Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office responding to the Committee's questions on
1. What assistance are (a) the EU and (b)
the United Kingdom giving to the rebuilding of the economy in
(a) The EU agree an emergency assistance
package of 200 meuro (£122m) for the FRY in October 2000.
This package is designed to focus on the immediate needs of Serbia
and Montenegro, and will include heating supplies, food aid and
medicine. The package will be administered by the European Community
Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and by the EU's Reconstruction Agency,
which will open an office in Belgrade. Disbursement of the package
began in mid-November and is expected to be completed by March.
The EU is also providing on-the-spot technical advice to the Serbian
and Federal Government's through the EC Delegation in Belgrade
and a Commission secondee.
The EU has co-operated closely with the Danube
Commission to help to design and implement a 26 meuro (£16m)
project to clear the Danube international waterway at Novi Sad
in northern Serbia of debris and ordnance. This will restore full
navigability. The EU will contribute 85 per cent of the total
cost, up to a ceiling of 22 meuro (£13m).
This short-term support builds on the EU assistance
already provided to democratic local authorities and to the independent
media since the Kosovo conflict, as well as ECHO's long-standing
humanitarian programme. It will help to prevent the collapse of
key sectors of the economy, and will alleviate hardship among
the population. But it needs to be followed up with medium-term
support for economic reform and infrastructure. This will be provided
through the FRY's participation in the EU's new CARDS programme
for South Eastern Europe, which will begin in 2001. Individual
country allocations have not been decided, but the overall CARDS
programme will allocate approximately 4.65 billion euros (£2.83
billion) over the period 2001-2006.
The Stability Pact will also play an important
role in the reintegration of Serbia into the region. The FRY was
admitted to the Pact on 26 October and is being brought into the
Pact's initiatives, including those aimed at increasing private
investment, trade liberalisation and private sector and IT development
in South East Europe (the investment and IT development initiatives
have been UK-led). Infrastructure projects under the auspices
of the Pact are the responsibility of the High Level Steering
Group (HLSG), which met on 14 November and agreed a framework
for delivering such assistance to Yugoslavia.
(b) The Department for International Development
(DfID has allocated £13.4m for emergency assistance to Serbia.
The intention is, in part, to help to fill any gaps that there
may be in the major programme of immediate assistance being delivered
through the European Commission. The package being provided by
(i) £3.4m for the payment of arrears
of family welfare benefits;
(ii) £2m for UNHCR for fuel, clothing
and blankets, and for the weather-proofing of collective centres
for an estimated 50,000 refugees;
(iii) £2m to the ICRC for protection
activities, tracing, visiting, healthcare and emergency food aid;
(iv) £1.5m to NGOs established in Serbia,
focused on support for winterisation;
(v) £1.5m to WFP to provide emergency
food aid to approximately 700,000 people, of whom 225,000 are
(vi) £1m for UNICEF, to help restock
health centres and adapt schools for the winter. The most crowded
schools, and those with a high proportion of refugee children,
will be targeted. Funds are intended to provide one hot meal a
(vii) £1m to the International Federation
of the Red Cross (IFRC) to provide bed linen, washing powder and
essential items for social institutions, hospitals and old people's
(viii) £0.7m for the WHO, to assist
in the control of communicable diseases and for influenza vaccinations,
particularly for the elderly and infirm;
(ix) £0.3m to support assessment of
humanitarian needs by the Office of the Co-ordinator of Humanitarian
DfID has also supported the establishment of
an Aid Co-ordination Unit in the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Economic
Relations. Additionally, DfID has provided consultants on macro-economic
reform, privatisation, telecommunications, banking reform and
public administration reform. The objective of these consultancies
has been to assist the authorities of the FRY to establish their
own policy priorities and to assist them in preparations for their
discussions with the World Bank and EC on long-term needs. The
agreed framework for the FRY for FY 2000/01 is £7 million,
which includes £5 million allocated to Kosovo.
The Department of Trade and Industry has also
announced assistance projects in Serbia, in the context of the
new FRY Taskforce established by Trade Partners UK. These projects
total approximately £1.3m and include:
energy aid co-ordination: a team
of sectoral specialists to advise on international assistance
to the energy sector over a six-month period, working with the
Serbian Ministry of Energy;
donation of medical equipment to
the Belgrade Clinical Centre (sufficient to equip nine operating
installation of a new water pipeline
across the new Varadin road bridge in Novi Sad (the previous water
pipeline was destroyed along with the former bridge during the
NATO campaign in 1999);
an expert report on waste management
facilities in Serbia, focussing on remedial work at landfill sites.
2. What assistance are (a) the EU and (b)
the United Kingdom giving to the reconstruction of war damage
The overriding problem of the FRY economy is
not the damage done during the Kosovo crisis, but the effect of
years of neglect, mismanagement and corruption under Milosevic
and of the isolation resulting from his policies. The basic criteria
for EU and UK emergency assistance and reconstruction will be
need and effectiveness. Some essential short-term projectssuch
as the EU-funded clearance of the Danube international waterway,
the repair of the national electricity grid, and the UK-funded
restoration of the water pipeline at Novi Saidwill involve
the restoration of damage incurred during the Kosovo conflict;
others will not. Longer-term assistance from the IFIs will be
linked to agreement on an economic reform programme, which will
also be an essential precondition for attracting external direct
3. In the case of (1) and (2) above, how much
of the assistance is new money? Where it is not new money, from
what budget has the assistance been taken?
Money for the 4.65 billion euro (£2.83
billion) EU aid programme for the Balkans (CARDS) is new money
and will be allocated over 2001-2006 from the EU's aid budget
(Category IV). The 200 meuro (£122m) emergency aid package
announced at Biarritz and the 22 meuro (£13m) EU contribution
to the clearance of the Danube come from previously unallocated
funds in this year's Category IV budget.
Of the £13.4m provided by DfID in immediate
assistance, £12.4m has been provided from uncommitted humanitarian
aid funds for 2000-01. £1 million has been provided from
uncommitted funding for Central and South Eastern Europe. The
cost of the technical assistance progrmame has been met from funds
allocated to the FRY as part of the Central and South Eastern
Europe budget in 2000-01.
The approximately £1.3m provided by Trade
Partners UK has come from 2000-01 programme budgets (Europe Command
and the Business Group, £450,000) and from unallocated central
DTI funds (£850,000).
4. What progress is being made in the re-opening
of the Danube to commercial traffic?
The Danube Commission project to re-open the
Danube (see answer to question number one) was held up for some
time by Milosevic's refusal to allow the appointment of a Project
Director. This problem was resolved with the election of President
Kostunica. A Project Director was appointed on 16 October and
tendering for the reconstruction projects is now underway. The
Danube should be open to commercial traffic by summer 2001.
5. What assistance are (a) the EU and (b)
the United Kingdom giving to the establishment of democratic institutions
(a) EU assistance to Serbia over the last
two years has supported the development of civil society and independent
media. Despite the need to focus on humanitarian aid, the EU will
continue to back these sectors, including through a new provision
of two meuro (£1.2m) for the independent media as part of
the autumn emergency aid package of 200 meuro (£122m). Support
for democratic institutions, through the provision of technical
assistance, will be available under the new CARDS programme starting
(b) The UK has spent over £3m since
the end of the Kosovo crisis through FCO programme budgets to
support independent media and civil society in the FRY. This support
aid to independent media outlets;
aid to civil society and democratic
authorities, including through joint FCO programmes with the British
Association for Central and Eastern Europe and the Westminster
Foundation for Democracy;
projects with elections monitoring
NGOs such as CeSID (Centre for Free Elections and Democracy);
LGIB (Local Government International
Bureau) projects designed to deepen the links between UK local
authorities and democratic Serbian municipalities, focussing on
the provision of technical assistance;
projects focussing on legal reform
and the reform of the Serbian judiciary.
DfID has provided consultancy support
for public administration reform. A strategy for long-term assistance
will be drawn up in the light of the assessment of needs in the
FRY being prepared by the World Bank and European Commission.
The activities of the British Council and the
BBC World Service are covered in the answers to questions 35 and
6. What is the Government's view of likely
future developments in Vojvodina and the Sandjak area of Serbia?
The Government welcomes the prospect of constructive
political discussions within Serbia on the future internal structure
of the Republic. These discussions will no doubt cover the decentralisation
of decision-making and appropriate levels of autonomy. We welcome
the establishment of a democratic Vojvodina Assembly, and the
appointment of Mr Rasim Ljajic of the Sandjak Coalition as Federal
Minister of Minorities. We believe that the new Federal Serbian
Governments will approach these issues in a positive spirit.
7. What is being done to re-establish a full
diplomatic presence in Serbia? How will the Embassy be staffed?
Diplomatic relations between the UK and the
FRY were re-established on 17 November 2000. The British Interests
Section (BIS) of the Embassy of Brazil in Belgrade has reverted
to being the British Embassy and a new Ambassador is arriving
in Post in January 2001. An FCO Management Review Team undertook
an inspection of the Embassy in Belgrade on 20-24 November and
its recommendations on staffing levels are being examined. Additional
UK-based staff from the FCO, DTI and the MoD are likely to be
required. The number of UK-based FCO and/or DfID staff devoted
to technical and humanitarian assistance projects is also under
8. To what extent, in HMG's judgement, were
the changes in Belgrade the result of sanctions?
It is impossible to quantify the exact role
of sanctions in the events leading up to the Federal elections
of 24 September and the subsequent changes. However, it is clear
that one of the motives of the Serbian people in voting for the
Democratic Opposition of Serbia and for Dr Vojislav Kostunica
was the desire to return to normality, to stop living in a country
cut off from the international community. EU sanctions were one
element of this isolationothers were the FRY's exclusion
from the IFIs, and from key international organisations such as
the UN and OSCE. In particular we judge that the imposition of
a carefully targeted EU sanctions regime in 1998-2000 was a significant
factor in convincing the Serbian people that, under Milosevic,
there was no prospect of a European future for Serbia or the FRY.
9. What is the current status of any remaining
sanctions against Yugoslavia? On what basis will any remaining
sanctions be lifted?
Following Vojislav Kostunica's democratic victory,
the EU agreed to revise EU sanctions against the FRY. The EU oil
embargo and flight ban were lifted with effect from 9 October.
On 10 November, the ban on new investment and residual financial
sanctions on Serbian companies were abolished. The visa ban list
was also revised, with restrictions remaining in place only in
relation to a list of persons close to Milosevic and the former
regime whose financial assets will also remain frozen. This list
will be subject to regular revisionthose deemed to be no
longer close to Milosevic will be removed.
The EU arms embargo and the embargo on the supply
to the FRY of equipment which might be used for internal repression
or terrorism remain in force. The UN arms embargo and the prohibition
on the arming and training for terrorist activities there also
remain in place. The FRY authorities are not pressing for their
lifting. These EU sanctions will be lifted when internal and regional
security considerations permit. The UN sanctions will be lifted
when the criteria set out in Security Council resolution 1160
(1998) have been met.
10. Is the Government actively encouraging
the European Commission to extend its tariff package rapidly to
Yugoslavia? When can results be expected in this area?
In line with commitments made at the Biarritz
Informal European Council, the Council adopted a Commission proposal
to extend the liberal autonomous trade measures (ATMs) to the
FRY on 20 November. The ATMs allow for tariff free access into
the EU for all industrial and most agricultural goods.
11. The EBRD is now considering membership
for Yugoslavia. Is the Government actively encouraging this process,
and can it give evidence of this to the Committee? What conditions,
if any, is the EBRD attaching to possible membership for Yugoslavia?
HMG actively encouraged EBRD membership for
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) through the EBRD's Board
of Directors. The FRY was admitted to EBRD membership on 15 December.
FRY membership was conditional on the FRY's
acceptance, in accordance with its law, of the Agreement Establishing
the Bank, and on confirmation by the FRY that all necessary steps
have been taken to enable it to carry out its obligations under
the Agreement. Article 1 of the Agreement sets out the requirement
that countries in which the EBRD operates must be committed to
and applying the principles of multi-party democracy, pluralism
and market economics.
12. Does it remain HMG's policy that there
should be no amnesty for Milosevic and other indicted war criminals?
What are the prospects of the delivery of indicted war criminals
from Serbia to The Hague? What constraints are there on dealing
with the new Yugoslav administration, given that there are still
indicted war criminals in the government? What pressure is being
exerted to hand over the criminals? What is HMG policy in the
event that President Kostunica decides to reject the authority
of the Hague tribunal?
All individuals indicted by the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) should be transferred
to the authority of the ICTY to answer the charges that have been
laid against them. UN member states have a clear obligation to
co-operate fully with the ICTY, and we will continue to remind
the Yugoslav authorities of their international obligation in
this respect. As with Croatia, fulfilment of this obligation will
be a necessary step in building a partnership with the European
Union and the international community. In this context, we welcome
the FRY's willingness to allow the ICTY to open an office in Belgrade,
and Foreign Minister Svilanovic's public commitment to full co-operation
with the ICTY. This appears to demonstrate that the Government
of the FRY accepts the authority of the ICTY.
Representatives of HMG will not have dealings
with known ICTY indictees in the FRY. This applies to President
of Serbia Milan Milutinovic, the only ICTY indictee still in government
office in the FRY.
13. What developments have there been in the
work of the ICTY?
To date, the ICTY has concluded 11 cases. There
are currently 39 individuals in proceedings before the Tribunal,
and 25 publicly indicted individuals remain at large. Support
from HMG to the Tribunal in 2000 has included a British Scenes
of Crime team in Kosovo for the second year running to gather
evidence for the Tribunal. The team consisted of 42 police staff
and 34 scientists. Its objective was to work with ICTY and UNMIK
police to recover and identify human remains suspected to be of
war crime victims. The British team exhumed a total of 425 sets
of human and remains. This brings the total number of bodies recovered
in 1999-2000 to 1,004.
14. What are the current prospects of durable
resolution of the future of the Federal Republic?
It is premature to see any early durable resolution
of Kosovo's statusbut there are some encouraging signs
of a better climate. The first stage will be to hold properly
prepared Kosovo-wide elections and then, in due course, the final
stage negotiations envisaged in UNSCR 1244. These future discussions
between representatives of the residents of Kosovo and the authorities
in Belgrade will have to provide for a durable resolution of the
status of Kosovo.
The constitutional relationship between Serbia
and Montenegro will be examined in political negotiations between
the authorities in Belgrade and Podgorica, starting in early 2001.
This subject is covered in some detail in the
Memorandum to the Foreign Affairs Committee on future developments
in the FRY.
15. How did the EU/HMG work with Russia in
Serbia before the fall of Milosevic, and how is it intended to
co-operate in the future? How effectively is Russia performing
The UK has a continuing bilateral political
dialogue with Russia on the political situation in South Eastern
Europe, including Serbia. At the multilateral level dialogue has
been taken forward in the Contact Group, in the EU's formal bilateral
contact with Russia, in the Security Council, in the NATO-Russia
Permanent Joint Council, and in other fora. We have a joint objective:
a stable and prosperous Balkan peninsula.
We are in full agreement with Russia on the
need to resolve the status of Kosovo on the basis of UNSCR 1244.
Russia supports the international effort in Kosovo through the
United Nations, the OSCE and other organisations, and through
its participation in KFOR.
16. If HMG can update the Committee on the
level of bilateral assistance to Kosovo, and whether there will
be any reduction as a consequence of funding for Serbia?
DFID has committed £15 million for technical
assistance in support of capacity and institution building in
Kosovo in the three Financial Years 2000-2002. This commitment
is not affected by plans for assistance in Serbia.
17. What have been the effects of the developments
in Belgrade on the likelihood of establishing a multi-ethnic society
in Kosovo? What progress has been made in returning Serb refugees
to Kosovo, and in enabling Serbs to live in safety in Kosovo?
We note that Dr Kouchner no longer speaks of a "multiethnic
society" as an aim of international policy in Kosovo but
rather "coexistence". What is the significance of this
We believe the new Government of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia shares our aim of establishing a society
in Kosovo where ethnic communities can live together in harmony.
HMG supports President Kostunica's objective of encouraging Serb
and other refugees to return to Kosovo, but recognises that if
this is to be achieved it will have to be done step by step. Returns,
both spontaneous and organised, have been limited so far. In part
this is due to disinformation by the Milosevic regime, but it
is also due to continued security concerns in Kosovo. Returns
by Kosovo Serbs are usually conducted independently, and it is
therefore not possible to make an estimate of numbers.
In April the international community established
with representatives of the Kosovo Serbs a Joint Committee on
Returns as a working forum in which to discuss the practical realities
of Serb returns. It has also supported a number of specific return
projects, with the UK (and UK KFOR personnel in particular) playing
a leading role, including through "Operation TROJAN",
which covers a large number of projects in the UK led KFOR sector
of Kosovo, aimed at improving the security and welfare of the
UNMIK maintains its approach to foster returns.
The international community will continue its efforts to promote
tolerance, which is an essential condition for a successful returns
18. What is the present position of the other
vulnerable minority communities in Kosovo, especially Roma and
Sizeable communities from non-Albanian or non-Serb
ethnic minorities continue to live in Kosovo, for the most part
peacefully, and are represented on both local and regional bodies.
Some (particularly Roma) have sought refuge outside Kosovo over
the last few years, but we hope they will soon return. Ethnically-motivated
crime has reduced in Kosovo, but isolated incidents continue,
including against non-Serb minorities, especially Roma (some Roma
were alleged to have collaborated with Yugoslav/Serbian security
forces during their repressive campaigns in Kosovo). The deplorable
murder of four Ashkali (Albanian-speaking Muslim Roma) men on
9 November is an example of continuing problems. There are some
indications that the situation is stabilising for the Muslim Slav
communities in Kosovo. But they remain reluctant to use their
own language in public for fear of being mistaken as Serbs and
this can restrict their freedom of movement and access to jobs
and services. The international community will continue to offer
support to all these communities, and KFOR, UNMIK and the police
in Kosovo will take strong action against anyone found guilty
of ethnically-motivated crime.
19. What is the current level of inter-ethnic
violence and intimidation in Kosovo?
Levels of ethnically-motivated crime and violence
have diminished significantly since 1999, although the cumulative
effect of individual incidents of violence has been to leave the
continued perception among minorities that they are not secure.
UNMIK police statistics suggest that the overall murder rate has
fallen from over 50 per week in June 1999 to around two per week
(in November 1999), and that between July 1999 and October 2000,
350 of 665 murders (and attempted murders) were against ethnic
minorities, while 331 were against Kosovo Albanians. No ethnic
breakdown is available for incidents of intimidation. By far the
majority of crime, including a proportion of inter-ethnic crime,
is now related to "conventional" criminal activity,
which the international community is seeking to address actively,
in particular through the creation of a Criminal Intelligence
Unit in Kosovo (which will be headed by a UK officer, and is now
in the process of being established).
20. What progress in being made on the release
of Kosovan detainees in Serbia and Montenegro?
The new Government of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia is working on detailed proposals for an amnesty for
political prisoners, including significant numbers of Kosovo Albanians.
There has been contact between the FRY Government and UNMIK on
this issue, as well as an attempt by FRY Government representatives
to contact the families of those detained. We welcome such moves,
as well as the release on 1 November of Dr Flora Brovina, and
have made clear in contacts in Belgrade that we hope to get all
freed as soon as possible. The International Committee of the
Red Cross has regular access to those who remain detained.
21. What progress is being made on the identification
of the dead and missing as a result of the Kosovan conflict?
With other humanitarian organisations, the International
Committee of the Red Cross is working to trace the missing and
has posted their details in a "Book of the Missing"
website. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ICTY) continues its work on the exhumation of mass graves, and
the identification of bodies that are found. The international
community has called on all leaders in the region to provide what
support they can to this effort. The UK has played a significant
role in this effort, including by sending forensic teams to assist
ICTY. Six teams in total were there from June to October 1999
and from April to October 2000.
22. What evidence has there been of illegal
activities by members of the KPC?
The KPC's activities are monitored by KFOR and
UNMIK, and it is reported to be in substantial compliance. The
majority of the occasional lapses have been by individual members,
and all incidents of non-compliance are subject to strict disciplinary
action, in many cases by the KPC itself.
23. What is the current situation in Mitrovica
and the Presevo Valley?
The situation in Mitrovica remains calm. Attempts
are being made to encourage returns to both sides of the river
in Mitrovica, and we hope that recent changes in Belgrade may
prompt greater progress in this direction.
Following the recent provocative actions by
Albanian extremists elements, tension has increased in the Presevo
Valley. Serbian/Yugoslav security forces have so far shown restraint,
and the authorities in Belgrade have underlined their commitment
to adhere to the terms of UNSCR 1244 and the Military Technical
Agreement. Dialogue between KFOR/NATO and the Yugoslav authorities
has helped to lower tensions. HMG and its international partners
will continue to press for a peaceful resolution to this situation,
based on dialogue between the authorities in Belgrade and the
locally elected representatives of the residents of Presevo valley
24. Is HMG considering amending the Police
Act 1996 to allow officers from English and Welsh forces to perform
executive functions in international missions? What reasons did
the British Transport Police give for their unwillingness to contribute
police officers in Kosovo?
The Home Office and the Association of Chief
Police Officers have recently taken separate legal advice on the
provisions of Section 26 of the Police Act 1996, which gives police
authorities in England and Wales the power to provide advice and
assistance to international organisations and police forces outside
the United Kingdom. The advice confirms that, as a matter of law,
there is no reason why police officers should not be provided
under Section 26 for operational duties abroad. It is therefore
a matter of policy as to whether police authorities wish to provide
police officers for such duties. ACPO's present policy is not
to provide armed officers performing executive tasks to international
The British Transport Police are currently unable
to participate as there are still pension and insurance issues
to be resolved. But they have not ruled out participating in international
missions in the future.
25. What progress has been made towards achieving
the target police force levels in Kosovo?
The UN International Police (UNIP) now number
4,454 (as at 20 November), against a mandated strength of 4,718.
The current UK contribution to UNIP is 62 RUC officers, 55 Ministry
of Defence Police officers, and 19 police and specialist officers
in the Criminal Intelligence Unit. In addition, there are 38 UK
police Officers at the OSCE Police Training School.
26. What progress has been made in the reconstruction
of the economy and infrastructure of Kosovo? What are the current
levels of unemployment?
Responsibility for reconstruction of the economy
falls to the EU pillar of UNMIK. Considerable progress has been
made in the reconstruction of Kosovo, both under the auspices
of the international community and as a result of local initiative.
Attention focussed initially on the rebuilding of housing and
basic infrastructure, but more effort and resources have gradually
been targeted at economic regeneration. Although UNMIK has had
to focus to a large extent on immediate needs over the past year,
there has been progress in mapping out a programme of future activities,
notably through the capital investment programme set out in the
Kosovo 2000 document, and in the recently produced "White
Paper" on enterprise reform.
In addition to the damage suffered during the
conflict, Kosovo suffered from three decades of poor economic
decisions. In the 1970s and 1980s capital intensive investments
failed to generate enough jobs to absorb the rapidly growing population.
In the 1990s Milosevic starved the province of new investment
and diverted its assets to Belgrade.
The European Agency for Reconstruction is the
main body through which reconstruction efforts are being focused.
The Agency has provided a programme of 360 million euros in 2000,
covering road repair, health and water provision, housing construction
and agriculture. The Agency has also made a major contribution
to the rehabilitation of power generation facilities and the coal
mines that serve them. This is essential for the functioning of
industry. The Agency is preparing a programme of a similar size
and scope for 2001. USAID is also making a significant contribution
(about half the planned size of the European Agency's contribution),
with a smaller programme being undertaken by the World Bank.
According to a survey in May 2000 by the International
Organisation for Migration (IOM), the unemployment rate in Kosovo
is 50 per cent, with 43 per cent in urban areas and 57 per cent
in rural areas. Unemployment rates in some municipalities are
thought to be much higher.
27. How much progress has been made with respect
to privatisation of Kosovo's medium and large-scale enterprises
and to drafting a legal framework appropriate for a market-based
UNMIK has made encouraging progress on the regulatory
basis for business and private sector development. It has also
agreed and published a "White Paper" on enterprise reform.
28. What conclusions can be drawn from the
results of the local elections in Kosovo? What progress has been
made in the development of Kosovo-wide institutions? What further
steps will be taken to develop democratic institutions in Kosovo?
HMG welcomes the results of the 28 October municipal
elections in Kosovo. This is the first major step in the democratisation
of Kosovo, and the return of power and responsibility to its people.
The high turnout is an indication of the desire of Kosovo's people
to support democracy in Kosovo. The high level of support for
the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), led by Dr Rugova, appears
to suggest strong support for moderation and dialogue as the way
forward for Kosovo.
Discussions have been held in the Contact Group
and in other fora on the possible shape of future provisional
institutions for Kosovo, in line with the provisions of UNHCR
1244. Decisions on the final shape of these bodies, to be put
in place following Kosovo-wide elections, are a matter for the
UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
29. What progress can now be expected in resolving
Kosovo's future status? UNSCR 1244 tasks the international civil
presence with "facilitating a political process designed
to determine Kosovo's future status". When and in what form
does the Government envision such a process of clarification taking
place? What discussions have been held with the Governments in
Belgrade and Podgorica on this? What would the implications be
of a Montenegrin declaration of independence for Kosovo? What
is HMG's view of any proposal for equality of status for Montenegro
and Kosovo in a Federal Yugoslav Republic? What evidence is there
of changing US attitudes towards the independence of Kosovo?
Kosovo's future status will be addressed in
due course through a political process facilitated by the UN Interim
Administration Mission in Kosovo. No timescale has been set for
such a process, which can only take place once both the authorities
in Belgrade and the elected representatives of the communities
of Kosovo are ready to engage in earnest on this issue. There
have been no detailed discussions between UK representatives and
the Governments in Belgrade and Podgorica on this issue. Our exchanges
with them on this subject have been limited to confirmation that
this is an issue that will need to be addressed in due course.
A Montenegrin declaration of independence would
be an extra factor to be taken into consideration in the political
process to address Kosovo's future. It is likely that it would
increase pressure in Kosovo for independence.
The proposal for equality of status for Montenegro
and Kosovo in a Federal Yugoslav Republic could be an option,
but any such decision will be for the authorities in Belgrade
and the elected representatives of the communities of Kosovo following
engagement in the political process facilitated by UNMIK. HMG
remains open to any proposal on the future of Kosovo, and is in
principle ready to support any agreement reached peaceably between
the parties. At the time of writing, we understand this was also
the view of the US Administration.
30. What further support has HMG provided
to Montenegro? What is the current position on EU assistance to
Montenegro? How much of the assistance (in both cases) will be
The FCO is supporting several Westminster Foundation
for Democracy projects in support of the media and civil society
in Montenegro. Around £50,000 has been allocated for projects
aimed at support for:
development of the NGO sector in
partnership with the NGO "Association for Democratic Prosperity";
provision of human rights training
in association with the UK-based NGO "AIRE Centre" and
the Montenegro-based Centre for Democracy and Human Rights;
independent newspaper development
including the provision of equipment and advice on advertising
capacity building for women's groups.
This funding comes from unallocated programme
money for the FRY.
DfID is running a programme of technical assistance
to the Government of Montenegro, which includes help for: the
Privatisation Council; public administration reform; the development
and implementation of a strategy for regulation of privatised
utilities; and support to the authorities on proposals to introduce
VAT and to establish an Audit Commission. DfID is continuing discussions
with the Montenegrin authorities on other possible areas of support
for the planning of public finances. Funding is from the £7m
allocation for the FRY referred to in the answer to question one.
The EU has provided 52 meuro (£31.6m) in
aid to Montenegro in 2000: 12 meuro (£7.3m) in food aid,
20 meuro (£12.2m) in exceptional financial assistance and
20 meuro (£12.2m) in aid for reconstruction and infrastructure
projects. These funds were previously unallocated. Montenegro,
as part of the FRY, will be eligible for the new CARDS funding;
country allocations have yet to be decided.
31. What is the current state of relations
between the Governments in Belgrade and in Podgorica? What are
the implications of the current representation of Montenegro in
Federal institutions? Will the UK recognise Montenegro if it declares
Since his inauguration, FRY President Kostunica
has held several meetings with President Djukanovic of Montenegro,
including in the context of the Supreme Defence Council. Both
Presidents attended the Zagreb Summit on 24 November as part of
the FRY delegation. There has also been extensive contact between
the coalition parties in Montenegro and the democratic parties
in Serbia, who are participating in the Serbian and Federal Governments.
We believe that these contacts show that goodwill
exists on both sides, as well as a common determination to re-examine
the structures of the FRY in an open and democratic manner. A
formal negotiation between the Serbian and Montenegrin Governments
is planned to begin after the formation of the new Serbian Government,
following the 23 December elections. This should also tackle the
question of Montenegrin representation in Federal institutions
(where the situation is extremely unclear).
The UK is not in favour of Montenegrin independence.
We believe that a democratic restructuring of the FRY agreed between
Belgrade and Podgorica and approved by the Serbian and Montenegrin
people provides the best chance for regional stability.
32. What is HMG's assessment of the likelihood
of violence in Montenegro in the event of a declaration of independence?
We do not assess that outbreaks of violence
are likely in Montenegro in the near future. The Montenegrin Government
has committed itself to a political negotiation with the Serbian
Government on the future of the FRY, and then to a referendum.
Full observance of an open and democratic process is the best
way of avoiding violence and other forms of unrest.
33. Will a visa issuing consulate general
now be established in Podgorica?
The FCO is considering a number of options for
expanded activity in Montenegro. The re-opening of the Embassy
in Belgrade allows for much greater coverage of Montenegro than
was possible from London or from other regional posts. We will
be looking at consular and visa-issuing requirements as part of
the overall review of diplomatic representation in the FRY.
34. What are the likely consequences of developments
in Belgrade for (a) Bosnia and (b) Macedonia?
(a) The election of FRY President Kostunica
has removed one of the most serious impediments to implementation
of the Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Until
the collapse of his regime, Milosevic actively promoted instability
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly within Republika Srpska.
Under his regime, the FRY was in violation of key commitments
under the Dayton Peace Agreement and the FRY itself posed an active
security threat to Bosnia and Herzegovina. President Kostunica
has committed the FRY to upholding the Dayton Agreement and has
no interest in promoting instability in Republika Srpska. Diplomatic
relations between the FRY and Bosnia and Herzegovina have now
been established. Following on the heels of the Croatian elections
in early 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina no longer faces any external
challenges to its sovereignty.
(b) The emergence of Serbia from its isolation
has important consequences for Macedonia. Macedonia's economy
will benefit substantially from the reopening of traditional transit
routes to central and western Europe. A source of political destabilisation,
always potential and sometimes real, has disappeared with the
Milosevic regime. There have already been encouraging moves towards
improved relations between the FRY and Macedonia, including President
Trajkovski's official visit to Belgrade on 29 December and agreement
between the two countries to resolve outstanding border issues.
In so far as the changes in Belgrade represent
a conclusive victory of the forces of integration over those of
disintegration, we should expect a strengthening of those in Macedonia
who are committed to ethnic inclusiveness, notably to integrating
the ethnic Albanian community fully into Macedonian society.
35. What is the current level of activity
by the BBC World Service in Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia?
What plans are there to reinforce this? Is the World Service making
itself available on FM as well as on shortwave?
The World Service broadcasts to the region in
English, Albanian, Croatian, Macedonian and Serbian, with all
languages also available in audio on the internet. So far as the
countries detailed in the question are concerned, it broadcasts
in Albanian for 10.75 hours a week and in Serbian for 11.75 hours
a week. It has also recently started specially targeted programmes
for Bosnia and Montenegro.
The World Service broadcasts to the region on
short wave and FM. It has good FM coverage, especially in Kosovo
and Bosnia: nine FM rebroadcasters in Kosovo, 23 in Bosnia, four
in Serbia (where FM services were re-established in October),
and 10 in Montenegro.
The World Service recognises the need to improve
its audibility further through additional FM rebroadcasting partnerships
and medium wave. It intends to make increased resources available
over the next three years so that it can play an effective part,
through competitive programming, in reconstruction in the region.
The BBC World Service Trust runs a school for
journalists in Sarajevo. It also aimswith the help of funding
coordinated through the Stability Pact and European project partnersto
open a European Centre for Broadcast Journalism in Belgrade, with
a branch in Podgorica, to train journalists from across the region.
36. What is the current level of activity
by the British Council in Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia?
What plans are there to reinforce this? What is being done to
re-establish British Council offices in Serbia?
The British Council operation in Kosovo was
established in September 1999 and a public information centre
opened in June 2000, offering information, education advice and
English medium resources to teachers and learners of English,
university students and young professionals. A number of successful,
cutting-edge arts events have been organised, most recently the
Random Dance Company. The British Council is also involved in
the education reform process, in co-operation with the UNMIK education
department (chiefly through the provision of training for English
teachers at primary and secondary school level). The British Council
works closely with the British Office in Pristina, and with other
UK and international organisations (eg DfID, Crown Agents, CIDA,
Although the British Council library in Belgrade
remained closed for 18 months following the Kosovo conflict, discreet
activity, managed by local staff, was maintained. This entailed
assistance to individuals, either to sustain or to create personal
links with the UK, a small programme of support for English teachers,
and participation by UK artists at a number of the international
arts festivals (the Random Dance Company performed in Belgrade
on election day to considerable acclaim). Throughout this period,
the demand for UK English language examinations continued to grow.
The library was reopened two days after the lifting of EU sanctions.
Even without publicity the library has been receiving several
hundred visitors each day.
The British Council reopened its office in September
1999, since when it has been involved in a wide range of projects
in support of the Montenegrin government's reform programme, including
winning the contract for an EU OBNOVA education reform project.
It has moved to smart new premises and now offers an enhanced
range of public information and educational services, including
internet access. It is significant that most of these activities,
including the cost of the Council's premises, have been co-funded
by the Montenegrin government.
The British Council operation has matured since
the initial period of crisis response. It focuses chiefly on the
arts, education and information services, and the English language.
In all these areas, it is a fundamental principle to ensure that
activity reaches people in all parts of Bosnia. There has been
considerable success in bringing together English language teachers
for training events, and English teachers' associations have been
set up in both the Federation and Republic Srpska.
Plans for reinforcing operations
In the context of its new global strategy, the
British Council will be increasing resources for all its operations
in the Western Balkans over the next five years.
Re-establishing offices in Serbia
The British Council Office and library in Belgrade
are now open for normal business, and a new UK-based Director
has been recruited. There are no plans to establish offices outside
Belgrade but there will be increased activity in these regions
through information services, educational services (eg distance
learning and examinations), civil society projects and arts events.
The British Council will focus more of its activities on young
people (students and young professionals) while continuing to
engage with those in authority in order to support the process
of democratic change. Negotiations are already in progress for
the British Council to move to new premises in Belgrade in the
first half of 2001.
37. What information does the Government have
of the level of organised crime in Kosovo and the region? What
steps have been taken to fight this organised crime?
Crime is widespread in Kosovo and in many parts
of the region, which is a source and transit point for illegal
trafficking of various types. These activities are controlled
for the main part by organised criminal enterprises.
Although Kosovo has its own peculiarities, the
activities of local criminal groupings should not be looked at
in isolation from the larger picture of Albanian-organised crime
throughout the region. Reliable crime statistics are not yet produced
within the region, but the UK Government estimates that 60-70
per cent of Albania's $5bn GDP is generated by criminal activities,
and the figure for Kosovo is likely to be higher.
To counter organised crime in Kosovo, the UK
has helped to finance the establishment of the Criminal Intelligence
Unit (CIU) there. The UK makes the largest contribution of personnel
to the CIU with a team of 20 secondees from NCIS, HM Customs and
the Police. The Unit is expected to be fully operational by February
2001 and will enable a more focussed approach to information gathering
and the targeting of criminal groups within the country. In Albania,
we are contributing over £1 million a year in support of
the Western European Union's Multinational Advisory Police Element,
designed to strengthen the overall capacity of the Albanian police.
The EU, the United Nations, the OSCE and the
Stability Pact are all contributing to the strengthening of judicial
and law enforcement institutions in the region and are encouraging
co-operation between Governments there. In this respect, it is
encouraging that at the Zagreb Summit on 24 November regional
Heads of Government committed themselves to co-operate in the
fight against crime. The UK played a leading role in arguing for
the inclusion of this commitment in the Zagreb declarationwe
are now working with EU partners to ensure it is followed up.
38. How is the UK working to enhance the capacity
of civilian police in peace-support operations generally (in the
light of slowness to deploy and unevenness of national performance
As the Foreign Secretary indicated in his speech
at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, FCO and Home Office
officials are working closely with the police forces to enhance
the UK's capacity to respond to situations like that in Kosovo.
The proposed new system (details of which will be announced shortly)
will include a Rapid Response Squad, ready for deployment when
it is urgently needed.
In this context, the UK is also working closely
with other EU member states to enhance the EU's civilian police
capacity to participate in international missions. At the Feira
European Council in June, EU member states agreed a target of
5,000 police officers to be available for international missions
by 2003, 1,000 of whom would be available at short notice.
The UK has been working to a similar agenda
within the OSCE, which adopted measures in June to improve its
capability to respond more quickly and effectively to crises through
the despatch of Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams
(REACT). The aim is for the OSCE to be able to deploy civilian
personnel (including police), with a range of conflict prevention
and resolution skills tailored to the requirements of a particular
crisis, anywhere in the OSCE area, when required. As part of this,
the OSCE has created an Operations Centre to plan and co-ordinate
the rapid, as well as regular, deployment of international staff
to OSCE missions. The success of this initiative, agreed at the
Istanbul Summit, will depend on the commitment and will of the
OSCE participating states to provide the necessary personnel within
the requisite timescale. In line with our current policy, the
UK aims to provide about 10 per cent of the OSCE's overall deployment
of personnel to the field.
The FCO hosted a "Train the Trainers"
course at Bramshill from 20 November to 1 December for experienced
civilian police trainers from seven different countries, all of
whom are contributors to UN police missions.
39. What developments have there been in building
up a new international consensus on humanitarian intervention?
The UK remains in the forefront of efforts to
build international consensus on the conditions and circumstances
for international action in response to humanitarian crises. International
partners have responded constructively to the UK's initial proposals,
which we are further developing in light of the on-going debate.
We have focused our efforts particularly within the Security Council:
we believe the Council should take the lead in responding to massive
violations of humanitarian law and crimes against humanity, given
the threat they pose to international peace and security.
We have also welcomed initiatives by other states
to help build consensus on this issue. The UK has participated
in three conferences hosted by the Netherlands, most recently
on 20 November during their Presidency of the UN Security Council.
In September, the Canadian Foreign Minister launched the International
Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. The purpose
of the Commission is "to contribute to building a broader
understanding of the issues and to fostering a global political
consensus on how to move forward". The Foreign Secretary
is a member of the Commission's Advisory Board and the UK also
belongs to the Group of Interested States contributing government
perspectives to the Commission's work.
40. What measures is the UK taking in response
to the Report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations (Brahimi report)
as regards future situations of a similar nature to Kosovo?
The UK has welcomed the findings of the Brahimi
Panel, and the proposals subsequently put forward by the UN Secretary-General
for implementing the recommendations which it has made. These
are essential elements in overall UN reform. In particular, Brahimi
addresses (i) the need which recent UN peacekeeping missions have
highlighted for a more co-ordinated UN capacity for rapid response
to crises; and (ii) suggestions for enhanced UN early warning
and analytical capabilities.
We are working with other UN and EU partners,
through both the General Assembly's Special Committee on Peace
Keeping Operations and the Security Council Working Group on Brahimi,
towards achieving consensus on implementation of the Brahimi recommendations.
We also remain in close dialogue with the UN Secretariat on these
41. What assessment has been made of the reasons
for NATO's failure to predict Milosevic's response (in terms of
escalation in ethnic cleansing) to the commencement of the bombing
As HMG noted in paragraphs 11 to 13 of its response
to the Foreign Affairs Committee's Fourth Report of 1999-2000
(CM 4825), we and NATO were aware that the Milosevic regime had
plans to intensify repression in Kosovo in Spring 1999, and that
this was likely to cause widespread internal displacement, and
possibly to force some refugees out of Kosovo altogether. Warnings
of the potential for refugee movements were passed on by NATO
to UNHCR. But no-one could reasonably have predicted the savagery
of Milosevic's actions, and the extent of the suffering which
it unleashed. However, as the Committee has recognised, had NATO
not acted there would have been no external means to prevent further
offensives being pursued over time by Milosevic's forces.
42. Was any warning given by NATO to the Milosevic
regime that broadcasting stations in Belgrade would be bombed?
The Milosevic regime was well aware of the types
of targets which might be attacked. Reporting of the action underway
in Yugoslav courts against the former management of Radio Television
Serbia (RTS) suggests that the management believed there was a
threat, but purposely hid this from their employees.