Yearbook of the United Nations, 2000. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 4, Asia and the Pacific
In 2000, the United Nations continued to face challenges to regional security and peace in Asia and the Pacific, mainly in Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq and Tajikistan. In Afghanistan, the military confrontation between the Taliban and the United Front continued. In October, however, the two warring factions agreed to enter into a dialogue under UN auspices. The prolonged civil conflict, combined with the worst drought in 30 years and gross human rights violations, especially against women and girls, exacerbated the already tenuous living conditions of the Afghan population. On 19 December, the Security Council imposed new sanctions against the Taliban regime for its failure, among other things, to turn over Osama bin Laden—a Saudi Arabian national indicted by the United States for terrorist activities—to appropriate authorities to face trial. The Council also called on the Taliban authorities to close all terrorist camps operating in their territory and decided that all States should close immediately all Taliban offices in their territories and freeze funds and other financial assets. The United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan continued to promote political dialogue and deployed a Civil Affairs Unit inside Afghanistan. In East Timor, progress was made in the transition towards independence and the attainment of peace and security, despite continued militia-led violence and the displacement of thousands of people. The United Nations was confronted with the task of rebuilding, managing and governing a territory for the first time in its history when, in February, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor replaced the International Force in East Timor as the sole legitimate governing and military body. Following the killing of three UN humanitarian staff by a militia-led mob, the Council, which closely monitored the situation in East Timor throughout the year, called on Indonesia to disband the militia groups and to ensure the safety of refugees and humanitarian workers. A Council mission visited East Timor and Indonesia in November. In Iraq, UN activities to verify Baghdad's compliance with its weapons-related obligations under Council resolution 687(1991), which brought a formal ceasefire to the 1991 Gulf war, continued to be stalled following the withdrawal in December 1998 of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from Iraq. UNSCOM's monitoring and verification activities were assumed by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, which began operations in March 2000. The United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission continued to carry out its surveillance functions in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The Council extended the humanitarian programme, based on an oil-for-food formula, twice during the year, each time for another 180 days. In Tajikistan, the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan completed its mandate and withdrew from the country on 15 May. In view of the fact that armed elements continued to operate outside the Government's control, and in order to sustain and build upon the achievements of the peace process, the United Nations Tajikistan Office of Peace-building was established on 1 June, with the aim of providing the political framework and leadership for UN post-conflict peace-building activities. In spite of serious problems and shortcomings, the first multi party and pluralistic parliamentary elections were held on 27 February, for the lower house, and on 23 March, for the upper house. Other matters brought to the attention of the United Nations were the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir, violations reported by Iran and Iraq of their 1988 ceasefire agreement and of the area of separation between them, as well as the continued occupation by Iran of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, three islands claimed by the United Arab Emirates. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea held their first summit meeting since the division of the peninsula in 1945 and produced a joint declaration based on the principles of independence, peaceful reunification and national unity. IAEA continued to maintain an inspector presence in the DPRK to monitor the freeze of its graphite moderated reactors and related facilities. The United Nations continued to discuss with Cambodia the establishment of a court to try top Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea. The United Nations Political Office in Bougainville (UNPOB) in Papua New Guinea continued to monitor and report on the implementation of the 1998 Lincoln Agreement on Peace, Security and Development on Bougainville by the parties to that Agreement, as well as by the Peace Monitoring Group composed of Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Vanuatu. At the request of the Government, the Secretary-General, with the concurrence of the Security Council, extended UNPOB's mandate for a further 12-month period to 31 December 2001. In Solomon Islands, the Council supported a peace agreement, concluded in October 2000, for the cessation of hostilities between two rival militia groups following an attempt to overthrow the legitimate Government in June.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2000. v. 54; Vol. 54
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