Yearbook of the United Nations, 2000. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 5, Europe and the Mediterranean
In 2000, prospects for achieving peace and security in Europe and the Mediterranean were not very encouraging as most of the major conflicts affecting the region were no nearer to a solution, particularly in the Balkans, which continued to defy the peacemaking efforts of the United Nations and the international community. However, there was hope that a new climate had been created with the election in September of the new President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), Vojislav Kostunica, replacing Slobodan Milosevic, and the establishment of a new Government in Croatia. The election of the new President in FRY also raised hopes that the longstanding dispute regarding issues of succession related to the break-up of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would soon be resolved. A first step in that regard was the admission of FRY to United Nations membership on 1 November. Despite their declared willingness to resolve their dispute over the Prevlaka peninsula through bilateral negotiations, Croatia and FRY made no real progress in that regard. The fifth meeting on bilateral negotiations did not take place, with both sides continuing to blame each other for the delay. However, the Secretary-General observed that the political changes in the two countries might lead to the resumption of negotiations on Prevlaka. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Peace Implementation Council, which continued to oversee and facilitate implementation of the 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (also known as the Peace Agreement), noted the slow pace of implementation and, in order to accelerate it, set key strategic targets for the consolidation of State institutions, economic reform and refugee return. Municipal elections were held in April and a general election took place in November. The United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina elaborated a comprehensive mandate implementation plan aimed at completing its core mandate by December 2002. In 2000, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) made significant progress in implementing the provisions of Security Council resolution 1244(1999) on the development of provisional institutions for democratic and autonomous self-government in the Kosovo province of FRY and in promoting the return of the territory to a viable administrative structure and economic and social recovery and reconstruction. As a first step towards a return to normalcy, municipal elections were successfully held on 28 October, paving the way for the establishment of functioning municipal assemblies in Kosovo. The political changes in Belgrade renewed hope for the constructive political dialogue on the future of Kosovo. Despite those positive developments, the Security Council remained concerned over the post-election violence, particularly the potentially explosive situation in the ground safety zone between Kosovo and Serbia proper. In a 19 December statement, the Council condemned the violence by Albanian extremist groups in southern Serbia and called for their dissolution. It called on UNMIK and the international security presence to continue to take all necessary efforts to address the problem. With regard to Georgia, the Council, in November, noted with concern the continued failure of the parties to achieve a comprehensive settlement, including the political status of Abkhazia within the State of Georgia, and called on them to take immediate measures to move beyond the impasse. Efforts to reach a settlement of the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorny Karabakh region in Azerbaijan were also fruitless. In the Mediterranean, despite the momentum generated by five rounds of proximity talks to resolve the Cyprus problem, meaningful negotiations on a permanent solution had yet to begin.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2000. v. 54; Vol. 54
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