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Security Council - Statements in 1994

Obchodní výměna Durynska s ČR za 1-12/2004 [tis. EUR ] 1 - 12/2003 1 - 12/2004 Nárůst/Pokles v % Vývoz z ČR 225 405   236 262 + 4,82 Dovoz do ČR 318 161   324 318 + 1,94 Saldo

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the question of Tajikistan
    New York, December 16, 1994

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    New York, November 8, 1994

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the International Tribunal in Rwanda
    New York, November 8, 1994

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on Agenda for Peace: Peace-Keeping
    New York, November 4, 1994

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the question of the situation between Iraq and Kuwait
    New York, October 17, 1994

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait
    New York, October 15, 1994


Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic on the Security Council on the question of Tajikistan

By authorizing a peace-keeping operation in Tajikistan, the Security Council is about to give the United Nations a far more active role in yet another region of the former Soviet Union. And with the exception of the small operation of very limited duration in Chad's Aouzou strip, this is the only operation that the Security Council is authorizing this year.

Meanwhile, several other operations are being phased out, based on decisions of the Council. We are closing down ONUSOM II in Somalia, which despite its success in overcoming famine and starvation of millions of people has in essence turned out to be a failure as far as the political process is concerned. We are also closing down ONUMOZ in Mozambique which precisely in terms of the political process has been remarkably successful. In light of the lessons drawn from these two operations we contemplate the prospects of UNMOT in Tajikistan.

All three of these operations represent a relatively new challenge to the United Nations, for we are dealing with critical preconditions for the peaceful and democratic domestic development of the countries in question. The success of these operations is measured by the degree to which national reconciliation is attained.

In this context, my delegation has been consistently concerned about the fragility of the arrangements so far reached by the belligerent parties in Tajikistan. Fundamental institutional issues, including the consolidation of the country's very political makeup, have not been yet addressed by the parties.The next round of political talks, originally scheduled to take place in Moscow in early December, has been postponed for at least a month. The cease-fire that the parties have been grudgingly observing has been conditioned by the presence of UN observers, turning a principle on its head: for we would generally predicate sending observers anywhere on an effective cease-fire. And it took the parties months beyond the original deadline to accomplish an exchange of prisoners and detainees that they themselves had agreed to. These are not encouraging signs.

Even in this light, though, we believe that the Security Council has absorbed certain lessons. To nail down certain basic prerequisites for a UN operation to be successful, the Council has adequately addressed the following important elements in the draft resolution before us:

1/ A realistic and practical mandate, which follows the proposals of the SG, is reflected in the text of the draft.

2/ The time framework for UNMOT has been clarified. Furthermore, there is a clear link between our commitment (i.e., of international assistance) and the political process in Tajikistan (i.e., of national reconciliation). We think that this is an appropriate formulation of the question, since the whole process in Tajikistan is still based on a cease-fire agreement which even describes itself as provisional or temporary.

3/ We are sending an important message to both parties - namely that the responsibility for adhering to the cease-fire rests with the Tajik parties themselves. What we are undertaking is only to assist the Joint Commission, the instrument for implementing it. An effective cease-fire in turn should help create an atmosphere in which political talks can lead to national reconciliation.

4/ Our draft provides for a regular review by the Security Council of the overall political and military situation in Tajikistan and of UNMOT's performance.

5/ It also includes a call to parties to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of UN personnel. We expect the Government of Tajikistan expeditiously to conclude an agreement on the status of UNMOT with the UN. But at any rate, any infringement of the security or freedom of movement of our observers would surely be considered very seriously when UNMOT's future comes up next for discussion.

There is one more reason my delegation is paying special attention to Tajikistan. The resolution sets a clear framework for activities of other forces in Tajikistan and for their close liaison with UNMOT. This framework reflects a principle which we consider vital for the performance of these other forces (which are in the country at the invitation of only one of the parties) - the principle of neutrality and impartiality, which for that matter is embedded in their mandate.

We hope that periodically, more information on the relationship of the UN mission with other forces will be available. There is a clear need for transparency in the activities of the Collective Peace-Keeping Forces of the CIS as well as of the non-Tajik border forces in Tajikistan. My government believes that monitoring their neutrality and impartiality should be a part of UNMOT's job. In fact, this is one aspect of the situation which the resolution does not in our opinion reflect as fully as it might have.

On other matters, though, informal consultations have yielded a text that well balances the different concerns of Security Council members, and my delegation will vote for its adoption. More than that, discussion are already underway about Czech military observers participating in UNMOT.

In closing, let me pay tribute to the several countries of the region and to the several organizations, including the CSCE, that have acted as midwives and godfathers to the progress attained so far, as well as to the tireless efforts of the Secretary General's Special Envoy whose advise and counsel my delegation has invariably found useful.


Statement of H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations on the Security Council on the situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

This is the second time in so many weeks that the Czech Republic has an opportunity to express itself on the matter at hand, having reviewed our position last week in the General Assembly. Still, a discussion in the Security Council allows us to elaborate further on some of its aspects. I will concentrate on the issue of the arms embargo, the bone of far and away the greatest contention.

The arms embargo, or its lifting, cannot be, and surely is not, viewed as an end in itself. Surely, even its advocates consider it a vehicle, a means, to reach an equitable solution, an acceptable end to the conflict in RBH.

For a couple of years now, the preferred vehicle for reaching an equitable solution to the conflict included the presence in former Yugoslavia of UNPROFOR. In this, UNPROFOR has not met all expectations. It has not ended the war. It has not managed to completely investigate, or even prevent, let alone reverse, many barbarous instances of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Bosnian Serbs. It has certainly not managed - nor actually was it designed for this purpose - to regain territory that Bosnian Serbs usurped by force.

The knee-jerk reaction to these observations might then be - let's get rid of UNPROFOR! And yet, while its functioning has not met - indeed, could not meet - all of our expectations, its presence in RBH is generally viewed as beneficial.

Lifting the arms embargo would, however, have the same effect as the knee-jerk reaction: it would lead, in the very least, to the disintegration of UNPROFOR as we know it. Many key troop contributors would respond to the increased level of danger by withdrawing their troops. Even my country, whose more than 900 troops are serving in Croatia, might be tempted to withdraw them. Some countries would no doubt stay, and others might step in to fill the breach; but even under the best of circumstances, UNPROFOR, weakened, possibly critically, would be in disarray.

It would be weakened and in disarray at the very moment when the military theatre would be in flux. It is hard to imagine that, once the embargo were lifted, Bosnian Serbs would sit on their hands. It is hard to imagine that they would twiddle their thumbs while forces of the Federation were being armed. It is much more likely that vicious fighting would erupt immediately, throughout the territory of RBH, and that - with UNPROFOR troops focusing on their own withdrawal and thus unable to provide any shield whatever to civilians - the war toll would be greater than we would today even want to contemplate.

The plight of civilians would be even rougher than this, though: in many places, civilians today manage thanks to relief provided by UN agencies and international humanitarian organizations. These can frequently function only because of protection afforded by UNPROFOR. Certainly, lives dependent on relief are wretched. Certainly, UNPROFOR's protection is not air-tight. Certainly, there are pockets where even this meagre assistance is not available. But even this relief, admittedly limited, would disappear with UNPROFOR.

The question thus is the following: What is more useful, in the short run for Bosnian civilians, and in the long run for ending the war in an equitable and acceptable way: the presence of UNPROFOR, with all its shortcomings, or an inflow of arms? My government believes that the presence of UNPROFOR, especially of an UNPROFOR closely cooperating with NATO, is without a doubt the more useful vehicle.

The implications of lifting the embargo are even wider, though. As I mentioned, troop contributors such as my own country might think of withdrawing their troops not only from UNPROFOR in RBH but also from Croatia: after all, Chapter VII is Chapter VII. Withdrawing UNPROFOR from Croatia, that is, from Croatia's UNPA zones, would lead to further consequences. We realize that feelings of the Croat population about UNPROFOR have been mixed, and as my delegation stated last month in the General Assembly, we sympathize with their frustrations. Nevertheless, Croatian authorities welcome UNPROFOR's presence. A likely UNPROFOR withdrawal from Croatia - as a consequence of lifting the arms embargo on RBH - would undercut the Croatian authorities and would again lead to spreading the war, to it flaring up anew, in that country as well.

At this juncture, my Government believes that the best chance for ending this war lies in the continued diplomatic efforts of the Contact Group. These efforts would be dramatically undercut without an UNPROFOR. These efforts require that Bosnian Serbs accept the territorial arrangement proposed by the Contact Group. SC resolution 942 is a vehicle to help them concentrate their minds on this, while resolution 943 is a vehicle for assuring Belgrade that the international community has noticed their change of attitude. We still hope that Belgrade's change of attitude amounts to a true change of heart, and are reviewing very carefully the reports of the ICFY co-chairmen on how earnestly Belgrade is meeting its obligations. We have noted with great interest the European Union's suggestions as to the next steps Belgrade should undertake, as presented by Germany to the General Assembly last week, and are very curious about Belgrade's reaction to them. Certainly, the need for mutual recognition of states in the area, within their internationally recognized borders, is one obvious next possible step; and indeed, we consider the decision of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to close down its border with RBH amount to de facto recognition of that border.

The approach of the Contact Group is not failsafe, and its territorial proposals are not ideal. Still, we think that after the frustrations of the past years, it is the best option at hand. We underscore the importance of unity within the Contact Group for it to have even a chance of being effective. And, as for the arms embargo, we think one thing should be obvious: more guns do not yield more peace.


Statement of H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic on the Security Councilon the International Tribunal in Rwanda

The Security Council has this year not dealt with developments more dramatic and a country more tragic than Rwanda. Today, its tragedy has abated a little: the genocide is over, killings these days take place out of sight, even out of the country. And we sit here today in order to create a vehicle of justice.

The independent commission of experts concluded that even though the conflict in Rwanda was a domestic one, its consequences affected the entire international community, inasmuch as fundamental principles of international humanitarian law were violated. It therefore follows that the Security Council would react similarly as it did to the conflict in ex-Yugoslavia and initiate an ad hoc tribunal.

Our decision carries a broader significance which I will examine today only in passing: only to point out that it might signify a breakthrough in creating mechanisms that would impose international criminal law. These mechanisms have so far been treated like a Cinderella by the codification process of international law. While new concepts of international criminal law have been developed, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, etc., rules of procedure have remained quite underdeveloped since the Nuremberg Trial. In the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide the Security Council has demonstrated that it can efficiently and rapidly create an instrument for dealing with certain international crimes - an accomplishment that has for decades been eluding international diplomatic conferences. The fact that that instrument is being created by the Security Council safeguards an essentially unified approach to these international crimes. While recognizing all the associated problems with creating ad hoc tribunals, we therefore welcome it, nevertheless.

Let us, however, remind ourselves that justice, however carefully weighed out and dispensed, will not undo the tragedy. Even if all the perpetrators of the heinous crimes in Rwanda were identified, rounded up, tried and sentenced, it would not bring back to life the hundreds of thousands of their victims, it would not dispel the continuing terror in the eyes of the survivors, it would not return family love to the thousands of orphans.

Still, justice is necessary. It is especially necessary for Rwanda which for decades has lived in a culture of impunity: a culture where massacres which have gone unpunished constitute a part of its contemporary history. The colloquial "getting away with murder", a vivid exaggeration of a daring exploit in the English idiom, carries a haunting literalness in Rwanda.

For the organizers and instigators of the Rwanda genocide, getting away with murder is precisely what the international community wants to help prevent, by way of the international tribunal. Murder, let alone genocide, has to be punished, for a sense of right, a sense of law and order, to be restored in a society that has seenall norms of life shattered.

Justice is one thing, reconciliation is another. The tribunal might become a vehicle of justice, but it is hardly designed as a vehicle of reconciliation. Justice treats criminals whether or not they see the error of their ways. But reconciliation is much more complicated: and it is certainly impossible until and unless the criminals repent and show remorse. Only then can they even beg their victims for forgiveness; and only then can reconciliation possibly be attained.

In this context it is important to note that we have seen few if any signs of remorse and repentance, let alone apology, from those responsible for the genocide. The very opposite is more likely the case. Even as we are creating a mechanism for trying these criminals, most of them are in the safe havens of refugee camps in Zaire and Tanzania. From the relative safety of these camps they continue to spew hatred against Rwandan authorities, against, in reality, their intended victims who got away. They preach hatred, operate incendiary radio stations, keep an iron hold over the rest of the camp population, prevent ordinary people from going back to their homes and farms, throttle efforts of humanitarian operations, indeed they are possibly preparing for a renewal of the war.

This is a travesty of historical justice: namely, that hundreds of thousands of Rwandans would today be at the mercy of their own tribesmen, at the mercy of what used to be the Presidential Guard, what used to be the Rwandan Government Army, what still probably is the interahamwe militia, what used to be Radio Mille Colines. It is a travesty that the criminals would so far have managed not only to get away with murder but to drag along ten times as many wretched refugees whom they now use as a human shield and camouflage.

Creating the tribunal is just another of several partial tasks of the international community. In the view of my delegation, it is even an easier, more straightfoward task. But the really urgent task is that of getting into the camps of Goma, Bukavu and in Tanzania, to separate the predators from the prey, the wolves from the sheep - which is a precondition for even beginning to deal with the wolves. Letting the refugees make their own decisions, permitting humanitarian organizations free access to them, and neutralizing the wolves is the international community's first and foremost responsibility. And once they are neutralized, by all means let them be duly tried and punished.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic on the Security Council, Agenda for Peace: Peace-Keeping

The Czech Republic has almost 1000 troops and military observers in UN peace- keeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, Mozambique and Liberia. Another small group is ready to leave for Georgia. We have previously participated in Angola and Somalia. The Czech Republic thus ranks among the fairly important troop contributors, especially when compared with the country's total population of a little over 10 million.

This is one of the perspectives that has lead my delegation to support from the very outset the principle of expanding the scope of information and indeed cooperation between the Security Council and troop contributors. Last January, under our presidency of the Council, we initiated a small step in this direction by convening the first UNOSOM troop-contributor meeting with Security Council members - the like of which have since become routine. Therefore, we wholeheartedly applaud the efforts of our distinguished colleagues from Argentina and New Zealand who have persevered with the present initiative.

On the other hand, as members of the Council, we have also gained some insight as to what arrangements are practical as opposed to burdensome.

The arrangements that the Security Council has decided upon, as elucidated in the Presidential Statement read out at our last meeting, appear to my delegation as a good balance between the constant thirst of Council non-members for information, the need of troop contributors to be consulted on important developments in "their" PKO's, the necessity that the Security Council be solely responsible for the actual decisions reached, and the imperative that actual PKO management remain in the hands of the Secretariat.

The steps outlined in the Presidential Statement in question do not necessarily answer every possible question. For example, they do not specify who is entitled to call for a joint meeting of Security Council members and troop contributors. Such formal "shortcomings", if that is what they are, do not trouble my delegation. After all, this is in a sense an internal decision of the Council, an addition, perhaps, to its rules of procedure that for over a decade have had only a "provisional" status anyway. The important thing is that an important step has been taken, a breakthrough even; and the actual shape of the envisaged consultations will be determined as much by actual practices that no doubt will evolve and assume a routine of their own, as by the letter of the Presidential Statement.

Thus the exact form of these consultations will probably vary to a certain extent from President to Council President. And we are particularly happy, Madame President, that you might be the first to launch these consultations, continuing in your efforts to improve communications between the Council and other members, efforts which during your previous tour of duty resulted in the lasting practices of regular meetings with chairs of regional groups and in posting the agenda of informal consultations in the Journal.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic on the Security Council on the question of the situation between Iraq and Kuwait

My delegation is very happy to have had the opportunity to listen to Minister Kozyrev's statement. We will be studying his remarks with great care; not only those that concern the issue at hand but also those that concern the broader issue of the work of the Security Council. We are also very happy to see among us His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, and we are very much looking forward to hearing what he will convey to the Council today.

The Czech Republic rejects the threat of force as an instrument of international policy, and that is why we applauded the deployment of allied troops in the Gulf and why we supported resolution 949 (1994). We see this resolution, not as an end in itself, but as a means of achieving the overall objective of establishing peace and security in the region. The necessary condition for resolving the crisis in the region, as my country has emphasized over and over again, is the recognition of the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Kuwait within its internationally recognized borders, that is to say, among other things, the acceptance by Iraq of resolution 833 (1993) and other relevant resolutions.

In this context, we welcome Minister Kozyrev's observation that Iraq has accepted - and I quote his words as they came across in the interpretation - "the need to resolve positively the question of recognition of Kuwait without preconditions".

But while Iraq has accepted the need to resolve the recognition question, it has not yet resolved the question. The step that Iraq has made, however, is a step in the right direction. Yet, it certainly does not provide a sufficient impetus for lifting sanctions. It is in this context that we will be particularly looking forward to Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz's statement today.

Resolving the Gulf crisis in a comprehensive and balanced way, in the opinion of my Government, calls for weighing both the negative experience the international community has had with Iraq lately, including during the last two weeks, and the positive steps Iraq has taken, particularly in its cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). My Government feels that if Iraq follows the recent communiqué between itself and the Russian Federation by actually recognizing Kuwait at the appropriate level and in the appropriate form, and if Ambassador Ekeus were to report on sufficient further progress in the work of UNSCOM, then, next month, the time may well have come to debate and decide on starting up a test period and on determining its length.

Nevertheless, the Security Council cannot unequivocally determine that if a six- month monitoring period, for example, were to end successfully, sanctions would be lifted. The Council, in other words, cannot commit itself to any action so far ahead of time.

In conclusion, let me reiterate the point we made last Saturday: Iraq must become a good neighbour to all of its neighbours. To this end, it needs to meet the provisions of all relevant Council resolutions.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel Kovanda, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic on the Security Councilon the situation between Iraq and Kuwait

A small country is bound to be nervous when a powerful neighbor starts moving troops for no apparent reason toward its borders. It will be doubly nervous when the neighbor in question is one which has occupied the small country only a short time previously, one which has a history of publicly referring to the small country as one of its own provinces, and one which continues to withhold an unequivocal declaration recognizing its sovereignty and borders. My country has in living memory experienced the shadow of precisely such troop movements, maneuvers, and declarations doubting our international legitimacy. To this day, historians argue whether an entirely different course of European history might not have ensued if the international community had demonstrated a stiffer resolve in 1938, for example.

An overwhelming majority of these United Nations comprises small nations such as Kuwait or my own. It is therefore imperative than in safeguarding international peace and security, the Security Council addresses in particular military challenges such small nations are exposed to.

In the case of Kuwait, history teaches vigilance. There is an entire booklet of resolutions that this body passed in the aftermath of the Iraqi aggression against Kuwait. In 1990, the international community rallied in defense of its small, vastly outgunned member, and threw the aggressor out. My country is proud to have made its own modest contribution to that effort.

But there is a Czech saw that describes the uninvited guest who is thrown out of the door but finds his way back through the window. This Council has done a lot to reduce the menace that Iraq poses to Kuwait - but Iraq has by its recent actions demonstrated that it may still be looking for some windows. The resolute stance of the international community, including the rapid response of US and allied troops and this Council's own unequivocal presidential statement of exactly a week ago, have led to a withdrawal of the menacing Iraqi troops. Whether this withdrawal has been partial or total, is a matter of debate: but our resolution, among other, leaves no doubt that, (a) a total withdrawal has to be effected, and (b) similar troops movements may not recur.

Meanwhile, other diplomatic initiatives are underway. We welcome Foreign Minister Kozyrev's visit to the area, and are looking forward to his impending visit to New York. We always prefer diplomacy to sabre rattling; and in truth, Iraq's reported recent statements to Minister Kozyrev would have been much more welcome if loud sabre rattling had not preceded them.

Together with the rest of the Council, my country reaffirms the need for Iraq to recognize, at the highest official level, the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kuwait, in its internationally recognized borders. This is a long-standing and immutable position of the international community. It is also important for my Government, though, that this resolution in no way questions the territorial integrity of Iraq. The main demand on Iraq is that it assume the standard posture of all of us, members of these United Nations; which, to quote the preamble to our Charter, includes our determination "to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors". Iraq has to become a good neighbor to all of its neighbors, and to that end has to respect the provisions of all relevant Security Council resolutions.