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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 16

UNCHS (Habitat)

Thursday,   5 August 1999
Overview
  • Security remains a major problem in Kosovo.

  • A WWF-organised team of experts began a three day mission to Yugoslavia on July 28 to undertake a rapid assessment of the war's environmental impact at major hot spots.

  • The first roundtable meeting for implementing the Balkans Stability Pact will be held on 13 September, European Union (EU) regional coordinator Bodo Hombach announced on 1 August in the German newspaper Die Welt.

  • The Sarajevo Summit, chaired by President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, focused on peace and stability in the Balkans. It was attended by 40 heads of State and government as well as over 15 international and regional organizations. Specific issues being discussed were human rights and democracy, economic reconstruction and security. Clinton announced a package of US$ 700 million in aid, trade programs, and business incentives to the Balkans. Humanitarian aid has not been ruled out to Serbia. The BTF was represented at the summit by the Chairman, Mr. Pekka Haavisto.

  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Pristina on 31 July and met with Bernard Kouchner, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, General Michael Jackson of KFOR, as well as with local leaders in Kosovo. Prime Minister Blair also took the occasion to address the people of Kosovo outside the UNMIK Headquarters in Pristina.

  • US Secretary of State Madeline Albright visited Pristina on 29 July and met with Bernard Kouchner as well as with General Michael Jackson.

  • The United States said on 3 August it was contributing US$ 50 million to help the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) in Kosovo and neighbouring countries affected by the Kosovo crisis.

  • The European Commission (EC) has adopted proposals for Council of Ministers decisions providing macro-financial assistance to Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Romania. In all three cases the EU assistance would complement resources made available by the International Financial Institutions and bilateral donors and be provided on the basis of progress in the area of macro-economic stabilisation and reform.

  • UNHCR reported that the total number of non-Albanian (mostly Serb and Roma) displaced people from Kosovo in Serbia as of 29 July stood at 155,000, including around 3,000 refugees from Croatia

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