1. Basic decisions
Establishment: 193rd Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Council, 25 October 1998, (PC.DEC/263). Interpretative Statement under paragraph 79 (Chapter 6) of the Final Recommendations of the Helsinki Consultations.
Terms of Reference:
- 156th Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Council Decision No. 218, 11 March 1998 (PC.DEC/218)
- Statement of the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE of 7 October 1998
- Agreement on the OSCE Kosovo Verification Missions signed in Belgrade, on 16 October 1998, by the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE and the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (CIO.GAL/65/98/Corr.1)
- Permanent Council Decision No. 259, 15 October 1998 (PC.DEC/259/98)
- Agreement between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 15 October 1998
- United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998) and 1203 (1998) (CIO.GAL/68/98)
In its Decision No. 259 of 15 October 1998 the Permanent Council, acting withing the framework of the United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1199, declared the preparedness of the OSCE to embark upon verification activities related to compliance of all parties in Kosovo with the requirements set forth by the international community with regard to the solution of the crisis in Kosovo. the Permanent Council supported the Chairman-in-Office's efforts to arrange with the FRY authorities for the OSCE to give its contribution to the peaceful solution of the crisis in Kosovo.
In its Decision No. 263 of 25 October 1998, the Permanent Council decided to establish the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) in accordance with the mandate contained in the agreement signed by the CiO (CIO.GAL/65/98).
The Agreement on the Kosovo Verification Mission signed by the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE and the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in part II General Responsibilities, Roles and Missions, enumerates the following tasks:
These general responsibilities are further specified in Chapter III of the Agreement under Specific Terms of Reference entrusting the Kosovo Verification Mission with the following tasks:
The OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) reached a strength of approximately 1,500 international staff by February 1999 but was unable to carry out the full scope of the tasks allocated under the FRY-OSCE Agreement. The security situation in Kosovo during this period was characterized as tense.
Following a steady deterioration in the security situation in the Province, the OSCE CiO, Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek withdrew the KVM on 20 March 1999. The KVM was then temporarily based in Skopje, the capital of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The bulk of its Mission members were repatriated. The Mission was temporarily organised as a Mission "Core", responsible for administration and planning for the re-entry of an OSCE Mission to Kosovo; a Task Force in Albania to assist UNHCR with the refugee crisis and to conduct human rights investigations; and a further Task Force in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia performing similar functions.
The KVM was later dissolved and the Task Force for Kosovo created in its stead by PC.DEC/296 on 8 June 1999, primarily tasked with preparing for re-deployment to Kosovo and continuing to assist the UN and other international organizations. The Task Force for Kosovo was dissolved on 1 July 1999 and replaced by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo by PC.DEC/305.
In its Decision No. 263, paragraph 3, the Permanent Council decided to establish the KVM for one year, with extensions upon the request of either the OSCE Chairman-in-Office or the FRY government. The Delegation of the Russian Federation formulated an interpretative statement to paragraph 3 of the Decision, attached to the Decision. The KVM was dissolved and the Task Force for Kosovo created in its stead by PC.DEC/296 on 8 June 1999.
The Agreement of 16 October 1998 foresaw in part IV the following structure for the Kosovo Verification Mission:
- A Director, together with headquarters staff to be determined by Verification Mission requirements.
- 2,000 unarmed verifiers from OSCE member states will be permitted. Headquarters and support staff included in this total. The Mission may be augmented with technical experts provided by OSCE.
- A headquarters in Pristina.
- Field presence in locations around Kosovo to be determined by the Mission Director.
- A small liaison office in Belgrade.
Part V of the Agreement Field Presence established the following provisions:
- Co-ordination Centres will be established in the capital of each opstina in Kosovo with specific areas of responsibility, under the Mission Director located in Pristina.
- Many opstina co-ordination centres will have one or more sub-stations in smaller towns/villages in the opstina. The number and location of sub-stations will vary from opstina to opstina, depending on the verification environment and past conflict situation.
As described above the composition of the KVM subsequently evolved during the Spring and early Summer of 1999 into those now found in the OSCE Mission in Kosovo within the UNMiK structure.