Role of NATO

Involvement In Peacekeeping

The political basis for NATO's role in former Yugoslavia was established at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Oslo, in June 1992, when NATO Foreign Ministers announced their readiness to support, on a case by case basis, in accordance with their own procedures, peacekeeping activities under the responsibility of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) - subsequently renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

This included making available Alliance resources and expertise for peacekeeping operations.

In December 1992, the Alliance also stated its readiness to support peacekeeping operations under the authority of the UN Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. NATO Foreign Ministers reviewed peacekeeping and sanctions enforcement measures already being undertaken by NATO countries, individually and as an Alliance, to support the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions relating to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

They indicated that the Alliance was ready to respond positively to further initiatives that the UN Secretary General might take in seeking Alliance assistance in this field. Since 1992, the Alliance has taken several key decisions, leading to operations by NATO naval forces, in conjunction with the WEU, to monitor and subsequently enforce the UN embargo in the Adriatic; and by NATO air forces first to monitor and then to enforce the UN no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Alliance also provided close air support to the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and authorized air strikes to relieve the strangulation of Sarajevo and other threatened Safe Areas. Decisive action by the Alliance in support of the UN in the former Yugoslavia, together with a determined diplomatic effort, broke the siege of Sarajevo and made a negotiated solution to the conflict possible in autumn 1995. With the signature of the Bosnian Peace Agreement in December 1995, deployment of the NATO-led Implementation Force began. Its mission is to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement.