every inhabitant of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to go to a police station in complete confidence, that he or she will be defended regardless of origin and that he or she will obtain a fair trial. The plan is for the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina to exist on the ground through controls exercised over the borders and for the judicial system of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be reformed. Experience and know-how acquired through the judicial system assessment programme conducted by UNMIBH must be preserved in the framework of the follow-up to the programme.
Having heard the statements of other speakers and of Mr. Klein, I should like to express the opinion of the delegation of France on this subject. We believe that a satisfactory solution might be found by, for example, conferring the follow-up of the operation on the United Nations Development Programme.
In conclusion, France, like other members, would like to reiterate its complete support for Jacques Klein and UNMIBH, whose successful action deserves to be commended.
I shall now give the floor to Mr. Klein to respond to the observations of speakers.
Let me deal with the statement made in serial fashion. Regarding our time lines, I think we have laid out clear and specific goals, which we believe can be met. I assure the Council that I will do my utmost to bring this mission to closure on time and under budget in terms of the mandate.
With regard to trafficking, I think the Council can take some pleasure in knowing that the United Nations was the first to identify this problem. Since Bosnia and Herzegovina has more than 430 border crossings mountain paths, dirt roads and two-lane highways we have a totally permeable State. We identified the problem, we began to raid the houses and we worked with local ambassadors to return the women to their homes. We worked with the International Office of Migration to ensure that when the women do return to their countries of origin, counselling and reintegration will be available to them. We temporarily funded safe houses, and we are now in the process of funding permanent housing for them as safe houses.
The report is available. It was written in conjunction with our colleagues in the human rights arena, and I think it very much addresses a strongly perceived need.
I thank all members for their very generous comments; I will take them back with me. As I said earlier, of the 15 countries represented around this table, 13 are represented in my mission, along with 60 other nationalities. This means that the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Police Task Force include 73 different nationalities. These are your citizens; they are men and women from your countries who every day demonstrate on the ground that peoples of different races, religions and ethnic groups can work together constructively in a common cause. Those are the universal values of the United Nations, which we all represent.
I thank Mr. Jacques Klein for his comments, which, as always, have been precise and energetic. I thank him for having mentioned the contributions of different States as an example of what the international community can accomplish when it joins forces in a country which needs to continue to receive our support.
There are no other speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.