The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/2001/571).
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Members:||Mr. Wang Yingfan
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/2001/571)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 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.
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 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/2001/571.
Members of the Council also have before them document S/2001/542, containing the text of a letter dated 30 May 2001 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council, transmitting a letter dated 28 May 2001 from the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, enclosing the monthly report on Stabilization Force (SFOR) operations.
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 give him the floor.
It is an honour for me to appear once again before this Council to give an update on developments that have taken place in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to describe the progress achieved by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
Recent acts of violence in Mostar, Trebinje and Banja Luka have once again raised the question of whether the Dayton Accords are in the process of failing or whether it is possible to achieve the objective of reconciliation and the establishment of a multi-ethnic society in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the Balkans in general.
Allow me to make three observations. The first is to note that the current period is a complex and volatile one, but that developments in the field are a source of optimism rather than pessimism. The decisive test of Dayton is whether the necessary conditions exist on the ground for people to return to their homes. It is now almost 10 years since the war began, and the number of people returning to their regions of origin has never been as high as it is today. It cannot be ruled out that this year as many as 100,000 minority returnees will return to their homes. The main obstacle is more economic than political. It is above all a question of lack of jobs and lack of donors for the rebuilding of housing.
Secondly, democratic Governments in Zagreb and Belgrade no longer actively conspire for the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In my recent meetings with Croatian, Bosnian and Yugoslav leaders, they have shown a real will to put substance into constructive bilateral and regional relations based on mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State. This is based not on love but on realism. Cooperation between them is the fundamental building block for reaching closure on the Serb-Croat-Bosniac question in the Balkans and for creating the political and military stabilization that is essential for their economic growth and progress and their eventual integration into Europe.
UNMIBH has seized this opportunity. In the past month, we have brokered a trilateral arrangement for cooperation in combating illegal migration and organized crime. Last week a bilateral agreement was reached on using expertise and facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to assist in the establishment of a new State Border Service in Yugoslavia, and we are now working on a mechanism to enable refugee police officers to return to police jobs in Bosnia and Herzegovina while keeping their seniority and pension entitlements.
I was also enormously heartened last month when the process of establishing truth and reconciliation commissions began in both Sarajevo and Belgrade. For the past decade, if not for the past 50 years, the politicization and distortion of history has been a weapon of manipulation in the hands of extremists. These are the first brave steps by the people themselves to establish what really happened and what and who plunged one of the most developed socialist States into a vortex of barbarism and self-destruction. It is a psychological maxim that until the patient recognizes that he has a problem, a cure is unlikely to be found. Truth and reconciliation commissions are the first steps in the process of healing and of establishing individual responsibility. Until one identifies the guilty, one can ultimately not absolve the innocent.
My third observation is that it is far more prudent and effective to work on the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina than its disintegration. Progress continues to be made. The mono-ethnic wastelands are being reversed. Towns such as the ethnically cleansed Drvar are now mixed. The central Bosnia canton comprising an equal number of Bosniacs and Croats is integrated and functioning. Internal inter-ethnic trade and commerce have been re-established. Increasingly, ethnic partitionists are on the back foot. Robust actions by the international community to expose their corruption and criminal self-interest are taking effect. Two weeks ago, extremist leaders of the Croat self-rule movement failed in their attempt to extort unlawful taxes from Croats in central Bosnia, and Croat soldiers have started to return to their barracks.
The political crisis is not yet over. But, for the ultra-nationalists, the writing is clearly on the wall. Moreover, a new territorial settlement cannot be reached by consensus, and attempts to impose one will only lead to resistance and renewed war. It should be recalled that Dayton was possible only because the war was allowed to continue until the situation on the ground approximated the 51/49 territorial formula that would be accepted by all sides. All attempts to negotiate a different formula have failed through the opposition of one or the other party. Those who were unable to negotiate the consensual redrawing of boundaries during the war should not now try to revive failed schemes, especially when neighbouring States no longer support them and internal divisions have started to blur. The newfound respect in the last year for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be encouraged, not discarded.
Most importantly, the precedent of giving up on a multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina would be a disaster for its people, for the region and for the international community. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the test case. If international intervention fails there, we dash the hopes of a new generation that is just beginning to exercise democracy. More importantly, we sound the death knell for multi-ethnic States anywhere in the Balkans, with grave implications for peace and stability in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and elsewhere.
For the first time, war could spread beyond the borders of the former Yugoslavia. If, after six years of massive engagement, the result is failure and withdrawal, United Nations authority, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance and the principle of multi-ethnic tolerance as a basis of democratic society are all compromised. Our collective credibility is at stake. If we abandon the field now to extremist partitionists and segregationists, the moral and political basis for future interventions against ethnic cleansing and expulsion of minority populations is weakened, perhaps fatally.
For these reasons and more, we cannot afford to give up on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nor is it necessary to do so. It is my considered view that, with a steady hand, a credible strategic plan and dynamic leadership, the core issues addressed in Dayton — refugee return, full military stabilization and internal accommodation — could be resolved within the next two or three years. At that time, Europe and European institutions could take over the job of bringing the countries of the region up to European economic and social levels. But as long as the international community continues to pursue a piecemeal approach to the Balkans, in which loose coordination among a multitude of actors is an unsatisfactory substitute for purposeful planning, the real opportunities to close a tragic decade of war and instability will go begging.
What is most needed is what has been most lacking: a credible and practical vision to assist the region, shed its Balkan past, embrace its European future and move from the Yugo to the euro. We need to articulate what we want the region to look like in 2005, 2010 and 2015, and what we, the international community, intend to do to get there. The starting point is clear. Weak States devastated by war, near the bottom rung of development, with underdeveloped democracy and rule of law, lack a credible overarching construct for stabilization and development. The end point is also clear: stability and development require domestic accommodation, interregional cooperation and, ultimately, European integration. A credible path to move from one to the other must be planned and articulated. This was recognized in the original concept of the Stability Pact, which, regrettably, has diffused some of its political dimension. A reconsideration of the respective roles of the Stability Pact and the European Union would be timely. If either of those bodies cold become the engine of regional cooperation and integration, the role of other organizations would be much clearer and more effective.
Another important aspect is that the people of the region themselves must articulate their will to live peacefully together as part of Europe and undertake the domestic measures and accommodations necessary to do so. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the international community has, for nearly six years, been practically the sole driving force of Dayton implementation. A quasi-protectorate has been established in which democratic form has taken the place of democratic substance. Parts of the Dayton Constitution are now starting to creak. Constitutional evolution — which can and must be achieved without reopening other aspects of Dayton — is becoming necessary, and probably inevitable. Dayton is the floor, not the ceiling. It was never intended to constrain such an evolution or to substitute for local formulation of the common political will and aspirations of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
However, agreement on the fundamental rules of the game, the constitutional equality of all citizens and a permanent election law languishes. The new leaders have shown little will to move away from their personal and sectarian positions in the interests of the citizens and the country as a whole. Their failure to exercise real leadership is directly contributing to the turbulent political climate. Thus, despite the shady personal interests of its leaders, the Croat self-rule movement has tapped into the fears of many Croats that they will become marginalized. And the Serb unwillingness to implement the decisions of the Constitutional Court and to participate constructively in State institutions is drawing a stronger Bosnian counter-reaction that is being manifested, inter alia, in the politicization of religious events. The result, political ferment and increased incidents of public disorder, has a direct impact on our mandate and on implementation, as well as on the security and safety of international personnel and property. This cycle will be finally broken only when the leaders and the people themselves engage constructively to agree on the constitutional rules that will govern their State. Without this we will continue to face the problems of parallel institutions and non-accountable political structures.
Turning now to the specific work of UNMIBH, the report of the Secretary-General shows a Mission that, I think, is dynamic, focused and results-oriented. Our internal Mandate Implementation Plan is a comprehensive blueprint of some 57 specific projects that address individual police officers, police organizational structures and rules and the relationship between police and society at large. About one third of the projects have been completed, one third are ongoing and the remainder will be launched in the next six months. When the Plan is completed, which I expect will be at the end of 2002, each of the approximately 20,000 local police officers will have been vetted, trained and basically equipped, and will be working in professional and accountable police structures. It is possibly the largest programme of police reform and restructuring that has ever been undertaken.
However, I must emphasize that as long as the majority of the police receive less than a living wage and there is no effective judicial follow-through, and as long as political parties interfere directly in police work and appointments, the establishment of the rule of law will be incomplete. These key areas — salaries, judicial follow-through and political interference — fall outside our mandate. We must depend on the timely and effective support, actions and political policy-setting of the High Representative.
Allow me to briefly draw the Council’s attention to some highlights in our mandate implementation, as well as some challenges where additional assistance is required.
The deployment of the State Border Service is making exceptional progress. Since its inauguration, one year ago, the State Border Service now covers some 62 per cent of the border, as well as the major international airport in Sarajevo. It is the first multi-ethnic State-level agency. It has begun to make frequent seizures of contraband, including drugs and other smuggled goods. When fully deployed and equipped, together with the reformed customs service it will play a major role in increasing desperately needed State revenues and cracking down on organized crime.
The State Border Service is also a major instrument to reduce unregulated migration to Western Europe, as well as human trafficking. Some 10 per cent of all legal entrants to Western Europe pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Last year over 25,000 such migrants entered through Sarajevo airport alone. This year more effective border controls and the introduction of a visa regime for Iranian passport holders has so far halved the number of such migrants.
Several donors have contributed generously to the deployment of the State Border Service. However, we remain about $5 million short of our requirements this year, especially for salaries. Completion of full deployment and equipment next year depend on a new contribution of about $17 million. In the following years the State Border Service is expected to be more than self-financing through its contribution to improved State revenue collection.
Trafficking in human beings is one of the most insidious and lucrative of crimes. In the past 18 months UNMIBH and the International Organization for Migration have assisted nearly 400 trafficked women, of whom 304 have been repatriated. We have intensified our efforts on illegal migration and organized crime through the Joint Entity Task Force; and in March this year police officers from five different police structures, working together, simultaneously raided 38 nightclubs, in every canton of Bosnia and Herzegovina except one. One hundred and seventy-seven women were given the option to freely choose whether they wished to remain in those bars or to be repatriated.
To further assist in fighting international organized crime, I am pleased to inform the Council that the official inauguration of the Sarajevo national Interpol office, established with considerable UNMIBH assistance, will take place next week.
Training and monitoring police performance and minority returns is at the core of our mandate. We seek to ensure that return security plans are prepared, incidents are professionally investigated and police reports to judicial authorities are of a quality and thoroughness sufficient to commence criminal prosecutions. The small Criminal Justice Advisory Unit is already playing a central role in that regard.
The fact that minority returns have doubled and that most returnees experience no security problems is evidence of improved police performance and public acceptance. However, the number of return-related incidents is still unacceptably high in certain areas, particularly in the eastern part of the Republika Srpska and in parts of Herzegovina. Also, only a handful of perpetrators have been convicted and sentenced. We hope that the Independent Judicial Commission, now established in the Office of the High Representative, will robustly address the problem of lack of judicial follow-up.
Multi-ethnic police forces are an essential confidence-building measure for returnees and an important test for minority rights. Two and a half years ago the police forces were mono-ethnic. Today, through the two police academies and the voluntary redeployment programme, there are almost 1,000 minority police. There is no shortage of potential candidates; but the full potential of our minority recruitment programmes will not be reached until action is taken to improve police salaries, especially in the Republika Srpska, and until the police are given priority for housing assistance and provision of alternate accommodation.
An area where we are meeting political obstruction is in establishing the post of a professional and non-political commissioner of police in every police administration. Recently, Bosniac politicians have tried to intimidate UNMIBH personnel to ensure that their own Bosniac candidates are appointed to the Federation Ministry of the Interior and to senior posts in other common institutions. The strength of that intimidation and manipulation is proof of the need for professional and non-political appointments staffed through transparent measures. I would ask for the Council’s support in sending a clear message that independent commissioners of police must be appointed in all police administrations by the end of this year.
Looking ahead, we expect that it will be a politically hot summer in which police performance will be under the microscope. The violent events we have witnessed recently are the result of premeditated incitement by fringe groups of extreme nationalists intent on preserving their criminal gains and on derailing the establishment of the rule of law and normal civil society.
Unfortunately, difficult economic conditions, including over 40 per cent unemployment among young people, many of whom are children of displaced persons, are creating a disillusioned underclass that is easily manipulated and mobilized. At the aborted Ferhadija mosque ceremony in Banja Luka, a small group of extremists was quickly swelled by young people and schoolchildren throwing rocks. The police, whose planning did not anticipate the number and violence of the demonstrators, were quickly overwhelmed. In Mostar, the speed and viciousness of the ultra-nationalist’s counterattack on the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and international civilian personnel was underestimated. In Trebinje, local police were passive against their fellow Serbs. In all cases, UNMIBH has taken swift and effective action against non-performing policemen. Senior officers resigned or were dismissed in Banja Luka and Trebinje; in Mostar, seven police officers were de-authorized and the High Representative eventually removed the Minister of the Interior, who was one of the leaders of the riot.
However, dismissal from a very low- and irregularly paying job in the police force is an imperfect sanction. Consequently, at a time of increasingly violent resistance from extremists, whose interests are directly threatened by more intrusive measures of peace implementation, the international community is more reliant than ever on the security support of SFOR.
In this context, I must express some concern about the possible further SFOR reductions. As a recent report from the International Crisis Group warned,
“Any significant cuts in SFOR levels now would strengthen Bosnia’s hardliners and encourage extremists throughout the Balkans. Their long-time belief that they can wait out the international community would seem justified.”
This is not a matter solely of troop numbers. The mobility and rules of engagement of SFOR, particularly the multinational specialized units, are critical. We cannot afford a security gap between unarmed UNMIBH police monitors and SFOR combat troops working under military rules of engagement. The violence of the past two months has sounded a warning bell. If we are serious about protecting international personnel and property, the security gap must be closed. Widening the rules of engagement of the multinational specialized units is an option that deserves serious consideration.
But some very significant actions can be taken even within SFOR’s current rules of engagement. The arrest and trial of notorious war criminals remains the most important action to undercut extremists and consolidate peace implementation. Their continued presence undermines the establishment of the rule of law, inhibits inter-ethnic reconciliation and holds back the political future of the country. The lack of progress in arresting Karadzic and Mladic for nearly six years is a testament to the weakness of the international community in the face of evil. It undermines the authority of the International Tribunal as well as the credibility of SFOR and, through that, it throws into question the resolve of participating Governments to lead the peace process to a successful conclusion.
I am pleased to report some progress on Srebrenica, which has been a desolate blight on the conscience of the international community. Last December, UNMIBH proposed to the five principal international organizations that we establish a comprehensive plan to address the return, reconstruction and revitalization needs of that tragic area. The Srebrenica Action Plan was adopted in March to address the problems of the living, thus complementing the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons and the Office of the High Representative to assist the victims’ associations and establish the Potocari burial site and memorial.
UNMIBH’s role is focused on return security and multi-ethnic policing. Our immediate priorities are the voluntary redeployment of about 10 Bosniac police officers to work in Srebrenica, the construction of a model police station in the town and several infrastructure projects, beginning with the schools and hospital. Working closely with SFOR and local police, we are making every effort to ensure that the forthcoming commemoration on 11 July will be a secure and orderly one. However, I am concerned that signs of increasing religious polarization may prejudice the success of this and other events. A more active promotion of dialogue between religious and cultural organizations is desperately required. In the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, when the Pope can enter a historic mosque in Syria, it should not be beyond the ability of Bosnian religious leaders to make additional efforts at promoting tolerance and reconciliation in their own country.
Permit me to conclude my briefing by addressing three issues that I believe are seminal. First, the success of multi-ethnicity in Bosnia and Herzegovina is key to the prospects of multi-ethnic States throughout the Balkans. We must see the process through to a successful conclusion. We did not come to Bosnia and Herzegovina to do what was easy; we came to do what was right.
Secondly, as this Council has previously noted, there is no exit without strategy. UNMIBH has an achievable strategy. We believe that we can complete our core mandate by the end of next year, provided that we keep a full team of the 1,850 international police officers until at least July 2002 and that we find the relatively modest additional funding for the State Border Service and basic police equipment. We cannot get out, in a sense, without getting in, but I see no other organization with a similar strategy or vision. Crisis-management must go hand in hand with strategic planning and operations. Only when we agree on a common vision can there be coherence and efficiency in the respective roles of the many current international actors, including the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Stability Pact and the Peace Implementation Conference.
Thirdly, I cannot overemphasize the importance of the active involvement of this Council in any review of long-term international planning, presence and operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If there is to be a new international debate on the Balkans, as some have suggested, it should not be on how to redraw maps; it should be on what is required to finish the job and on how to streamline and make our efforts more efficient to that end.
In conclusion, I wish to pay tribute to the women and men who are dedicated to the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I also wish to thank all the States that have placed their nationals under the United Nations flag in Bosnia. Ninety-five nations are represented in UNMIBH, including 13 members of the Security Council. These personnel are examples par excellence of what can be accomplished in the cause of peace by women and men of good will from various nations and ethnic groups. I thank the Security Council for its support.
I want to thank the Special Representative for that exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking briefing, which I think sets out a very interesting context in which to look at the future of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and of Bosnia and Herzegovina, quite apart from the progress that is being made by UNMIBH and the problems that remain.
We, of course, support renewal of the mandate for an additional 12 months, as recommended by the Secretary-General. UNMIBH is clearly achieving results in circumstances that remain difficult, as we have heard in the briefing, but it is succeeding in promoting effective, democratic and multi-ethnic law enforcement and institutions, which are essential for the future. I was especially encouraged by the remarks on truth and reconciliation commissions and by Mr. Klein’s eloquent comments on the necessity of facing history in order to deal with the future. That is a lesson that needs to be learned not only in Bosnia, but in many other places.
A number of significant steps have been taken in the recent past, and I just want to mention some that we think are particularly important.
First, we note the progress being made on the International Police Task Force — reducing the Bosnian police force to just half of its previous size and then training those people in democratic policing.
We are also pleased with the progress that has been made with regard to the State Border Service. We think that is a very important step forward, and the fact that the Service is being effective is even more heartening.
We also want to commend UNMIBH for initiating a Joint Entity Task Force on illegal immigration and organized crime and for working with the International Organization for Migration to repatriate women who had been trafficked to Bosnia for prostitution.
I also want to note, in response to Mr. Klein’s plea, that we support the appointment of professional non-political police commissioners at the canton level, and we encourage UNMIBH to move ahead with this. We will provide whatever encouragement we can.
Finally, the United States supports the timely and effective conclusion of UNMIBH’s core mandate, which Mr. Klein has plans to complete by December 2002. I took note also of the circumstances that he explained will allow that timetable to be met.
We urge UNMIBH to continue to refine the IPTF’s task to allow for a gradual reduction in its force size, to the extent possible, as we move towards the conclusion of the mandate.
Most importantly, looking to the end of 2002, I urge all Council members and Governments present today to take heed of Mr. Klein’s comments about the need to plan ahead and to ensure the most effective international and regional cooperation possible, for that, indeed, will be central not just to meeting that goal but to meeting the aspirations that we have set for ourselves in supporting Dayton and in supporting Bosnia.
France unreservedly supports the statement to be made later on by the Permanent Representative of Sweden on behalf of the European Union. I should like simply to add a few more specific observations from my national perspective.
First, I should like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, for rounding out the excellent report of the Secretary-General with his comments — comments which, as always, were not only precise and very incisive but also imbued with a genuine vision of the objectives that we must achieve in the long term, as Ambassador Cunningham has just pointed out.
I should like also to convey to Ambassador Klein our deep satisfaction at the outstanding work he has been doing for almost two years now as head of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
The Special Representative’s method is sound. UNMIBH has set clear-cut objectives for itself and has identified the ways and means of achieving them. It gives account regularly and transparently of all of the obstacles it encounters in the implementation of its mandate and tells us what efforts it is making to overcome them.
In the field, Mr. Klein deploys all his energy and talent to bring about the success of his mission. We would like to convey our warmest encouragements to him and thank him for his exemplary action.
Several alarming events over the past few months have challenged the police in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first was the dissidence of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leaders, who tried to incite the Bosnian Croatian police to violate the Dayton Agreements. Later on, riots orchestrated in Banja Luka and Trebinje in response to the reconstruction of mosques posed a fresh challenge, which demonstrated the lack of professionalism and above all the lack of respect for institutions and legality on the part of the Bosnian Serb police leadership.
Acting along with the High Representative and the Stabilization Force (SFOR), UNMIBH reacted in the most appropriate manner: it promptly de-authorized the authors of these serious violations of the letter and the spirit of the Peace Accords.
Along with the sanctions that can be applied under annex 11 of the Dayton Agreements, Ambassador Klein is right to emphasize also the need to provide appropriate training for the Bosnian police and to improve their financial and material resources. UNMIBH is taking concrete steps in that direction. The international community must lend assistance in this respect, but the Bosnian political authorities cannot shirk their responsibilities. By officially and sincerely promoting the fight against corruption and organized crime, by encouraging the independence of the judiciary, and by taking every practical measure to accelerate the return of minority groups, Bosnian leaders will be making a contribution to the construction of a modern police force, more in keeping with European standards.
Further, to strengthen coordination and the effectiveness of its civil activities, the international community invited the High Representative, in agreement with UNMIBH, to make proposals. We hope that the restructuring process, which has been described in detail by Ambassador Klein, will begin as soon as possible.
We listened with great interest to the remarks made by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative concerning the political prospects in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the entire Balkan region.
As the Secretary-General’s report indicates, some people seem to believe that borders and democratic institutions can be altered if obstructionism and violence are strong enough to weaken international resolve. Those individuals must understand the Dayton Accords have to be respected, and that they will be respected. There is no future for extremists, whatever their origin. It is only through respect for its Constitution and the strengthening of its central institutions that Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to move forward in its process of rapprochement with Europe.
The international community will not let itself be distracted from the achievement of its aspirations in the region, as the Secretary-General very aptly recalled. The heads of State or Government of the European Union, meeting, even as we speak, at Goteborg, are determined fully to play their part in achieving these objectives. This is the same message that the Security Council will convey unambiguously during its forthcoming visit to Kosovo.
We, too, are grateful to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the head of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), Mr. Klein, for his comprehensive briefing. We are also grateful to the Secretary-General for his report. We support his recommendation to extend the current mandate of UNMIBH for another year.
We agree with the suggested reduction, as spelled out in the report, of the International Police Task Force (IPTF) to 1,850 personnel.
We commend the work done by Mr. Klein and the Mission that he heads, aimed at implementing the core mandate of the Mission by the end of 2002, in accordance with the Mission’s implementation plan to continue the policy of full implementation of the Dayton Agreements and of making the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina irreversible. The Russian Federation continues to believe that the basis of stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Dayton Peace Agreement. The signing of that Agreement more than five years ago made it possible to take into account the sometimes very conflicting interests of the three Bosnian peoples and of neighbouring States, particularly Yugoslavia and Croatia, and to lay the groundwork for Bosnian statehood on the basis of the existence of two entities enjoying equal rights and three peoples that formed States.
Attempts to revise Dayton could upset the balance of interests and cause new tension not only within Bosnia and Herzegovina, but outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the other hand, relying on the solid basis of Dayton, Security Council resolutions and other international instruments aimed at resolving the Bosnia and Herzegovina problem will lead to progress. It will mean meeting the challenges of reinforcing the multi-ethnic State, observance of the rights of all peoples of that country and the achievement of genuine reconciliation and effective post-conflict reconstruction. We are convinced that that must continue to be the focus of the activities of the United Nation Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The situation in that country continues to cause concern. Despite the victory won by moderate political forces in the elections of last autumn in both entities, nationalist circles, primarily those that have come together in the Croatian Democratic Alliance, are refusing to participate in the implementation of the outcome of the elections and are boycotting the majority of institutions, both at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina and at the entity level.
We are particularly concerned by attempts to proclaim Croatian self-government in certain parts of Herzegovina. We strongly condemn any manifestations of extremism and ethnically motivated violence. In this context, we note with concern the growing frequency of acts of violence against refugees and against the reconstruction of historical religious centres. It is important to ensure that the leading political forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina shoulder the responsibility for the fate of their country. Cooperation must be improved between both entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is between the entities themselves in the framework of the Bosnian-wide State organs and between the entities and the international structures in the country, in particular the High Representative, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Mission as a whole.
We welcome the strengthening of bilateral relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina with Croatia and Yugoslavia, and their cooperation in implementing the Peace Agreement, which is of particular importance for the further development of regional, political and economic cooperation pursuant to the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina and other States of the region.
Today, as never before, it is important to work out a specific programme of action for the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to establish an effective mechanism for their cooperation in the field in order to have better coordination and better interaction in the process of meeting the challenges they face, with the leading role being played by the United Nations. The Russian Federation is prepared to make a constructive contribution to resolving the problems still outstanding on the Bosnia and Herzegovina agenda for the establishment of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a unified, multi-ethnic and democratic State, which includes practical participation in the United Nations Mission in that country and in the International Police Task Force, which has been deployed under its auspices.
I would like to start by thanking Mr. Jacques-Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his brilliant briefing on the United Nations Mission on Bosnia and Herzegovina. This briefing is a timely complement to the Secretary-General’s report on recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tunisia notes with satisfaction the positive development of the situation as a whole, and we particularly welcome the significant improvement in security conditions, thanks particularly to ethnic reconciliation among the Bosnian communities.
However, despite success in various areas, which has provided a basis for effective, democratic and multi-ethnic institutions, we believe that the road to the full implementation of a lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains long and requires the firm commitment and resolve of the international community to deal with all of the obstacles and to support the inhabitants of the country in their efforts to build a new Bosnian society.
Furthermore, we believe that any premature disengagement that is not based on an objective assessment of risks could lead to the collapse of the entire structure. We cannot afford a failure of this magnitude in Bosnia and Herzegovina after such a long commitment that has lasted for six years. It is essential that, whatever the recommended exit strategy may be, it take into consideration the situation in the Balkans as a whole and the capacity of Bosnian society for self-government.
Allow me to make a few comments on questions which, in our opinion, are particularly important to ensuring stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
First, while welcoming the encouraging results achieved in the areas of police reform and restructuring, particularly the formation of a police force in accordance with international standards of personal integrity and professional competence, as well as the streamlining of its staff, organization and resources, we must emphasize that the operation’s success remains largely dependent on a comprehensive vision of police action. All political, partisan or ethnic considerations that would impede the reform and the restructuring of this sector must be eliminated.
Further, the participation of ethnic minorities in local police forces should be increased. In that connection, we welcome the campaigns to increase public awareness of the rules of conduct that should govern relations between citizens and police officers. We support UNMIBH’s decision to severely punish ethnic crimes. Such crimes pose a genuine threat to the establishment of a multi-ethnic society in Bosnia, and they undermine the international community’s efforts to bring about lasting inter-ethnic reconciliation.
Secondly, my delegation supports UNMIBH’s judicial reform efforts. It is essential that the justice system be independent, impartial and non-discriminatory vis-à-vis the entire population of Bosnia. Defendants must enjoy legal guarantees during trial, but must also believe that the decisions of the judges are fair. We believe that once trust is established, it will be easier to attain coexistence among all the ethnic communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here, we welcome the plan to establish a court police service, to include mechanisms for the protection of judges and witnesses. That would definitely have a positive impact on judicial independence.
We wish, thirdly, to hail the activities of the State Border Service. That service has a weighty responsibility in all areas related to waging the battle against drug trafficking, smuggling and illegal migration. Its role is all the more important because it is proving to be an example of the success of the multi-ethnic model advocated in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Fourthly, my delegation pays tribute to United Nations agencies for their contribution to reconstruction efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We particularly welcome the assistance provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to refugees and displaced persons upon their return. The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization too is playing an important part and deserves our support. Here, we welcome its expert endeavours to build dialogue and cooperation among religious communities. We also welcome the plan of action for children formulated by the Bosnian State in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund.
My delegation supports the recommendation, set out in paragraph 53 of the report of the Secretary-General, that the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina be extended for a 12-month period.
The Chinese delegation thanks the Secretary-General for his report, and we thank Mr. Jacques Paul Klein for his detailed briefing.
In recent years, the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) has made progress in such areas as police reform and training and the judicial system. It has also set up a mechanism for internal resource management. We appreciate those developments, and we believe they will provide a good foundation for the long-term reconstruction and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina police contingent trained by UNMIBH have on several occasions participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations in other regions. That is another example of UNMIBH’s fruitful efforts.
The Secretary-General’s report and Mr. Klein’s briefing provide insights about stability and national reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina; these deserve our attention and merit serious study. Many of the problems facing Bosnia and Herzegovina are similar to those facing other parts of the Balkans and the Great Lakes region of Africa. They therefore have a degree of universal significance. In that sense, Bosnia and Herzegovina is indeed a test case.
We note too that UNMIBH has faced some practical difficulties in its work, for example in its efforts to recruit and train police personnel from ethnic minorities, in the return of refugees and in the sphere of national reconciliation. Progress has not been satisfactory in those areas. The recent violence in Mostar and Banja Luka indicates that, while the war ended nearly six years ago, the wounds it inflicted on the people have not yet healed. The road to national reconciliation and integration is a long one; unremitting long-term efforts by the international community are needed.
We endorse the recommendation that the mandate of UNMIBH be extended for a further year. We hope and trust that, under Mr. Klein’s leadership, UNMIBH will continue its work with a proactive and practical approach that will gradually lead it to the attainment of its objectives.
China supports the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have sent police and other civilian personnel to participate in the work of UNMIBH. We note too that the Secretariat and Mr. Klein have placed their further requirements before us; we shall study them.
I can be quite brief, first of all because the European Union presidency, in the person of the representative of Sweden, will speak later in the debate, and secondly because I think it would perhaps be a little de trop for me to inflict on the Council, again, a catalogue of the general concerns that, as is very clear from the debate so far, we all share.
I want to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Klein, for his wide-ranging, useful and interesting briefing today. His more general points about the international community’s approach to the Balkans were very well taken. I know that some of them will be discussed at the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board meeting to be held in Stockholm next week. I think they are points on which we all need to reflect.
Secondly, I think that it is worth reiterating again the importance of full implementation of the Dayton Agreement, as Ambassador Levitte and others have done this morning. That is our guiding star, and we should not forget it or allow it to become obscured.
I would also like to say that the United Kingdom supports the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) recommended by the Secretary-General, and we note Mr. Klein’s statement that UNMIBH will be aiming to complete its core mandate by 31 December next year. But I would be interested to hear anything further he might wish to say at this stage, or subsequently, about exactly when and exactly how the Mission will judge whether this target is going to be achievable.
I wish to commend the Mission’s effort and clarity of thought so far; but what are the benchmarks, how will they be measured, and when will we hear the results of those measurements? Carried through properly, this will be an exemplary approach to the conduct of a United Nations mission. And, as I said, I wish to endorse the approach and work that the Special Representative has done in this area so far.
Picking up on some of the remaining areas of work to which the Special Representative has pointed this morning, I want to endorse, in particular, as others have done, the importance of creating an apolitical police force. Like Ambassador Cunningham, I would want Special Representative Klein to know that he has our full support on the issue of the appointment of professional and apolitical police commissioners at the cantonal level.
But I would be interested to hear any further thoughts he might have on two other areas: first, the need to improve crowd control capacity; and secondly, the problem of low minority representation in the police force, although it was good to hear from his briefing that, in some areas at least, minority figures are improving.
I would also like to flag, as Mr. Klein has done, the extreme importance of addressing properly ethnically motivated offences and crimes relating to refugee returns. As he said, the return figures are increasing, and that is a piece of very good news indeed. As he also said, the resulting number of crimes so far has been commendably low. But I think this is an area on which we should keep the spotlight very carefully pointed. For our part, we will be doing so during the remainder of the year.
Finally, I would just like to welcome the United Nations agreement to co-locate with European Union expert teams on illegal immigration. The work that has been done on this has been very encouraging, as has the action that has been taken to combat human trafficking. We look forward to further fruitful cooperation, and our own bilateral support and the European Union initiative reflect our commitment to the State Border Service’s critical role in strengthening the role of the State in this area and in combating organized crime.
My delegation would also like to thank Special Representative Klein for his briefing and for his active efforts as head of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
Norway welcomes UNMIBH’s mandate implementation plan and its important contribution to the implementation of the Peace Agreement. We commend UNMIBH and the International Police Task Force (IPTF) for having made good progress in the areas of police reform, the State Border Service and the rule of law.
Norway remains committed to supporting UNMIBH’s efforts to fulfil its core tasks by 2002. We therefore support the extension of UNMIBH’s mandate for another year, as recommended by the Secretary-General.
We must give UNMIBH time and resources to tackle the remaining challenges. Minority representation in local police forces is too low. There is a continued need for the training and equipping of entity police and State border police. Judicial follow-up demands further attention. The police and judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to require international support and supervision, but local, entity and State officials must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring progress in the reform efforts, which are vital to the development of a democratic society. Establishing the rule of law is a precondition for self-sustaining peace.
Norway has been among the major contributors to the comprehensive international peace-building efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will continue to provide assistance. But we expect local leaders increasingly to do their share, in cooperation with the international agencies operating in the field.
The international community must engage in a more coordinated and unified manner in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would like to see improved cooperation between the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the High Representative, the Stabilization Force, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and all the other organizations that have important roles to play in implementing the Peace Agreement. We must ensure that they complement each other, rather than compete with each other.
Regarding the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway welcomes the formation of non-nationalist governments at State and entity levels following the general elections in 2000. We are encouraged by the constructive approach of the Matic Government, and by other positive signs. Reports indicate a substantial increase in minority returns to, and within, Bosnia and Herzegovina. These returns often take place despite the continued efforts of nationalist forces to block the return process. Norway commends the courage of the returnees and expresses its appreciation for the dedicated efforts of the IPTF, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and others involved.
It is unacceptable that nationalist and criminal elements continue to hamper the return of families to their rightful homes. In some cases, these are the same elements that engaged in ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian war. This underscores the need to continue to demand that all local, entity and State governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The international community must also act with greater resolve to deal with this issue.
Norway condemns attempts by the Croat National Congress to establish a Croat entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the recent ethnically motivated violence in Mostar, Trebinje and Banja Luka. These incidents show that nationalist forces are still active and remain ready and willing to incite violence and to undermine the Peace Agreement.
Norway emphasizes the important contributions that neighbouring countries can make in promoting stability, the rule of law and democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ethnic tension, organized crime, trafficking, illegal immigration and political instability can be adequately dealt with only within a regional framework and through a unified international approach. The trilateral agreements on combating illegal migration and organized crime, brokered by UNMIBH, and the establishment of an Interpol office in Sarajevo represent very positive concrete steps in that regard.
It is our hope that the new democratic Governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will commit themselves to further reconciliation, cooperation and good-neighbourly relations, based on mutual recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State.
A promising beginning has already been made. It is now crucial for the international community to stay the course and assist the nations of the region in finding sustainable solutions which promote democracy, stability and reintegration, and prevent further violence and disintegration.
I would also like to thank Mr. Klein for his very comprehensive briefing and to welcome the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) over the past six months.
As described in the Secretary-General’s report and in Mr. Klein’s briefing, the United Nations Mission and other bodies of the United Nations system have made further progress in assisting the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement in full the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement. We are satisfied with the positive developments, and we commend the efforts of Mr. Klein and of the Mission’s staff in pursuit of a comprehensive strategic framework aimed at successfully completing UNMIBH’s core mandate by the end of 2002.
We continue to regard highly the activities of the International Police Task Force (IPTF), as the core of the Mission, in carrying out police reform and restructuring and in supporting the establishment of the criminal justice system and effective law enforcement institutions. With regard to police reform, my delegation is satisfied with the completion, in May 2001, of the registration of all police personnel, which contributed to the success of the key objective of transforming the police, namely, to ensure that all law enforcement personnel meet international standards of personal integrity and professional competence.
As for police restructuring, we welcome a number of targeted projects designed to address the organizational capacity of law enforcement institutions and to create an apolitical police service, including the “Manage the Managers” project and police commissioner projects. In this context, UNMIBH’s efforts to prevent any attempts at political interference in the implementation of these projects are highly commendable.
In the field of cooperation between the police and the criminal justice system, my delegation is encouraged by the initial success in the establishment of a court police service as a multiethnic Federation police force. We also note with satisfaction the significant progress made by UNMIBH in creating the State Border Service (SBS) as a viable multi-ethnic State-level law enforcement institution. The achievements of the SBS in combating smugglers, confiscating contraband and cutting off illegal migration to European destinations are quite remarkable.
The continuing return of significant numbers of displaced persons and refugees is also vivid testimony of the substantive results achieved by the United Nations and the international community in improving the necessary conditions for sustaining such returns, including through the implementation of property legislation. Still, much more has to be done in this field.
While reviewing the appreciable progress made by the United Nations Mission during the period under review, we cannot fail to mention some dangerous developments of recent months, in particular in the Croat part of the Federation and in the Republika Srpska.
We were seriously concerned at the continued confrontation between the international community and the Croat nationalist parties united in the Croat National Congress, which resulted in clashes with the Stabilization Force in Mostar and other places in April. In our view, any attempts by the Croat nationalist forces to create self-governing structures and to impair the functioning of the Federation army and police are unacceptable, as they contradict the Peace Agreement and the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We were also worried by the manifestations of extremism, national and religious intolerance and acts of violence against the international personnel that occurred in Trebinje and Banja Luka in May. All those actions are to be resolutely condemned. The measures applied by the High Representative and by UNMIBH in those circumstances were absolutely adequate. These pitiful events have clearly demonstrated that, after almost six years of international efforts in Bosnia, there is still a long way to go to ensure that the process of reconciliation and building a common State in the country becomes sustainable and irreversible.
In that context, we share Mr. Klein’s view of regarding the need for a renewed discussion on a clear exit strategy for Bosnia, with the involvement of all the international players and mechanisms and with a distinct division of labour between them. I think that discussion acquires additional relevance given UNMIBH’s plan to complete its core mandate by the end of 2002.
Allow me to conclude my remarks in a broader context. We are convinced that good-neighbourly relations and a favourable political environment in the region are prerequisites for the successful transformation of Bosnia and Herzegovina into a stable and prosperous country and member of the European community. In this regard, we believe that the recent political changes in the Republic of Croatia and in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia — both signatories to the Dayton Peace Accord — contribute positively to the ongoing process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is worth mentioning here that the joint statement made by the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia, in the framework of the recent Central European Initiative summit in Italy, reconfirmed their commitment to the letter and the spirit of the Dayton Peace Agreement and to full respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We welcome the conclusion of the trilateral agreement on combating illegal migration and organized crime brokered by UNMIBH, as well as the recent establishment of an inter-State council at the head of State level between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which confirmed the mutual will of these nations to develop their beneficial dialogue. These events strengthen our belief in positive prospects for Bosnia and Herzegovina within the European framework. We hope that the adoption of the draft permanent law on elections will open the door for the country’s membership in the Council of Europe and other European institutions.
Lastly, we believe that UNMIBH’s role in confronting the remaining challenges of ethnic reconciliation, democratic institution-building, economic reconstruction and the implementation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still essential. Against this background, my delegation fully supports the recommendation by the Secretary-General to extend the current mandate of UNMIBH for a further 12-month period.
We are grateful to Special Representative Jacques Paul Klein for updating us on the recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for his very clear message on the way forward. We are pleased with the progress being made in the mandate implementation plan and wish to commend him and his colleagues in the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) for their tireless efforts in making this possible. The time lines that have been established and the key objectives stated provide us with indicators by which we can measure our progress and make adjustments where necessary. We therefore support and look forward to the fruits of this initiative.
We note from the extensive report before us that UNMIBH continues to make rapid progress in some areas and incremental progress in others. We are confident that, with the continued support of the international community, UNMIBH will be able to complete its core tasks by its target date of December 2002.
As the Secretary-General most aptly concludes in his report, the stabilization and recovery of the whole region depend on how the challenges are resolved. These challenges — ethnic reconciliation, democratic institution-building, reconstruction, economic reform and, most importantly, the full implementation of human rights for all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina — are complex and require the continued full cooperation of the international community. As the Secretary-General also states, failure to see the tasks through to the end would be disastrous to the whole region.
As Mr. Klein indicated, regional cooperation, a new emerging reality, augurs well for the future of the Balkans. As the Governments of the region — in particular the Governments of Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina — are recognizing, the only way forward to peace and stability in the region rests firmly on their commitments to constructive bilateral and regional relations based on mutual respect and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State. There is no other way, and those who would advocate another path should be condemned by all.
As our delegation has stated in the past, law and order are essential to the sustained stability of any nation State. Police reform initiatives geared at establishing effective law enforcement must therefore continue to be of high priority. We note the incremental progress being made in the area of police reform, the continuation of which will contribute to ensuring that law enforcement agents are credible and enjoy the respect of the population. We attach importance to the continued emphasis on the training of police officers, as we are convinced that professionalism is the key to self-sustaining police reform. The political neutrality and professionalism of the local police and judiciary must be promoted and upheld. We therefore support the appeal of the Secretary-General to Member States for generous contributions to the Trust Fund for the Police Assistance Programme.
The Secretary-General’s report clearly outlines the detrimental effects of the continued presence of indicted war criminals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We repeat a call we have made in the past for full cooperation with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and that indicted war criminals be brought to justice. The international community must be consistent in its pursuit of an end to impunity for violations of human rights and humanitarian law, wherever in the world these criminal acts occur.
We remain hopeful that, despite the forces of separation, UNMIBH will continue to focus on the implementation of its mandate with the cooperation and assistance of those political leaders who have embraced the path to peace, reconciliation, democratic principles, respect for human rights and justice for all. We agree with the Secretary-General’s statement that
“The path to a better future is through cooperation and compromise, not through sectarianism and separation”. (S/2001/571, para. 45)
In conclusion, I wish to underline Jamaica’s support for the extension of UNMIBH’s mandate, as recommended by the Secretary-General, in order to consolidate the gains already made and to address the challenges that remain.
I should like to thank Special Representative Jacques Klein for what I found to be a very thought-provoking presentation, in terms of both the immediate challenges and the long-term strategic options for Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was an intervention that, I think, will bear careful re-reading.
The representative of Sweden will shortly make an intervention on behalf of the European Union, to which we fully subscribe, so I will limit my remarks to one or two particular points.
On the basis of the Secretary-General’s report, we agree that the democratization and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina are essential to the overall stability of the Balkans. It is important to bear in mind, however, that the challenge is to establish not just a multi-ethnic society, but a multi-ethnic society that recognizes and accommodates cultural and ethnic identities which transcend international borders. In this task, we are in many ways breaking new ground. It is the key to reconciliation and long-term peace in the Balkans and a task that simply has to be completed. A regional approach is essential and there is a responsibility on all States of the region to strengthen their inter-State relations.
We condemn the recent actions of nationalist parties, which have heightened ethnic tensions, and we urge all parties to work within the legal institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to promote their legitimate interests. We are pleased that the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) is monitoring police investigations into the violence in Banja Luka and Trebinje. I should like to ask Mr. Klein to what extent he believes that this political incitement has been generated by those who have drawn economic profit from past political instability.
UNMIBH has certainly made significant progress in restructuring the law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly the police. Nevertheless, problems linked to low salaries, housing, judicial follow-up and low minority representation are worrying. Again, I should like to ask Mr. Klein if this is something that is common throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina or that is more marked in certain areas.
We welcome very much the reported progress on illegal migration and trafficking. We do remain concerned, however, about the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons. We recognize that significant progress has been achieved and urge the authorities in the country and elsewhere to make further progress on this issue and on implementing property-rights laws, both of which are essential to the normalization and stability of the region.
We note Mr. Klein’s comments on the bringing to justice of the perpetrators of crimes committed under previous regimes. We would encourage all parties in the region to make further progress on this extremely important issue and to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. We support, in this context, the efforts of the Stabilization Force in apprehending indicted war criminals.
Finally, we would like to support the extension of the UNMIBH mandate until June 2002.
I thank you very much, Sir, for convening this important meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina. My delegation also wishes to thank Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the lucid manner in which he presented the report on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), as well as for his comprehensive briefing and his frank and candid remarks. I wish to assure Mr. Klein of the support of our delegation in the important task he heads to implement the mandate of UNMIBH.
The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) has successfully been executing its mandate, with a view to establishing mechanisms for enforcement of the rule of law in the country.
The core programmes designed by UNMIBH are geared towards achieving durable peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is only through such programmes that sustainable law enforcement agencies can be put in place and operate in an effective manner.
My delegation commends UNMIBH for its excellent work in the field of training, reform and restructuring of the police and all law enforcement personnel. UNMIBH has been making an immense contribution towards establishing the credibility of the police by providing them with international standards of personal integrity and professional competence, which will, in turn, be an important asset for the maintenance of law and order in the country.
However, we are concerned about the continuing political interference in professional police work. We call on the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Office of the High Representative, to give priority to addressing the problems of housing status, irregular and low wages, and efficient judicial follow-up with respect to police work.
We have no doubt that the police in Bosnia and Herzegovina is fully capable of successfully discharging its responsibilities in the maintenance of law and order in the country. It is encouraging to note that the Bosnia and Herzegovina police is already making a significant contribution to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
More than five years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the fuelling of hatred still persists. Notwithstanding the reconstruction of towns and cities, the countryside is reported to be still littered with bombed-out ruins. A significant number of people are still displaced from their homes. The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is still struggling to recover from the effects of the war.
My delegation views with concern the fact that, so far, the Constitutional Court decisions on the equality of citizens throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina have not been implemented, nor has there been agreement on a permanent law on elections. We urge all those concerned to cooperate to take this process forward.
Likewise, we call upon all of the parties concerned to comply strictly with the obligations of the General Framework Agreement on Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Dayton Accords.
My delegation firmly believes that every possible measure should be taken to prevent any nationalistic action, with a view to safeguarding the multi-ethnic fabric of society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this regard, we strongly condemn the recent attempts to establish a Croat self-government in parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the recent incidents of mob violence by Bosnian Serbs.
In the same vein, we support measures aimed at combating cross-border smuggling, organized crime, money laundering and illegal immigration. All of these measures will undoubtedly create a better climate for facilitating the return of refugees, who have clearly expressed the wish to do so.
Any attempt to change State borders or democratic institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina or in the region through obstruction and violence aimed at weakening international determination and the international presence should be severely condemned. In this regard, we welcome the commitments expressed by the Governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Republic of Croatia and in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for constructive bilateral and regional relations based on mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State. Cooperation between these countries is paramount to the achievement of sustainable peace and stability in the region.
We would like to pay tribute to the members of UNMIBH, who are doing a commendable job in difficult conditions, with limited resources. We appeal to the international community to contribute generously to the priority projects of UNMIBH and to the Trust Fund for the police assistance programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that UNMIBH can successfully carry out its mandate.
Finally, my delegation supports the recommendation of the Secretary-General regarding the extension of the mandate of UNMIBH in Bosnia and Herzegovina for one year.
I shall be very brief. First, we thank Mr. Klein for his comprehensive briefing and the Secretary-General for his excellent report.
Let me also state at the outset that Singapore supports the sterling work of Special Representative of the Secretary-General Klein and Commissioner Coeurderoy, as well as their colleagues in the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and the International Police Task Force (IPTF). They work under difficult circumstances.
As the Secretary-General has noted, there are still some in Bosnia and Herzegovina who have not abandoned the path of sectarianism and separation. The goal of creating a multi-ethnic society in Bosnia and Herzegovina must not be derailed. The recommendation of the Secretary-General that the mandate of UNMIBH be extended for a further period of 12 months therefore has our endorsement.
My colleagues before me have already raised several issues and made several observations about recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the activities of UNMIBH. We are in agreement with many of them. In the interests of time, we will refrain from repeating those points. We look forward to hearing the response of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the questions raised.
We have only question to raise, in connection with paragraph 13 of the report of the Secretary-General, which lists endemic problems that seriously impair police performance. These have been highlighted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and other delegations.
We know that the problems are outside UNMIBH’s mandate. However, as the Secretary-General has also pointed out, these are fundamental issues that need to be addressed if the local police is to take over from a robust international security presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would therefore appreciate an assessment by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the steps and measures that could be taken by the United Nations and the international community to help the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina resolve these problems.
We are grateful for the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) over the past seven months. We are also grateful for the information provided by the Special Representative and head of Mission, Mr. Jacques Klein.
The achievements of the mission presented in both reports are quite positive, and they demonstrate the commitment of the international community and of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina to comply with the provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords.
We would like to highlight the comprehensive strategic framework that the Mission has set itself in order to fulfil its mandate within the established dates. This programme of work allows for ongoing self-assessment of the work that is being carried out, making it easier to identify potential problems so as to be able to find timely solutions to them. It also useful to the international community for assessing the Mission’s effectiveness step by step. We hope that this will serve as a model for the implementation of the mandates of other United Nations missions.
We also highlight the achievements of the Mission with regard to the reform and restructuring of the police. We are, however, concerned by the problems that have been pointed out, particularly the low salaries paid to members of the police force and their housing problems, because these clearly have an impact on the development of the general programme that the Mission has set itself. We would like to know what the response of the High Representative was when this problem was presented to him and if there are any additional measures that UNMIBH can take to make sure that these problems do not impair the performance of the police force.
One of the greatest challenges of the international presence today is establishing an effective and transparent judicial system. Without that, it would be impossible to consolidate the rule of law, which is a vital prerequisite for sustainable peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We hope that all efforts undertaken in this direction will produce better results in the future. In this judicial matter, we must insist on the need to increase cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
In the Secretary-General’s recent reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina, a recurrent problem has been flagged: the lack of cooperation on the part of the political class in the implementation of the reforms proposed by UNMIBH and the Office of the High Representative. We must again appeal to the political leadership to cooperate in the work of the international community, because without such cooperation it will be very difficult to establish mechanisms and institutions that are viable in the long term.
This topic is mentioned repeatedly in relation to the plan to further professionalize the police force, as the report points out. In any case, it must be depoliticized. This is why we should note that, in our opinion, one of the indicators of success in the activity of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina must be the emergence of a political class with new or transformed players whose attitude and behaviour contribute positively to the development of society.
In conclusion, I would like to express our support for the proposed renewal of the Mission’s mandate for another 12 months.
Like previous speakers, I would first like to thank Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for his very detailed briefing, based on the Secretary-General’s report on the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). We would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his enlightening report.
My delegation takes this opportunity to welcome and support the outstanding efforts made by the international community to implement the Peace Accords in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcome the encouraging results obtained in implementing the Dayton Accords despite the many difficulties that have been encountered. I would like to recall that the Dayton Accords not only ended the war, but they established a viable constitutional framework. They are the pillar on which a multi-ethnic, democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina must be built. I call upon the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and all other parties involved to become more active in implementing the Peace Accords.
In the political area, my delegation welcomes the commendable efforts made in resolving the difficult problems of ethnic reconciliation, establishing democratic institutions and establishing the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is now more urgent than ever that the international community mobilize all efforts to guarantee the political rights of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We call upon all the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina to commit themselves fully and work together to build a democratic, multi-ethnic society in which ultra-nationalist leaders will be marginalized.
Regarding the economy, my delegation believes that institutional reform should be accompanied by economic restructuring that enables Bosnia and Herzegovina to become self-reliant. The establishment and training of a border police force will make it possible to increase State revenue.
Economic development is one of the best guarantees of peace. My delegation calls upon the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue to advance macroeconomic reforms and to cooperate with the international financial organizations in order to integrate the country into the Euro-Atlantic structures.
The establishment of an effective judicial system that can mete out sound justice to the citizenry is of great interest to my delegation. We welcome and encourage the efforts made in reforming the judicial system and the human rights institutions. The continued presence of war criminals in Bosnia and Herzegovina is surely a serious obstacle to peace and inter-ethnic reconciliation. This is why we call upon the States and the entities to do everything possible to track down and turn over all indictees to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
In the humanitarian area, my delegation notes with satisfaction the return of displaced persons and refugees. This trend should be encouraged. All useful measures should be taken to assist returnees whose living conditions are precarious. Acts of violence against minorities should be severely punished. The training and establishment of a local, multi-ethnic and impartial police force by UNMIBH, which we welcome, should make it possible to put an end to such misdeeds.
In conclusion, my delegation reaffirms its support for the enormous efforts made by UNMIBH in implementing the General Framework Agreement for Peace in the country. For us, the stabilizing role played by UNMIBH is vital for peace-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is why we support the extension of the UNMIBH mandate for a period of 12 months.
I will forgo my national turn now and will speak after giving the floor to the delegations invited under rule 37.
I invite the representative of Sweden to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia — and the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as the European Free Trade Association country member of the European Economic Area, Iceland, align themselves with this statement.
I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, for his comprehensive and encouraging briefing.
The Secretary-General’s report refers to significant achievements in the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). Mr. Klein and his team deserve full credit for the dedication and work that has brought about these successes. These include, inter alia, police reform, the participation of multi-ethnic Bosnian contingents in United Nations missions and the establishment of a State Border Service.
In spite of tangible progress in many areas, certain types of action and thought based on ethnic approaches continue to manifest themselves in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union has condemned recent acts of violence in Mostar, Trebinje and Banja Luka, as well as actions taken by Bosnian Croat nationalists to place themselves outside the provisions of the Dayton-Paris Accords.
We fully support the measures taken by UNMIBH, the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the High Representative to minimize the possible destabilizing effects of those events. We welcome the efforts taken by UNMIBH to enhance its capacity to monitor and, where necessary, to sanction local police performance in order to prevent new cases of non-compliance.
The European Union notes the problems described in the report that impair police performance but that are outside of the mandate of UNMIBH. In particular, the creation of an efficient and impartial judiciary remains a major challenge ahead in the efforts to establish the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes remains a top priority of the international community’s efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union notes with satisfaction the significant increase in the number of minority returns this year. It is imperative that the Bosnian authorities fully implement measures likely to foster returns, such property legislation, and cease obstructing legal evictions. Progress on that front will be critical in measuring the real commitment of Bosnia’s authorities to a lasting peace within the framework of the Dayton Accords.
When considering the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina we cannot overlook the wider regional context. Constructive and transparent support from Zagreb and Belgrade is vital in implementing the Dayton Agreement, and in strengthening State-level institutions. The recent statement made by the Presidents of Croatia and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the occasion of the Forum of Presidents of Central European States, held at Verbania, Italy, in which they affirmed their commitment to a stable and democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina, is particularly welcome.
In conclusion, let me once again express our full support for Mr. Jacques Paul Klein and his staff, and wish them further success in pursuing our common strategy aimed at restoring lasting peace and stability to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The next speaker is the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I give him the floor.
It is indeed an honour and a great pleasure for me, Sir, to address the Security Council under your presidency. I would like to thank you for arranging this meeting and for giving me the opportunity to speak on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Allow me also to thank Mr. Jacques Paul Klein for his comprehensive briefing, presented in a way that is typical of Mr. Klein: eloquent, straight to the point and very realistic. I would also like to express our sincere appreciation to Mr. Klein and to the members of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), which he heads, for their excellent work in implementing the mandate entrusted to them by the Security Council.
A lot has been achieved in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the assistance extended to us by UNMIBH, and in particular by the International Police Task Force (IPTF). Let me mention a few of those accomplishments.
In the area of police reform, it is encouraging that training programmes are almost complete. With the enhanced monitoring capacity of UNMIBH, we believe that the performance of local police will be improved. That is especially important in the light of the recent failure of local police to maintain public order during the ground-breaking ceremonies for the rebuilding of destroyed mosques in Trebinje and Banja Luka. We all should do everything in our power to prevent such incidents from happening. But we should also take note of the positive effects of the active role played by the local police in implementing the decision on the inter-entity boundary line in Dobrinja. Also, through police reform it will be possible to establish good foundations and criteria for the repossession of real property.
The recruitment and participation of minorities in local police, both in the Federation and in the Republika Srpska, is behind schedule. Since minority representation in local police is of the utmost importance for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes of origin, we would like to appeal to donors for additional assistance to resolve financial problems that impede the recruitment process.
The establishment of the State Border Service is well under way, enhancing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and contributing to the reduction of illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings and to the collection of revenue. A very significant and encouraging step in the direction of combating illegal migration and organized crime has been the trilateral agreement among Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We welcome that step, and we would like to congratulate Mr. Klein and UNMIBH on that major achievement. We would hope that, with generous contributions from the international community, the State Border Service will be established on the remaining 35 per cent of the State border in the near future.
The key issue for the successful implementation of peace and respect for human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina is full implementation of annex VII of the Peace Agreement, which relates to the return of all refugees and internally displaced persons to their pre-war homes. Although significant progress has been made in that area, more than 1.135 million people are still waiting to return. One of the biggest impediments to their return is the presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina of indicted war criminals. Therefore, we cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to arrest those war criminals, who are a consistent and unnecessary source of instability and fear and who threaten the fragile stability of the country. Full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia must be a conditio sine qua non.
Until such time as the conditions are created for the safe and secure return of refugees, resulting ultimately in the reestablishment of a democratic, stable and sustainable Bosnia and Herzegovina, we consider that the international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina — especially the United States presence — is indispensable. It is for that reason that we fully and strongly support the adoption of a draft resolution by which the Security Council would decide to extend the mandates of UNMIBH and of SFOR.
I would like to finish this statement on a positive note. As members know, since April 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina, once a recipient and a host country to United Nations peacekeepers, is now a troop-contributing country. For that, Mr. Klein is also very much responsible; that is one of many accomplishments because of which we would like to express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to all the women and men of UNMIBH for their tireless efforts in implementing their difficult mandate. In particular we would like to congratulate Mr. Klein and to thank him for his wise, energetic and impartial leadership.
The next speaker is the representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me at the outset, Sir, to thank you for the opportunity to participate in this debate under your able presidency. I would also like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Klein, for his comprehensive, inspiring and in-depth briefing and analysis.
Let me focus today on a number of important steps that Yugoslavia has recently taken aimed at strengthening and broadening cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the visit of the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 22 May, full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on the Dayton-Paris Agreement, was reiterated. A firm commitment was made to further promote mutual relations as the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the region and to ensure the region’s gradual inclusion in European integration processes. An agreement on the establishment of a inter-State cooperation council for the two countries was signed; its main goals include, inter alia, the promotion of good-neighbourly relations on the basis of friendship, trust, cooperation and mutual respect. On that occasion, the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Mr. Vojislav Kostunica, emphasized in particular that the establishment of special relations with the Republika Srpska should be understood in the context of strengthening existing ties between Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole.
In this context, I would like to recall that Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch, High Representative for the implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently expressed support for the agreement on the establishment of an inter-State council and underlined that it poses no threat to the vital interests of any of the constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As far as the key question of the return of refugees is concerned, Yugoslavia has proposed that a concrete project for the intensification of minority returns be examined for areas where such intensification is currently possible. In addition, initiatives have been undertaken to conclude a number of agreements in such fields as education and culture, the avoidance of double taxation, protection of investments, dual citizenship and several other fields. It was also agreed to settle such issues as the restoration of rail transport and border crossing without formalities.
Another recent important event in the area of cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia was a visit of the Serbian Prime Minister, Mr. Zoran Djindjic, to Sarajevo on 12 June. He was accompanied by a number of ministers and representatives of the business community. Concrete measures concerning development and trade were discussed. It was decided to set up joint working groups, at the ministerial level, to speed up the process of economic cooperation.
In connection with the report of the Secretary-General that was presented today, I would like to emphasize in particular the reference to the commitment of the new democratic authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to work for the establishment of constructive bilateral and regional relations, based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each of these States.
Indeed, in their joint statement of 8 June 2001, the Presidents of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Croatia stressed their agreement that a stable and democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina, built upon the Dayton/Paris Agreement, is in the lasting interests of the two countries and of the region as a whole. Furthermore, they confirmed that Yugoslavia and Croatia had no claims on any part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Let me add, as Mr. Klein and other previous speakers have said, that Yugoslavia, under the auspices of UNMIBH, signed a regional agreement with the Republic of Croatia and the Bosnia and Herzegovina entities on combating illegal migration and organized crime. In the Secretary-General’s report, this agreement is characterized as a positive step in ongoing efforts to fight smuggling, organized crime and money laundering. We fully share this view.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that Yugoslavia stands ready to step up its efforts to promote further cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina in all areas, thus contributing to the consolidation of peace and stability in the region. In this respect, I wish also to reiterate, once again, the full commitment by Yugoslavia to a consistent and full implementation of the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement in its original form, without any revisions or alterations.
I shall now make some brief comments in my national capacity as the representative of Bangladesh.
First, I wish to thank Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for his comprehensive statement and presentation of the report of the Secretary-General, as well as for sharing with us his perception of the situation in that part of the world.
The international community has invested considerable effort and energy over the last six years in promoting ethnic reconciliation, democratic institution-building and revitalization of the economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continuation and redoubling of these efforts is an imperative. Failure to achieve the targets of institution-building and the rule of law will have repercussions throughout the region.
It is recognized, however, that to achieve substantive progress the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina has to be fully committed to the speedy achievement of a durable peace, mutual accommodation and the establishment of political, human and legal rights. Unfortunate incidents, including multiple instances of violence, have occurred in recent months, which has not helped but has, rather, made it difficult to sustain progress. Any upsurge in the pursuit of ultra-nationalistic strategies and different political views will be counter-productive and will rapidly roll back the progress achieved so far. The continued presence of indicted war criminals in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is also a destabilizing factor.
We are encouraged by the continued efforts of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), despite difficult circumstances, to make progress in the implementation of its mission. One such laudable measure was the successful handling of the impact of Croat self- rule on political structures. Progress is notable in the establishment of a State Border Service and in the areas of police cooperation and the recruitment of minority police. As mentioned by the Special Representative, major success is expected in creating conditions for refugee return, 100,000 of whom are expected to return in a year.
Economic activity for real growth and progress has to be boosted in order to consolidate peace. Efforts for bringing the infrastructure and institutions to the level of the rest of Europe may be arduous, but this is the only course to pursue.
In conclusion, I would like in particular to support the three points mentioned by the Special Representative at the end of his presentation. First, the success of multi-ethnicity in Bosnia and Herzegovina is crucial for this country and for the region. Secondly, there should be an effective strategy before exit. In his words, “We cannot get out without getting in”. Finally, the continued support of the Security Council is important for peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the greater region.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
At this point, I will come back to Mr. Klein and give him the floor so that he can respond to comments and make any other additional points that he would like.
First, an administrative matter. A corrigendum is being issued regarding paragraph 9 of the Secretary-General’s report, document S/2001/571. Paragraph 9 should read, “The Croat Minister of Interior” — not the “Minister of the Interior of Croatia”.
I wish to thank all members of the Security Council for your collective, warm and supportive comments. I am blessed to have a mission of unusually talented people who are outstanding representatives of your countries, and I will pass on your messages of support to them, because they are ultimately responsible for whatever success we have had.
With regard to your questions, I will try to answer them in seriatim fashion. Each of you has a folder which we have given you. In it are the mandate implementation plan, which lays out very logically and very chronologically the 57 different targets that have to be met by us in order to complete our mandate by the end of the year 2002, green being “done”, yellow “in progress” and red “still needing to be done”. We also have in the folder a brochure which covers the State Border Service and gives you some feel for the data on the illegal migration that is taking place through Bosnia and Herzegovina into Europe itself. We estimate some 10 per cent. Thirdly, we are a United Nations family in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we have just produced this folder which lays out data for all the organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from UNMIBH to the World Food Programme — again, staffed by representatives of your countries — that I think are doing such good work.
With regard to restructuring and transition, if we indeed look towards December of 2002, what I hope to do by next July is to be able to tell you exactly where we are and how close we are to the termination of the Mission. But we need now, already, to think seriously about what it transitions to. In my last United Nations mission, as Transitional Administrator in Eastern Slavonia, we transitioned into a police mission, which was then mandated over to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We have an OSCE option; we have a European Union option. These all have to be looked at in terms of which way you want to go. Recently, the High Representative put a plan on the table that basically subsumed UNMIBH and other international organizations under his purview. I think we pointed out to him that the United Nations is a paramount organization that is not subsumed under any regional construct and that, indeed, the authority of the Council is ultimately the one that drives the agenda. But this is a serious issue that has to be looked at because we have to see how we take five organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and bring them logically down to two so that there is, in a sense, a civilian pillar and a military pillar. I think this is very important.
With regard to the issue of crowd control, we do have a dilemma, because the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU), which is the police element of SFOR, have exactly the same rules of engagement — the same ROE, as we say. So there is no one out there who can really engage on the civilian side. What we need to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina is to train a multi-ethnic national police structure that can take on the role of dealing with civilian riots, where we and the nations do not want SFOR involved in those kinds of civilian activities. An armed police support group of some kind — and I may come back to the Council with something along those lines — where we could train a battalion or so, 500 to 700 local personnel to take on that role, is especially important as SFOR draws down and we complete the termination of the mission of the International Police Task Force (IPTF).
I think that it is worth noting what Ambassador Zivalj said. As we speak we have 25 police officers — Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs, including one woman — serving in East Timor under the United Nations rubric. They have demonstrated that they can work collectively together in the right circumstances. Additionally, we have nine military officers already serving in Ethiopia and Eritrea, again, in a United Nations role as military observers.
Two weeks ago, I was in the Republika Srpska at Banja Luka. The Republika Srpska has now agreed with us to form a composite military group of about 160 personnel. The Government of Switzerland has very kindly offered us motor vehicles. This group would be a light transportation and logistics company equipped with non-combat arms that, hopefully, would be able to take up a role in the United Nations Mission by September or October. I think this demonstrates, as Ambassador Zivalj has said, that Bosnia and Herzegovina has not only profited from the participation and interest of the Council, but also that it is now prepared to return something as well.
There are 95 nationalities represented in the Mission itself, and 47 in the IPTF. We are of different ethnicities, nationalities, races, religions and ideologies. I think we still remain the best example for the local population. If we under the mandate and universal umbrella of the United Nations can actually work together constructively in carrying out the directives and mandate of the Security Council, we would certainly be providing an example to the local population.
There is a real problem concerning the dilemma we are facing with regard to resources. To be very candid, Dayton was a less than perfect peace to end a horrible war. We know that. But Dayton created a construct where post, telephone, telegraph, commerce, taxation, regulation, police and military are under two entities. Therefore, what is the State? In the Republika Srpska I deal with a Minister of the Interior and a police department that is paid nine months out of the year, with relatively centralized control. In the Federation I deal with a police department that is paid 12 months out of the year, with 10 ministers of the interior to deal with. The salary scales are also different. How, then, do I persuade a Bosniac Muslim policeman from the Federation, who wants to return to the Republika Srpska, to go back, knowing that he will receive only nine months’ salary instead of 12 and that he will have to find a way to provide housing and education for his wife and children?
We are trying to address those issues. One proposal we are exploring is the one many nations employ, that is, a construct under which the customs officials or police authorities confiscate contraband and then auction it off. The proceeds are then put into a central account through which police are paid salaries and provided with the health and life insurance they need. Having that money would also allow us to actually say to the Republika Srpska and to the Federation, “Let us now look at and rationalize police structures and salaries”. This is one approach we are trying to take.
But we must also move away from what, I think, is perhaps a too excessive international presence. I think it is time for us to look very seriously at when we finish implementing Dayton and begin integration into Europe. That should really be our thinking over the next two or three years.
In my estimation, refugee returns is a function of this year and next year. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees formula for the rate of refugee return is that for every year one is abroad there is a 12 per cent lower chance of return. That means that in five years 60 per cent of those people will not return.
So we have to look at how we develop a formulation where we finish Dayton and we say, “That is done; now it is time for integration into Europe” — to put it candidly, you go from Yugo to Euro. That is the way we have to proceed.
I forgot to mention that we also included in the folder a document entitled “Balkans 2001: Opportunities in search of a strategic vision”, which lays out what we see as possible options — the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, et cetera. Since the Council was so extremely generous in its comments, we have also brought along a little gift for the members, which we were holding in abeyance pending the outcome of the actual meeting.
I think that shows that we have now earned it.
I again thank Mr. Klein very much. I think his comments are very much appreciated. I have seen that paper in the folder and I believe it will be very useful to the Council.
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. We will be coming back later in the month to adopt a draft resolution on the continuation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Council will remain seized of the matter.