3619th Meeting of Security Council: Situation in Croatia - Part 1

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15-Jan-1996 01:21:05
Security Council established United Nations transitional administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, Western Sirmium with Chapter VII mandate at 3619th meeting.

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The Security Council decided this afternoon to establish a transitional administration and peace-keeping operation to help with the demilitarization and eventual peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium into Croatia's legal and constitutional system. In another action, it authorized United Nations military observers to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula for three months.

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council decided, by unanimously adopting resolution 1037 (1996), to establish for an initial 12-month period the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), as referred to in the Basic Agreement on the region signed on 12 November 1995 between the Croatian Government and local Serbs.

The mission, with civilian and military components, would have an initial deployment of 5,000 troops, the Council decided. Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations, may take all necessary measures, including close air support to defend or help withdraw UNTAES, it decided. Such actions would be based on UNTAES' request and procedures communicated to the United Nations. The Council also requested UNTAES and the multinational implementation force (IFOR) to cooperate with each other and with the High Representative.

By the terms of the resolution, the Secretary-General will appoint a transitional administrator who would have overall authority over both of the mission's components and exercise the authority given to the administration in the Basic Agreement. The administrator will be appointed in consultation with the Council and the parties to the Agreement.

The Council also decided that the region's demilitarization, as provided in the Basic Agreement, shall be completed in 30 days from the date that the Secretary-General informs the Council, based on the transitional administrator's assessment, that UNTAES' military component had been deployed and is ready for its task. It also decided that, no later than 14 days after the date on which demilitarization was due to be completed, it would review whether the parties had shown a willingness to implement the Basic Agreement, taking into account the parties' actions and information from the Secretary- General.

The UNTAES' mandate would be reconsidered by the Council if it got a report from the Secretary-General at any time stating that the parties had significantly failed to comply with their obligations under the Basic Agreement, according to the resolution. The parties were called upon to comply strictly with the Agreement obligations and cooperate with UNTAES. The Council strongly urged them to refrain from unilateral actions that could hinder the handover from the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia (UNCRO) to UNTAES or Basic Agreement's implementation. It also encouraged them to continue adopting confidence-building measures to promote an environment of mutual trust.

Under the resolution adopted today, the Council decided that UNTAES shall monitor the parties commitment to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and promote an atmosphere of confidence among all local residents irrespective of their ethnic origin. It would also monitor and help in demining in the region.

The military component of UNTAES, the Council decided, would supervise and help in the demilitarization as undertaken by the parties, monitor the voluntary and safe return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, contribute to the maintenance of peace and security and assist in the Basic Agreement's implementation.

The civilian component, the Council decided, would establish and train a temporary police force, monitor the treatment of offenders and the prison system, carry out civil administration tasks and restore public services. It would also organize, help conduct and certify the results of elections and help coordinate plans for the region's development and economic reconstruction.

The Security Council called upon States and the international financial institutions to support efforts to promote the region's development and economic reconstruction by the resolution. It underlined the relationship between the parties' fulfilment of their Basic Agreement commitments and the international community's readiness to commit financial resources for such efforts.

The Council further stressed that UNTAES shall cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in performing its mandate, and reaffirmed that all States shall cooperate with the Tribunal and its organs and comply with requests for help or order issued by a Trial Chamber of the Tribunal.

Also this afternoon, the Council adopted resolution 1038 (1996), thus authorizing United Nations military observers to continue the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula for a period of three months, to be extended for an additional three months upon a report by the Secretary-General that an extension would continue to help decrease tension there.

In that context, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit to it by 15 March, a report on the situation in the Prevlaka peninsula as well as on the progress made by Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) towards a peaceful settlement of their differences. The report should also examine the possibility that the existing mandate be extended or that another international organization might assume the task of monitoring the demilitarization of the peninsula.

The Council further requested the United Nations military observers and IFOR to cooperate fully with each other.

On 30 September 1992, Presidents of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) signed a Joint Declaration which reaffirmed their agreement concerning the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula.

During today's Council meeting, statements were made by the representatives of Croatia, Italy, Egypt, China, Indonesia, Russian Federation, Chile, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Guinea-Bissau, Botswana, Poland, Germany, United States, France and the United Kingdom. Vladislav Jovanovic also addressed the Council.

The meeting, called to order at 3:54 p.m., was adjourned at 5:54 p.m.

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