Thursday, September 24, 1998 Published at 23:41 GMT 00:41 UK
Nato's time to act?
Does the international community have the will to back threats with action?
With mounting warnings that Kosovo is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, Nato has announced it is stepping up plans for possible airstrikes to halt attacks by Serbian forces against ethnic Albanian civilians in the province.
The UN resolution warned of "further action and additional measures" if the ceasefire call is ignored, but it stopped short of specifically threatening military action
"Milosevic ignores this at his peril," said Britain's ambassador to the UN.
There are conflicting interpretations of Wednesday's UN resolution, which makes explicit reference to Chapter Seven of the organisation's charter: the Kosovo crisis is now officially defined as a threat to regional peace and stability.
Nato's more hawkish nations, such as the United States, argue that the resolution should in itself be grounds for possible intervention.
France, on the other hand, thinks another - final - resolution would be necessary before that stage was reached.
For his part, while conceding that such a resolution would be desirable, the German Defence Minister, Volker Ruehe, said it was by no means indispensable.
Outside Nato, meanwhile, Russia has consistently voiced its opposition to the use of force.
Such differences among the countries which could bring pressure to bear on Belgrade have in the past diluted the deterrent effect of any warnings they have issued.
Sense of resolve emerging
The Alliance's Secretary-General, Javier Solana, is quoted as saying that President Milosevic was wrong to think that "[razing] one village a day would keep NATO away."
The message being sent to the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is clear.
Yet if his previous track-record is anything to go by, Mr Milosevic is likely to turn a deaf ear to such warnings.
Steve Walker, a former US diplomat who resigned over his country's handling of the the Bosnian crisis, said: "Nato officials and Clinton administration officials keep trying to say something that might seem a little more serious."
"If we wanted to take action against Milosevic, we could have done it months ago, and at relatively little notice."
Former US presidential candidate, Bob Dole, in an article in the Washington Post, also criticised the Clinton Administration for its reluctance to bring an end to the fighting.
The Milosevic he met in Belgrade, Mr Dole said, did not "act like a man cowering in fear of Nato action."
Rather he looked like a man "who had gotten away with murder, and would be rewarded for it."