Yearbook of the United Nations, 2008. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 5, Europe and the Mediterranean
The restoration of peace and stability in the post conflict countries of the European and Mediterranean region advanced in 2008, as efforts to reestablish their institutions and social and economic infrastructure continued. However, a number of issues remained unresolved, and in some countries the peace process was seriously challenged. The international community, led by the European Union (EU), continued to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina in moving towards full integration into Europe through the EU Stabilization and Association Process. The country in June signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU and was provided with a road map for visa liberalization. Nevertheless, nationalist rhetoric prevailed in the political scene as a result of a municipal election campaign and other developments in the region. The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo continued to assist in building a modern, multiethnic society. In February, Kosovo declared independence, an act followed by boycotts by Kosovo Serbs and protests in many areas in Kosovo and Serbia. In light of developments, the United Nations Mission in June launched a reconfiguration process. In October, acting on a Serbian proposal, the General Assembly requested the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on whether Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was in accordance with international law. Renewed efforts to end the stalemate in the Georgian Abkhaz peace process were threatened in August by the war in South Ossetia and by the Georgian-Russian conflict. The recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the Russian Federation further increased tensions. Georgia withdrew from the 1994 Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces (Moscow Agreement), and the Collective Peacekeeping Force of the Commonwealth of Independent States was officially terminated, substantially changing the context in which the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia operated. No progress was made towards settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the occupied Nagorny Karabakh region in Azerbaijan. In March, acting on a proposal by Azerbaijan, the General Assembly called for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijan. The situation in Cyprus appeared to improve, and UN efforts focused on assisting the two sides in implementing the 8 July 2006 Agreement. Full-fledged negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides were launched in September under UN auspices. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus continued to cooperate with the two communities, facilitating projects benefiting Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the buffer zone and advancing the goal of restoring normal conditions and humanitarian functions on the island.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2008. v. 62; Vol. 62
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