Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 5, Europe and the Mediterranean
The Europe and the Mediterranean region registered important milestones in resolving its many conflict situations and restoring peace and stability in 2002, particularly in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), which successfully concluded their bilateral negotiations relating to the dispute over the Prevlaka peninsula, signed the 10 December Protocol on the Interim Regime along the Southern Border between the Two States. That development allowed the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka, which had monitored the demilitarization of the peninsula and neighbouring territories since 1992, to hand over responsibility for the area to the local authorities of both countries and to withdraw in December. The United Nations also successfully concluded its mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the most complex and difficult UN police peacekeeping missions, which ended on 31 December and was to be succeeded by the follow-on European Union Police Mission from 1 January 2003. The Kosovo province of FRY continued to make significant progress towards provisional self-governance, and to promote inter-ethnic reconciliation and economic and social reconstruction. The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) began transferring authority to the provisional institutions of self-government. To facilitate a process that would determine Kosovo's final status, the Special Representative set benchmarks that had to be reached before that process could begin. Further evidence of the continuing stability of Kosovo was the successful holding of municipal elections in October. However, the divided town of Mitrovica continued to present a number of challenges, which led the Special Representative to put forward in October a seven-point plan for dealing with the situation there. In November, UNMIK succeeded in establishing its administration in northern Mitrovica town, thus bringing the entire territory of Kosovo under UNMIK control for the first time. In December, the Security Council sent a mission to Kosovo to, among other objectives, find ways to enhance support for the implementation of its resolution 1244(1999) [YUN 1999, p. 353], discuss the challenges faced by UMMIK and convey a strong message to all concerned to move forward with the decentralization process and promote inter-ethnic reconciliation. Relations with the Federal Government in Belgrade continued to improve. In March, FRY transferred a large number of Kosovo Albanian detainees to Kosovo from Serbia proper, as well as court files pertaining to the majority of the remaining detainees. It also agreed to stop financing parallel institutions, especially in Mitrovica town. Unfortunately, the situation in the Abkhaz region of Georgia continued to cause grave concern. The Georgian-Abkhazia peace process remained stalled as the two sides failed to begin discussions of the paper on the Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competences between Tbilisi (Georgia's Government) and Sukhumi (the Abkhaz leadership), which was to serve as a basis for substantial negotiations; nor was success achieved in convening meetings of the Coordinating Council, part of the United Nations–led Geneva peace process [YUN 1997, p. 365]. The situation was further aggravated by the holding in March of “parliamentary elections” in Abkhazia, Georgia, which was condemned by the international community, and the continuing tension in the Kodori Valley, created by the presence of Georgian forces there; some progress was made in defusing that tension, however, through the signing of two protocols designed to restore stability to the Valley. No progress was made towards a settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. In the Mediterranean region, there was renewed optimism for a settlement of the Cyprus question. For the first time, the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, Glafcos Clerides, President of Cyprus, and Rauf R. Denktas, the Turkish Cypriot leader, held direct talks with a view to reaching a comprehensive settlement. To help move the process forward, the Secretary-General presented to the two sides in November his comprehensive settlement proposal entitled “Basis for Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”, which he revised in December to bridge remaining gaps between the parties. Further negotiations based on the Secretary-General's plan were to resume in early 2003.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. v. 56; Vol. 56
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