The successful implementation of the results of the first municipal elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, held on 13 and 14 September, since the signing of the Peace Agreement would be a major challenge in the coming months, Carlos Westendorp, High Representative for Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, reported on 14 October (S/1997/804). He said there had been some progress in the Common Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a number of tasks established in the Sintra Declaration had been achieved. However, on such issues as citizenship and passports laws and common flag, "the Serb members of the Common Institutions continue to obstruct".
In a 19 October statement, the President of the Security Council expressed concern that there were still many outstanding areas and issues of contention and non-compliance by the Government of Croatia. While noting several positive acts in Eastern Slavonia in such areas as education, the reintegration of the judiciary and others, as well as Croatia's increased cooperation with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Council required further urgent action from the Government.
In his report of 2 October on the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), Secretary-General Kofi Annan observed that Croatia had made "significant achievements in formal and technical aspects, such as the reintegration of State institutions", adding that full implementation of agreements and commitments could be achieved quickly through appropriate action by the Croatian Government. Although a review of Croatian actions did at that moment show substantial deficiencies and a lack of political will, the Government had stated that the successful termination of UNTAES by 15 January 1998 was one of the State's highest priorities.
The Council on 18 September expressed deep concern at the lack of substantial progress by Croatia in fulfilling conditions and tasks key to the transfer of executive authority to the Republic in the territories of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, as noted in its resolution 1120 (1997) of 14 July.
Among other things, the Council called on the Government to: remove all administrative and legal obstacles to the two-way return of all displaced persons, as well as to the return of refugees; prevent harassment of returnees; implement measures to establish effective local government administrations; curb media attacks on the ethnic groups; and cooperate fully with the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) will remain in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia until 31 August 1998, according to Security Council resolution 1142 (1997) of 4 December. The Council also asked the Secretary-General to make recommendations on the type of international presence needed in the country after the Force withdraws. …