- Armament and disarmament
- Conflict, peace and security
- Peace and development
There were several major successes in armed conflict prevention, management and resolution in 1998. A historic peace agreement was signed in Northern Ireland, and regionally monitored peace accords were achieved in the Ecuador-Peru border dispute and in Papua New Guinea. The attempts by the UN and regional organizations to support peace settlements or processes were particularly successful in the Central African Republic, Eastern Slavonia and Guatemala; precarious in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Sierra Leone and Tajikistan; and ineffective in halting Angola's slide back into civil war. Armed conflict subsided with regionally monitored agreements in Guinea-Bissau and Kosovo, stalemated in an uneasy truce between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and escalated into regional war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fighting also continued or was resumed in a number of other countries.
The international community continued to direct attention to building capacity for improved conflict prevention, management and resolution at both the global and regional levels despite persistent financial constraints. However, the unity of political will and effort was challenged by dissension within the UN Security Council over appropriate enforcement of its decisions and the incipient tendency of regional organizations to undertake action without UN endorsement or oversight. The largest peace-
enforcement/ peacekeeping mission was the NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which at 33 000 troops was twice as large as all UN operations together. Most of the regional initiatives continued to stem from Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with a substantial number also from African, Latin American and Asian organizations.
Appendix 2A. Multilateral peace operations, 1998
Appendix 2A presents data on the multilateral observer, peacekeeping, peace-building, and combined peacekeeping and peace-enforcement missions in 1998.
Appendix 2B. The Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement
Since 1969 over 3250 people have died in politically motivated attacks carried out in the context of the disagreement over the legal and political status of Northern Ireland. In April 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was signed and then overwhelmingly approved in simultaneous referendums in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The agreement created a framework in which a political settlement to the conflict could be found, but it did not itself resolve the underlying issues at the centre of the dispute. The success of the overall peace process in Northern Ireland was uncertain at the end of 1998.