UN Keeps Arms Embargo, Sends More Peacekeepers
Lucia Mouat, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
THE United Nations Security Council will stay with its economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro and press on with its plans to protect six Muslim enclaves in Bosnia-Herzegovina by sending 7,500 more peacekeepers.
After a debate this week, the Council declined to lift the UN arms embargo for Bosnia's Muslim-led government.
Aimed at giving Muslims a fairer share of weapons under their right of self defense, the measure was sponsored by the Council's five nonaligned members. Though it won the support of the US, the proposal needed three more votes (a total of nine) to pass.
Britain, France, Russia, China, Hungary, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, and Brazil abstained. New Zealand's Ambassador to the UN Colin Keating said the resolution would have "shut the door on any remaining chance for a peaceful settlement."
The General Assembly may now take up the issue, though any resolution it passes would be nonbinding.
The Council has passed more than 40 resolutions over the last year to try to stop the fighting and get aid to the needy in beleaguered Bosnia. Most Council diplomats are every bit as frustrated as their citizen critics that these measures have not proven more effective.
Yet the Council's shortcomings have rarely been as publicly aired as they were this week. Muslim diplomats spoke of a Council that had lost credibility and that was almost oblivious to the moral issue before it.
Most speakers urged a return to the principles of the Vance-Owen peace plan and stressed the importance of a negotiated accord freely agreed to by all parties. …