In July 1992, against the background of growing conflict, NATO ships belonging to the Alliance's Standing Naval Force Mediterranean, assisted by NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft, began monitoring operations in the Adriatic in support of a United Nations arms embargo against all republics of the former Yugoslavia. In November 1992, NATO and the Western European Union (WEU) began enforcement operations in support of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at preventing the escalation of the conflict.
The readiness of the Alliance to support peacekeeping operations under the authority of the UN Security Council was formally stated by NATO Foreign Ministers in December 1992. The measures already being taken by NATO countries, individually and as an Alliance, were reviewed and the Alliance indicated that it was ready to respond positively to further initiatives that the UN Secretary General might take in seeking Alliance assistance in this field.
A number of measures were subsequently taken, including joint maritime operations under the authority of the NATO and WEU Councils; NATO air operations; close air support for the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR); air strikes to protect UN "Safe Areas"; and contingency planning for other options which the UN might take. These measures are described in Chapter 5.
In December 1995, following the signature of the Bosnian Peace Agreement in Paris on 14 December, NATO was given a mandate by the UN, on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1031, to implement the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. A NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) began operations to fulfil this mandate on 16 December. Details of the work of IFOR and its subsequent replacement by a NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in December 1996, are also described in Chapter 5. Throughout their mandates both multinational forces have worked closely on the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina with other international organisations and humanitarian agencies, including those of the United Nations, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN International Police Task Force (IPTF).
In February 1998, after discussions with non-NATO contributors to SFOR, the North Atlantic Council announced that, subject to the necessary mandate from the UN Security Council, NATO was prepared to organise and lead a multinational force to continue the work in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the end of SFOR's mandate in June 1998. The new force retains the name "SFOR", reflecting the continuing need for stabilisation of the Bosnian situation and for laying the foundations for permanent peace in the region.
From the onset of the conflict in Kosovo in 1998 and throughout the crisis, close contacts were maintained between the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Secretary General of NATO. Actions taken by the Alliance in support of UN Security Council resolutions both during and after the conflict and the role of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) established on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 1244 of 12 June 1999 to provide an international security presence as the prerequisite for peace and reconstruction of Kosovo, are described in Chapter 5.
NATO's role in crisis management in the Balkans has led to an intensification of cooperation with the UN. The Secretary General of NATO reports regularly to the UN Secretary General on progress in NATO-led operations and on other key decisions of the North Atlantic Council in the area of crisis management. Increased sharing of information between NATO and the UN also takes place in the context of the international campaign against terrorism, following the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. In general, working contacts between the two organisations have become more frequent and a number of high level visits take place between the UN and NATO every year. The UN remains at the core of the wider institutional framework within which the Alliance operates. Other institutional relationships contributing to this framework are described below."
NATO Handbook: The United Nations (UN)