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Dec. 9, 1996


of the Secretary-General Pursuant to
Security Council Resolution 1035 (1995)

  1. Introduction
    1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1035 (1995) of 21 December 1995.

    2. The second Peace Implementation Conference, held in London on 4 and 5 December 1996, reaffirmed its commitment to fully achieving the objectives set out in the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its annexes (the "Peace Agreement"). The Conclusions of the Conference were adopted on 5 December and have been issued as a document of the Security Council (S/1996/1012, annex). The Conference reviewed progress made during the first year of the implementation of the Peace Agreement and expressed its willingness to continue to devote human and financial resources to build upon the achievements of the past 12 months in order to consolidate peace, encourage reconciliation and economic, political and social regeneration and restore Bosnia and Herzegovina to economic health and prosperity. The pursuit of these objectives is primarily the responsibility of the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Conference emphasized that the willingness of the international community to devote human and financial resources is dependent upon their strengthened commitment to implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Conference endorsed the guiding principles for a two-year "consolidation period" developed at the meeting of the Ministerial Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina held in Paris on 14 November 1996. The Conference also adopted an Action Plan for the first 12-month period of this consolidation phase.

    3. The present report summarizes the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) since my last report of 1 October 1996 (S/1996/820). This report provides an updated overview of the work of other branches of the United Nations system active in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the same period. It also contains my recommendations for the future of the United Nations involvement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are based on the recommendations of the London Conference.

  1. Implementation of the Dayton Agreement
    1. Fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to an end on 11 October 1995. From that date until 20 December 1995, forces of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) monitored a ceasefire put in place to allow for peace negotiations being launched in Dayton, Ohio. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina was initialled along with 11 associated annexes (together, the "Peace Agreement"). On 8 and 9 December 1995, the Peace Implementation Conference met in London, appointing Mr. Carl Bildt as High Representative. On 14 December 1995, the Peace Agreement was signed in Paris by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as the other parties thereto.

    2. On 15 December 1995, the Security Council, by its resolution 1031 (1995), welcomed the deployment of a multinational Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the broader region, and noted the invitation of the parties for that force to remain "for a period of approximately one year". In the same resolution, the Council endorsed the establishment of a High Representative to "mobilize and, as appropriate, give guidance to, and coordinate the activities of, the civilian organizations and agencies involved" with the civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement. On 20 December 1995, authority was transferred from UNPROFOR to IFOR. On 21 December 1995, the Security Council, by its resolution 1035 (1995), decided to establish, for a period of one year, the United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF) and a United Nations civilian office, brought together as the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).

    3. Since December 1995, the involvement of the United Nations system in Bosnia and Herzegovina has evolved into a supporting role. The Commander of IFOR has taken the lead in military matters; the High Representative has taken the lead in civilian matters. My Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. S. Iqbal Riza, has led UNMIBH, ensuring that its work has been closely coordinated with that of the Office of the High Representative.

  2. Activities of the Mission since 1 October 1996
  3. United Nations International Police Task Force

    1. The current strength of IPTF is 1,704 monitors from 34 different countries. IPTF operates from 62 locations within the mission area. The level of cooperation existing between the police forces from the different entities and IPTF monitors has been reasonable, though some problems do still remain, particularly as regards the restructuring of the police force in the Republika Srpska.

    2. IPTF, led by its Commissioner, Mr. Peter FitzGerald, is charged with monitoring all activities of the Federation Police Force and that of the Republika Srpska. IPTF monitors, accompanied by police from the respective Entities, conduct joint patrols in an effort to introduce principles of democratic policing by example. IPTF has successfully introduced community policing into a number of areas. A school programme has also been developed by IPTF, designed to educate students at all levels in their civic duties and the principles of democratic policing. IPTF is also engaged in a comprehensive training, restructuring and vetting programme for the different police forces.

    3. The training and restructuring of the Federation Police is continuing, although somewhat more slowly than had been anticipated, owing mainly to political disputes between the Federation partners. Since July, 12,500 applicants have been tested. Of these, 7,000 from seven cantons have now been vetted in relation to their record on human rights. The training has almost been completed in three cantons. Agreement has been reached between the Federation authorities and IPTF on the type and design of identification cards to be issued to the restructured Federation police force. The Sarajevo canton will be the first to receive the new identification cards and the new style Federation uniforms.

    4. The training and restructuring of the Republika Srpska Police has not yet begun. No formal agreement has been reached between the Republika Srpska authorities and IPTF with regard to the restructuring and training of their police, although they have informally agreed in principle with the IPTF requirements. This will be a major focus of attention for IPTF in 1997.

    5. On 28 September 1996, the Government of Ireland hosted the International Conference on Law Enforcement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized by the United Nations in order to solicit financial support for training and equipping the Bosnian police forces. Pledges made at the Dublin Donor Conference have not reached expected levels, which in turn has affected the pace of training and re-equipping of local police.

    6. The transfer of authority from the Western European Union police to IPTF in Mostar occurred smoothly on 15 October. IPTF has taken steps aimed at disbanding a number of Bosnian Croat para-police forces. At the insistence of the Commissioner of IPTF, the Special Police Force in Mostar has been disbanded, as have various groups of armed civilian security guards. Other Special Police units throughout the Federation are also in the process of being disbanded.

    7. Following the major changes that have taken place recently in the command structure of IFOR, the close working relationship between IFOR and IPTF continues. Senior personnel from IFOR and IPTF exchange information of mutual interest on a regular basis. A high level of cooperation also exists between IFOR personnel and IPTF monitors in the field. Joint patrols between IPTF and IFOR are conducted daily, especially in areas where tension is high or incidents are anticipated.

    Civil Affairs

    1. Civil Affairs officers have continued to perform their three main tasks, namely, to provide support to IPTF, to analyse and report on local political events and trends and to make available good offices for local confidencebuilding and problem-solving.

    2. Regular briefings by Civil Affairs officers to IPTF regional, district and station commanders provide the latter with an understanding of the local political dynamics in their respective areas of responsibility. Moreover, Civil Affairs officers continue to assist IPTF in the establishment of working relationships with key local and international actors and, through such relationships, help to contain potentially explosive situations. Civil Affairs and IPTF also work together in monitoring human rights and cooperate with other international actors in order to ensure that cases of abuse are addressed by the relevant national bodies. However, it has become apparent that most of the violations of human rights which occur in Bosnia and Herzegovina (by some estimates as many as 70 per cent) are the work of the police forces of the Entities themselves. This creates the need for independent investigation of such cases. It was therefore proposed by the United Nations at the second Peace Implementation Conference that this responsibility should be entrusted to IPTF, a proposal which attracted widespread support and was incorporated in the Conclusions of the London Conference (see para. 2).

    3. The detailed reporting on political developments provided by Civil Affairs officers has enabled my Special Representative to contribute to discussions at the national and regional levels on the implementation of the Dayton Agreement. This information, together with reports from IPTF, has been made available to other international actors at their request, including the High Representative, IFOR, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the agencies and programmes of the United Nations system.

    4. Civil Affairs officers' close contacts with local authorities have facilitated cross-Inter-Entity Boundary Line meetings of officials on several occasions and have thus contributed to a reduction of tension and of the potential for violence. On the Federation side, Civil Affairs officers continue to make available their good offices in order to facilitate the establishment of local government bodies, in coordination with the Office of the High Representative. Finally, Civil Affairs officers act as focal points for the dissemination of information to local authorities on the programmes and activities of other international organizations working in the country, especially those of the United Nations system.

    Mine Action Centre

    1. The international staff of the United Nations Mine Action Centre (MAC) consists of eight United Nations staff members and one seconded military advisor. In addition, 25 local staff are employed in MAC and are being trained on the job. MAC has one partially established regional office in Mostar but the planned regional offices in Banja Luka, Tuzla and Bihac have yet to be staffed. Since the present staffing and structure of MAC are insufficient to meet the anticipated mine-clearance requirements in 1997, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs will shortly issue a revised organizational structure and budget for MAC.

    2. MAC is continuing to take the lead role in coordinating the mine- clearance programme, facilitating the implementation of activities and encouraging the Government and donors to implement a unified programme. A national management training programme aimed at assisting the Government in assuming full responsibility for mine-clearance activities has begun.

    3. The focus of current efforts is on developing the capacity necessary to address priority demining tasks, so that reconstruction can proceed and conditions may be created for refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes. To achieve these immediate goals, MAC has prepared an overall mine action plan. The plan includes a comprehensive training programme and an employment mechanism to make available up to 2,000 deminers by April 1997, when weather conditions will permit mine-clearance activities throughout the country. Some elements of the plan are already being implemented through four programmes financed by donors and coordinated by MAC. Delays in the implementation of these programmes have, however, resulted in a need for MAC to assume a more active role. A United Nations Mine Action Programme has therefore been developed and has been included in the United Nations Humanitarian Appeal for 1997. It is designed to meet the expected shortfall in the number of required deminers.

    United Nations Trust Fund

    1. Projects supported by the Trust Fund for the restoration of essential services in Sarajevo, established by Security Council resolution 900 (1994), continue to be monitored by the mission. UNMIBH also manages the Quick Impact Fund, which provides an effective mechanism for funding small urgent projects in Sarajevo. Of the US$ 18.9 million deposited into the Trust Fund since 1994, only approximately $1 million remains uncommitted.

  4. Activities of the United Nations System
  5. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

    1. In the period under review, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has continued its efforts to implement Annex 7 of the Dayton Peace Agreement. It is estimated that, since the beginning of 1996, some 250,000 refugees and displaced persons have returned to their homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina (approximately 50,000 from asylum-countries outside the region) out of 2.1 million persons uprooted during the war. UNHCR has provided assistance to many of those already returning home while at the same time laying the foundations for large-scale returns primarily through the following two measures.

    2. First, rehabilitation work continued in the 22 "target areas" for return identified by UNHCR in June 1996 (19 in the Federation and 3 in the Republika Srpska), with the support of the International Management Group, the World Bank, the European Commission and others. Of an estimated 84,000 houses requiring repair, work has been completed on 24,000 so far. Other key community infrastructure activities, such as the repair of 100 schools, 50 clinics and hospitals, 60 water systems and 50 power systems, have been undertaken. It is estimated that up to 100,000 people, mainly displaced persons, will benefit from these activities. In 1997, UNHCR will continue to encourage donor investments in the target areas as well as identify other areas where returns would be feasible.

    3. Secondly, UNHCR has continued with its confidence-building measures, namely, the local working groups on return, the Inter-Entity bus services and visits by displaced persons to their home areas. In spite of the many obstacles UNHCR has faced, these initiatives are having a positive impact. However, they are not intended to be an end in themselves, but a first step towards returns to minority areas. In this context, UNHCR has also been involved in the implementation of the Procedure for Return to the Zone of Separation (ZOS) adopted in October by the Office of the High Representative, UNHCR, IFOR, IPTF, the European Commission and the Parties. UNHCR has set up five International Housing Commissions to process applications. To date, over 1,500 persons have moved back to their homes across the Inter-Entity Boundary Line in the ZOS. However, UNHCR is very concerned at the increased burning and bombing of houses of potential returnees, particularly on the Republika Srpska side of the ZOS, which reveals how much opposition still remains to this type of return in some quarters.

    4. UNHCR's estimate is that in 1997 some 200,000 refugees will be assisted to repatriate to Bosnia and Herzegovina in organized movements, and that up to an additional 200,000 refugees and displaced persons may go back spontaneously. This will require accelerated rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in order to build up capacity to absorb such large numbers of returns. UNHCR itself plans to rehabilitate up to 15,000 houses or apartments in 1997, providing accommodation for some 75,000 returnees or relocated persons. It also plans to establish closer cooperation with host countries to facilitate and plan return movements.

    5. In the past month, UNHCR has also formally launched an initiative, already started in July, to develop a plan of action for durable solutions to the problem of refugees and displaced persons in the region as a whole, including the neighbouring States of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The time-frame of this plan would be two years, to coincide with the consolidation period. The plan will be finalized by next spring, in consultation with States in the region and States hosting refugees, as well as financial and development-oriented institutions at the national, regional and international levels. It will comprise a range of solutions for the uprooted, including repatriation, return, voluntary relocation and local integration as well as (for a much smaller number) resettlement or continued protection abroad.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    1. During the reporting period, the field operation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has provided substantive and technical support for two recent missions of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. During those missions, the Special Rapporteur visited locations in which serious violations of human rights have been reported. Particular attention has been given to such problems as freedom of movement, personal security, the right to return and freedom of the media. With regard to individual cases, the human rights field operation cooperates closely with IPTF and with national institutions established for the protection of human rights, in particular with the Federation Ombudsmen. The field operation also supports activities of the United Nations Expert on Missing Persons. It continues to cooperate with the Office of the High Representative. Within the framework of the Human Rights Coordination Centre, the High Commissioner for Human Rights initiated the establishment of the inter-agency Human Rights Institution Building Working Group. Members of the operation became more active in various fields of institution-building and support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

    1. The Office of the Prosecutor was opened in Sarajevo on 21 August 1996. Its role is to provide a focal point for activities of the Tribunal in the Federation and the Republika Srpska in order that information can be requested and received from Governments, United Nations agencies, IFOR, NGOs and individuals in relation to war crimes.

    2. The Office provides logistical support, including the establishment of security arrangements with IFOR when required, particularly in relation to exhumations. Support given to investigators carrying out missions in the area includes accompanying them and assisting with their investigations and conducting further inquiries if necessary. The Sarajevo office endeavours to ensure adherence to the "Rules of the Road" procedures (Rome Agreement), which relate to the detention by the authorities of persons suspected of war crimes.

    United Nations Development Programme

    1. In July 1996, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office was established in Sarajevo. UNDP's initial programme is based on the findings and recommendations of a multisectoral United Nations system mission which visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in March 1996. The initial programme of UNDP focuses on providing assistance to the country in its efforts to revitalize its economy and strengthen its governmental and local institutions. For 1996, UNDP made approximately $5.7 million available. In addition, the Japanese Government agreed to make $30.8 million available to UNDP to support the programme for the 1996-1998 period.

    2. To date, two area/community development projects have begun. One project in the area of economic management is providing assistance to the Government in the elaboration of a medium- and long-term economic transition strategy and policy. Assistance is also provided to emergency education, rehabilitation and the health sector, including the rehabilitation of the only pharmaceutical plant in the country. Agriculture is supported through an emergency quality seed production programme; the judiciary is supported through a training and system upgrading project. Technical support is provided to strengthen planning and technical support units of Governmental entities both at the centre and at the local level.

    World Bank

    1. The World Bank's mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to support the economic reconstruction of the country through implementation of the reconstruction programme approved by the international community at the Brussels conference in December 1995. The World Bank is also helping Bosnia and Herzegovina to introduce reform in the economic system to permit the development of a more market-friendly economy.

    2. A total of $325.6 million in World Bank funds has been mobilized in 13 specific projects to date. Additionally, a fund of over $120 million is being managed by the Bank for co-financing these projects. The value of the projects prepared by the World Bank, now in phase of implementation, is about $1 billion. As of mid-November, contracts signed using World Bank- administered funds totalled 913, for a value of over $185 million.

    3. The World Bank has made a major effort to help coordinate the work of donors participating in the reconstruction programme. Particular support has been provided to UNHCR for its priority refugee return programme. The World Bank has been able to mobilize substantial resources to rebuild houses in the UNHCR target zones and to implement job-creation programmes and other schemes for infrastructure development. Other agencies playing a key role with the World Bank in coordinating reconstruction are the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). These agencies head reconstruction task forces set up by the World Bank to cover the sectors of agriculture, health, water and employment.

    World Food Programme

    1. During the reporting period the World Food Programme (WFP) has continued to carry out its programme of delivering food aid throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and managing its distribution through local authorities and other implementing partners to over 2 million beneficiaries. During the past months, WFP has resumed full responsibility for food aid management formerly undertaken by UNHCR. A new food aid strategy has been compiled, based on the findings of the April Joint Inter- Agency Food Aid Needs Assessment Mission and on extensive consultations with UNHCR and other implementing partners. This strategy is being reflected in the United Nations Consolidated Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance in 1997.

    2. As part of its commitment to indirect targeting of some WFP resources through projects that work towards revitalization of the Bosnia and Herzegovina economy, WFP has continued its policy of providing wheat grain for local milling. At the end of August, 37,000 metric tonnes of wheat grain arrived, and a further 25,000 metric tonnes were received in November (both donations from the United States of America). Six mills in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including one mill in the Republika Srpska) were contracted to process this grain into wheat flour for WFP programmes. This project has helped to create 500 jobs and increase the capacity of this vital food processing industry. In November, a project to produce nutritionally enriched biscuits was begun with a Sarajevo bakery and the Federation Ministry for Social Welfare. The biscuits will be used for winter supplementary feeding programmes targeted to highly vulnerable groups (isolated elderly individuals, pregnant women, nursing mothers and the very young). World Health Organization

    3. WHO programmes have been adapted throughout 1996 to provide an appropriate balance of humanitarian health assistance and development support. Outbreaks of communicable diseases remain a constant potential threat, while chronic diseases have resurfaced after four years of relative inattention. Displaced persons and returnees in some areas depend upon emergency assistance while community health services are sufficient in others. WHO rehabilitation efforts are meeting immediate needs while work is progressing to develop an infrastructure for sustainable and appropriate services.

    United Nations Children's Fund

    1. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and WHO have supported the Ministry of Health, in each Entity, to prepare for a National Immunization Day in December. This campaign is expected to provide polio immunization to an additional 75,000 children. The campaign comes as a culmination of intensive immunization programmes throughout 1996. Authorities in Sarajevo and Gorazde held seminars on breast-feeding and defined their respective plans of action. UNICEF also supported the Ministry of Education in preparing its national programme on early childhood development. This complements ongoing activities, supported by UNICEF, the World Bank, UNESCO and the Soros Foundation, to improve the training of uncertified teachers and provide them with technical support. Together with IFOR and the United Nations Mine Action Centre, UNICEF launched a special mine-awareness issue of the Superman comic book and carried out a youth poll prior to the September elections for children to participate and express their views.

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

    1. UNESCO has been working on several projects involving the repair and reconstruction of cultural and educational institutions, as well as various educational activities with other donors. In particular, it has completed the first stage of repair of the National Museum in Sarajevo. UNESCO has also funded independent media outlets and given financial support to cultural activities. In the field of cultural heritage, it held a three- week course in architectural protection and restoration and is preparing a rehabilitation plan for the Old Town in Mostar.

    International Labour Organization

    1. ILO, which leads the Donor Task Force on Employment and Training, continues to cooperate with the Government in promoting emergency employment programmes for war-affected groups and the unemployed. ILO is also assisting in the formulation of a post-war Labour Code adapted to the needs of the market economy.

  6. Future of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina
    1. The United Nations has been called upon by the London Conference of 4- 5 December to discharge fundamental responsibilities during the next phase of the peace process (the "consolidation period"), working in close cooperation with the High Representative, the Stabilization Force (SFOR) and other major organizations. A paramount task will be the creation of suitable conditions for the early, safe and orderly return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes or other places of their choice. Responsibility in this area continues to be entrusted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, assisted by other components of the United Nations system. UNHCR will give priority to facilitating larger-scale voluntary returns to majority areas and to assisting those persons who wish to relocate voluntarily to or within these areas. Shelter and infrastructure repair programmes will accompany more targeted humanitarian assistance. Whereas priority will also be given to facilitating the return of refugees and displaced persons to all areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with the terms and guarantees of the Peace Agreement, such moves will hinge on full observance by the Parties of their commitments under annex 7 and speedy progress in the implementation of related provisions of the Peace Agreement as well as reconstruction and rehabilitation. During the two-year period, UNHCR will also seek solutions to the problem of refugees and displaced persons affecting the entire region - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - in the framework of implementation of a regional plan for durable solutions, to be presented to the international community in the spring of 1997.

    2. The London Conference recognized the essential work of the International Police Task Force in promoting democratic policing and asked that it should be continued and strengthened. The Conference also noted the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, along with a number of other organizations, in implementing annex 6 of the Dayton Agreement. The High Commissioner will continue to provide support to the Office of the High Representative, technical assistance to the local authorities and IPTF, and support to the Special Rapporteur and the Expert on Missing Persons. The London Conference called for additional support for the work of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The role of the United Nations Mine Action Centre in coordinating international efforts and supporting the national authorities in the field of mine clearance was also endorsed. The agencies and programmes of the United Nations system will continue with their activities in the fields of humanitarian assistance and rehabilitation and reconstruction.

    3. I propose to retain my Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As such, he will combine the functions of United Nations Coordinator and Chief of Mission of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). His work over the past year has ensured cohesion between the various United Nations activities. He has also represented me in discussions within and outside Bosnia and Herzegovina on implementation of the Peace Agreement. The Special Representative has worked in close cooperation with the High Representative, the Commander of IFOR and other senior officials of the international community.

    4. UNMIBH consists of IPTF and a United Nations civilian office. The United Nations Mine Action Centre (MAC) is also part of the mission. UNMIBH also runs the programmes of the former Office of the Special Coordinator for the restoration of essential services in Sarajevo.

    5. The London Conference thanked IPTF for its work over the past year and welcomed the request of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina that its mandate be extended for a further year. In section VI of the present report I recommend that this request be accepted by the Security Council and that the mandate of IPTF be slightly enlarged, as also requested by the London Conference.

    6. The main elements of IPTF's mandate, as outlined in annex 11 of the Peace Agreement, are:

      1. Monitoring, observing and inspecting law enforcement activities and facilities, including associated judicial organizations, structures and proceedings;

      2. Advising law enforcement personnel and forces;

      3. Training law enforcement personnel;

      4. Facilitating, within IPTF's mission of assistance, the law enforcement activities of the Bosnian authorities;

      5. Assessing threats to public order and advising on the capability of law enforcement agencies to deal with such threats;

      6. Advising governmental authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the organization of effective civilian law enforcement agencies;

      7. Assisting by accompanying Bosnian law enforcement personnel as they carry out their responsibilities, as IPTF deems appropriate.

    7. In addition to these tasks, the London Conference requested IPTF to carry out investigations of human rights abuses by police of the local authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This followed the agreement of those authorities to investigate urgently with the assistance of the IPTF, or to facilitate an IPTF investigation into, cases in which a police officer or any other law enforcement or judicial official is accused of involvement in any violation of human rights or fundamental freedoms. In order to fulfil this additional task, and in the light of experience in 1996, it might be necessary to increase the strength of IPTF above the current ceiling of 1,721 personnel. If so, I shall submit proposals in this regard to the Security Council after the Commissioner has evaluated the implications of the requests made by the London Conference. In addition, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will identify a small team of human rights specialists to provide assistance to IPTF. In accordance with a request from the High Representative that implementing agencies should locate their main regional offices in the same cities, I intend to establish a regional office of IPTF in Mostar, in addition to those already functioning in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Tuzla. This decision is also made necessary by the transfer of responsibility for policing in Mostar from the Western European Union to IPTF.

    8. IPTF monitors will continue to require political advice from United Nations Civil Affairs officers. I do not, however, foresee a need to increase the number of Civil Affairs officers. Their current number and the structure of their organization is adequate to meet the requirements of IPTF, to provide political information to the High Representative and others and to offer their good offices at the local level, tasks which they have performed well in the past year.

    9. The Mine Action Centre, which is funded by voluntary contributions through the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, will be further expanded, if donor contributions are forthcoming, to enable it to coordinate the international efforts in this important field more effectively.

    VI. Observations

    1. One year after its signature, we can draw satisfaction from the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement but also take note that much yet remains to be done.

    2. Many positive developments have occurred. First and foremost, the massive presence of IFOR, led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has ended the fighting. Armies have been disengaged and not a single casualty resulting from direct military action has been recorded. The elections that were held on 14 September 1996, in which over 2.4 million people cast their votes, have been certified by OSCE. The joint institutions foreseen in the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina have begun to be set up.

    3. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still very far from the unified society in which all peoples would enjoy the widespread freedoms envisaged in the Peace Agreement. The three parties have failed to implement in good faith those aspects of the Peace Agreement which would bind together the communities in the country. Freedom of movement and the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes of origin are far from being secured. Harassment of minorities persists. Nationalist leaders of the Republika Srpska, as well as some Croat leaders, have continued to advocate the complete separation of their territories from Bosnia and Herzegovina. These realities have continued despite a largescale international presence. Unless these nationalistic aspirations are abandoned soon, the prospect of restoring a united Bosnia and Herzegovina, for which the international community has made such an enormous effort, will fade.

    4. Much attention was devoted at the London Conference to the need to ensure that the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia can do its work. I call once again upon all States to detain indicted war criminals and turn them over to the Tribunal. Failure to do so constitutes a violation of obligations under international law and further undermines efforts to promote reconciliation among the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The parties to the Peace Agreement have in particular failed to comply with the obligations they entered into in that Agreement. It is significant that, at the London Conference, the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council was charged with considering what further measures can be taken to bring indicted war criminals before the Tribunal.

    5. I welcome the Conclusions reached at the London Conference, which have once again clearly identified that the main responsibility for implementing the Peace Agreement rests with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The international community, which has been involved on the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1992 and under whose auspices the Peace Agreement was concluded, continues to have a direct responsibility to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the Agreement. The London Conference has rightly made it clear that the international community's continued willingness to make available the human and financial resources required for reconstruction and development is dependent upon a strengthened commitment from the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fulfil their obligations under the Peace Agreement. I welcome the identification of specific criteria on whose fulfilment the commitment of international resources will be conditioned. The United Nations will fully support the work of the High Representative in monitoring the application of these criteria.

    6. The United Nations will continue to assist in the implementation of the Peace Agreement as requested by the London Conference. Of particular importance is the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes or other places of their choice. I commend the efforts of the High Commissioner for Refugees and the generosity and patience of countries where refugees are currently living. I regret that the pace of return has so far been extremely slow but ask those countries which are still sheltering refugees to maintain that patience. UNHCR, along with other agencies and programmes of the United Nations system, will strive to ensure that conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons are in place, and thus to speed the rate of return.

    7. On the basis of the requests made by the Peace Implementation Council and of my own assessment of the contribution of the United Nations to the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, I recommend that the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of UNMIBH for a further year, until 21 December 1997. I further recommend that IPTF, which forms part of UNMIBH, should have added to its mandate the task of investigating allegations of human rights abuses by police officers or other law enforcement officials of the various authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Should a modest increase in the Force's strength be needed for this purpose, I shall seek the approval of the Security Council at the appropriate time.

    8. IPTF will remain a crucial element in the coming consolidation period. Its role will continue to be particularly important in building law enforcement institutions which operate in accordance with democratic standards and form the basis of an open and free society. I encourage Member States to continue to contribute personnel to IPTF. I also call upon interested donor countries to contribute generously to funding the programmes for equipping and training the national police forces. There is also an urgent requirement for donors to contribute to the Mine Action Programme. If sufficient funds do not become available in the next two months, activities programmed for 1997 will be in jeopardy, thus further delaying the implementation of reconstruction programmes and the return of refugees.

    9. To conclude, I should like to pay tribute to my Special Representative, S. Iqbal Riza, and the IPTF Commissioner, Mr. Peter FitzGerald, and to the able men and women on their staff, for their devoted work in leading the United Nations contribution to the international community's efforts to bring lasting peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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