CONFLICTS IN KOSOVO, SIERRA LEONE AND ANGOLA, QUESTION OF EAST TIMOR KEY ELEMENTS OF SECURITY COUNCIL"S WORK FOR 1999
CONFLICTS IN KOSOVO, SIERRA LEONE AND ANGOLA, QUESTION OF EAST TIMOR KEY ELEMENTS OF SECURITY COUNCILS WORK FOR 199920000118
Thematic Debates Held on Children and Armed Conflict, Situation of Africa and Post-Conflict Peace-Building
As the Security Council pursued its mandate of securing, establishing and maintaining global peace and security, several issues in 1999 took prominence, among them, the Kosovo conflict in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the question of East Timor, which had remained on the Council's agenda since the 1970s; the conflict in Sierra Leone; and the long-running civil war in Angola, which remains without resolution to date.
Also of note during the year was the Council's willingness to hold open debates -- in line with calls for more transparency -- on thematic issues including children and armed conflict and the situation in Africa.
In Kosovo, a growing crisis exploded in 1999, resulting in wide-spread destruction and a mass movement of population. After an aerial bombardment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Council on 10 June decided to deploy an international civil and security presence in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices.
Light was shed on the "question of East Timor" through the holding of a United Nations-run popular consultation in that territory in August 1999. On 5 May, Portugal and Indonesia signed a set of agreements in New York entrusting the Secretary-General with organizing and conducting a "popular consultation" to determine whether the East Timorese people accepted or rejected a special autonomy for East Timor within Indonesia.
On 11 June, the Security Council established the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) to carry out the consultation, in which about 98 per cent of the 451,792 registered East Timorese participated. On 3 September, it was established that 78.5 per cent of the voters had rejected the proposed special autonomy, thereby expressing their wish for independence.
Following subsequent outbreaks of violence, the Council, with the agreement of the Indonesian Government, authorized on 15 September a multinational force (INTERFET) to restore peace and security in the territory. The first elements of the force arrived in East Timor on 20 September. On 19 October, Indonesia formally recognized the result of the popular consultation, creating the domestic legal framework for East Timor's separation from Indonesia.
Two major changes occurred in the Council's involvement in Angola in 1999. First, the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) was allowed to expire. Second, efforts by the Council's sanctions committee, including meetings between that committee's Chairman and the world's largest diamond company, resulted in what one interested Member State called, in November, "breathing new life into Angolan sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA)".
The United Nations role in Sierra Leone was further strengthened in October 1999, when the Council established a new mission -- the United Nations Mission For Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) -- to help with the implementation of the Lomé Peace Agreement. The UNAMSIL was charged with assisting the Government in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan; establishing a presence at key locations throughout Sierra Leone; and monitoring adherence to the ceasefire.
On 25 August, as it increased the practice of convening thematic open debates, the Council strongly condemned the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict, including killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction and forced displacement, recruitment and their use in armed conflict in violation of international law.
After hearing from 48 speakers during an all-day meeting, the Council expressed its support for the ongoing work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant international organizations dealing with children affected by armed conflict.
On 29 September, the Council, in an open debate which lasted two days and was addressed by 54 speakers, reviewed the implementation of recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's April 1998 report on the causes of conflict and promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.
The Secretary-General said "Africa fatigue" was an affront to the very idea of a responsible international community. It was essential to think in terms of partnerships with Africa, with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), regional and sub-regional organizations, civil society and individuals. There was no excuse for not doing what was reasonable and doable.
Also during the year, the Council held meetings on the situations in Western Sahara, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Georgia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait, Haiti, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Libya.
Debates were also held on the questions of international terrorism, civilians in armed conflict, post-conflict peace-building, humanitarian assistance to refugees in Africa, small arms, peace and security and the prevention of armed conflict.
Following are summaries of Council activity in 1999.
A growing crisis in Kosovo, in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, exploded in 1999, resulting in wide-spread destruction and displacement of population. In a presidential statement on 19 January, the Security Council strongly condemned a massacre of 45 Kosovar Albanians at Racak in Kosovo by Serb forces, noting with deep concern the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Kosovo Verification Mission's report that the victims were civilians, including women and at least one child. The Council called upon the parties to immediately cease all acts of violence and to engage in talks on a lasting settlement. It strongly warned the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against actions which contributed to tensions.
In the wake of the Racak massacre, French President Jacques Chirac and United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright agreed to invite the Serbs and Kosovar Albanians for talks at Rambouillet near Paris, with the aim of reaching an agreement on withdrawing Serb forces from Kosovo and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) occupation of the province.
On 24 March, following the failure of the talks, the Security Council held an urgent meeting on the situation in Kosovo as NATO began a wave of strikes against Serbian military targets. Some States condemned the strikes as a unilateral use of force in blatant violation of the United Nations Charter, while others said the action would prevent a humanitarian catastrophe resulting from Serbian attacks on Kosovar Albanians.
On 26 March, by a vote of 3 in favour (China, Namibia, Russian Federation) to 12 against, the Council rejected a draft resolution demanding an immediate cessation of the use of force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That text had been submitted by Belarus, the Russian Federation and India.
The Council met again on 8 May, at the request of the Chinese Government, whose representative said that NATO had flagrantly attacked the Embassy of China in Belgrade with three missiles, causing deaths, injuries and serious damage. He described as absurd the argument that NATO had not intentionally bombed the Embassy and, therefore, had not contravened the Convention on diplomatic protection. Whether deliberate or not, the incident had a blatant transgression of international law, for which NATO must take responsibility.
Six days later, on 14 May, the Council called for access for the United Nations and all other humanitarian personnel operating in Kosovo and other parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Adopting resolution 1239 (1999) by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), the Council invited the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international humanitarian relief organizations to extend relief assistance to internally displaced persons in Kosovo, the Republic of Montenegro and other parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as to other affected civilians.
On 10 June, the Council decided to deploy an international civil and security presence in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices. Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council took that action by adopting resolution 1244 (1999) by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (China).
[Chapter VII addresses actions with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression.]
By that text, the Council decided that the political solution to the crisis would be based on the general principles adopted on 6 May by the Foreign Ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries and the Russian Federation. The solution would also be based on the principles contained in the paper presented in Belgrade by the President of Finland and the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation, and which was accepted by the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 3 June.
Among the principles were: an immediate and verifiable end to violence and repression in Kosovo; the withdrawal of the military, police and paramilitary forces of the Federal Republic; deployment of effective international civil and security presences, with substantial NATO participation in the security presence; establishment of an interim administration; the safe and free return of all refugees; and a political process providing for substantial self-government, as well as the demilitarization of the KLA.
The Council also authorized Member States and relevant international organizations to establish the international security presence and decided that its responsibilities would include deterring renewed hostilities, demilitarizing the KLA and establishing a secure environment for the return of refugees and in which the international civil presence could operate.
Further, the Council authorized the Secretary-General to establish the international civil presence, requesting him to appoint a Special Representative to control its implementation. It decided that the responsibilities of the civil presence would be, among others: promoting substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo; facilitating a political process to determine Kosovo's future status; supporting the reconstruction of key infrastructure and humanitarian and disaster relief; maintaining civil law and order; promoting human rights; and assuring the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo.
The Council also confirmed that, after the Serbian withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serb military and police personnel would be permitted to return to Kosovo to liaise with the international civil and security presence, mark and clear minefields, and maintain a presence at Serb patrimonial sites and at key border crossings.
Established for an initial 12 months, the international security and civil presences were to continue thereafter unless the Council decided otherwise.
Since 1982, successive Secretaries-General have held talks with Indonesia and Portugal aimed at resolving the status of East Timor. On 5 May 1999, those two Member States signed a set of agreements in New York entrusting the Secretary- General with organizing and conducting a "popular consultation" to determine whether the East Timorese people accepted or rejected a special autonomy for East Timor within the unitary Republic of Indonesia. The agreements specified that rejection of the autonomy package would lead to United Nations administration of the territory pending a transition to independence.
Two days later, the Council adopted resolution 1236 (1999) welcoming the 5 May Agreements and the proposed United Nations involvement.
On 11 June, the Security Council established the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) to carry out the consultation, at that stage scheduled for 8 August. Resolution 1246 (1999) established UNAMET until 31 August and approved the modalities for the consultation -- a direct, secret and universal ballot, to decide whether the East Timorese wished to accept special autonomy within Indonesia, or reject such autonomy, leading to East Timor's separation from Indonesia. That resolution also stressed the Indonesian Government's responsibility to maintain peace and security in East Timor and to insure the integrity of the consultation and the security of international staff and observers. All acts of violence were condemned.
Following an attack on a UNAMET regional office in the north-western town of Maliana on 29 June, a presidential statement issued by the Council that same day expressed grave concern at the attack, and demanded that it be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. It again stressed Indonesia's responsibility for maintaining peace and security in East Timor.
Further, it endorsed the Secretary-General's decision not to begin the operational phase until UNAMET was fully deployed, and his decision to postpone the ballot date for two weeks beyond the 8 August date.
On 3 August, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1257 (1999) extending UNAMET's mandate until 30 September, in response to a letter from the Secretary- General stating that he had decided to postpone the consultation until 30 August and asking for a one-month extension of the Mission's mandate. The Secretary-General had explained that the postponement was for technical reasons, and because of a delay in the registration process due to the security situation.
The Mission's mandate was again extended, this time until 30 November, by Council resolution 1262 (1999), adopted on 27 August. The same resolution authorized an expansion of UNAMET's civilian police component to 460, and its military liaison component to 300 personnel, in anticipation of the post- consultation phase of the operation.
Following the resolution's adoption, the Council President read a statement stressing that the popular consultation was a historic opportunity to resolve peacefully the question of East Timor.
On 30 August 1999, about 98 per cent of 451,792 East Timorese registered with UNAMET voted in the popular consultation.
In the first of two Council meetings on 3 September, the Secretary-General informed the Council that 344,580 East Timorese, or about 78.5 per cent of those registered, had voted to reject the proposed special autonomy, thereby expressing their wish to make the transition towards independence. The Secretary-General also called upon the Government of Indonesia to ensure a successful culmination of the process by carrying out its obligations to maintain law and order.
A second Council meeting, on 3 September, issued a presidential statement welcoming the successful popular consultation. It stated the Council's view that the consultation was an accurate reflection of the views of the East Timorese people.
The statement condemned the violence preceding and following the ballot, and reiterated Indonesia's responsibility to take steps to prevent further violence and to guarantee the security of UNAMET personnel and premises. The Council expressed its readiness to consider sympathetically any proposal by the Secretary-General to ensure the peaceful implementation of the popular consultation. It stated that the Indonesian Government must now take the constitutional steps to implement the results.
Following the announcement of the result, pro-integration militias launched a campaign of violence, looting and arson. As many as 500,000 East Timorese were displaced from their homes, in some cases by force.
On 11 September, the Council held an open debate with more than 50 speakers, focusing on the Government of Indonesia's failure to fulfil its obligation to provide peace and security following the popular consultation. Many speakers called on Indonesia to agree to the deployment of a multinational force in the territory. The Secretary-General told the Council that Indonesia's declaration of martial law had not restored order, and that Indonesian police and military forces were unwilling or unable to control the situation. All non-essential UNAMET staff had been relocated out of the territory, and only 86 international personnel remained in the headquarters compound in Dili.
At the conclusion of a visit by a Security Council delegation to Jakarta and Dili in early September, the Indonesian Government announced it would accept the deployment of an international force in East Timor.
On 15 September, the Council authorized, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, a multinational force to restore peace and security in East Timor. Resolution 1264 (1999) charged the force with the protection and support of UNAMET personnel and the facilitation of humanitarian assistance operations. Welcoming offers by Member States to organize, lead and contribute to the force, the Council called for personnel, equipment and other resources.
The first elements of the multinational force (INTERFET) arrived in East Timor on 20 September. On 19 October, the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly formally recognized the result of the popular consultation, thereby creating the domestic legal framework for East Timor's separation from Indonesia.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1272 (1999) of 25 October, the Council established the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) with an initial mandate running until 31 January 2001.
Charged with the administration of East Timor and empowered to exercise all legislative and executive authority there, the mission would comprise a governance and public administration component, including up to 1,640 police officers; a humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component; and a military component of up to 8,950 troops and 200 military observers. The Council stated that UNTAET's military component was to take over from the Australian-led INTERFET as soon as possible.
The resolution also stressed that Indonesia was responsible for ensuring the safe return of refugees from West Timor and other parts of Indonesia, for their security, and for the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements. In particular, the Indonesian Government was charged with curbing violence and intimidation by militias.
On 22 December, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hedi Annabi, briefed the Security Council on the situation in East Timor. Pledges amounting to $522 million for East Timor had been made at a donors' conference in Tokyo, he told the Council, for humanitarian assistance, administration and capacity-building for self-government, and reconstruction and development.
He told the Council that the security situation in East Timor was largely stable. Military observers from the UNTAET were now deployed throughout the territory, and the peacekeeping transition from INTERFET to UNTAET was to take place in February under an agreement that would ensure that a strong operational capacity could be maintained through the changeover.
Two major changes occurred during 1999 in the Council's involvement in Angola. First, the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) was allowed to expire. With that, the country is without a United Nations peacekeeping mission for the first time since the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM I) was established in January 1989. Second, efforts by the Council's sanctions committee, including meetings between that committee's Chairman and the world's largest diamond company, resulted in what one Member State Zambia -- called, in November, "breathing new life into Angolan sanctions against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA)".
The first Angola mission -- UNAVEM I -- was tasked with verifying, in accordance with agreements reached in 1988, the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola, and South Africa forces from Namibia. While the mandate of UNAVEM I ended when the last Cubans left Angola in May 1991, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and UNITA's Jonas Savimbi signed the Bicesse Peace Accords that same month and UNAVEM II was established to monitor arrangements arising from those Accords, including a ceasefire and subsequent election.
In 1995, following the election, the subsequent breakdown of the peace process, and the signing of the Lusaka Protocol in November 1994, UNAVEM III took over from UNAVEM II to help the parties restore peace and achieve national reconciliation. In 1997 UNAVEM III was replaced by MONUA.
Just as 1998 ended -- with the loss of all 14 people on board a United Nations charter plane on 26 December -- so 1999 began. On 2 January, a second United Nations charter plane disappeared with all nine people on board. In response, the Security Council adopted resolution 1221 (1999) on 12 January demanding that Mr. Savimbi cooperate in the search for survivors, which occurred in UNITA-controlled territory, and stated that sanctions against UNITA might be strengthened.
These sanctions were established by resolution 864 (1993) which decided that all States should prevent the sale or supply of arms and related matériel, as well as of petroleum and petroleum products to Angola other than through named points of entry on a list supplied by the Angolan Government. Additional sanctions restricting travel of senior UNITA officials and family members, freezing their financial resources, and prohibiting the direct import of diamonds not controlled through the Certificate of Origin regime, from Angola, were imposed in 1997 and 1998.
On 17 January, the Secretary-General reported to the Council that the Angolan peace process had collapsed and that the country was in a state of war. He advised that, in light of the express determination of the parties to "test their fortunes on the battlefield", and the worsening security situation, the conditions for a meaningful United Nations peacekeeping role in Angola had ceased to exist. He recommended termination of MONUA following the expiration of its mandate on 26 February.
On 21 January, the Council issued a statement expressing profound concern about the humanitarian situation in Angola. That statement also underlined the importance of a continued United Nations presence in the country, and called on all parties to support such a presence. The Secretary-General subsequently reported on the proposed liquidation of the mission on 24 February. On 26 February, by resolution 1229 (1999), the Council took note of the expiration of MONUA's mandate, endorsed the Secretary-General's recommendations on its technical liquidation and repeated its readiness to reinforce sanctions against UNITA.
On 18 February, the Council endorsed the recommendations of its Committee overseeing those sanctions for improving the implementation of the measures. The Committee urged all States to take additional measures, such as enacting legislation criminalizing sanctions violations, and obtaining, from private companies and individuals, information on the transfer of military equipment and activities involving the illicit diamond trade with UNITA. It also recommended enlisting banks to identify and track the financial flows of UNITA, its officials and adult family members.
In a press statement on 25 March, the Council President expressed concern over the serious deterioration of the political, military and humanitarian situation in Angola, and repeated that the primary cause was UNITA's failure to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Particular concern was expressed about attacks on population centres and growing numbers of internally displaced persons.
On 7 May, the Council adopted, on the recommendation of the Chairman of its sanctions committee, resolution 1237 (1999) establishing expert panels to investigate violations of measures against UNITA. Those panels would, through visits to the countries concerned, also identify parties aiding and abetting violations, and recommend measures to end such violations and to improve the implementation of the measures.
In a presidential statement on 19 May, the Council condemned the shooting down by UNITA of an Antonov-26 aircraft on 12 May near Luzamba, Angola. It demanded the immediate unconditional release of the Russian crew members and all foreign nationals held hostage by UNITA, and also demanded information on the fate of Angolan passengers.
At a meeting in July, Robert Fowler (Canada), Chairman of the Council's Angola sanctions committee, briefed the Council on his visit to Africa and Europe to explore measures to improve the sanctions against UNITA. In addition to meeting governments and inter-governmental organizations, he visited diamond markets and held discussions with representatives of the diamond industry, in the course of which he received a commitment from De Beers Consolidated, the world's biggest diamond company, to adhere to the spirit of the Council's sanctions against UNITA.
In August, through a presidential statement, the Council again demanded that UNITA immediately and unconditionally comply with the Lusaka Protocol. It again expressed concern at the deteriorating political, military and humanitarian situation, urged both parties to fully respect human rights and international humanitarian law, urged UNITA to cease committing atrocities and demanded the release of all foreign citizens, including the Russian aircrew.
At a meeting on 15 October, the Council authorized the establishment, for six months, of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA), with a view to exploring measures to restore peace, and assist in capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and promotion of human rights. By the same resolution, 1268 (1999), the Council decided that UNOA would consist of up to 30 substantive professional staff, with administrative and other support.
After eight years of conflict and a year in which control of the capital, Freetown, changed hands several times, at the end of 1999 there was cause for cautious optimism about Sierra Leone. Negotiations between the Government and the rebels, which began in May 1999, resulted in the signing on 7 July of an agreement in Lomé to end hostilities and form a government of national unity.
At the beginning of the year, however, the situation was not good, with a rebel alliance (of the former junta and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF)) overrunning most of Freetown on 6 January. The United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) international staff were evacuated.
The Security Council held its first meeting of 1999 on the evening of 7 January to consider the situation of Sierra Leone. In a presidential statement the Council demanded the rebels lay down their arms immediately and cease all violence, and repeated its support for the legitimate and democratically elected Government of President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. It also strongly condemned those who supported the rebels through provision of arms and mercenaries, and expressed grave concern that the rebels were being assisted, particularly from the territory of Liberia.
On 12 January, while expressing deep concern over the recent deterioration of the situation, the Council adopted resolution 1220 (1999), extending the mandate of UNOMSIL for two months until 13 March. The Secretary-General had recommended this extension in a special report issued 7 January (document S/1999/20), in which he stated that the international community should not abandon Sierra Leone. He also warned that the country might soon be facing a humanitarian crisis of major proportions.
On 11 March, the Council extended UNOMSILs mandate again, this time until 13 June, by unanimously adopting resolution 1231 (1999). By other terms of this resolution, the Council welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to re-establish UNOMSIL in Freetown as soon as possible, and to increase the current number of military observers from eight to 14. It also condemned atrocities perpetrated by the rebels on the civilian population.
On 14 April, the Committee set up to manage sanctions, imposed against the military junta under Council resolution 1132 of October 1997, decided (and announced) it would favourably consider any request, from an appropriate source, to authorize specified RUF members to travel to talks planned to facilitate the peace process.
In a presidential statement on 15 May, the Council urged both parties to cease hostilities during the Lomé (Togo) discussions and to work constructively and in good faith for a ceasefire agreement. It also welcomed the Secretary-General's stated intention to increase UNOMSIL's presence in anticipation of an end to hostilities, and his plan to send an assessment team to Sierra Leone to examine how an expanded UNOMSIL with a revised mandate would contribute to the implementation of a ceasefire and peace agreement.
On 11 June, the Council again extended the mandate of UNOMSIL, for six months until 13 December, by adopting resolution 1245 (1999). It noted the Secretary- General's intention to make recommendations on an expanded UNOMSIL with a revised mandate and concept of operations, should negotiations between the Government and rebels in Lomé prove successful.
The beginning of a new phase in both the conflict and United Nations involvement occurred on 7 July, when a peace agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front in Lomé was signed. The Council welcomed this agreement, and authorized provisional expansion of UNOMSIL, to up to 210 military observers with stronger political, civil affairs, information, human rights and child protection elements, when it unanimously adopted resolution 1260 (1999) on 20 August. Security for the expanded mission would continue to be provided to the United Nations mission by the Economic Community of West African States' Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG).
The provisions of the agreement requiring the establishment of a national Truth and Reconciliation and Human Rights Commissions were welcomed. The urgent need for humanitarian assistance in parts of the country hitherto inaccessible to relief agencies was recognized, and the Council encouraged the international community to provide such assistance.
The United Nations role was further strengthened in October, when the Council adopted resolution 1270 (1999) establishing a new mission to help with the implementation of the Lomé Peace Agreement -- the United Nations Mission For Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) -- for six months. The UNAMSIL was charged with assisting the Government in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan; establishing a presence at key locations throughout Sierra Leone; and monitoring adherence to the ceasefire. It could include a maximum of 6,000 military personnel, including 260 military observers, subject to periodic review.
The Council decided that UNAMSIL would take over the components, functions and assets of UNOMSIL and that UNOMSIL would finish immediately after UNAMSIL was established. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, it decided that UNAMSIL could act to ensure security and freedom of movement for its personnel and protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence. It also deplored the recent hostage taking (including children and UNOMSIL staff) by rebels and called on those responsible to end such practices immediately and to address concerns about terms of the Peace Agreement through dialogue with the parties.
On 10 December, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bernard Miyet briefed the Council on the situation in Sierra Leone in an open meeting. He said there was cause for cautious optimism, even though the security situation was volatile, and human rights violations were ongoing. Significant progress had been made in deployment of the military component of UNAMSIL. Leaders of the rebel alliance had encouraged disarmament, but the response had been slow. The rebels were still reluctant to release abductees, and humanitarian personnel were still harassed. There had been further abductions, he noted, and humanitarian assistance delivery was hampered by violence.
Council members expressed grave concern about recent increases in violent incidents, ceasefire violations and human rights abuses, and the slow pace of disarmament. They called for the immediate release of abductees.
Civilians in Armed Conflict
Placing increased emphasis on its practice of convening thematic open debates, the Council on 12 February held its first-ever open briefing on the plight of civilians in armed conflict. At that meeting, it heard statements by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. All painted a grim picture of the impact of current conflicts on civilians.
At a separate meeting held later that same day, the Council expressed grave concern at the growing civilian toll in armed conflicts, and condemned attacks or acts of violence directed at civilians, especially women, children, refugees and internally displaced persons. In a presidential statement, the Council called on the Secretary-General to recommend ways in which the Council could improve the physical and legal protection of civilians in armed conflict. His report, due by September, would also identify contributions the Council could make towards effective implementation of existing humanitarian law.
Ten days later, on 22 February, the Council held another open briefing on the topic. Several of the 26 speakers called for more vigorous international efforts to protect civilians in armed conflict and expressed profound concern about the participation of children in armed conflict. Several insisted on raising the minimum recruitment age to 18 for entry into the armed forces.
The representative of Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union, told the Council that not only was there an alarming number of conflicts in the current global security situation, but the important distinctions between combatants and non-combatants, and between humanitarian workers and peacekeepers, had become blurred.
The distinction between civilians and those in uniform had been lost during the increasingly vicious conflicts of this century, the Indian representative said. However, that phenomenon was not an innovation of the 1990s or a recent third-world problem, nor had its frequency increased; concentration camps, carpet bombing and the persecution of civilians in armed conflict had been present throughout the century.
The subject of sanctions and their negative humanitarian consequences was introduced by the representatives of Haiti, Egypt and Iraq.
On 17 September, at the end of a two-day open debate, the Council decided to immediately establish a mechanism to review further the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and to consider appropriate steps by April 2000, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter.
By adopting resolution 1265 (1999), the Council strongly condemned the deliberate targeting of civilians in situations of armed conflict, as well as attacks on objects protected under international law, and called on all parties to put an end to such practices.
The Council emphasized the need for combatants to ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel, as well as those of international humanitarian organizations, and urged all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and with Council decisions.
The Council highlighted the importance of implementing preventive measures to resolve conflicts, including the use of dispute settlement mechanisms and preventive military and civilian deployments. The Council expressed its willingness to respond to situations of armed conflict where civilians were being targeted or humanitarian assistance to civilians was being deliberately obstructed, and acknowledged the need to enhance the United Nations capacity for the rapid deployment of trained and qualified civilian police.
In an opening statement, the Secretary-General said the United Nations must be ready to act to protect civilians and to respond with more than speeches and reports. Introducing his report to the Council on the issue, he said enforcement action was a difficult step and often went against political or other interests, but universal values superseded those, and the protection of civilians was one such value. He proposed that the Council establish a standing mechanism to provide expert advice on specific issues, including legal protection, prevention of conflicts and physical protection.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, said the first need was not to write new laws, but to implement existing law. The best protection was prevention and the Council's role was vital in that effort. Should prevention fail, however, the Council also had a key role to play in deploying peacekeepers to minimize the impact of conflict on civilians. The challenge to the Council was twofold -- to further develop prevention and early warning mechanisms, and to promote respect for universal human rights as a means to maintain peace and security.
During the two-day debate, a number of issues were highlighted, including the culture of impunity and accountability for breaches of international humanitarian and human rights and refugee law.
Children and Armed Conflict
On 25 August, taking up the subject of children armed conflict, the Council strongly condemned the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict, including killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction and forced displacement, recruitment and their use in armed conflict in violation of international law. It also strongly condemned attacks on places with a significant presence of children such as schools and hospitals. It called on all parties concerned to put an end to such practices.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1261 (1999), after hearing from 48 speakers during an ll-day debate, the Council expressed its support for the ongoing work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), other parts of the United Nations system and other relevant international organizations dealing with children affected by armed conflict, and requested the Secretary-General to continue to develop coordination and coherence among them.
The Secretary-General was requested to submit to the Council by 31 July 2000, a report on the implementation of the resolution, consulting all relevant parts of the United Nations system and taking into account other relevant work. He was also requested to ensure that personnel involved in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace- building activities have appropriate training on the protection, rights and welfare of children.
Also by the text, the Council urged States and the United Nations system to facilitate the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of children used as soldiers in violation of international law. It also recognized the deleterious impact of the proliferation of arms, in particular small arms, on the security of civilians, including refugees and other vulnerable populations, particularly children.
All parties to armed conflicts were urged to ensure that the protection, welfare and rights of children are taken into account during peace negotiations and throughout the process of consolidating peace in the aftermath of conflict. They were also urged to take special measures to protect children, in particular girls, from rape and other forms of sexual abuse and gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict and to take into account the special needs of the girl child throughout armed conflicts and their aftermath, including in the delivery of the humanitarian assistance.
Addressing the Council at the outset of the meeting, Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said that over the past 50 years the world had developed an impressive body of international humanitarian and human rights instruments, but their impact remained woefully thin on the ground - words on paper could not save children and women in peril. Energies must be shifted from the juridical project of elaborating norms to the political project of ensuring their application and respect on the ground.
Causes of Conflict and Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa
Beginning on 29 September, the Council, in an open debate which lasted two days and was addressed by 54 speakers, reviewed the implementation of recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's April 1998 report on the causes of conflict and promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.
Addressing the meeting, the Secretary-General said "Africa fatigue" was an affront to the very idea of a responsible international community. It was essential to think in terms of partnerships with Africa, with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), regional and sub-regional organizations, civil society and individuals. There was no excuse for not doing what was reasonable and doable.
The Secretary-General of the OAU, Salim Ahmed Salim, said that while Africans recognized that some of the problems were part of colonial legacies and injustices, they knew that many were of their own making. Noting that Africans themselves were taking the lead to find solutions to their problems, he stressed the importance of speedy international support for their efforts to achieve peace and economic stability.
A number of speakers stressed that foreign debt servicing was a serious issue facing many African countries. Africa's poverty was exacerbated by constantly deteriorating terms of trade, falling commodity prices, increasing protectionism in developed countries and declining official development assistance (ODA). Many speakers emphasized that peace and development were inextricably intertwined.
Other speakers stressed the need for targeted sanctions and controlling the flow of arms to areas in conflict.
Prevention of Armed Conflict
The Council also held three meetings on the issue of the prevention of armed conflict, during which it heard from 38 speakers. During those debates, which took place on 29 and 30 November, a diverse array of views were expressed, ranging from the need to address the roots of conflict, such as poverty, to the relationship between the principles of maintaining international peace and security and that of States' sovereignty.
The Council was told by the Secretary-General, as he addressed the debate, that the international community needed to move "from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention".
Echoing a theme subsequently taken up by other speakers, and outlining measures the Council might take, such as encouraging States to bring potential conflicts to its attention, the Secretary-General said the Council should also give urgent attention to States that suffered acute economic, environmental and security strains because they were hosting large refugee populations from neighbouring countries.
He went on to say that a key role in preventing conflict and maintaining order was deterrence. Nothing would be more effective in deterring States and other parties from resorting to the extreme measures of present-day conflicts than a clear demonstration that the Council was prepared to take decisive action when faced with crimes against humanity.
Other speakers underscored that delayed action meant delayed peace and prolonged suffering. It was stressed that the Council must show the same resolve in African situations as it did in others.
Several speakers expressed concern that the Council was not representative of all the Member States and employed a policy of double standards in its actions.
The Council was also urged to build closer ties with the Economic and Social Council, perhaps through regular joint briefings and occasional joint meetings. The two organs played complementary roles in building a culture of prevention. The Economic and Social Council, with its agenda concerning poverty eradication and social development, was best equipped to identify the root causes of potential conflicts and to act preemptively.
In statement read out by its President after the conclusion of the debate, the Council expressed its readiness to consider appropriate preventive action in response to the matters brought to its attention by States or the Secretary-General that it deemed likely to threaten international peace and security.
Stressing the importance of a coordinated and international response to economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems, which were often the root causes of armed conflict, the Council emphasized the need for the various relevant bodies of the United Nations system to pursue preventive strategies and to take action within their respective areas of competence to assist Member States to eradicate poverty, strengthen development cooperation and assistance and promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Also the subject of Council consideration in 1999 was the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been ravaged by conflict since mid-1998. Recent reports have indicated intermittent clashes between the Government and rebel factions, despite the signing of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement by all the parties. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola signed the accord on 10 July, as did the two rebel factions -- the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) and the rival Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) -- on 1 August and 31 August respectively.
Adopting resolution 1279 (1999) of 30 November, the Council called upon all parties to end hostilities and to implement the Lusaka Agreement. Welcoming the Secretary-General's appointment of a Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it decided that personnel authorized under previous resolutions to assist the Special Representative shall constitute the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) until 1 March 2000.
The Council stressed the need for a continuing process of genuine national reconciliation, encouraged all Congolese to participate in the national dialogue to be organized by the OAU and called upon all Congolese parties as well as the OAU to finalize agreement on a facilitator for the national dialogue.
Previously adopted were the related Security Council resolutions 1273 (1999) of 5 November, 1258 (1999) of 6 August and 1234 (1999) of 9 April. On 24 June, the Council issued a presidential statement on the situation and heard an open briefing by Bernard Miyet, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, on 16 December.
Central African Republic
Among the Council's action's this year was the adoption of two resolutions extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA). Established by the Council on 27 March 1998, the mission was deployed on 15 April of that year with a mandate to disarm mutineers, militias and other unlawfully armed people in the country.
By resolution 1271 (1999) of 22 October, the Security Council decided to extend MINURCA's mandate until 15 February 2000 with a view to ensuring a short and gradual transition from United Nations peacekeeping involvement in the Central African Republic to a post-conflict peace-building presence with the aid of its agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions. It strongly encouraged the Government of the Central African Republic to coordinate closely with the mission in the progressive transfer of MINURCA's security functions to the local security and police forces.
Adopting a previous resolution, 1230 (1999) of 26 February, the Council had expressed its intention to commence reduction of MINURCA personnel 15 days after the conclusion of the presidential elections with a view to the mission's full termination no later than 15 November 1999. On 18 February, just 10 days before the mandate was due to expire, the Council expressed its concern about the consequences of then-current political tensions for stability and functioning of institutions, and called on the Government of the Central African Republic to take concrete steps to implement political, economic, social and security reforms.
Ethiopia and Eritrea
The Security Council held three meetings related to the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea and unanimously adopted two resolutions and issued one presidential statement.
The first resolution -- 1226 (1999) of 29 January in which the Council expressed grave concern over the risk of armed conflict between the two countries, strongly urged Eritrea to accept the Framework Agreement, approved by the OAU on 17 December 1998 for a settlement of the problem. The Council expressed strong support for the OAUs mediation efforts and called upon Ethiopia and Eritrea to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from taking any military action. The two countries were also urged to adopt policies to restore confidence between them, including urgent measures to improve the humanitarian situation and respect for human rights.
Resolution 1227 (1999) of 10 February demanded an immediate halt to the hostilities between the two countries, in particular the use of air strikes, and strongly urged all States to immediately end all sales of arms and munitions to the two countries. The Council was responding to the eruption on 6 February of a full- scale conflict between the two countries, following months of escalating tensions over the 620 mile-long border, particularly the region in and around Badme.
In calling for a resumption of diplomatic efforts by both parties, the Council stressed that the OAU Framework Agreement remained a viable and sound basis for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
At that Council meeting, Ethiopia objected to the ban on arms sales, saying it would have a discriminatory effect on a landlocked country, as opposed to one with a long coastline. The representative of Ethiopia accused Eritrea of using provocative military actions to divert attention from the core issue -- the need for Eritrea to withdraw from Ethiopia. His Government had sought a diplomatic solution to the crisis and had accepted peace proposals, but Eritrea had rejected virtually all peace proposals and created confusion by pretending to remain engaged in the OAU process. He had strong reservations about the Council's call to end arms sales to both countries, which placed the victim and the aggressor on the same footing.
The Eritrean representative said his country's consistent calls for a renunciation of force, a commitment to a peaceful, legal solution and a ceasefire, repeated by the international community, had been rejected by Ethiopia. He urged the Council to note Ethiopia's responsibility for the start and escalation of the conflict and to act appropriately.
On 27 February, the Council again demanded an immediate halt to all hostilities between the two countries, in the wake of a recent escalation in fighting over the disputed border territory, and welcomed the acceptance by Eritrea of the OAU Framework Agreement for settlement of the dispute.
Through a statement read out by its President, the Council recalled the prior acceptance of the Framework Agreement by Ethiopia. The Council reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Eritrea, and expressed its willingness to consider all appropriate support to implement a peace agreement between the two parties.
As it addressed the situation in Guinea-Bissau, the Council, on 6 April, called upon the Government of President Jao Bernardo Vieira and the self-proclaimed military junta in that country to implement the provisions of the Abuja Agreement of 1 November 1998, which, among other things, called for the holding of national elections.
In resolution 1233 (1999) of 6 April, adopted unanimously, the Council strongly urged the parties to ensure the smooth functioning of the National Unity Government, including measures to build confidence, as well as to encourage the early return of refugees and internally displaced persons. The National Unity Government was inaugurated on 24 February.
According to the Secretary-Generals report (document S/1999/1276 of 23 December 1999) covering developments in Guinea-Bisseau, as well as the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (UNOGBIS) there, peaceful and orderly legislative and presidential elections were held on 28 November. Since none of the 12 presidential candidates won a required majority, a run-off election was scheduled for 16 January. The formation of a new government is therefore not expected until February 2000.
On 27 May, the Council expressed its alarm at the serious deterioration in the political, military and humanitarian situation in Somalia and concern at the reports of increasing external interference there.
Through a statement read out by its President, the Council also condemned attacks against civilians and humanitarian workers. Further, it expressed its support for the activities of the Standing Committee on Somalia and called upon all Somali factions to cease immediately all hostilities and to cooperate with the regional and other efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation.
The Council also expressed deep concern at recent reports of the illicit delivery of weapons and military equipment to Somalia, in violation of the arms embargo imposed by the Council in 1992, which, it said, could exacerbate the crisis and endanger regional peace and security. Thus, the Council reiterated its call upon States to observe the arms embargo and to refrain from any actions which might exacerbate the situation. It further requested Member States having information about violations of the arms embargo to provide that information to the relevant Council Committee.
On 20 December, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia met to exchange ideas on enhancing the effectiveness of the arms embargo. Committee members agreed to consider proposals and requested the outgoing Chairman, Ambassador Jassim Mohammed Buallay of Bahrain, to brief the incoming Chairman, to be elected in January 2000, on those proposals for subsequent action by the Committee.
Following a day-long open debate on 12 November about the crisis in Burundi, the Council President read out a statement in which the Council affirmed that the Arusha peace process, chaired by the late Julius Nyerere, offered the best hope for peace in Burundi and should be the foundation for all-party talks leading to the conclusion of a peace agreement. The Council said the States of the region should act quickly to appoint a new mediation team.
In condemning the murder of two United Nations personnel in Burundi in October, the Council called for the Government to undertake and cooperate with investigations, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The Council urged all parties to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance, and to guarantee the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and humanitarian personnel.
The Council also called on States of the region to ensure the neutrality and civilian character of refugee camps and to prevent the use of their territory by armed insurgents. Burundi was called upon to halt the policy of forced "regroupment" and to allow the affected people to return to their homes. The Council condemned as unacceptable the attacks by armed groups against civilians.
During the debate, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahima Fall told the Council that the situation in Burundi was precarious and the United Nations must take steps to see that the Arusha peace process continued. The survival of Burundi's political partnership was threatened, he said, cautioning that the next round of negotiations might be affected, which could further defer the final signing of a possible Arusha agreement.
He also told the Council that the health situation in Burundi was among the worst on the continent: 20 per cent of the children suffered from malnutrition; 35,000 were orphaned because of AIDS; and many children were not attending primary school. Moreover, there was a danger of famine as a result of drought. The uncertain security situation must be remedied so that humanitarian personnel could bring help to the people of Burundi, he emphasized.
The Council met twice on the issue of Libya. Following the safe arrival in the Netherlands on 5 April of the two Libyan suspects charged with the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, the Council -- first in a statement to the press on that same day and in a subsequent presidential statement of 8 April -- noted that the conditions for suspending the wide range of aerial, arms and diplomatic measures against Libya had been fulfilled.
Also in the statement, the Council noted that the Libyan Government had satisfied the French authorities investigating the 1989 bombing of Union de Transports Aeriens (UTA) flight 772.
In addition, it expressed deep appreciation to the Secretary-General, the Governments of South Africa and Saudi Arabia and others for their commitment towards reaching a satisfactory conclusion relating to Pan Am flight 103. It noted the role played by the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Non-Aligned Movement.
At a 9 July meeting, the Council welcomed the "significant progress" Libya had made in complying with its relevant resolutions and its commitment to implement others. The Council, in a presidential statement, noted that the measures set forth in resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993) had been suspended and that it intended to lift them as soon as possible.
The Council met on Iraq and Kuwait five times during the year. On 21 May, it decided to extend the programme of humanitarian assistance to Iraq known as "oil for food" for a period of 180 days beginning on 25 May. That programme allows Iraq to sell oil to purchase humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people.
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council adopted resolution 1242 (1999), by which it decided to continue to permit Iraq to produce up to $5.26 billion worth of petroleum and petroleum products under the programme for the 180-day period. It further decided to continue to allow States to export oil- production equipment so that Iraq could meet that sum.
The Council also decided to conduct a thorough review of the resolution's implementation 90 days after its entry into force and again prior to the end of the 180-day period, on receipt of a report by the Secretary-General on whether Iraq has ensured the equitable distribution of humanitarian supplies in an appropriately financed manner. The Security Council Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) to monitor sanctions against Iraq was also asked to report to the Council after 90 days and prior to the end of the 180-day period on the implementation of the oil sales arrangements outlined in resolution 986 (1995).
On 4 October, the Council, determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq, decided to increase the ceiling on the value of oil that Iraq is allowed to export under the oil-for-food programme. The Council took that action by adopting resolution 1266 (1999).
The amount of the increase, $3.04 billion, was for the 180-day phase of the programme, which began on 25 May, and was based on the shortfall of revenues authorized but not generated in earlier phases of the programme under resolutions 1210 (1998) and 1153 (1998). Prior to the increase, Iraq was authorized to export oil up to a value of $5.26 billion within a 180-period.
On 19 November, again acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council extended the "oil-for-food" programme until 4 December. It took that action when it adopted resolution 1275 (1999).
On 3 December, once more acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council again extended the "oil-for-food" programme for one week, until 11 December. It took that action when it adopted resolution 1280 (1999) by a vote of 11 in favour with 3 abstentions (China, Malaysia and the Russian Federation). France did not participate in the vote. Explaining his decision not to participate in the vote, the representative of France said the resolution could not be implemented. It was being used to bring pressure on the members of the Council for another purpose.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that two weeks ago, his delegation had proposed a draft which addressed the humanitarian concerns, but unfortunately the proposal had not been taken into sufficient account by a number of delegations. Today's resolution, he said, was not in keeping with current realities in Iraq and would lead to serious interruptions in the entire humanitarian programme.
On 17 December, once more acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council established the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) to undertake the responsibilities of the former United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), which was charged with monitoring the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The new Commission will take over UNSCOM's assets, liabilities and archives and is mandated to establish and operate a reinforced, ongoing monitoring and verification system, address unresolved disarmament issues and identify additional sites to be covered by the new monitoring system. The UNMOVIC will submit its work programme and organizational plan to the Council for approval.
As it adopted resolution 1284 (1999) by a vote of 11 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (China, France, Malaysia, Russian Federation), the Council also expressed its intention to suspend and lift sanctions against Iraq once certain conditions were met.
Once UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iraq had been cooperating in all respects with their reinforced monitoring system for a period of 120 days, the sanctions would be suspended for 120 days, renewable by the Council and subject to the elaboration of effective measures to ensure that Iraq did not acquire prohibited items.
By the text, the Council also removed the ceiling for the export of Iraqi oil under the humanitarian programme known as oil for food and addressed the issue of the repatriation of all Kuwaiti and third country nationals or their remains, as well as the return of Kuwaiti property, including archives.
The Council requested the IAEA to maintain its role in addressing Iraqi compliance with Council resolutions regarding the destruction of weapons of mass destruction in that country. The UNMOVIC and the IAEA are each to draw up, in no later than 60 days after they have both started work in Iraq, a work programme for the discharge of their mandates. According to the resolution, the Government of Iraq will be liable for costs incurred by UNMOVIC and the IAEA for their work in Iraq.
Under the terms of the resolution, the Secretary-General was requested to appoint, within 30 days, an Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC who would submit an organizational plan for UNMOVIC within 45 days of his appointment. The Executive Chairman is to report every three months on the work of UNMOVIC. He should report immediately when the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification was fully operational in Iraq.
The Council also requested the Executive Chairman and the Director General of the IAEA to establish a unit which would be responsible for the export/import mechanism established to ensure that Iraq did not reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programmes. The Council also asked the Executive Chairman to resume the revision and updating of the lists of items and technology to which the mechanism applies.
Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish a group of experts to report within 100 days on Iraq's existing petroleum production and export capacity and to recommend alternatives for increasing Iraq's oil production and export capacity. The report would also include recommendations on the options for involving foreign oil companies in Iraq's oil sector.
The Russian Federation told the Council that the fact that his country did not block this imperfect resolution did not mean that it was obliged to go along with a forceful implementation of it. Iraq must fulfil its obligations, but the Council must act in an unbiased manner.
France's representative said there seemed to be a refusal to end the isolation of the Iraqi people. Sanctions were striking at the people of Iraq, and the Council could not abandon its responsibility in the face of that humanitarian disaster. The text was ambiguous on criteria for suspending and lifting sanctions, and thus gave rise to different interpretations.
China's representative questioned whether the resolution could be implemented. If Iraq could not see light at the end of the tunnel, why would it comply and cooperate? he asked. Iraq was obligated to implement the relevant Council resolutions, but the Council, too, must implement its resolutions honorably, and objectively assess Iraqs implementation and lift or suspend sanctions accordingly.
Malaysia's representative regretted that his proposal to hear Iraq's views before taking action on the text had not been accommodated. Engaging Iraq, rather than demonizing it, would serve the best interests of all.
The Council met three times during the year on Afghanistan. At the first meeting, on 27 August -- a general debate on the situation in that country -- several speakers called for an end to outside interference in Afghanistan, urging the provision of humanitarian access and compliance by the Taliban with international law.
Kieran Prendergast, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told the Council the political situation in Afghanistan was at a stalemate, with a callous disregard by both sides for life and limb.
The representative of Afghanistan said the underlying objective of Pakistan in his country was strategic, to be secured through a subservient government which the Taliban would provide. Pakistan would eventually extend its influence towards petroleum-and-gas rich Central Asia.
Pakistan's representative said it could be argued that the Taliban believed they were being unjustly treated by the international community, despite the fact they controlled 90 per cent of the territory, including the capital. They might wonder about the criteria by which international legitimacy and recognition were conferred by the United Nations and the international community. Pakistan, with around 1.8 million Afghan refugees, stood to gain more from peace and stability in Afghanistan than any other nation.
On 15 October, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council demanded that the Taliban turn over Usama bin Laden to appropriate authorities in a country where he would be brought to justice. In that context, it decided that on 14 November all States shall freeze funds and prohibit the take-off and landing of Taliban-owned aircraft unless or until the Taliban complies with that demand.
Mr. bin Laden and his associates were indicted by the United States for, among other things, his role in the 7 August 1998 bombings of United States embassies in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, and for conspiring to kill United States nationals. The Council's action noted this, as well as the United States' request to the Taliban to surrender Mr. Bin Laden and his associates for trial.
By adopting resolution 1267 (1999), the Council further decided that exceptions could be made to these stipulations should a Committee, established by this same resolution, grant exceptions for humanitarian reasons, including religious obligations. The Committee will also report on the impact of the measures to be imposed through the resolution, including the humanitarian implications.
Also by the text, the Council insisted that the Taliban comply promptly with previous Council resolutions. In particular, it must: cease providing sanctuary and training for international terrorists and their organizations; take effective measures to ensure that the territory under its control is not used for terrorist installations and camps or for the preparation or organization of terrorist acts against other States or their citizens; and cooperate with efforts to bring indicted terrorists to justice.
On 22 October, the Council, responding to the Secretary-General's September report on the situation in Afghanistan: condemned the Taliban for their July military offensive and for sheltering terrorists; expressed grave concern about outside interference in the Afghan conflict; and called for immediate steps to improve the human rights situation and halt the significantly increasing cultivation and trafficking of illegal drugs.
In a statement read out by its President, the Council stated that the Taliban's July offensive undermined international efforts to facilitate peace in Afghanistan. That offensive was launched just one week after the "six plus two" group -- China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and the Russian Federation and United States -- adopted in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the Declaration on Fundamental Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict in Afghanistan.
By the terms of the Tashkent Declaration, members of the group agreed to not provide military support to any Afghan party and to prevent the use of the groups territories for such purposes. The Council urged members of the group and the Afghan factions to implement the principles in the Declaration in support of the efforts of the United Nations towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The Council expressed deep distress over reports indicating that thousands of non-Afghani nationals -- some younger than 14 years old -- were involved in the fighting on the Taliban side. Stating that outside interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs should cease immediately, the Council called on all States to prohibit their military personnel from planning and participating in combat in Afghanistan; withdraw personnel immediately; and halt the supply of ammunition and other war-making material.
The Council deplored the worsening human rights situation in Afghanistan, and expressed alarm at the Taliban's disregard for the international community's concerns. It called upon all Afghan parties, and the Taliban especially, to adhere to international norms and standards, improve the human rights situation and, as an immediate first step, ensure the protection of civilians.
The Council also insisted that the Taliban cease providing sanctuary and training for terrorists and cooperate with efforts to bring indicted terrorists to justice. It demanded that the Taliban turn over Mr. bin Laden to appropriate authorities. It also demanded that the Taliban cooperate with the United Nations in investigating the capture of the Consulate-General of Iran and the murder of Iranian diplomats and a journalist in Mazar-e-Sharif with a view to prosecuting those responsible.
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
On 25 February, the use of the veto by China prevented the Council from authorizing an extension of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for a further six months, until 31 August.
By a vote of 13 in favour to 1 against (China), with 1 abstention (Russian Federation), the Council failed to adopt the eight-Power draft resolution. The Secretary-General had recently recommended to the Council the extension of UNPREDEP, saying it had so far contributed successfully to preventing the spillover of conflicts elsewhere in the region to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
China's representative, speaking after the vote, said peace and stability in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had not been adversely affected by regional developments. The situation in the country had stabilized in the past few years, and its relations with neighbouring countries had improved. Moreover, the Secretary-General, in his recent report, had indicated clearly that the Council's original goals in establishing UNPREDEP had already been met -- there was therefore no need to further extend the mandate of the mission.
The representative of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia said it should be noted quite strongly that the extension of the mandate was supported by all Member States except one. That lack of support was based on bilateral considerations.
The speaker from the Russian Federation said his delegation had proposed amendments to the current draft, which was under consideration. Unfortunately, they had not been duly reflected in the final text.
The Force's mandate, set to expire on 28 February, had been in effect since March 1995, when the Council authorized it to monitor and report any developments in the border areas which could undermine confidence and stability in the territory; its mandate had been previously expanded to include monitoring and reporting on illicit arms flows and other related activities.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 18 June, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), which includes a civilian component -- the International Police Task Force (IPTF) -- until 21 June 2000.
By its unanimous adoption of multi-part resolution 1247 (1999), the Council also decided that the IPTF should continue to be entrusted with the tasks set out in the Peace Agreement, including tasks referred to in the Conclusions of the London, Bonn, Luxembourg and Madrid Conferences and agreed upon by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By other terms of the text, the Council, reiterating that the primary responsibility for the further successful implementation of the peace agreement lay with the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also reminded the parties that they had committed themselves to cooperate fully with all entities involved in the implementation of the peace settlement, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
By other terms of the text, the Council also authorized Member States to continue, for a further period of 12 months, the multinational Stabilization Force (SFOR), as established in accordance with its resolution 1088 (1996) under unified command and control.
The Council's previous consideration of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was on 23 March. In a statement read out to the press by its President, Huasan Qin (China), the Council reaffirmed support for UNMIBH. Council members reminded the leaders of both entities of their obligation to fulfil the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement and appealed for efforts to ensure the functioning of common institutions in the country.
On 3 August, as it unanimously adopted resolution 1256 (1999), the Council welcomed and agreed to the designation, on 12 July, by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council on Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Wolfgang Petritsch as High Representative in succession to Carlos Westendorp.
By the terms of the text, the Council reaffirmed the importance it attached to the role of the High Representative in pursuing the implementation of the peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as signed by that country, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as other parties, on 21 November 1995 in Dayton, Ohio.
On 15 November, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the 1995 peace agreement, the three members of the joint Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina briefed the Council and announced the "New York Declaration", in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the peace agreement, noted the progress made since then, and pledged themselves to facing the challenges that remained.
Addressing the issue of Croatia, the Council on 15 January authorized the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP) to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula until 15 July 1999, as it unanimously adopted resolution 1222 (1999).
Welcoming the improved cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the United Nations military observers, and the decrease in the number of serious incidents, the Council reiterated its call upon the two parties to: cease violations of the demilitarization regime in the United Nations designated zones; take steps to further reduce tension and improve safety and security in the area; and cooperate fully with the United Nations military observers and ensure their safety and unrestricted freedom of movement.
In the light of the improved cooperation and reduction in tensions in Prevlaka, the Council asked the Secretary-General to consider possible reductions in the number of military observers to as few as 22, from the current strength of 28.
On 15 July, the Security Council extended for another six months, until 15 January 2000, the mandate of UNMOP by unanimously adopting resolution 1252 (1999). The UNMOP was established in January 1996.
The Council met on the issue of Georgia four times in 1999. On 28 January, it extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) until 31 July 1999 and expressed its intention to conduct a thorough review of the operation at the end of its mandate.
By adopting resolution 1225 (1999), the Council demanded that the Georgian and the Abkhaz parties expand their commitment to the United Nations-led peace process, underlining the necessity for an early and comprehensive political settlement. That should include the political status of Abkhazia, and full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.
On 7 May, through a presidential statement, the Council reiterated its demand that both sides to the conflict in Abkhazia widen their commitment to the United Nations-led peace process, underlining the necessity for an early and comprehensive political settlement.
On 30 July, the Council, deeply concerned at the continuing volatile situation in Abkhazia, decided to extend the mandate of UNOMIG for a further period terminating on 31 January 2000, subject to review by the Council of the Mission's mandate in the event of any changes that may be made to it or in the presence of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping forces. The Council took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1255 (1999).
The Council met again on Georgia on 12 November and in a statement read out by its President, reiterated its demand that the parties to the conflict in Abkhazia deepen their commitment to the United Nations-led peace process, in particular, by resuming regular meetings of the Coordinating Council.
The Council also noted the persistent precariousness of the security of United Nations personnel. The Council stated that the UNOMIG should keep its security arrangements under constant review in order to ensure the highest possible level of security for its staff.
The Council noted with grave concern that no progress had been made on the key issues of the settlement, particularly the core issues of the status of Abkhazia. It reiterated its view that any action by the Abkhaz leadership in contravention of the principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia was unacceptable.
The Council met four times on Tajikistan during the year. On 23 February, in a statement read out by its President, it called upon the Government and the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) to intensify efforts to create conditions for holding a constitutional referendum and presidential elections in 1999, as well as the timely holding of parliamentary elections. It regretted that progress had been slow during the last three months and underlined the need for the parties to speed up the full and sequential implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan, especially the Protocol on military issues.
The Council met again on Tajikistan on 15 May, when it extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) by six months until 15 November. By adopting resolution 1240 (1999), the Council called for the parties to speed up the full and sequential implementation, in a balanced manner, of the General Agreement.
The Council next met on Tajikistan on 19 August. In a statement read out by its President, it welcomed significant progress in the implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan, achieved to a great extent due to the renewed efforts of the President of that country and the leadership of the Commission on National Reconciliation.
The Council particularly welcomed the official declaration of the UTO of the disbandment of its armed units and the decision by Tajikistan's Supreme Court lifting bans and restrictions on activities by the political parties and movements of the UTO as important steps in the democratic development of Tajik society.
On 12 November the Council met again and extended the mandate of UNMOT for six months, until 15 May 2000 (resolution 1274 (1999)). Expressing deep concern at the precarious humanitarian situation in Tajikistan, the Council called upon the parties to cooperate in ensuring the security and freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Peacekeeping Forces and other international personnel. It reminded them that the international community's ability to assist Tajikistan was linked to the security of those personnel.
On 14 December, by resolution 1282 (1999), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 29 February 2000, to complete the identification of voters, issue a second provisional voters list and initiate appeals for three tribal groupings.
The MINURSO was established in 1991 to assist in implementing a Settlement Plan proposed in 1988 by the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which included the holding of the referendum, allowing the people of Western Sahara to chose between independence and integration with Morocco. Originally scheduled for 1992, the referendum was delayed because the parties could not resolve differing views on parts of the Settlement Plan, particularly regarding the criteria for eligibility to vote.
After a breakthrough in 1997, the parties reached agreements that opened the way for holding the referendum. The referendum, this time scheduled for December 1999, was postponed yet again by the failure of the parties to reconcile views regarding the appeals process and the repatriation of refugees by the UNHCR.
The status of three tribal groups remains a major obstacle to the completion of the identification process of eligible voters.
By the 14 December resolution, the Council conceded that the problems posed by the current number of candidates who had exercised their right of appeal, and the opposing positions taken by the parties on the issue of admissibility, allowed little possibility of holding the referendum before 2002.
The Council first dealt with the question of Western Sahara during the year in January when, by resolution 1224 (1999) it extended MINURSO's mandate. The Council asked the Secretary-General not only to keep it informed of significant developments of the Settlement Plan but also to consider the continuing viability of MINURSO's mandate.
In February, by resolution 1228 (1999), the Council again extended the mandate of MINURSO based on the hope that the extension would allow for consultations between the parties leading to an agreement on the protocols on identification, appeals and repatriation planning activities, as well as on the calendar for implementation. If the referendum process was not reactivated, the Council supported the Secretary-General's intention to reassess the viability of MINURSO's mandate.
On 30 March, the Council extended the mandate of MINURSO to allow time for an understanding to be reached on the means for implementation of the identification and appeals protocols, including a revised implementation schedule. The Council also asked both parties to reach an agreement on the refugee repatriation protocol, so that all aspects of the work needed to prepare the way for repatriation might begin.
On 30 April, the Council extended the mandate of MINURSO for two weeks, by resolution 1235 (1999). In the following month, the Council again extended the mandate, this time until 14 September, in order to resume the identification process, start the appeals process and conclude all outstanding agreements needed to implement the Settlement Plan. By resolution 1263 (1999), the Council reaffirmed the rights of applicants, with the expectation that the appeals process would not turn into a second round of identification.
On 14 May, the Council extended the mandate of MINURSO for a further three months to enable the Mission to complete the identification of voters, implement confidence-building measures, conclude all outstanding agreements needed to implement the Settlement Plan, and to continue with the appeals process.
On 28 January, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a further six months until 31 July. By adopting resolution 1223 (1999), the Council reiterated that UNIFIL should fully implement its mandate as contained in resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978) and all other relevant resolutions. Israel was called upon to withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory by the terms of resolution 425 of 19 March 1978, while resolution 426, of the same date, established UNIFIL.
By other provisions of the resolution, the Council also reiterated its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries. It condemned all acts of violence committed in particular against UNIFIL, and urged the parties to put an end to them.
In a complementary statement read out by its President, the Council expressed concern over the continuing violence in southern Lebanon, regretted the loss of civilian life and urged all parties to exercise restraint.
On 30 July, the Council once more extended the mandate of the UNIFIL for six months until 31 January. Adopting resolution 1254 (1999), the Council condemned all acts of violence committed against the Force, and urged the parties to put an end to them.
On 27 May, the Council renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for a further six months, until 30 November. The UNDOF was established in May 1974 to supervise the ceasefire called for by the Council and the Israeli-Syrian disengagement agreement. As it adopted resolution 1243 (1999), the Council called upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973.
Also, through a statement read out by its President, the Council recalled that the Secretary-General's report on UNDOF had stated that, despite the present quiet in the Israeli-Syrian sector, the situation in the Middle East continued to be potentially dangerous and was likely to remain so, until a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem could be reached. That statement reflected the view of the Council.
On 24 November, by the unanimous adoption of resolution 1276 (1999), the Council again renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for a further six months, until 30 May 2000, and called on the parties concerned to implement immediately resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October.
Also, through a statement read out by its President, the Council recalled that, in his report on UNDOF, the Secretary-General had stated that despite the present quiet on the Israeli-Syrian sector, the situation in the Middle East continued to be potentially dangerous and was likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached. That statement of the Secretary-General again reflected the views of the Council.
On 30 November, the Council decided to continue the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) in order to ensure a phased transition to an International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH) by 15 March 2000. The decision was taken by the adoption of resolution 1277 (1999) by a vote of 14 in favor to none against with one abstention (Russian Federation) in Haiti.
Since 1997, MIPONUH -- whose mandate was to expire on 30 November -- has assisted the Haitian Government by supporting and contributing to the training of the Haitian National Police. The strength of that force is about 6,000, and the Government has announced plans to increase it to 9,000 to 10,000 officers by the year 2003.
On 29 June, the Council adopted two resolutions, the first relating to the Secretary-General's mission of Good Offices in Cyprus, and the second extending the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 15 December.
By the terms of resolution 1250 (1999), the Council requested the Secretary- General to invite the leaders of both sides in Cyprus to negotiations in the autumn of 1999. It called upon the two leaders to give their full support to such a constructive negotiation under the auspices of the Secretary-General.
It also called upon the two leaders to commit themselves to the following principles: no preconditions; all issues on the table; commitment in good faith to continue negotiations until a settlement is reached; and full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties.
By the terms of resolution 1251 (1999), the Council decided to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period, ending 15 December 1999. By the text, the Council called upon the military authorities on both sides to refrain from any action which would exacerbate tensions. It called upon all concerned to commit themselves to a reduction in defence spending and in the number of foreign troops.
On 15 December, by adopting resolution 1283 (1999), the Council again extended UNFICYPs mandate until 15 June 2000
Peace and Security
In the first of two meetings on 21 January, the Council heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, on promoting peace and security. He stressed the need to impose "smart" sanctions that did not lead to humanitarian crises; foster fair media in conflict areas; and curb the flow of arms. While humanitarian activities were of direct concern to international peace and security, the focus must be on addressing the root causes of humanitarian disasters.
Several factors made the provision of humanitarian assistance increasingly dangerous and increasingly difficult, he added. The line between soldiers and civilians had blurred and, too often, humanitarian agencies were left alone in desperate circumstances. More and more humanitarian staff were being killed on duty, yet very few of those deaths were investigated. The situation would continue until humanitarian agencies refused to go where security could not be guaranteed, or governments with influence gave their security the attention it merited.
The representative of the Russian Federation said the Council could not exclude using force to support humanitarian activities, but concepts such as humanitarian intervention raised a number of practical and theoretical questions. He was concerned about attempts to make humanitarian crises the grounds for intervention, without Council endorsement.
The representative of the United States said the Council should consider options to maintain law and order and create a secure environment for civilians. It should also consider humanitarian and human rights needs as part of the overall strategy of restoring peace and security to areas in crisis.
China's representative said that the international community paid great attention to the humanitarian situation in the former Yugoslavia, and it was unconscionable to forget the hundreds of thousands of persons in Africa who also required attention. The tendency to politicize humanitarian issues was cause for great concern.
Slovenia's representative said the Council must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity, while being able to determine when and where the threat to international peace actually existed.
On 8 July, the Council held a day-long debate on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants in the context of peacekeeping, and, in a presidential statement later, expressed serious concern that a number of conflicts continued despite peace agreements by warring parties. The Council recognized that a major contributory factor to such conflicts had been the continued availability of large amounts of armaments, in particular small arms and light weapons, to the warring parties.
The Council also emphasized the need for political will and a clear commitment by the parties concerned to achieve peace and stability. The support of the international community was vital to guarantee the achievement of sustainable peace and development, including its contributions to long-term assistance for development and trade, the statement said.
Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees
Addressing humanitarian assistance to refugees in Africa, on 26 July, the Council heard a briefing on the refugee situation in Africa from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, during which she drew attention to disparities in humanitarian assistance.
She noted that, undeniably, proximity, strategic interests and extraordinary media focus had played a key role in determining the quality and the level of response to the emergency in Kosovo. That had not been true -- and continued not to be true -- in other situations, including some of those in Africa.
The High Commissioner pointed out that there were approximately 6 million people "of concern" to her office in Africa. She described in detail the efforts to deal with refugees from recent crises -- such as Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- as well as from older, unresolved conflicts in the Sudan, Western Sahara and Angola. She also drew attention to the almost forgotten civil war in the Republic of Congo.
Many Council members stressed the need for impartiality, with some stating that it was essential that the Council accord equal attention to security concerns, irrespective of where they occurred.
On 24 September, the Council, at a ministerial-level meeting held to discuss the question of small arms, called for effective implementation of arms embargoes imposed by Council resolutions.
In a presidential statement, the Council encouraged Member States to provide Council sanctions committees with available information on alleged violations of arms embargoes. It recommended that the chairmen of the sanctions committees invite relevant persons from United Nations organs, organizations and committees, as well as other intergovernmental and regional organizations and parties concerned, to provide information on implementation and enforcement of embargoes.
The Council also called for measures to discourage arms flows to countries or regions engaged in or emerging from armed conflicts and asked the Secretary-General to provide the negotiators of peace accords with a record of best practices based upon experience in the field. It also asked the Secretary-General to develop a reference manual on ecologically safe methods of weapons destruction to enable Member States to ensure the disposal of weapons voluntarily surrendered by civilians or retrieved from former combatants. Further, the Council asked the Secretary- General to study the humanitarian and socio-economic implications of the excessive and destabilizing accumulation and transfer of small arms and light weapons.
On 19 October, addressing threats to peace and security, the Council unequivocally condemned all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation. It called on all States to fully implement the international anti-terrorist conventions to which they were parties and encouraged them to consider, as a matter of priority, adhering to those to which they are not parties. Also, it encouraged the speedy adoption of the pending conventions.
By adopting resolution 1269 (1999), the Council stressed the vital role of the United Nations in strengthening international cooperation in combating terrorism, and emphasized the importance of enhanced coordination among States, international and regional organizations.
In the context of such cooperation and coordination, it called upon all States to take appropriate steps to cooperate with each other, particularly through bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements; prevent and suppress terrorist acts; protect their nationals and other persons against terrorist attacks; and bring to justice the perpetrators of such acts. The Council called on all States to deny safe havens for those who planned, financed or committed terrorist acts by ensuring their apprehension and prosecution or extradition.
New Member States
During 1999, three new countries were admitted to the United Nations - Kiribati (25 June), Nauru (25 June) and Tonga (28 July) - bringing the total number of Member States to 188.
Appointment of Prosecutor of International Tribunals
The Council, on 11 August, appointed Carla del Ponte, then the Attorney- General of Switzerland, to the position of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, effective 15 September.
On 10 November, the Prosecutor gave a briefing to the Council in which she emphasized the need for cooperation from States and said the Council must act when States fail to comply with their obligation to the Tribunals. The power to initiate investigations, bestowed by the Council on the Prosecutor, must be preserved and the judicial process must be protected from the tyranny of political manipulation. The success of the two international criminal Tribunals ultimately depended on the Council's active support, she said.
As she described her Office's future work, she said the forensic programme in Kosovo could be finished by next year. It was necessary to act quickly before evidence was lost, she stressed. Also, she intended to establish a new financial team to look into freezing fugitives' funds, which she considered corruption money. Also, she would report to the Council on Rwanda following her upcoming visit there.
Following the Prosecutor's report, several Council members stressed the need to execute arrest warrants, and expressed concern that accused persons remained at large. In the course of the discussion, some speakers called for greater efforts to bring war criminals to justice, while others stressed that the Tribunals must respect national security and regional stability when carrying out their mandates.
International Court of Justice
The Security Council, meeting concurrently with the General Assembly, elected Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan), Gilbert Guillame (France), Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom), Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren (Venezuela) and Raymond Ranjeva (Madagascar) to fill five vacancies on the International Court of Justice. The Council elected the five judges in one round of secret balloting. Each Judge will serve a nine-year term starting 6 February 2000.
As of 6 February 2000, the composition of the 15-member Court will be as follows (terms expire on 5 February of the year in parenthesis): Awn Shawkat Al- Khasawneh (Jordan) (2009); Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria) (2006); Carl-August Fleischhauer (Germany) (2003); Gilbert Guillaume (France) (2009); Géza Herczegh (Hungary) (2003); Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom) (2009); Shi Jiuyong (China) (2003), Pieter H. Kooijmans (Netherlands) (2006); Abdul G. Koroma (Sierra Leone) (2003); Shigeru Oda (Japan) (2003); Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren (Venezuela) (2009); Raymond Ranjeva (Madagascar) (2009); Francisco Rezek (Brazil) (2006); Stephen M. Schwebel (United States) (2006); Vladlen S. Vereschchetin (Russian Federation) (2006).
On 30 November, the Council, noting with regret the resignation of the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Stephen Schwebel, decided that the election to fill the resultant vacancy should take place on 2 March 2000, at a meeting of the Council and the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session. The Council took that action by adopting, without a vote, resolution 1278 (1999). Adoption of Annual Report
On 2 September, the Council adopted its fifty-fourth annual report to the General Assembly covering the period 16 June 1998 to 15 June 1999. The report, a guide to the Council's activities during that 12-month period, was to be submitted to the Assembly.
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