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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 12

UNCHS (Habitat)

Thursday, 8 July 1999
  • UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on 30 June that supply of water and electricity in Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro should be considered as humanitarian issues because they are essential, life- sustaining systems, particularly as winter is not far away. There was a sense that priority should be given to re-establishing conditions for the use of the Danube because of its importance to the region.

  • Mr. Kofi Annan chose Bernard Kouchner, former Minister of the French Government, to oversee the massive international effort to turn war-devastated Kosovo into a functioning, democratic society, on 2 July. As the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Mr. Kouchner will head the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and be the highest-ranking civilian authority in the province.

  • Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrial nations are set to meet in Brussels on 13 July to discuss aid to Kosovo. The meeting of the so-called “high-level steering group” formed to channel international aid to the Balkans and Kosovo will be attended both by the European Commission and the World Bank, officials said. The meeting, to be held after talks between European Union finance ministers, will focus on humanitarian needs of the Balkans following the Kosovo war and the region's wider macro-economic needs.

  • A first Donors' Conference convened by the European Commission and the World Bank will take place on 28 July in Brussels. The conference will provide a forum for donors to share information and plan next steps. A segment of the conference to be chaired by UNHCR, will focus on the financing gap for urgent humanitarian needs, taking into account the new situation on refugee return. A second Donors' Conference for priority reconstruction needs is planned for Autumn, after initial damage assessments have been carried out. Officials estimate that it will cost 5 billion euros (about 5.1 billion dollars) to repair damage in war-ravaged Kosovo, with most of the money coming from the E.U.

  • The Permanent Council of the OSCE decided on 1 July that the mandate for the OSCE Mission in Kosovo will constitute a distinct component within the overall framework of UNMIK. The new Mission will replace the transitional Task Force for Kosovo, which has been working on the ground to set up an infrastructure for the OSCE operation. The Mission in Kosovo will take the lead role in matters relating to institution-, democracy-building and human rights.


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