11 June 1993
on the United Nations embargo
against Serbia and Montenegro
(Rapporteur: Mr FABRA,
Spain, Group of the European People's Party)
As instructed by Order No. 483 (1992), the Political Affairs Committee has monitored compliance with the United Nations embargo against Serbia and Montenegro.
There is no evidence that any Council of Europe member states or states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status are violating the embargo, but, where this had not yet been done, administrative and legislative measures should be taken to ensure that private companies respect the embargo.
Further resources need to be put at the disposal of the Sanctions Assistance Missions (SAMs) and Communications Centre (SAMCOMM).
Solidarity should be shown with states neighbouring Serbia and Montenegro to help them solve their economic difficulties caused by compliance with the embargo.
I. Draft resolution
1. The Assembly notes that, following the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of Resolution 757 (1992) instituting an economic embargo against the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro and of Resolution 787 (1992) strengthening the embargo, governments of Council of Europe member states have adopted a series of administrative — and sometimes even legislative — measures to implement these resolutions.
2. The United Nations Security Council, in Resolution 820 (1993), adopted on 17 April 1993, forcefully condemned the violations of the embargo and adopted a whole range of measures intended to strengthen the embargo further. For example, transshipments of commodities and products through Serbia and Montenegro on the Danube are permitted only with the advance authorisation of the United Nations Sanctions Committee. Furthermore, the neighbouring states are to prevent the passage of vehicles into or out of Serbia and Montenegro except at a strictly limited number of border crossing points.
3. The judicial and customs authorities of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Malta and Turkey have carried out inquiries into alleged violations of the embargo. The United Nations Sanctions Committee has been advised of the results of these.
4. The application of the embargo against Serbia and Montenegro has occasioned many practical problems for the neighbouring states. In order to help them, the CSCE decided in September 1992, on a proposal made by the United Kingdom in close co-operation with the Commission of the European Communities and the United States of America, to deploy Sanctions Assistance Missions (SAMs) and to set up a communications centre (SAMCOMM) to facilitate communications and co-ordination between the SAMs and the authorities of the countries concerned.
5. The Assembly welcomes the stationing of SAMs in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is gratified to note that the staff of the SAMs and SAMCOMM, who are mainly customs officers, have been provided by thirteen Council of Europe member states plus Canada, the United States and the Commission of the European Communities.
6. The main problems encountered by the Sanctions Assistance Missions are the inspection and monitoring of traffic, particularly on the Danube, the diversion to Serbia and Montenegro of vessels carrying mainly oil products and the use of false documents by carriers to circumvent frontier checks. Furthermore, the lack of technical resources and staff prevents the SAMs from inspecting every goods consignment.
7. The Assembly welcomes the appointment by the European Community and CSCE of a sanctions co-ordinator, who co-operates closely with the SAMs and SAMCOMM.
8. The Assembly applauds the decision taken by the Council of the Western European Union on 20 May 1993 to deploy naval units on the Danube to monitor compliance with the embargo.
9. The Assembly notes with concern that the application of the embargo against Serbia and Montenegro is causing considerable economic losses to the neighbouring states.
10. It wishes to point out that, in pursuance of Article 50 of the Charter of the United Nations, "If preventive or enforcement measures against any state are taken by the Security Council, any other state, whether a member of the United Nations or not, which finds itself confronted with special economic problems arising from the carrying out of those measures shall have the right to consult the Security Council with regard to a solution of those problems."
11. The Assembly calls upon the governments of Council of Europe member states and of states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status:
i. to adopt, should they not have done so already, the administrative and legislative provisions needed to apply the measures set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 820 (1993) and intended to strengthen the embargo against Serbia and Montenegro;
ii. to publish the names of any firms and companies established on their territory which have been found guilty of violating the embargo, and to impose on them the penalties for which their national legislation provides;
iii. to co-operate closely with the sanctions co-ordinator appointed by the European Community and the CSCE;
iv. to provide the Sanctions Assistance Missions (SAMs) and communications centre (SAMCOMM) with the necessary technical resources and staff needed to carry out their tasks efficiently;
v. to ask the United Nations Security Council to adopt measures, in the light of Article 50 of the Charter of the United Nations, to enable the countries bordering on Serbia and Montenegro to overcome the economic difficulties ensuing from the application of the embargo;
vi. to show solidarity with the states neighbouring Serbia and Montenegro by giving them financial assistance in order to help them to solve the economic problems ensuing from compliance with the embargo.
II. Explanatory memorandum
by Mr FABRA
1. In Recommendation 1198 (1992) on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, adopted on 5 November 1992, the Assembly reserved the right to exclude from its midst national delegations of member states or states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status, if it considered that those states were not enforcing the embargo against Serbia and Montenegro.
2. In order to be able to exercise this right, the Assembly on the same day adopted Order No. 483 (1992), in which it instructed the Political Affairs Committee to monitor compliance with the United Nations embargo against Serbia and Montenegro by member states and states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status, and to report back to the Assembly at regular intervals.
3. At its meeting in Strasbourg on 2 February 1993, the committee held an exchange of views on this matter and, on a proposal by the Chairman and the Rapporteur, decided to seek information on the subject from the national and special guest delegations.
4. On the next day, 3 February 1993, the Assembly adopted Resolution 994 (1993) on the massive and flagrant violations of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, in which it reaffirmed its determination to exclude national delegations of member states or states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status if it was proved that those states were not respecting the embargo.
5. While this report was being prepared, the Assembly called, on 13 May 1993, in Resolution 999 (1993) on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, called upon the governments of member states to urge the Security Council to ensure full application of the existing embargo against Serbia and Montenegro.
B. Compliance with the embargo
6. On 16 February 1993, the Clerk of the Assembly, at the request of the Chairman of the committee and the Rapporteur, sent the letter reproduced in Appendix 1, requesting information on:
— measures adopted by the authorities to ensure compliance with the embargo;
— violations of the embargo which had been notified to parliaments; and
— any other action concerning the embargo taken by the authorities.
7. By the end of April 1993, replies to the letter had been received from twenty-three delegations of member states, viz Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Turkey. Seven of the thirteen special guest delegations had replied to the letter, namely those of Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
8. An analysis of these replies reveals the complexity of the situation. It is, however, possible to single out a few common points:
— following the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of Resolution 757 (1992) instituting an economic embargo against the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro, governments adopted a whole range of administrative — and sometimes even legislative — measures to implement the resolution (economic and financial sanctions, suspension of scientific and cultural co-operation, reduction of the number of diplomatic officials, cutting of air links). In addition, European Community member states are applying Council Regulation No. 1432/92, of 1 June 1992, prohibiting trade between the European Economic Community and the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro;
— the authorities state that they are scrupulously observing the guidelines adopted by the United Nations Sanctions Committee for the application of Resolutions 757 and 787; the latter, adopted on 16 November 1992, appreciably tightened the embargo;
— the authorities also say that they have carefully examined every alleged violation of the embargo and have passed on their findings to the United Nations Sanctions Committee. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Malta and Turkey have carried out such inquiries.
C. Monitoring of the embargo
9. The Rapporteur would like to point out that the application of the embargo against Serbia and Montenegro has presented neighbouring countries with a range of practical problems. For this reason, on the initiative of the United Kingdom during its presidency of the Council, the European Community and the United States organised fact-finding missions to these countries in order to assess the difficulties faced by the authorities and help them to adopt measures to strengthen the embargo.
10. On the basis of the reports produced by the fact-finding missions, a liaison group set up under CSCE auspices proposed, at the end of September 1992, the adoption of a number of technical co-operation measures. These consisted of the stationing of Sanctions Assistance Missions (SAMs) in the neighbouring countries and the establishment of a communications centre (SAMCOMM) responsible for facilitating communications and co-ordination between the SAMs and the authorities of the countries concerned. The SAMCOMM was subsequently set up in Brussels at the headquarters of the Commission of the European Communities. It is working in close co-operation with the Secretariat of the United Nations Sanctions Committee and with the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). The SAMCOMM informs the CSCE liaison group of its activities.
11. On 4 February 1993, Ambassador Antonio Napolitano was appointed co-ordinator for the application of sanctions by the European Community and the CSCE. His wish to co-operate with the SAMs and the SAMCOMM, which he expressed when he took up his duties, has been fulfilled.
12. By the end of March 1993, Sanctions Assistance Missions had been established in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The staff of the SAMs and the SAMCOMM, comprising mainly customs officers, were provided by thirteen Council of Europe member states, Canada, the United States and the Commission of the European Communities. The SAMCOMM publishes periodical reports on the SAMs' activities, to which the Rapporteur had access, although their distribution is restricted.
13. These documents show that the authorities in the countries where SAMs are stationed have a clear desire to ensure compliance with the embargo and to co-operate closely with the SAMs. The main problems encountered by the assistance missions concern the inspection and monitoring of traffic, especially on the Danube, exports by Serbia of goods from Bosnia-Herzegovina not covered by United Nations Security Council Resolution 787 and the diversion to Serbia of vessels carrying mainly oil products and stating their destination to be other republics of the former Yugoslavia not affected by the embargo. It would also appear that false documents are widely used by carriers in order to circumvent the administrative checks at Serbia's frontiers. The SAM reports also acknowledge that it is very often difficult to prove that a violation has occurred solely on the basis of an examination of documents and that lack of resources prevents the inspection of all goods consignments.
D. Tightening of the embargo
14. On 17 April 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 820 (1993) which is reproduced in Appendix II. In that text the Security Council, after condemning the violations of Resolutions 757 (1992) and 787 (1992), decided to adopt a range of measures aimed at substantially reinforcing the embargo if the Bosnian Serbs did not by 26 April accept the peace plan approved by the Security Council. Thus, transshipment of commodities and products from Serbia and Montenegro on the Danube is permitted only if authorised by the United Nations Sanctions Committee.
15. The Security Council also reaffirms that the riparian states bear responsibility for ensuring that shipping on the Danube conforms to Resolutions 713 (1991), 757 (1992) and 787 (1992).
16. The resolution further prohibits all transshipments of commodities, other than foodstuffs and medicines, across Serbia and Montenegro. In addition, the neighbouring states are required to prevent the passage of vehicles to or from Serbia and Montenegro, at a strictly limited number of border crossing points, the position of which must be notified by each state to the Sanctions Committee.
17. Given the failure of the Bosnian Serbs to accept the peace plan, the arrangements for tightening the embargo entered into force on 26 April 1993. That same day, the Parliament of the Bosnian Serbs unanimously rejected the peace plan, although it did announce that a referendum on the plan would be held on 15 and 16 May. This position was confirmed on 6 May 1993.
18. According to information obtained by the Rapporteur from the SAMCOMM, during the nine-day interval between the adoption of the resolution and its entry into force, certain neighbouring states, such as Bulgaria, Romania or the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, moved swiftly to make the necessary arrangements for the assumption of the new legal responsibilities assigned to them by the international community. The Council of the European Community also adopted regulations to facilitate immediate application of Resolution 820 (1993).
19. Furthermore, the states participating in the SAMs reached agreement on an increase in the number of customs officers whose task, in the field, is to man the border checkpoints. Their number should soon increase from seventy to around 150.
20. Hungary's attitude was much more guarded when it came to reinforcing the embargo. On 26 April, it had not yet made the necessary administrative arrangements for the adoption of the measures decided upon by the Security Council.
21. On 12 May 1993, Mr Napolitano, addressing the committee, stated that the sanctions were generally being applied properly and were starting to have a considerable effect on the economy of Serbia and Montenegro.
22. He acknowledged, however, that difficulties arose in respect of monitoring the embargo, mainly on account of the position of Serbia and Montenegro in the land-based communications network of this part of Europe, the non-standardised administrative and legislative measures adopted by the various states to combat violations and the highly uncertain resources available to certain neighbouring states to meet the obligations imposed by compliance with the embargo.
23. However, all these difficulties were now undergoing careful examination by the CSCE liaison group, which periodically met representatives of the Commission of the European Community, the SAMs and the SAMCOMM, with the sanctions co-ordinator in the Chair.
24. A particular problem is that of communications between the United Nations Sanctions Committee, which issues authorisations to make transshipments through Serbia and Montenegro, and the SAMs monitoring application of the embargo on the ground. A reduction in the time taken to issue authorisations is needed to increase the effectiveness of the sanctions. It has to be acknowledged, however, that Resolution 820 (1993), by strengthening the embargo, considerably reduced the number of authorisations that it is possible to issue.
25. The major problem, however, remains that of monitoring shipping on the Danube, governed by the conventions on international waterways. Very fortunately, the decision taken by the Council of the Western European Union on 20 May 1993 to deploy navy units on the river to ensure compliance with the embargo should make it possible to improve the situation.
26. It should also be remembered that the application of the embargo entails considerable economic losses for the neighbouring states, worsening as the embargo continues. Thus the time has probably come to call on the United Nations Security Council to examine the question, in pursuance of Article 50 of the Charter of the United Nations, to find a solution to these states' economic difficulties.
27. In the light of the above, the Rapporteur considers that he does not have any evidence enabling him to conclude that any member states or states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status are violating the embargo.
28. He is nevertheless sure that firms and companies established on their territory have been found guilty by administrative or judicial bodies of violating the embargo. The names of these firms or companies ought to be published, together with the penalties imposed on them.
29. Following the adoption of Resolution 820 (1993) by the United Nations Security Council, it is essential that all the states of Europe should adopt the necessary provisions enabling the measures set out in the text to be applied and making violations of the embargo extremely difficult.
30. The activity of the sanctions co-ordinator appointed by the CSCE and European Community, the work done on the ground by the Sanctions Assistance Missions (SAMs) and the activities of the communications centre (SAMCOMM) in Brussels deserve the Assembly's full support. It is thanks to the efforts of all concerned that the sanctions have really begun to have the desired effect.
31. In conclusion, it would be appropriate to come to the assistance of the states neighbouring Serbia and Montenegro which are suffering from the effects of the embargo. On the one hand, as stated in paragraph 26, the United Nations Security Council ought to consider the ways of enabling them to overcome economic difficulties. On the other hand, the member states of the Council of Europe and the states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status ought to show solidarity with these states by giving them financial assistance.
Letter addressed on 16 February 1993
by the Clerk of the Assembly
to the chairmen of national delegations
and special guest delegations
Dear Mr Chairman,
In Order No. 483 (1992) on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, the Assembly instructed its Political Affairs Committee to "monitor the respect of the United Nations embargo against Serbia and Montenegro by member states and states whose parliaments enjoy special guest status, and to report to the Assembly at regular intervals".
At its meeting in Strasbourg on 2 February 1993, the Political Affairs Committee held an exchange of views on this question and, following a proposal by its Chairman, Mr Reddemann, and its Rapporteur, Mr Fabra, decided to ask the national delegations and special guest delegations for information on this subject.
In order to prepare his report, Mr Fabra would be most grateful if you could send us a short memorandum, drafted in English or French, setting out the measures adopted by the government of your country to ensure respect for the embargo, the violations of the embargo of which your parliament has been informed and any other action, related to the embargo, undertaken by your authorities.
As this point will be on the agenda of the meeting which the Political Affairs Committee will hold in Malta on 24 March 1993, the Rapporteur would be most grateful if the document could reach the Secretariat before 15 March.
(Signed) Heiner Klebes
RESOLUTION 820 (1993)1
adopted by the Security Council at its 3200th sitting
(17 April 1993)
Reporting committee: Political Affairs Committee.
Budgetary implications for the Assembly: none.
Reference to committee: Doc. 6762 and Reference No. 1846 of 5 February 1993.
Draft resolution unanimously adopted by the committee on 2 June 1993.
Members of the committee: MM. Reddemann (Chairman), Sir Dudley Smith (Vice-Chairman), Mrs Baarveld-Schlaman (Vice-Chairperson), MM. Agnelli, Alvarez Cascos, Andreotti, Antretter, Baumel, Björn Bjarnason, Bokov, Bratinka, Cimoszewicz, Efraimoglou, Espersen, Lord Finsberg, MM. Fiorini, Flückiger (Alternate: Mühlemann), Galanos (Alternate: Hadjidemetriou), Mrs Haller (Alternate: Mr Bloetzer), Mrs Halonen, MM. Hardy, Hellström, Irmer (Alternate: Feldmann), Kaspereit, Kelchtermans, Kenneally, König, Mrs Lentz-Cornette, MM. van der Linden (Alternate: Verbeek), Machete, Martins, Maruflu, Masseret, Mimaroglu, Moya, Oehry, Pangalos, Panov, Psaila Savona, Schieder, Seeuws, Mrs Suchocka, MM. Szent-Ivanyi, Tarschys, Thoresen (Alternate: Berg), Trabacchini.
N.B. The names of those members who took part in the meeting are printed in italics.
Secretaries to the committee: MM. Sorinas and Kleijssen.
1 1 1. Provisional version received by fax.