|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Shen Guofang
Expression of thanks to the retiring President
As this is the first meeting of the Security Council for the month of December, I should like to take this opportunity to pay tribute, on behalf of the Council, to Miss Mignonette Patricia Durrant, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, for her service as President of the Security Council for the month of November. I am sure that I speak for all members of the Council in expressing deep appreciation to Ambassador Durrant for the great diplomatic skill with which she conducted the Council’s business last month.
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/2001/1132 and Corr.1)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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. Hédi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I invite Mr. Annabi to take a seat at the Council table.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
At this meeting, Mr. Hédi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will introduce the report.
I give him the floor.
The progress report of the Secretary-General, which was issued on 29 November, is before members of the Council.
The work of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) continues to be based on its mandate implementation plan, which is a consolidated strategic and operational framework for the completion of UNMIBH’s core mandate by the end of 2002. Members of the Council will recall that this plan was presented to the Council last year in an earlier report of the Secretary-General and that it was also made available by Mr. Jacques Klein, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, when he last appeared before the Council a few weeks ago. This plan identifies the objectives of the Mission and the programmes and modalities to achieve these objectives. The original tasks contained in the plan have been refined into 66 specific projects. Of these, 43 have now been completed and 23 are still ongoing. The report provides the necessary details on this and perhaps demonstrates that UNMIBH is well on track to complete its core mandate by December 2002.
At the same time, important political and operational challenges still lie ahead. Some of UNMIBH’s projects — for example, removing police officers on the basis of their wartime record — face political opposition. The legislation for the police commissioner project is still opposed by nationalist parties, mainly in Croat-dominated cantons. Voluntary redeployment of minority police officers remains slow and difficult. Continued support by the Security Council and Member States that have special influence with the parties, as well as by the High Representative on the ground, will continue to be essential for UNMIBH’s success.
Some of UNMIBH’s projects, such as the State Border Service or the training of riot control units, depend on securing additional financial assistance. Donor assistance in this area remains badly needed, although I understand that the recent bilateral donors conference in Sarajevo made some progress in this regard.
In addition, not all projects contained in the mission implementation plan will have been fully completed by the end of 2002, since they were designed to establish ongoing mechanisms and structures, such as those for minority recruitment or for inter-entity and regional police cooperation. These structures will require nurturing in a post-UNMIBH setting. There will therefore still be a need for continued monitoring and assistance in order to preserve what has been achieved by the United Nations over the past six years.
Given the many commitments that the United Nations is facing, the Secretary-General believes that perhaps regional actors should assume responsibility for a follow-up mission, which should have the capacity to preserve UNMIBH’s accomplishments and to bring to fruition those ongoing projects that will have been left by UNMIBH. On the basis of the experience we have gained and the lessons we have learned — not only in Bosnia but also in Kosovo and East Timor — we believe that it would be desirable for such a mission to combine under one roof responsibilities for the police, judiciary and penal system. Our assessment is that this task could be carried out by a smaller mission of approximately one quarter of UNMIBH’s present staff, including about 450 police officers.
We welcome the initial steps and assessments made by the High Representative, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in planning a post-UNMIBH international police monitoring presence. The Special Representative is cooperating fully with these organizations. UNMIBH has provided them with its expertise and institutional knowledge in order to facilitate their task, and UNMIBH is ready to work very closely with the organization that will assume the responsibility for the post-UNMIBH period.
This issue is being discussed at the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board meeting, which is taking place in Brussels as we speak. We hope there will be more clarity on this matter in the near future. This would be important in order to ensure timely planning and a smooth and seamless transition to a follow-on mission. We will, of course, keep the Security Council fully informed of these developments.
We would like to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). We also thank Mr. Hédi Annabi for his clear briefing on the Mission.
It is clear that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jacques Klein, and his team in UNMIBH are doing an excellent job in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They should be congratulated.
There is still one more year to go before UNMIBH is expected to complete its mandate. In short, UNMIBH’s core mandate is to contribute to the establishment of the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina by assisting in building a professional police force. This is a major undertaking. But what Mr. Klein and UNMIBH have done so far is very encouraging, to say the least. They have certainly made much progress towards the completion of the core mandate, as can be seen from their achievements so far in improving the professionalism of the police forces and in inter-entity and regional police cooperation, including combating terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration. We hope that UNMIBH’s efforts to increase minority representation in the police forces will achieve better results.
But more than doing their operational work well, Mr. Klein and UNMIBH have also shown their far-sightedness to make sure that the job is done right. Two significant examples demonstrate this.
First, Mr. Klein and UNMIBH are closely abiding by the results-based approach they initiated two years ago to fulfil the Mission’s mandate by the end of next year. They continue to rigorously implement the detailed mandate implementation plan they had worked out for the period 2000-2002, to match their achievements with the goals, benchmarks and performance indicators set and to make adjustments accordingly. This is commendable. Singapore has been pushing for the Security Council to take a results-based approach since we joined the Council. The Council can learn a lot from what Mr. Klein and UNMIBH are doing.
Secondly, as early as the adoption of the mandate implementation plan, Mr. Klein and UNMIBH had established a clear exit strategy for the Mission. They not only identified when UNMIBH could exit from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also determined the need for a follow-on presence to preserve what has been achieved with regards to law enforcement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This has been followed through conscientiously. With one more year to go before UNMIBH closes, the Secretary-General has called for an early decision on a much smaller follow-on police mission to provide continued international monitoring and assistance. We note that the Secretary-General has reiterated the desirability of regional actors assuming responsibility for such a mission. We urge all the actors involved to respond to the Secretary-General’s call. This will be another vivid demonstration of the implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council on “no exit without strategy” (S/2001/905).
However, we should remind ourselves that UNMIBH’s work is not done in a vacuum. UNMIBH may be able to make a clear exit from Bosnia and Herzegovina after fulfilling its mandate, but sustainable peace and development can be achieved for the nation only if the right political, social, economic and other conditions are put in place. We note that this is the role of the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement, SFOR, the United Nations and other actors. In fact, to do its job, UNMIBH is dependent on the High Representative to create the necessary conditions. One vivid example is found in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2001/1132), in paragraph 15:
“The Independent Judicial Commission, operating within the framework of the Office of the High Representative, continues to focus on overhauling the judiciary (judges and prosecutors). Progress has been slow, however, and even where police officers and institutions fully comply with their obligations and responsibilities, judicial misconduct has compromised prosecutions of perpetrators of ethnic violence, police misconduct and trafficking in human beings. Police officers are often discouraged from pursuing arrests and prosecutions, public confidence in the judicial system is low and widespread corruption continues.”
There must be other similar examples. Clearly, the full spectrum of essential conditions has to be established for Bosnia and Herzegovina to attain sustainable peace and development. Contrast the presence of a nationwide policing framework with State-level services and the absence of a single national army in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the point becomes clear. It is difficult to see how a nation can exist with two independent armies while the police exist in a single national framework. I believe no other country has done this.
Before I conclude, allow me to raise a procedural issue. The Security Council took a step forward in holding a public meeting with both High Representative Wolfgang Petritsch and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Klein this September. Our view is that this practice should continue for future public meetings on Bosnia and Herzegovina, whenever the opportunity presents itself. In this way, the Council would be able to see the full picture of what is happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina and what is being done by all the key actors to make progress on the Bosnia and Herzegovina issue, including in coordination with one another. To benefit fully in this regard, perhaps the High Representative and the Head of UNMIBH could submit their reports at about the same time. Of course, the frequency of these reports could be properly timed so as to balance the need for regular meetings on Bosnia and Herzegovina and not overburden the two authorities.
At the outset, I would like to express once again my best wishes for your successful presidency in December, Sir, and to reiterate our sincere and complete support for your delegation in fulfilling these responsible duties. I would also like to pay tribute to Ambassador Durrant of Jamaica and her team for their excellent leadership of the Council’s work in the month of November.
I am pleased to thank Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Hédi Annabi for his very comprehensive briefing. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the productive efforts of the Special Representative, Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, and his team in implementing the key tasks of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
Six years after Dayton and one year before the completion of the mandate of UNMIBH, we can see a wide range of positive developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From our standpoint, further progress in its political and economic reconstruction will depend on three major factors.
First, there will be no visible breakthrough unless the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina takes its own share of responsibility for strengthening a multi-ethnic society. In this regard, the recent appointment of the Election Commission, which has already taken national responsibility for holding elections, is an encouraging sign.
Secondly, as the overall situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina still remains fragile, the international community should become further involved in the country. It goes without saying that the failure of international efforts in this State would have an immediate and dramatic impact on the whole region.
Thirdly, we believe that the way to inter-ethnic reconciliation and the development of stable and democratic State institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina is through the implementation of the European Union road map for the country. We call upon the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to follow this important guideline actively.
In this context, my delegation welcomes the suggestion of the Secretary-General, stated in his report, that while UNMIBH progresses towards the completion of its core mandate in 2002, it would be desirable for regional actors to assume responsibility for continued monitoring of the situation and assistance to preserve what has been achieved in the country. I am confident that such an approach is more than acceptable: it is vitally important.
However, such an important step should be based on a thorough entry strategy. In this respect, I would like to ask Mr. Annabi to comment on the practical essence of the activities of the Special Representative, Mr. Klein, that are aimed at strengthening cooperation with the organizations that are assessing the requirements for the follow-on police mission. In addition, my delegation would like to hear from Mr. Annabi some comments concerning the format of such a mission and its possible composition.
During the period under review the activities of UNMIBH have been marked by a number of significant achievements. Despite resistance, the United Nations Mission succeeded in achieving a qualitative improvement in inter-entity and regional police cooperation, as well as in State Border Service activities. We welcome the reported results in launching the Police Commissioner project, introducing a disciplinary code and preparing a State Information and Protection Agency.
Obviously, this list of achievements is not exhaustive. However, the list of tasks yet to be implemented is much longer. In this context, there are two crucial points I would like to mention.
First and foremost, let me convey the message from the Government of Ukraine concerning our deep interest in intensifying and enhancing cooperation with UNMIBH and the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in addressing the issue of the trafficking of human beings. I would like to support the Mission’s activities in the framework of the Special Trafficking Operations Programme (STOP) and to express our firm commitment to further cooperation in this field. We are ready to discuss practical arrangements for such interaction.
Secondly, I would like to draw the Council’s attention to the issue of national minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This point has been raised by my delegation on several occasions.
As presented in the report on human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently submitted by José Cutileiro, the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the conditions for the national, political and cultural revival of persons that belong to ethnic minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina remain unsatisfactory. I would kindly ask Mr. Annabi to comment on the current developments in this field. I believe that this issue could be also taken up in the next report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on UNMIBH activities.
Sir, as you assume the presidency of the Council for the month of December, let me convey to you our best wishes for a very successful presidency and pledge to you my delegation’s full support and cooperation.
I also wish to echo the sentiments you have expressed to Ambassador Patricia Durrant of Jamaica for her excellent stewardship of the Council in the month of November.
Let me join previous delegations in thanking the Secretary-General for his report on the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), and Mr. Hédi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General, for his very useful briefing this morning.
My delegation takes note of the progress that has been made since the last report of the Secretary-General. The Mission has been very successful in restructuring law enforcement bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular the police force. We commend the work done by the High Representative, Mr. Petritsch; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Klein; and all men and women working with them to implement the Peace Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
UNMIBH has been successfully — albeit in very difficult situations and despite much political indifference — working for the creation of solid structures for a professional police force to administer and enforce the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are pleased to learn that the Police Commissioner project is progressing well and that several ad interim police commissioners have been appointed in the Federation Ministry of Interior, the six Federation cantons and the Ministry of Interior of Republika Srpska. We are concerned, however, that the project is facing obstruction in the mixed Croat-Bosniac canton and in the cantons with Croat majorities. We call on the parties concerned to cooperate fully with UNMIBH to find a quick resolution to this problem.
My delegation is concerned that the representation of minority communities in the local police forces continues to pose a serious problem. It is extremely important that every effort be made to ensure that minorities are adequately represented in the police force. We welcome, in this respect, the appointment of a Bosniac police officer to the post of Deputy Station Commander at the newly opened police station in Srebrenica. Such appointments will help build the confidence of the population in the local police force. We are also pleased to note that there has been a 1.4 per cent increase in the number of females represented in the police force. My delegation welcomes this evolution and encourages the participation of women in the enforcement of law and order in their country.
The increase in the return of minority communities to Bosnia and Herzegovina is another clear indication that the situation on the ground is improving. We encourage other refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes.
The core mandate of UNMIBH will be completed at the end of December 2002 and, before that, Council members will have to decide which type of mission will take over from UNMIBH — whether a stand-alone police monitoring mission or a comprehensive rule-of-law mission as envisaged in the Dayton Accords. We believe that these options should be examined very seriously, taking into account the financial aspects as well as the need for continued monitoring and assistance to preserve what the international community has achieved so far in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We understand that Mr. Klein is cooperating with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to assess the requirements for the follow-up police mission. We look forward to receiving a comprehensive report, which will help us take the right decisions.
While UNMIBH has made significant achievements in improving the situation on the ground since its establishment, the economic situation remains very fragile. The unpaid assessed contribution to the account for UNMIBH, as at 31 October 2001, is $107.6 million, out of $144.7 million appropriated for its activities by the General Assembly. The lack of funds can have a negative impact on the success of the Mission. We therefore call on all Member States to make the necessary disbursements, and also appeal to donors to provide funding for the priority projects of UNMIBH. As highlighted in the report of the Secretary-General, more still needs to be done to overcome the tragic past and to strengthen the capacity of the country for self-sustainability and help fulfil the conditions for European integration.
The last time we discussed the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Norwegian delegation had rightly observed that the progress in the region was incremental, but not fundamental. In the new report that we have now, it does appear that some fundamental changes are in progress, especially in the areas of security, including a strategy to combat organized crime and terrorism, of poverty alleviation and of reconstruction of the electric infrastructure, as well as of human rights awareness. It is our duty and that of the international community to fully support these efforts and the democratic forces that will promote political stability and economic growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Congratulations, Sir, and welcome to the presidency. You have our strong support in what promises to be a very busy month.
My thanks also to Assistant Secretary-General Annabi for the briefing he has given us today.
We are here at a pretty crucial time for the future of policing in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have noted what Hédi Annabi has said about the Secretary-General’s view that the United Nations should not provide the successor mission to the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). This will be one of the issues under discussion at the meeting of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) Steering Board in Brussels today and tomorrow, and we will, of course, be in touch with the United Nations about the outcome of those deliberations.
Significant progress has been made in UNMIBH’s mandate. The rule of law is a prerequisite for a fully functioning democracy, and that applies as much to Bosnia and Herzegovina as to other parts of the world. UNMIBH is continuing to make an important contribution in this area. However, further work is needed, in particular to create an apolitical police force, to improve crowd control capacity and to increase the unacceptably low minority representation in the police, as Ambassador Koonjul of Mauritius has said.
UNMIBH, as the Council knows, aims to complete its core mandate by 31 December next year. However, in recognizing that fact, we also have to recognize that the task of police reform is not complete. Serious structural weaknesses remain. A key challenge will be to get politics out of policing. The follow-on police mission must address police reform as part of a wider strategy for judicial reform and for establishing the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This will be one of the considerations that will motivate our contribution to the PIC in Brussels this week.
It is also important to begin detailed planning for the follow-on mission as soon as possible. UNMIBH will have a crucial role in ensuring the success of the incoming mission.
I would like to end by saying that we hope that the successor mission will be able, as I am sure it will, to rely on the active support of UNMIBH during the handover phase.
I thank the representative of the United Kingdom for the kind words he addressed to me.
I wish at the outset to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of December. The Chinese delegation will fully support you in your work.
I wish also to thank Mr. Annabi for his detailed briefing. The Chinese delegation endorses the relevant analysis and views set out in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2001/1132). Further, we place on record our appreciation for the endeavours of Mr. Jacques Paul Klein and his team.
The main task of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) is to set up a professional, democratic and non-discriminatory police force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are pleased to note that since the last report of the Secretary-General the Mission has made marked progress in the areas of police reform, training and justice. We must, of course, acknowledge that many problems remain, and we hope that judicial reform will therefore be stepped up. Beyond that process, it is our hope that the nation-building capacity of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be enhanced.
We appreciate UNMIBH’s efforts to recruit and train police from ethnic minorities. We hope that the Mission will make a greater effort, on the basis of justice and ethnic equality, to ensure the multi-ethnic character of the Bosnia and Herzegovina police force.
We note with satisfaction that, with the improved security situation and with further cooperation by some local officials, more minority refugees are returning to their homeland. Here, two main problems persist: the issue of security and inadequate housing. The latter is the major bottleneck, and we hope that the relevant United Nations agencies and the international community at large will focus on that problem and will provide support.
We support United Nations agencies as they play a positive role in the process of peace and development in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We hope they will enhance their coordination and will cooperate through an appropriate division of labour with a view to improving efficiency.
The United Nations Mission is expected to complete its core mandate by December 2002. We agree with the Secretary-General that thereafter there will still be a need for continued efforts to preserve what has been achieved. But we also believe that a new model is needed. The Secretary-General has set out an idea on this matter in paragraph 36 of his report, and the Chinese delegation supports that idea. The Secretary-General has instructed his Special Representative to begin preparations in that regard, about which we hope we will be informed as soon as possible.
While regional actors are involved, we hope that United Nations agencies too will step up their coordination and will play an important role in a joint economic rehabilitation effort for the country. That is crucial if there is to be lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Let me congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. I wish to assure you of the full cooperation and support of the Jamaican delegation as you seek to carry out your onerous tasks.
I wish also to thank the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Hédi Annabi, for his briefing on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for introducing the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General (S/2001/1132).
When we last discussed this issue in the Council, the High Representative reminded us that the work of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina was predicated on empowering the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on bringing the country even closer to the European mainstream. For its part, the Security Council has been guided by the intent and the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement, and we have used the timelines of the peace implementation plan as an indicator of progress. We have received regular updates on the incremental progress being made in police and judicial reform, training law enforcement personnel, economic reconstruction, the return of refugees and reconciliation efforts. All of these are necessary for completing a programme of work that will need to see further progress if the core mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) is to be completed by December 2002.
We commend the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his team for the systematic approach that has been taken, which has resulted in the completion of 43 of the 66 projects into which the mandate implementation plan had been refined. Judicial and police reform have received priority. Steps have been taken to ensure ethnically diverse recruitment of police and appointment of police commissioners, and to ensure adequate training of the police in democratic policing methods.
We are pleased with the continued progress in the work of the State Border Service, which now monitors 75 per cent of the borders and which is expected to be fully deployed by September 2002. The creation of a police service independent of UNMIBH and the lowering of cross-border crime by December 2002 are also examples of the strides which we hope will be made. These achievements, which are discussed in paragraph 32 of the Secretary-General’s report, are worthy of commendation. We also commend Bosnia and Herzegovina for its participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations in Ethiopia and Eritrea and in East Timor.
With regard to the judiciary, we are aware that UNMIBH has had an uphill task, although improvements have been made. Problems still exist, however, including in the fight against corruption and judicial misconduct. We are particularly concerned that, as stated in paragraph 15 of the Secretary-General’s report, judicial misconduct has compromised prosecutions of perpetrators of ethnic violence, police misconduct and trafficking in human beings. We encourage the continued focus of the Independent Judicial Commission on overhauling the judiciary.
Political cohesion and neutrality remain elusive, and overall process is stifled by the continued promotion of national and ethnic differences. Nationalist actions eat away at progress, and the problems in the Republika Srpska have weakened the political framework. We continue to urge the parties to work together in a spirit of national unity. We also believe that priority should continue to be given to lessening the reliance of Bosnia and Herzegovina on donor support and to the prevailing high rate of unemployment and lack of investment. We recognize that economic activity has been affected by other problems, such as political corruption, and by a lack of clear and transparent policies among political authorities. Indeed, resolution 1357 (2001), which we adopted earlier this year, reminds us that
“the continued willingness of the international community and major donors to assume the political, military and economic burden of implementation and reconstruction efforts will be determined by the compliance and active participation by all the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing the Peace Agreement and rebuilding a civil society”. (para. 2)
In the short term, a certain level of economic viability is needed to encourage the return of refugees, for future access to the European mainstream and to stimulate long-term growth, leading to economic sustainability. We therefore call on the political authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate in the creation of a climate conducive to economic growth. Fundamental economic reform must go hand in hand with improvements to the political framework.
The Secretary-General has called for an early decision on a follow-up police mission in the territory to ensure timely planning and a smooth transition. We look forward to receiving detailed plans for streamlining the international presence and for this follow-up mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, bearing in mind the progress already made and the challenges ahead.
It is a measure of UNMIBH’s success that the Secretary-General believes that, after December 2002, the police mission could be approximately one quarter of the present strength of UNMIBH.
As we continue to examine the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is important that a regional perspective be maintained if there is to be a comprehensive and lasting peace. Coordination on common problems and goals such as reconciliation and the creation of a multi-ethnic society must continue to be pursued.
In this regard, we are pleased with the recent cooperation of police at the regional level and the approval, on 12 September, of a regional strategy to combat illegal migration, organized crime and terrorism. The Special Trafficking Operations Programme (STOP), which has been hampered in Bosnia and Herzegovina by weaknesses in the legal system, must be an integral part of this regional cooperation.
We would also like to reiterate the importance we attach to the pledged commitment of the parties to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
In closing, we wish to commend the work of the High Representative and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and their efforts to place greater emphasis on judicial and police reform, economic growth, the increase in refugee return, the promotion of reconciliation and on preparing Bosnia and Herzegovina for entry into the European mainstream.
I wish to convey my best wishes to the delegation of Mali at this first public meeting for the month of December — one that promises to be busy, given the current international situation. We have no doubt, Sir, that the Council will be successful thanks to your wise guidance.
I should like also to commend Ambassador Patricia Durrant and her entire team, who led our work with outstanding success during the month of November — also an especially busy month, due to international events and to the presence in New York of a large number of ministers and heads of State.
France associates itself with the position of the European Union, which will be presented during our discussion by the representative of Belgium. I shall therefore make only a few brief comments in my national capacity.
I should like to begin by expressing our appreciation for the very comprehensive briefing by the Secretariat on the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
UNMIBH is an exemplary peace operation. It is exemplary, first, because of what it is doing. It is guided by clear-cut objectives that are set forth in a plan for the implementation of its mandate. It is benefiting from the effective work of a Special Representative, of a Police Commissioner, and of an entire team determined to achieve its goals. It is reporting to the Security Council on its successes, on the difficulties it is encountering, and on the forthcoming stages of its work. The results — significant ones — are there for all to see. The latest report of the Secretary-General makes this clear. I am thinking in particular of the statistics that attest to the success that has been achieved thanks to the strengthening of the State Border Service.
Secondly, UNMIBH is exemplary because of its ability to provide its own exit strategy. In this respect, it constitutes an excellent example of the implementation of the recommendations of the Brahimi report on peace operations. We understand that the period from the end of December 2002 to the beginning of 2003 is the most likely time frame for the accomplishment of the major tasks of the United Nations Mission.
Thirdly, the exemplary nature of UNMIBH is also due to the prospect of the takeover of this United Nations operation by regional organizations, in this case the European Union or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The redefinition of the respective roles of the United Nations and of the regional organizations, the strengthening of their coordination and the quest for greater complementarity between them are among the things currently being considered within these walls.
In the context of the overall process of reflection on the restructuring of the international community’s presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, now being carried out under the leadership of Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch, the European Union and the OSCE each are undertaking an evaluation of the circumstances in which monitoring and assistance efforts with respect to the Bosnian police might be continued. When these evaluations are made known, the member States of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council will be able to decide, depending on the results, on the relative merits of each option. When the time comes, they will have to choose the best solution. I should like emphasize the need to make this choice only when the time comes.
For its part, France, which is looking forward to the conclusion of these studies, notes the advantages of continuing monitoring and assistance efforts with respect to the Bosnian police within the framework of a European Union mission. Indeed, the prospect of a rapprochement with the European Union is open to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union has a high degree of political legitimacy there. Moreover, with 620 individuals, it is the primary contributor to UNMIBH’s International Police Task Force. Through its civilian crisis management activities, it should have the operational capacity to conduct the mission that will follow up on the United Nations Mission. Furthermore, it will be in a position to involve in its action States that are non-members of the European Union, thanks in particular to the work of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is meant to join itself with Europe, and it is doing so as part of the process of stabilization and association. We encourage the Bosnian authorities to continue their efforts and to persevere in this direction with all the necessary resolve. This is what is in store for Bosnia and Herzegovina and, more generally, for South-Eastern Europe.
May I express my congratulations to you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council. I assure you of my delegation’s complete cooperation for the success of our work. We also convey our sincere thanks to Ambassador Durrant and her entire team for the excellent work they carried out at the head of the Security Council during November.
I join previous speakers in thanking Assistant-Secretary-General Hédi Annabi for his briefing on the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). My delegation welcomes the report of the Secretary-General, which notes the important progress achieved during the period covered by the report.
My delegation believes that advances have been made in virtually all the fields of action under UNMIBH’s mandate, and also, above all, in all aspects of the lives of the Bosnian people. The success achieved to date is a sign of growing maturity and a profound will to build a shared, prosperous and multi-ethnic future for the entire population. We agree with the Secretary-General that accomplishing this progress has not been easy and that resistance and obstacles had be overcome. Nonetheless, we continue to believe that the results obtained are satisfactory and deserving of the commitment of the entire international community.
To fully achieve lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is important now to strengthen the foundations of efficient, democratic and multi-ethnic institutions and to help the country’s inhabitants in their efforts to build a new Bosnian society. In this respect, we believe that the international community must maintain its commitments in the country to ensure a peaceful transition that preserves and improves on the achievements made and takes into consideration the overall situation in the Balkans and the capacity of Bosnian society to take charge of its own future.
Allow me to make a few comments on issues that, in our opinion, are of particular importance for ensuring peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
First, my delegation welcomes the encouraging results achieved on police reform. The creation of a police force in conformity with international standards of personal integrity and professional competence is a decisive step for the success of the operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is important to continue the efforts for better representation of ethnic minorities in the local police force. In this respect, we welcome the appointment of a Bosniac to a high-level post in a police station in the Republika Srpska. This appointment opens the way to reconciliation and puts an end to the prevailing distrust.
It should also be underscored that the success of the operation of reforming and restructuring the police force remains largely dependent on the neutrality of the force. It is therefore necessary to strengthen this quality and to eliminate any political, partisan or ethnic bias that could hamper the process.
Secondly, my delegation also welcomes the steps taken by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to combat terrorism. Indeed, the decision to create a database on this issue deserves the international community’s support.
Thirdly, my delegation would like to give its support to UNMIBH’s efforts for judicial reform. It is vital that the judicial service be independent, impartial and non-discriminatory in dealing with the entire Bosnian population. Those brought to justice must not only have legal guarantees during the trial but also be convinced of the fairness of the decisions handed down by the judges. We believe that once confidence is established, the coexistence of all the ethnic communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be more easily attainable.
Fourthly, we welcome the efforts made by the State Border Service. We believe that this service has a great responsibility in combating drug-trafficking, smuggling and illegal immigration. It has an increased responsibility today in the fight against terrorism and arms-trafficking. In this context, we wish to express our appreciation to UNMIBH for the establishment of the Special Trafficking Operations Programme (STOP). This important issue is a major concern of the entire international community.
Fifthly, my delegation wishes to pay tribute to the agencies of the United Nations system for their contributions to the reconstruction efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We encourage the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to continue its efforts to protect and rebuild places of worship. We also welcome the assistance given by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to refugees and displaced persons upon their return.
In conclusion, as Tunisia, which has always been attentive to Bosnia and Herzegovina and will remain so, prepares to leave the Council at the end of this month, we wish to express the hope that we will at last see a reconciled, united, multi-ethnic and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country will certainly be able to look to the future. It will draw strength from the pain of the past and from the hope nurtured by new generations.
May I also congratulate Mali, and you personally, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency for December, which promises to be a very busy month, and assure you of the full support of my delegation. I would also like to thank Ambassador Durrant of Jamaica for what was an outstanding presidency in November.
My delegation would like to thank Mr. Annabi for his comprehensive briefing and, indeed, thank all those concerned for producing the Mission report now before us. Ireland warmly commends the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), including the International Police Task Force, for its achievements to date in restructuring and reforming the law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and — as the report of the Secretary-General points out — for completing 43 of the 66 core projects in its mandate implementation plan.
Ireland fully endorses the statement which will be delivered shortly by Belgium on behalf of the European Union. I therefore wish to make only a few comments in my national capacity.
It is clear that although UNMIBH has achieved significant results in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there remains cause for concern in some areas. Ongoing problems include an unacceptably high level of political interference, inadequate support for the police force, a lack of judicial and penal reform and poor economic progress. It is essential that all the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina implement fully the provisions of the Dayton-Paris Peace Accords and work to develop viable State-level institutions, rather than allow short-term political interests to prevail over the interests of the country as a whole.
Ireland welcomes the work of the Police Commissioner project, which aims to create a non-political police service, and the introduction of a disciplinary code. We urge the relevant authorities to cooperate with UNMIBH in its efforts to encourage minority representation in local police forces. We agree fully with the Secretary-General’s assessment that the response of police forces to the violence against minority returnees is an important indicator of police performance.
Ireland welcomes the progress achieved in relation to refugee returns and notes that the figures for 2001 are the highest since the end of the war. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still faced with significant pockets of resistance to the establishment of a truly multi-ethnic society. It is also struggling to create a viable economy and continues to suffer from serious deficiencies in State- and entity-level governmental authorities.
The relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina must assume more responsibility. They should work to improve inter-entity cooperation and push ahead with vital economic reform, which will strengthen the country’s capacity for self-sustainability and help it to fulfil the conditions outlined in the European Union road map for moving towards European integration.
The State Border Service and the Special Trafficking Operations Programme (STOP), established by UNMIBH, have achieved significant progress in relation to human trafficking and illegal migration. We note that since July 2001, seven individuals have been convicted of trafficking-related offences, but that, regrettably, overall progress in combating this illegal trade remains severely hampered. Further progress in relation to these issues and in relation to property rights law is central to the normalization and stability of the entire region.
Finally, Ireland believes strongly that the international community must continue its involvement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Work should continue to reaffirm the rule of law, develop independent and effective institutions, facilitate further refugee returns and foster economic development. Efforts should be made to ensure that the considerable achievements made in relation to policing and future work in restructuring and reforming the police force should not be endangered by weakness within the judicial system. We believe that particular attention should be paid during the next year to ensuring progress in relation to judicial, penal and police reform. A recalibrated international presence will be necessary to achieve this progress and to create a Bosnia and Herzegovina that is sustainable, integrated fully into Europe and able to meet its international obligations.
It is important that planning continue urgently at all levels so that a smaller, but robust, follow-on mission with achievable objectives can be deployed before the end of the current UNMIBH mandate.
Ireland notes the Secretary-General’s recommendation that regional actors are best placed to assume responsibility for this, and, for its part, is participating actively in talks about the various possibilities. We look forward to further discussions on this matter in the Council.
Mr. President, let me join others in congratulating you and welcoming you to the chair at the head of this table. I also want to thank Mr. Annabi for his update.
We support the intent of the Secretary-General and the efforts of Special Representative Klein to finish implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) by the end of 2002 and to transfer it to a regional organization. We hope that this process can serve as a model in some way for future such situations.
The Peace Implementation Council Steering Board, which is meeting today and tomorrow in Brussels, will consider how to streamline the international civilian presence. Special Representative Klein is participating in that discussion, and we hope that this will ensure close coordination and help produce the seamless transition that I am sure we all want. We expect that the conclusions of the Brussels discussion will play a key role in shaping the end-phase transition.
As this process goes ahead, the State Border Service is an area of special concern to us. The State Border Service needs more political support and more resources. The Secretary-General’s report is clear that there are positive results from the Border Service in reducing illegal immigration and smuggling, and the Border Service will also have a role in ensuring effective efforts against terrorism.
We strongly support the Secretary-General’s call for more resources and the UNMIBH initiative for a donors’ conference later this month. The State Border Service has a key and central role in Bosnia’s future, and its short-term and long-term financial needs require urgent attention from the international community.
Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council, and I want to extend very special thanks to the delegation of Jamaica and to Ambassador Durrant for their extraordinarily professional work.
We also want to express thanks for the briefing that Mr. Hédi Annabi has given us and for the Secretary-General’s report on the work of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) carried out over recent months. It is gratifying to see, in these two reports, the progress the Mission has made in the implementation of its mandate. In this connection, we wish to emphasize two elements that we consider fundamental so that the reforms under way to create a professional police force will be structural and lasting.
First of all, the recruitment of members of minority groups constitutes a guarantee of the neutrality that should characterize a police force. In addition, because of the authority that an institution such as the police represents within a social structure, its composition must be a model and an example to be followed. This means that shaping a multi-ethnic force serves other purposes as well.
We hope that the appointment of the Bosniac representative as Deputy Station Commander at the Srebrenica police station will serve as an incentive, as the Secretary-General mentions, for the return of minority groups to that region. These efforts should be imitated in other zones.
Secondly, we want to underscore the work being accomplished by the State Border Service in cooperation with the police. The illegal transit of persons, just like the illicit traffic in various goods, is a recurring problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For this reason, we want to emphasize the progress made in recent months in border control. The new international reality makes this control an indispensable tool in the fight against terrorism, and we therefore believe it is necessary for the joint work to continue between the police and the staff of the Border Service. We welcome the Secretary-General’s appeal regarding the need for funds for this programme.
We believe that the Security Council must not be absent from the discussions that are under way on the future of the international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since this will have an impact, to a greater or lesser extent, on the work that lies ahead.
One of the recurring concerns that we have heard in our deliberations on Bosnia and Herzegovina is exactly what the United Nations exit strategy should be in this peacekeeping operation. Some say that the exit should occur once the implementation of the Dayton Accords is complete. Others say that it should be next year, when the Mission completes its mandate. Still others believe that there should be a gradual progress, involving regional actors in the work being done by the United Nations. All of these alternatives are of interest and deserve detailed analysis.
We are awaiting the results of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board meeting that is being held today in Brussels. The conclusions of that meeting will have an influence on the new role that the Security Council is to play in the future.
May I begin by expressing our confidence in your leadership, Mr. President, and assuring you of our fullest cooperation. Tributes are also due to Jamaica — the Ambassador and her team — for their role as President in November. I would also like to thank Assistant Secretary-General Hédi Annabi for his succinct yet comprehensive briefing and for introducing the report of the Secretary-General contained in document S/2001/1132.
We are encouraged by the fact that the general situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is now more stable. We are satisfied that the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) has made significant progress towards the goal of fulfilling its core mandates. Bangladesh is pleased at the notable improvements in the security-related aspects of the mandate of UNMIBH. At the beginning of last year, when the State Border Service (SBS) law was imposed, an institution was established to address the wartime legacy of a fragmented and porous border. The extension of the Service in the past two years to protect 75 per cent of the border and the Sarajevo airport is a commendable achievement. We would like to know, however, about the projected time frame for 100 per cent coverage.
It is also noteworthy that the 1,364 police personnel of the SBS are drawn from a multi-ethnic catchment area. The reduction of illegal migration to Europe and success in diminishing human trafficking, particularly of women, owe much to the SBS. We believe that concerted efforts by UNMIBH, the Office of the High Representative and the local political leadership will soon enable us to achieve further progress in this area.
Dayton has given an important mandate to UNMIBH to reform and restructure the local police force. That was based on the consideration that the establishment of a professional and non-political police force is key to combating terrorism, corruption and discrimination. One of the most critical challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina was to ensure minority representation in the police force. Positive results have become increasingly apparent in such representation. That is also reflected in the recruitment of female police. That mission has to be relentlessly pursued as the UNMIBH mandate comes to a close in December 2002, a year from now.
The effective functioning of police institutions is severely compromised when the judiciary does not develop hand in hand with those institutions. In this case, it has not kept pace with police reform. The lack of judicial enforcement discourages the police from the pursuit and apprehension of criminals. In cases of ethnically motivated crimes, adequate response by the judicial system is essential to gain and retain public confidence in the institution. That would also dissuade extremists from perpetrating ethnically motivated violence. Immediate priorities like economic reform to encourage investment, sustainable minority returns and institution-building cannot be achieved without the establishment of the rule of law based on effective policing and an impartial judiciary. The judicial system in Bosnia and Herzegovina clearly remains dysfunctional. Attention is required in this area if we are to gain tangible overall benefits from the restructuring of the police institutions.
A most effective way to heal the scars of a tragic past is to create economic opportunities for the people. That will enable them to look forward to a promising future. A long-term solution will remain elusive if the country cannot be put on a firm footing for progress that ultimately leads to integration with the rest of Europe. We are heartened that, in order to identify the needs and potentials for development, a United Nations Development Programme mission recently conducted an initial assessment of requirements for a multi-year economic and social recovery plan. That must be followed through in the coming months. However, in itself that will not be sufficient. There must be continued committed support from the international community in order that stability be sustained.
Bangladesh welcomes the early planning and preparation for an exit. Such a need was made salient in last year’s Council debate on the theme of no exit without strategy. The decision to close UNMIBH will be sound if its mandate is fully and satisfactorily accomplished. The United Nations and regional actors must generate the momentum that will imbue people with hope for the future. Hope is what will help them overcome their differences and set them on course for a prosperous future.
Like other members of the Security Council, we are pleased to see you in the Chair, Mr. President. We join in the words of gratitude addressed to Ambassador Durrant and the entire delegation of Jamaica for the work they did last month. We are also pleased to welcome the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we are grateful to Mr. Hédi Annabi for his briefing.
Russia has a positive opinion of the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and of its Head, Mr. Jacques Paul Klein, which are described in detail in the report of the Secretary-General. In spite of the narrow mandate of the Mission, which includes promoting the establishment of an effective system of law enforcement bodies in the country, its activities are of significant importance in completing one of the key tasks of the settlement, namely, ensuring public safety and internal stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We note with satisfaction that there has been some success in this regard. We support the activities of the Head of the Mission aimed at fulfilling its core mandate by the end of the year 2002.
In view of the fragility of the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we believe that the main goal of the international community in that country is to ensure genuine stability, the basis for which is the Peace Agreement. We are convinced that we can carry out this task through coordination of the efforts of all participants in the settlement process and by carrying out serious structural changes in the work of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main areas for such a restructuring should be in enhancing effectiveness and eliminating discrepancies and duplications in the work of international bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in reducing expenditures and the number of staff.
As we see it, one of the priority tasks in that process is to define the criteria for compliance by the international organs in Bosnia and Herzegovina with their mandates and to establish clear-cut stages for transfer of their responsibilities for the situation in the country to Bosnians themselves. However, we believe that we should not act hastily with regard to the introduction of drastic changes in the work of the international structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In our view, the existing proposals must be well worked out, and it is extremely necessary that they be in full compliance with Dayton. In fact, the implementation of reforms must on the whole be proportionate to the development of the situation in the region.
We are also not in favour of hasty action with regard to the ultimate fate of the international police operation. We have no doubt that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the best prepared organization for conducting the police operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the conclusion of the core mandate of the United Nations Mission, in December 2002. However, the transfer of operations to OSCE will involve a substantial additional expenditure that will hardly be covered through voluntary contributions. We need to weigh carefully all of the factors, including the views of the Bosnian sides themselves, and jointly take the most rational decision. Any haste in assigning to the OSCE mission the function of monitoring the activities of the police contingent would be unjustifiable, especially bearing in mind the fact that the mandate of the Mission will be in effect for at least another year. A final decision on the successor to the United Nations Mission should be taken by the Council in compliance with the Peace Agreement, and should be approved by the Security Council.
I thank the representative of the Russian Federation for his kind words addressed to me.
I am also pleased to see you presiding over the Council, Mr. President. I too would like to thank the Jamaican delegation for their excellent work last month. I also want to thank the Secretary-General for his report, and Mr. Annabi for his introduction.
Norway commends the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) for its contribution to the implementation of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreements. We welcome the progress made in the areas of police reform, the State Border Service and the rule of law. An effective police service and an impartial judiciary are necessary to ensure the rule of law, a democratic, multi-ethnic society, and safety for minority returnees.
Local, entity and State officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina must bear the primary responsibility — and do more in this respect — for reforming the police and the judiciary. This must include efforts to combat organized crime and any support for terrorism within their territory. But it is clear that international support will continue to be needed if these efforts are to be successful. This is in the interests not only of Bosnia and Herzegovina itself, but also of the wider Balkan region and Europe at large.
We must recognize the interdependence of police and judicial reform. The pace of judicial reform has lagged behind, and further efforts are needed if it is to catch up with the police reforms. In the police sector, we would like to see improved cooperation between entity police forces. Minority representation in local police forces continues to be inadequate in both entities. There is also a need for the further training and equipping of entity police and the State Border Service. Norway has therefore decided to support the State Border Service by providing 200,000 euros.
The police and judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to require international support and supervision after the completion of UNMIBH’s core mandate in December 2002. Norway will also continue to support the international community’s efforts to preserve UNMIBH’s important achievements beyond 2002. Work is in progress to evaluate the most practical and efficient ways and means of achieving this. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has demonstrated throughout the Balkans, not least in Croatia, where it took up the mantle from the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, that it has the necessary experience, capacity and capability in this regard.
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 migration and political instability can be adequately dealt with only through cooperation within a regional framework and through a unified international approach. We strongly welcome regional inter-police cooperation and the regional strategy to combat organized crime and terrorism, approved by the interior ministers of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia, the entity interior ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Director of the State Border Service. This is a positive development.
I thank the representative of Norway for his kind words addressed to me.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Mali.
My delegation broadly shares the views expressed in the Council today. However, after expressing my gratitude to the Secretary-General for his report to and Mr. Annabi for his briefing, I would like to make a few brief comments.
First of all, we welcome the encouraging results that have been obtained in the implementation of the Dayton Accords, and we urge all the communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate actively in the building of a multi-ethnic and democratic society and in promoting the peaceful return of refugees.
Secondly, we invite the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue the macroeconomic reform that is being undertaken, and we encourage the regional players to provide support for the economic development of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a view to consolidating peace in that country.
Thirdly, we welcome and encourage the efforts being made to restructure the police and reform the judiciary, as well as the human rights institutions. It is certainly true that all of these efforts will help to establish an effective judicial system that can dispense true justice to the citizens — a prerequisite for peace.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm the strong support of my delegation for the invaluable efforts of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we associate ourselves with the appeal to the international community for full support for the efforts to reconstruct Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I now resume my functions as President.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to whom I give the floor.
Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the opportunity to comment on the report of the Secretary-General regarding the achievements of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) during the past six months. The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomes the report, and I would personally like to thank Mr. Annabi for his comprehensive update and comments.
We consider the achievements presented in the report to be part of the overall improvements recently recorded both in the country and in the region as a whole. Over the past year, the general situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has substantially improved, as a result of both the international community’s achievements and the new political reality in the country and the region.
Let me remind the Council that, after the general elections of November 2000, for the first time in its 10-year history, a multi-ethnic Government was established in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is committed to working in partnership with the international community to build a functioning, democratic, multi-ethnic State. That fact decisively triggered the progress which is evident from the report before the Council today. However, we consider the progress achieved to be only a first step in the long-term process of necessary, fundamental reform, which is basically aimed at bringing the country closer to the rest of Europe. In this process, the current priorities of the Government are institutional development; ensuring the rule of law; improving the judicial system; and implementing economic reforms.
We therefore see this report as a good opportunity to emphasize once more the most important issues for our country, not only with regard to the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, but also with regard to the long-term process of political and economic transition — a process related to the role of the institutions of the United Nations system, given their current mandates.
Restructuring the police and the judicial system is of paramount importance for government priorities in the area of institutional development and the establishment of the rule of law. The contribution of UNMIBH to that goal is substantial, and we appreciate all the efforts made in that regard. Not only are better and more responsible police visible nationwide on the ground, but mutual inter-entity and regional police cooperation is very much improved and the work of the State Border Service is more effective. A significant decrease in illegal border crossings and human trafficking has been reported as well as the first results relating to anti-criminal activities.
At the same time, there has been a visible improvement in the implementation of annex 7 of the Dayton Peace Agreement concerning refugee return, and we recognize the efforts of UNMIBH and other United Nations system agencies in that regard. We anticipate that insistence on the presence of professional police officers from all ethnic groups, as well as on the presence of the so-called minority cadets in the police academies in both entities, will further contribute to inter-ethnic reconciliation and, finally, to a further improvement in refugee return. The first encouraging results have already been reported. According to the data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 66,856 so-called minority returns have been registered in the first 10 months of 2001 — almost 40 per cent more than during the same period in 2000. Between 1999 and now, some 175,300 returns have been registered in areas where returnees now represent the minority. The substantial contribution of UNMIBH and other United Nations agencies is obvious in this field.
However, according to the estimates of the Office of the High Representative, a further five years will be necessary for the full completion of the return process and thus for a full implementation of annex 7. Therefore, even with the progress recorded over the past year, we are far from the final target. Moreover, the progress of the return of refugees and internally displaced persons has not be implemented equally in the two entities, especially in some areas — the so-called black spots — which are well known to the representatives of international organizations. That is discouraging. Hence, success can be achieved only if the international community and the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina focus their future activities on those weak spots that have already been identified.
We especially welcome the help and very constructive role of UNMIBH in implementing the measures concerning actions to combat terrorism, initiated by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina after the terrorist attacks on 11 September. For the first time, the central and entity institutions have fully cooperated in joint anti-terrorist activities, expanding cooperation to neighbouring countries and their institutions.
We clearly recognize UNMIBH’s activities as an integral part of the international community’s assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s institutions in their efforts to build a politically and economically sustainable European country. In this context, we see the reported achievements especially as establishing conditions on the ground allowing the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be free to decide to return to their pre-war homes or to choose to live elsewhere, and as developing a modern, independent and effective judiciary system as well as responsible and non-political police structures.
These are indispensable preconditions for the successful implementation of necessary economic reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment for economic regeneration based on foreign direct investments. Hence, we expect UNMIBH to make an additional effort until the end of its mandate to complete the work on these issues. We also emphasize that the activities begun during the UNMBIH mandate are part of a long-term recovery process, both in the country and in the region. Some of these are far from being completed. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that a clear and smooth transition of the core responsibilities set out in UNMIBH’s current mandate be made to other international structures already present in the country in order to ensure future continuing support to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s institutions. In this respect, we fully support the process under way to streamline the activities of the international organizations in the country aimed at achieving closer coordination with and more coherent international assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We expect that this process, which is on the agenda of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, which is meeting today and tomorrow, will also take into consideration the necessity for a regional approach, since many issues — above all security, refugee return, inter-ethnic reconciliation and economic recovery — are regional problems.
I thank the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker on my list is the representative of Belgium. I invite him 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 countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia — the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, and the European Free Trade Association countries Iceland and Liechtenstein align themselves with this statement.
May I first congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council and pay tribute to the outstanding work done by Jamaica in November. We express our warm thanks to you, Sir, for opening this briefing to delegations and for thus allowing us to express our opinions on a subject close to the European Union’s heart.
I also wish to thank Mr. Hédi Annabi for his briefing this morning.
The Secretary-General’s report on progress made by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) over the past six months makes encouraging reading. We are pleased to see that UNMIBH’s mission, in accordance with the mandate implementation plan, continues to make progress and that 43 of its 66 projects have been completed so far. We are particularly satisfied with the results achieved in relation to the State Border Service, the fight against trafficking in human beings and drugs, and counter-terrorism. The fact that the regional police forces and the two entities are improving their cooperation is very positive and can only serve to make their work even more efficient.
It is a shame that the efforts of the police are not yet being effectively taken up by the judicial system, which, as noted by the Independent Judicial Commission, is making only slow progress. Public confidence, not only in the judicial system, but also in the police services, is essential if it is to work properly. We therefore call on UNMIBH to pursue the efforts it has begun in the difficult task of overhauling the judiciary.
If it continues in this way, UNMIBH should have completed its core tasks by the end of its mandate in December next year. As mentioned by the Secretary-General in his report, however, monitoring and assistance activities will follow from there. As we stated during the debate in the Council in September this year, the European Union appreciates and supports the High Representative’s comprehensive approach to restructuring the current civilian presence on the ground. Indeed, the transition must be planned intelligently and the avenues open to us for streamlining the presence of the international community on the ground must be explored, while bearing two goals in mind: efficiency and coordination. The document which High Representative Petritsch is to submit at the meeting of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, being held today and tomorrow in Brussels, will most certainly enable us to make progress towards a rapid implementation of such streamlining, which will further enhance the efficiency of the international community’s action in the country.
UNMIBH’s work is directly in line with the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing the Dayton Accords. The progress made is positive and the situation is developing satisfactorily. The European Union strongly urges the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue implementing the road map to Europe. We should like to stress once again that responsible political management, combined with an absolute and immediate determination to implement institutional, legal and economic reforms in full, are essential prerequisites for speedy integration into European Union structures. Regional cooperation is no less important to the consolidation of this process and, as we emphasised in September, in this respect Bosnia and Herzegovina has made significant progress, which must be taken forward.
I thank the representative of Belgium for his kind words addressed to me.
I now give the floor to Mr. Annabi to respond to the comments made and questions asked.
The Ambassador of Ukraine asked about the cooperation that the Special Representative, Mr. Jacques Klein, is extending to other organizations that may be in a position to take over responsibility for the follow-on mission that is foreseen to be put in place after December next year. Mr. Klein has received very clear instructions from the Secretary-General to cooperate in all these efforts to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. To that end, he participates in all meetings that are held to look into these issues. He participates in all meetings organized by the High Representative on the streamlining of the international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including, of course, the meeting being held today and tomorrow of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board.
Mr. Klein and UNMIBH have also met with all delegations that have visited Sarajevo to plan for a possible follow-on mission, and there have been such delegations from both the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This cooperation with possible successor organizations takes place at all levels, whether it is Mr. Klein himself or the Police Commissioner or the Civil Affairs Unit of UNMIBH or even the regional commanders of the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in the various regions.
I think the second question by the Ambassador of Ukraine related to the possible format of the follow-on mission. The decisions that will be taken in due course in this regard will be made by whatever organization emerges as the successor to UNMIBH. But we have suggested, on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the situation, as you will have seen in the Secretary-General’s report, that any follow-on mission would be in a better position to do its work if it combined the responsibilities of the police, the judicial system and the penal system. This is, as I indicated, one of the lessons we have learned from previous operations. We also feel that the follow-on mission could perform its functions as they are now foreseen with about 25 per cent of the current strength of UNMIBH — in other words, about 450 police officers plus whatever personnel would be necessary to cover the other areas of activity. Altogether, we feel that it can be a much smaller mission than is the case for UNMIBH, and UNMIBH will in due course begin to downsize so that we can move from one operation to the other in a seamless manner.
Finally, the Ambassador of Ukraine had asked about the activities undertaken to protect the human rights of minorities. UNMIBH, of course, contributes to these activities within its mandate. In other words, it tries to ensure as much as possible that the police adhere to internationally acceptable human rights standards and principles of democratic policing. The broader human rights issues fall within the purview of the High Representative, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OSCE. As you know, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides expertise, guidance and coordination on all relevant human rights issues with the other organizations involved in Bosnia.
Again, as regards the follow-on mission, I would like to assure Ambassador Eldon that UNMIBH will indeed cooperate actively with the successor organization. We are eager to begin this planning process as soon as there is clarity in this regard. The Secretary-General has provided some 13 months advance notice, so there is time to prepare, and we will be ready to cooperate very actively. It should not actually be that difficult, because whatever organization takes over, a lot of existing personnel can wear the same hats. So, from my perspective, the issue is not really whether we will cooperate actively — that is a given — but whether the necessary preparations will be made in time for a smooth and seamless takeover.
Finally, the Ambassador of Bangladesh asked when the State Border Service would be able to deploy fully, and what the time frame for that was. As we know, the State Border Service is now responsible for and covers 75 per cent of the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including Sarajevo airport. We estimate that they should be able to cover all the borders — 100 per cent of the borders — of the country by some time in the second half of next year, and that they will then be fully deployed. But that, of course, is not entirely in our hands and depends, in particular, on the provision of funding and equipment for the State Border Service. As the report indicates, there is currently a shortfall of some $2.5 million regarding the equipment required by the Border Service and a shortfall, which is even more important, regarding the payment of salaries to these people, which is in the vicinity of $16 million. Just to give an example, in the Brcko area, the State Border Service has to cover a border that runs along a river, but it has not yet been able to acquire a motorboat to patrol that river. So there are serious funding and equipment issues that, of course, depend on the provision, in a timely manner, of the necessary voluntary contributions.
I thank Mr. Annabi for the clarifications that he has provided. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.