3. Multilateral peace missions
Multilateral peace missions in 2002 underwent several important changes, many of which were central to their nature and make-up. Not only did the missions initiated in 2002 follow the new trend of smaller, short-term and mandate-specific missions, but they also tended to play more of a peace-building role and have an advisory function for the host governments.
The substantial progress achieved in the Balkans, reflected in the increased stability in the political and security arenas, allowed the two long-standing and broadly based UN missions (UNMIBH and UNMOP) to wind down in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia, respectively. The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) assumed the tasks previously undertaken by the police component (International Police Task Force) of UNMIBH on 1 January 2003.
As local institutional capacities grew in the region, the need for large and open-ended missions was not as great. Unfortunately, donor fatigue also contributed to the international community’s reluctance to maintain large missions. The NATO SFOR and KFOR missions completed their phased drawdown of authorized troop strength to 12 000 and 30 000, respectively. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the third instalment of NATO’s engagement—Operation Allied Harmony—was launched in December for a period of six months.
Similarly, Timor-Leste’s largely smooth transition from a territory under the administration of the UN to an independent state, in May 2002, allowed for a correspondingly reduced international presence. The initiation of UNMISET marked the termination of UNTAET’s interim administration of East Timor and the gradual devolution of authority to the Timorese Government. At the end of the year, the Timor-Leste police force, which works in close conjunction with UNMISET, was solely responsible for enforcing the law in 4 of the 13 districts in the country.
Peace-building missions were given a new lease of life with the launch of UNAMA in Afghanistan and UNMA in Angola. Both missions were given more robust mandates and more resources and are ‘multidimensional’, encompassing the various components of peace-building—immediate humanitarian relief assistance, institution building, law and order functions, and economic recovery.
Despite the differences in mandate and structure, the four new missions initiated in 2002 shared one commonality—they were all designed to play a secondary role to the host government and to let the countries in question take ownership of the transition process.
Appendix 3A. The International Criminal Court
The year 2002 was a watershed for the International Criminal Court (ICC). After several years of drawn-out negotiations and drafting, the world’s first permanent international legal entity tasked to deal with war-related crimes formally came into being on 1 July 2002.
Approximately half of the ratifications enabling the Statute to enter into force were deposited after 1 January 2002. At the First Assembly in September 2002, states parties agreed a budget for the court and a process for nominating judges. The first 18 judges were elected in March 2003.
However, the establishment of the ICC has continued to be controversial, with many states opposed to its creation, and the USA one of its strongest opponents. The ICC was made a political pawn between its proponents and opponents and the USA took several steps to dilute the effectiveness of the court and shield its citizens from its jurisdiction. In the post-11 September 2001 context, and by virtue of its superpower status, the USA sees itself as particularly vulnerable to politically motivated prosecutions. In May, the US administration rescinded its signature of the Statute. Other measures included passing into law the American Service Members’ Protection Act (ASPA), which denies military aid to those non-NATO states that choose to ratify the Statute; restricting US participation in UN peace missions; threatening to veto the extension of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina unless UN peacekeepers were granted immunity from prosecution by the ICC; and negotiating bilateral waiver agreements with several states.
The European Union, on the other hand, made several efforts to promote the early ratification of the Statute and to ensure the survival of the ICC. Policy directives and a Common Position were adopted to support the establishment of the court. However, the strength of the EU’s commitment to the ICC, and its political cohesiveness, was put to the severest test when the USA approached several member states to sign waiver agreements. This created a rift in transatlantic relations and resulted in a shaky start to the ICC.
Sharon Wiharta (Indonesia) is a Research Associate on the SIPRI Projects Conflicts and Peace Enforcement, and Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution. Prior to joining SIPRI, she worked at the Center for International Affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle. She contributed to the SIPRI Yearbook in 2002.