Yearbook of the United Nations, 2001. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 5, Europe and the Mediterranean
In 2001, there were encouraging signs that a number of countries in Europe and the Mediterranean were moving closer towards achieving their goal of peace and security. In the Balkans, the contentious issue of State succession was finally settled on 29 June, when the States successors to the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) signed the Agreement on Succession Issues, providing for the distribution of SFRY's rights, obligations, assets and liabilities. Following the change of Government in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in 2000, relations with Croatia improved, leading to their joint statement of intent to further normalize bilateral relations and to elaborate a protocol on the identification of borders and the delimitation on land and sea, for which they established an inter-State border commission on 10 December. The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to pursue its Mandate Implementation Plan, which was due to be completed by the end of 2002. In anticipation of the Plan's completion, the Security Council began to consider proposals as to what form continued UN and international civilian presences in Bosnia and Herzegovina would take thereafter. Between March and May, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo,headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, began laying the foundations for the interim period of self-government in the FRY province of Kosovo. That culminated in the Special Representative's promulgation on 16 May of a Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self Government, which paved the way for Kosovo wide elections on 17 November. Formation of a coalition Government and establishment of the provisional self-government institutions followed. On the Secretary-General's recommendation, the Security Council, on 10 September, terminated the sanctions imposed on FRY and dissolved the committee that had been monitoring them. With the improved situation in the ground safety zone—the buffer zone between Kosovo and Serbia proper—the North Atlantic Treaty Organization allowed the phased return of Yugoslav forces to the area. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the President and the leaders of the four main political parties signed a Framework Agreement on 13 August. Among its main provisions were the cessation of hostilities, the voluntary disarmament and disbandment of the ethnic Albanian armed groups,an unconditional cease fire and the development of a decentralized Government. In Cyprus, the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, in a 4 December face-to-face meeting in the presence of the Secretary-General's Personal Adviser for Cyprus, agreed to hold direct talks under the auspices of the Secretary-General's mission of good offices. They further agreed on the conditions for such talks, which would begin on 16 January 2002. In Georgia, however, the peace process aimed at resolving the Georgian/Abkhaz armed conflict remained stalled. The long-awaited paper on the basic principles for the distribution of competencies between Tbilisi and Sukhumi was finalized in mid-December. The paper, which the Special Representative of the Secretary-General transmitted to the parties, was to serve as the basis for substantial negotiations towards a comprehensive settlement, including a definition of the political status of Abkhazia within the State of Georgia. Adamant in its rejection of any suggestion that Abkhazia was within the State of Georgia, the Abkhaz party was not prepared to receive the paper. Attempts to bring about a settlement in the Nagorny-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan also proved unsuccessful. Both sides of the conflict remained entrenched in their positions: Azerbaijan maintained that Nagorny Karabakh was an integral part of the State of Azerbaijan, while Nagorny Karabakh's leadership considered the region a separate, independent entity, referring to it as the “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic”.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2001. v. 55; Vol. 55
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