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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 38, June 1999

The End of the Kosovo Conflict

I. Security Council Resolution 1244, 10 June

Editor's note: the resolution, sponsored by 12 States (Canada, France, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine, UK and US) was adopted by 14 votes to 0 with 1 abstention (China).

"The Security Council,

Bearing in mind the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, including the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Recalling its resolutions 1160 (1998) of 31 March 1998, 1199 (1998) of 23 September 1998, 1203 (1998) of 24 October 1998 and 1239 (1999) of 14 May 1999,

Regretting that there has not been full compliance with the requirements of these resolutions,

Determined to resolve the grave humanitarian situation in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and to provide for the safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes,

Condemning all acts of violence against the Kosovo population, as well as all terrorist acts by any party,

Recalling the statement made by the Secretary-General on 9 April 1999, expressing concern at the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Kosovo,

Reaffirming the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety,

Recalling the jurisdiction and the mandate of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,

Welcoming the general principles on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis adopted on 6 May 1999 (S/1999/516, annex 1 to this resolution) and welcoming also the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles set forth in points 1 to 9 of the paper presented in Belgrade on 2 June 1999 (S/1999/649, annex 2 to this resolution), and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's agreement to that paper,

Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act and annex 2,

Reaffirming the call in previous resolutions for substantial autonomy and meaningful self-administration for Kosovo,

Determining that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Determined to ensure the safety and security of international personnel and the implementation by all concerned of their responsibilities under the present resolution, and acting for these purposes under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Decides that a political solution to the Kosovo crisis shall be based on the general principles in annex 1 and as further elaborated in the principles and other required elements in annex 2;

2. Welcomes the acceptance by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of the principles and other required elements referred to in paragraph 1 above, and demands the full cooperation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in their rapid implementation;

3. Demands in particular that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia put an immediate and verifiable end to violence and repression in Kosovo, and begin and complete verifiable phased withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable, with which the deployment of the international security presence in Kosovo will be synchronized;

4. Confirms that after the withdrawal an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serb military and police personnel will be permitted to return to Kosovo to perform the functions in accordance with annex 2;

5. Decides on the deployment in Kosovo, under United Nations auspices, of international civil and security presences, with appropriate equipment and personnel as required, and welcomes the agreement of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to such presences;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint, in consultation with the Security Council, a Special Representative to control the implementation of the international civil presence, and further requests the Secretary-General to instruct his Special Representative to coordinate closely with the international security presence to ensure that both presences operate towards the same goals and in a mutually supportive manner;

7. Authorizes Member States and relevant international organizations to establish the international security presence in Kosovo as set out in point 4 of annex 2 with all necessary means to fulfil its responsibilities under paragraph 9 below;

8. Affirms the need for the rapid early deployment of effective international civil and security presences to Kosovo, and demands that the parties cooperate fully in their deployment;

9. Decides that the responsibilities of the international security presence to be deployed and acting in Kosovo will include:

(a) Deterring renewed hostilities, maintaining and where necessary enforcing a ceasefire, and ensuring the withdrawal and preventing the return into Kosovo of Federal and Republic military, police and paramilitary forces, except as provided in point 6 of annex 2;

(b) Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups as required in paragraph 15 below;

(c) Establishing a secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return home in safety, the international civil presence can operate, a transitional administration can be established, and humanitarian aid can be delivered;

(d) Ensuring public safety and order until the international civil presence can take responsibility for this task;

(e) Supervising demining until the international civil presence can, as appropriate, take over responsibility for this task;

(f) Supporting, as appropriate, and coordinating closely with the work of the international civil presence;

(g) Conducting border monitoring duties as required;

(h) Ensuring the protection and freedom of movement of itself, the international civil presence, and other international organizations;

10. Authorizes the Secretary-General, with the assistance of relevant international organizations, to establish an international civil presence in Kosovo in order to provide an interim administration for Kosovo under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and which will provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo;

11. Decides that the main responsibilities of the international civil presence will include:

(a) Promoting the establishment, pending a final settlement, of substantial autonomy and self-government in Kosovo, taking full account of annex 2 and of the Rambouillet accords (S/1999/648);

(b) Performing basic civilian administrative functions where and as long as required;

(c) Organizing and overseeing the development of provisional institutions for democratic and autonomous self-government pending a political settlement, including the holding of elections;

(d) Transferring, as these institutions are established, its administrative responsibilities while overseeing and supporting the consolidation of Kosovo's local provisional institutions and other peace- building activities;

(e) Facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovo's future status, taking into account the Rambouillet accords (S/1999/648);

(f) In a final stage, overseeing the transfer of authority from Kosovo's provisional institutions to institutions established under a political settlement;

(g) Supporting the reconstruction of key infrastructure and other economic reconstruction;

(h) Supporting, in coordination with international humanitarian organizations, humanitarian and disaster relief aid;

(i) Maintaining civil law and order, including establishing local police forces and meanwhile through the deployment of international police personnel to serve in Kosovo;

(j) Protecting and promoting human rights;

(k) Assuring the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo;

12. Emphasizes the need for coordinated humanitarian relief operations, and for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to allow unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations and to cooperate with such organizations so as to ensure the fast and effective delivery of international aid;

13. Encourages all Member States and international organizations to contribute to economic and social reconstruction as well as to the safe return of refugees and displaced persons, and emphasizes in this context the importance of convening an international donors' conference, particularly for the purposes set out in paragraph 11 (g) above, at the earliest possible date;

14. Demands full cooperation by all concerned, including the international security presence, with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia;

15. Demands that the KLA and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups end immediately all offensive actions and comply with the requirements for demilitarization as laid down by the head of the international security presence in consultation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General;

16. Decides that the prohibitions imposed by paragraph 8 of resolution 1160 (1998) shall not apply to arms and related matériel for the use of the international civil and security presences;

17. Welcomes the work in hand in the European Union and other international organizations to develop a comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the region affected by the Kosovo crisis, including the implementation of a Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further the promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation;

18. Demands that all States in the region cooperate fully in the implementation of all aspects of this resolution;

19. Decides that the international civil and security presences are established for an initial period of 12 months, to continue thereafter unless the Security Council decides otherwise;

20. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council at regular intervals on the implementation of this resolution, including reports from the leaderships of the international civil and security presences, the first reports to be submitted within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution;

21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Annex 1

Statement by the Chairman on the conclusion of the meeting of the G-8 Foreign Ministers held at the Petersberg Centre on 6 May 1999

The G-8 Foreign Ministers adopted the following general principles on the political solution to the Kosovo crisis:

  • Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo;
  • Withdrawal from Kosovo of military, police and paramilitary forces;
  • Deployment in Kosovo of effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and adopted by the United Nations, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of the common objectives;
  • Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo;
  • The safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations;
  • A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for a substantial self- government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of the KLA;
  • Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region.
Annex 2

Agreement should be reached on the following principles to move towards a resolution of the Kosovo crisis:

1. An immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo.

2. Verifiable withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable.

3. Deployment in Kosovo under United Nations auspices of effective international civil and security presences, acting as may be decided under Chapter VII of the Charter, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of common objectives.

4. The international security presence with substantial North Atlantic Treaty Organization participation must be deployed under unified command and control and authorized to establish a safe environment for all people in Kosovo and to facilitate the safe return to their homes of all displaced persons and refugees.

5. Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo as a part of the international civil presence under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations. The interim administration to provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants in Kosovo.

6. After withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions:

  • Liaison with the international civil mission and the international security presence;
  • Marking/clearing minefields;
  • Maintaining a presence at Serb patrimonial sites;
  • Maintaining a presence at key border crossings.
7. Safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons under the supervision of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organizations.

8. A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of UCK [KLA]. Negotiations between the parties for a settlement should not delay or disrupt the establishment of democratic self-governing institutions.

9. A comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilization of the crisis region. This will include the implementation of a stability pact for South-Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional cooperation.

10. Suspension of military activity will require acceptance of the principles set forth above in addition to agreement to other, previously identified, required elements, which are specified in the footnote below. A military-technical agreement will then be rapidly concluded that would, among other things, specify additional modalities, including the roles and functions of Yugoslav/Serb personnel in Kosovo:

Withdrawal

Procedures for withdrawals, including the phased, detailed schedule and delineation of a buffer area in Serbia beyond which forces will be withdrawn;

Returning personnel

  • Equipment associated with returning personnel;
  • Terms of reference for their functional responsibilities;
  • Timetable for their return;
  • Delineation of their geographical areas of operation;
  • Rules governing their relationship to the international security presence and the international civil mission.
Notes

1 Other required elements:

  • A rapid and precise timetable for withdrawals, meaning, e.g., seven days to complete withdrawal and air defence weapons withdrawn outside a 25 kilometre mutual safety zone within 48 hours;
  • Return of personnel for the four functions specified above will be under the supervision of the international security presence and will be limited to a small agreed number (hundreds, not thousands);
  • Suspension of military activity will occur after the beginning of verifiable withdrawals;
  • The discussion and achievement of a military-technical agreement shall not extend the previously determined time for completion of withdrawals."
Source: Security Council, welcoming Yugoslavia's acceptance of peace principles, authorizes civil, security presence in Kosovo,' United Nations Press Release SC/6686, 10 June.

II. Statements & Reaction

United Nations

Statement by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 10 June

"With this resolution [1244], the United Nations Security Council has charted the way towards a better future for the inhabitants of Kosovo. A future in which all the refugees and internally displaced persons can return safely to their homes. A future in which full respect is assured for the civil, political and human rights of all.

Today, we are seeing at least the beginning of the end of a dark and desolate chapter in the history of the Balkans. Today, we embark on the path of peace. This path will be marked by difficulties and dangers that will require no less courage and determination than the events that brought us to this point. Let no one be in any doubt about the magnitude of our challenge: after the violence, the human rights abuses, the expulsions and the devastation of the last year, the task of restoring Kosovo to a semblance of normal life is immense.

Rebuilding homes, restoring infrastructure, renewing institutions and revitalizing civil society will require sacrifice, dedication and persistence on the part of all who share responsibility for the future of Kosovo. In planning terms, winter is fast approaching, and we are in a race against time.

The United Nations is determined to lead the civilian implementation of the peace effectively and efficiently. But to do so, we need the cooperation of all parties. And we need the means to carry out the mandate.

The commitment to peace is not enough. The will to implement it - in all its aspects - is what counts. This includes tasks for which the United Nations is not responsible, but which are vital if peace and stability are to be restored.

I have in mind, for example, the need for the full withdrawal of Serb military, paramilitary and police forces, and for the demilitarization of the UCK.

I look to those responsible for the security aspects of the resolution to act swiftly.

I intend very soon to revert to the Council with specific proposals on how to make the civilian operation authorized by this resolution truly integrated and effective.

There also lies ahead the hard and extremely complex work of building a durable peace, of reconciling positions which are far apart. In doing so, we need to deal with the roots of this crisis.

I said a few minutes ago that this was the beginning of the end of a dark and ugly chapter.

Let us rejoice today that the Council has adopted a landmark resolution, which gives strong legal underpinning to the task ahead. But let us not be triumphalist, for that task is indeed daunting.

Instead, let us - all of us - buckle down and get on with the job."

Source: Secretary-General, in Council meeting on Kosovo, says UN is determined to lead civilian implementation of peace effectively and efficiently, United Nations Press Release SG/SM/7023, 10 June 1999

NATO

Statement by Secretary-General Javier Solana, 10 June

"Let me start by saying that I am very happy today. I think today is a great day. It is a great day for the Alliance, but much more importantly it is a great day for the cause of justice and for the people of Kosovo.

As you know, the North Atlantic Council has just met and has approved the Military-Technical Agreement that was concluded between General Jackson and the Yugoslav authorities earlier this evening.

As you probably know, the agreement specifies the modalities and procedures for the full withdrawal of Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo. Let me say that, as we have said from the beginning of Operation Allied Force, we are ready to suspend air operations once we have verified the effective beginning of the withdrawal of the Yugoslav security forces.

Accordingly, as soon as General Clark - SACEUR - has confirmed to me that this withdrawal has begun, I intend to instruct him to suspend NATO's air operations.

I would like to thank General Jackson, the team of General Jackson, and all those who helped make this Military Technical Agreement possible.

As you know, earlier today the NAC approved the Operational Plan (OPLAN) for deploying an international security presence into Kosovo to implement a peace settlement following the approval of a UN Security Council Resolution.

The North Atlantic Council will be prepared to deploy the implementation force (KFOR) almost immediately.

I would like finally to take this opportunity to thank General Clark -SACEUR- his commanders and the other men and women under his command who have worked so hard, so well to help bring peace and security to the people of Kosovo."

Source: Text - Statement by NATO Secretary-General Solana, United States Information Service, 10 June.

Statement by Secretary-General Solana, 20 June

"I have been informed by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe that all FRY military and police forces (VJ/MUP) have now departed Kosovo in compliance with the Military Technical Agreement (MTA) signed by the Commander of KFOR and representatives of the FRY Government on 9 June 1999.

Acting under the authority granted to me by the North Atlantic Council, I have accordingly decided to terminate with immediate effect the air campaign, which I suspended on 10 June 1999.

In making this statement I wish once more to express my thanks to all those who have contributed to Operation Allied Force and to underline the need for all parties to comply fully with the MTA and UNSCR 1244. KFOR will continue to work towards the establishment of a secure environment for all the people of Kosovo, regardless of ethnic origin."

Source: NATO Press Release 99(101), 20 June.

United Kingdom

Statement by Prime Minister Tony Blair, 10 June

"There was no yearning on the part of NATO to commence this military action. I feel no sense of triumph now, only the knowledge that our cause was just and was rightly upheld.

We tried hard to avoid conflict. For many months of patient negotiation we strove hard for peace. But we had no serious negotiating partner in Milosevic. Instead he began the policy of ethnic cleansing. We are all familiar with this term, but do not let the familiarity with it blind us to its hideousness. What it meant in reality for hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Kosovo was systematic murder and rape, brutality and barbarism on a scale our continent of Europe thought we had seen the last of in the dark days of World War Two.

We were faced with the moral choice: to let this barbarism happen or to stop it. We chose the right course. In doing so, we knew we could not prevent death and destruction for many people. But Milosevic now knows, and the world now knows, that we will not let racial genocide go on without challenge. We will not see the values of civilisation sacrificed without raising the hand of justice in their defence.

Nothing we say or do now can compensate for the loss of loved ones killed in this conflict. But I believe we can say that they did not die in vain. War is never civilised. The innocent die as well as the guilty. But war can be necessary sometimes to uphold civilisation. And this one was. This war was not fought for Albanians against Serbs. It was not fought for territory. Still less for NATO aggrandisement. It was fought for a fundamental principle necessary for humanity's progress: that every human being, regardless of race, religion or birth, has the inalienable right to live free from persecution.

Milosevic has now given his word that he will withdraw his forces. He has started this withdrawal. But the Balkans is littered with his broken promises. He should have no doubt that NATO will remain vigilant to ensure that this time he complies and does what he says he will do. ...

I want to thank our allies in the NATO alliance. Many commentators suggested that this alliance of 19 democracies could not hold together. Indeed Milosevic was banking on this from day one. Today, on day 79, he knows he got that wrong too. ...

I want to take the opportunity also to send a message to the people of Serbia. Our quarrel was never with you but with the regime that has lied to you about the causes of this conflict, the reasons for NATO's military action, the deliberate killing and ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens, a regime that, even today, continues to lie to you about their defeat. ...

Today in Germany, very important discussions are taking place between the Foreign Ministers of the G8 countries, European Union member states, Turkey, the Eastern European democracies and, most important of all, the front-line Balkan states which have suffered so much from Milosevic's destabilisation of their region.

We have pledged to help them rebuild their economies and we will. It will require real commitment and generosity. But it is more than an act of charity. We know that it is essential for the future of all of us who inhabit our shared continent that we work together to build long-term peace and prosperity across Europe.

But until Serbia embraces democracy, until Serbia has a Government which wants to live in peace with its neighbours, Serbia cannot be part of that modern Europe. You cannot expect democracies to prop up dictatorships. We want a modern, democratic Serbia to be part of a modern, democratic Europe. But the choice rests with Serbia. ...

We began this campaign with reluctance but with resolve. We end it with no sense of rejoicing.

We cannot rest until the refugees are home. Then, truly, we will be able to say that good has triumphed over evil, justice has overcome barbarism, and the values of civilization have prevailed."

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Daily Bulletin, 10 June.

United States

Statement by President Clinton, 10 June

"I have just spoken with NATO Secretary General Solana, who...has determined that the Serb forces have begun their withdrawal from Kosovo, an essential step toward meeting NATO's conditions and restoring peace. Accordingly, NATO has suspended its air campaign against Serbia. An international security force, including American troops, is preparing to enter Kosovo. ...

We and our allies launched our campaign in the face of Serbia's brutal, systematic effort to remove Kosovars, ethnic Albanians, from their land, dead or alive. From the beginning, we had three clear objectives: the withdrawal of Serb forces, the deployment of an international security force with NATO at the core, the return of the Kosovars to their home to live in security and self-government. Serbia now has accepted these conditions and the process of implementing them is underway.

The Kosovars have been victims of terrible atrocities. Their only hope was that the world would not turn away in the face of ethnic cleansing and killing, that the world would take a stand. We did, for 78 days. Because we did, the Kosovars will go home.

Our policy was designed to achieve our objectives in Kosovo and to do so in a way that advanced other important interests:

First, to prevent the violence from spreading to other nations in South-Eastern Europe and undermining the progress they have made toward deeper democracy, greater ethnic and religious tolerance and broader prosperity. They felt the greatest strain, but they never wavered. And I thank them for that.

Second, to achieve our aims as an Alliance, 19 democratic nations, with 780 million people, working together in the first sustained military operation in NATO's history. The Alliance did stay together. It is now stronger and more united than ever. And I thank my fellow leaders in the Alliance for their fidelity and fortitude.

Third, to act in a manner that would strengthen, not weaken, our vital relations with a democratic Russia. Russia played an important role in achieving this peace, and we hope that, as in Bosnia, it will join us in securing the peace. ..."

Source: The White House, Office of the Press secretary, 10 June.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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