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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 10

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Friday, 17 June 1999
Overview
  • Ministers of Foreign Affairs from France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom visited Kosovo, Pristina, and made a commitment to construct a free and democratic province there, on 23 June.

  • UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor called for the launch of a campaign to restore tolerance, dialogue and solidarity in the Balkans, offering the Organization's assistance in peace and human rights’ education on 18 June.

  • During a session of the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe held in Strasbourg on 15 to 17 June, a resolution was proposed on the "environmental consequences of the Kosovo conflict". Taking into consideration various evidence of environmental impacts, the Congress decided to support the joint UNEP/UNCHS Balkans Task Force in its efforts to create strategic partnerships for future reconstruction and development in southeast Europe (see full text in Attachment 1).

  • A report "Assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Military Activities During the Yugoslavia Conflict, Preliminary Findings" of June 1999 was prepared by the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), for the European Commission DG-XI- Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection.

  • The European Union Council of Ministers earmarked Euro 150 million for aid to Kosovo refugees and reconstruction on 21 June, in addition to the Euro 196 million already pledged for humanitarian aid from EU budget reserves.

  • The European Commission said that it would cost Euro 500-700 million a year for the next three years to rebuild Kosovo, and the EU would cover half of the bill, on 23 June. The Commission had decided to set up a reconstruction agency, to be located in Pristina.

  • Reconstruction in and humanitarian debt relief for the six Balkan countries affected by the Kosovo crisis will cost approximately 2.2 billion dollars this year, excluding Kosovo, World Bank President James Wolfensohn said on 21 June.

1. AFP, 6/21/99.
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