NEW YORK, 24 OCTOBER 1998
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR TADEU SOARES, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL 3937th MEETING (Letter dated 11 March 1998 from the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1998/223); Letter dated 27 March 1998 from the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1998/272))
The situation in Kosovo is of great concern to the international community. The Council, through its resolutions 1160 (1998) and 1199 (1998), has given a clear response to this concern, of which the draft resolution before us is a logical extension.
We welcome the agreements that have been concluded with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to address the critical situation in Kosovo. The draft resolution seeks to ensure that these agreements will be implemented in full. This is, in fact, the number one priority of the draft resolution on which we are about to vote: the endorsement by the Security Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreements regarding verification of the commitments that the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has made namely, to take measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, to end the violence against civilians in Kosovo, to allow the return of refugees and displaced persons and to initiate and maintain a dialogue with the Kosovo Albanian community, with a view to finding a political solution to the problems of Kosovo.
Portugal welcomes the readiness of NATO and the OSCE to provide the necessary verification regimes and believes that the Security Council should send, through this draft resolution, a strong signal of support for these Verification Missions and indicate that the safety and security of those unarmed personnel on the ground must never be compromised.
This draft resolution also represents an unambiguous expression of the Council's belief that it is up to the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to implement those agreements in full and comply fully with Security Council resolutions.