Accessed 16 May 2000
11 May 2000
DIVERGENT VIEWS EXPRESSED AS SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS KOSOVO MISSION
Normal Working Relationship with Belgrade Key to Many Problems, Says
Russian Federation; Others Urge Focus on Big Picture, Not on
The international community had invested heavily in Kosovo and the
United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) could not afford to fail, the
Head of the Security Council mission to Kosovo, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury
(Bangladesh), told the Security Council this morning.
The situation in Kosovo was extremely complex, as was the process of
implementation of Council resolution 1244 (1999), he said. Every day
brought in a new challenge, or a resurfacing of the one tackled earlier.
The UNMIK and KFOR leaderships were engaged seriously in addressing
those challenges with determination and promptness.
While normalcy was beginning to return to Kosovo, the security
situation posed a major and continuing challenge to UNMIK and KFOR, he
continued. The Council mission sent a strong message to the ethnic
communities to reject all violence, to promote stability, safety and
security and to cooperate fully with UNMIK in the implementation of
resolution 1244. Given the urgency of the issue, there was strong
support for the appointment of a special envoy for missing persons and
detainees, he said.
He added that steps must be taken by the Secretariat and contributing
countries to solve the shortage in staffing requirements for both civil
administration and civilian police, which was a serious constraint for
The representative of the Russian Federation said it was clear that
resolution 1244 was far from being implemented. The key to solving many
of the problems in Kosovo was to establish normal and working
relationships with Belgrade. While recognizing the positive results
achieved, it was also necessary to focus on the shortcomings identified.
It was clear, he said, that UNMIK and KFOR could not guarantee
security for all, as provided for in the resolution. Minority groups
stated that they felt unsafe, did not have freedom of movement and faced
discrimination in the job market and in access to health care. Also of
concern were the persistent attacks on international personnel, for
which there was presently no way to punish the perpetrators.
Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6856 4138th Meeting (AM) 11
In addition, he continued, the Kosovo Liberation Army had not fully
disarmed and there was an enormous amount of weaponry in Kosovo. There
was also no response to the issue of using the territory of Kosovo for
drug trafficking, a problem the UNMIK leadership claimed did not even
exist. Also of concern was the implementation of portions of resolution
1244 pertaining to respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Further, on what basis were
foreign offices and missions in Kosovo being established? he asked.
Since Serbs and other minority groups were not able to return to
their homes in Kosovo, said China's representative, it was impossible
for them to integrate into society. Without integration, the
strengthening of the multi-ethnic interim administration was out of the
He stressed that the United Nations was emphatically not in Kosovo
for the purpose of helping the locals gain independence. UNMIK should
get that message across clearly to the local people. Any attempt to
either discriminate against other ethnic groups in Kosovo or to pull
Kosovo towards independence was dangerous, would give rise to new
disturbances in the Balkans and thus victimize all the people of the
Several speakers admitted that there were flaws and imperfections in
the implementation of resolution 1244. However, Malaysia's
representative said it was important for the Council and the
international community to look at the larger picture of what UNMIK was
doing, rather than focus on the imperfections.
Canada's representative stated that UNMIK was not perfect, and while
the Council had the right to offer constructive suggestions on ways to
improve it, it also had the responsibility to ensure that it was
properly staffed and financed. The United Nations success in Kosovo
depended on the active engagement and support of each and every Member
State of the Council and of the Organization.
Statements were also made by the representatives of France, United
Kingdom, United States, Jamaica, Netherlands, Tunisia, Argentina,
Namibia, Mali and Ukraine.
The meeting began at 10:50 a.m. and adjourned at 1:17 p.m.
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6856 4138th Meeting (AM) 11
The Security Council met this morning to discuss the situation in
Kosovo. Before it was a report of its eight-member mission which visited
Kosovo from 27 to 29 April (document S/2000/363).
The report states that the full and effective implementation of
Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) required sustained effort by the
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the
Kosovo Force (KFOR) (representing member States of NATO -- the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization), and the full participation of local
communities. It also demanded the active engagement of and support by
the international community.
All ethnic communities expressed a desire to live in peace together,
the report observes, but due to the recent violent conflict they were
still deeply divided and the healing would require a long time. The
report adds that KFOR’s continued assistance in protecting minorities
and joint security operations with UNMIK police remained vital.
Inadequate physical, social and economic security remained a major
concern. Lack of freedom of movement and of access to education, health
care, social services and employment hampered the return of internally
displaced persons, primarily Serbs and Roma, and significantly impeded
the integration of ethnic minorities into public life.
Progress towards peaceful coexistence remained fragile, the report
states. Painful issues of missing persons and detainees, continuing
violence and the return of internally displaced persons and refugees
continued to be major impediments to reconciliation. They also
undermined efforts to create a climate of tolerance and security.
The Security Council mission noted in its report the strong support
of the different ethnic communities for the appointment of a special
envoy for detainees and missing persons, and undertook to report it to
The lack of an effective and unbiased rule of law in Kosovo was a
recurring theme at many of the mission’s meetings, according to the
report. UNMIK’s intention to recruit international judges and
prosecutors and their staff to work alongside their local counterparts
would be critical to redress the perceived culture of impunity that
currently undermined the judicial system.
If UNMIK was to increase the effectiveness of the Kosovo judiciary,
the report says, substantial voluntary assistance, both in personnel and
material resources, is required. UNMIK must also continue to accelerate
its training programmes for the Kosovo Police Service. The multi-ethnic
and gender-sensitive Kosovo Police Service development programme and the
Kosovo Police School, led by the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), should serve as models for future
institutions in Kosovo.
To ensure an organized, expeditious and sustainable return of
refugees, the mission said significant resources would be required. It
also noted in its report that a major effort by the international
presence, and long-term nurturing, would be necessary to achieve
progress in reconciliation of the various ethnic communities. None the
less, the report states that the mission noted several examples of more
positive relations between communities at the local level.
Substantial efforts by UNMIK and KFOR, backed up by the strong
support of the international community, were essential to encourage and
create the conditions for participation by Serbs, including those
displaced outside Kosovo, in civil and voter registration for the
forthcoming municipal elections. The mission welcomed the renewal of
contacts between leaders of both communities in Mitrovica, and believed
that joint community-based programmes had a potential for confidence-
building and reconciliation.
The report states that the Mission is aware of the imperative need
for UNMIK to foster economic recovery to underpin confidence-building
and reconciliation efforts at the local level, and it welcomed the
deployment of economic reconstruction representatives of the European
Union at the municipal level. Unresolved property issues could
potentially undermine international efforts at economic recovery of
Kosovo, and even peace initiatives by UNMIK, according to the mission.
The enormity of the task faced by UNMIK is noted by the mission,
which also commends in particular its efforts in capacity- and
The report states that the mission had the following objectives: to
look for ways to enhance support for the implementation of Council
resolution 1244 (1999); to observe the operations and activities of
UNMIK;, to gain a greater understanding of the situation on the ground
to comprehend better the difficult challenges it faced; to convey a
strong message to all concerned on the need to reject all violence,
ensure public safety and order, promote stability, safety and security,
support the full and effective implementation of Council resolution 1244
(1999) and fully cooperate with UNMIK to that end; and to review ongoing
implementation of the prohibitions imposed by the Security Council in
its resolution 1160 (1998).
During its three-day visit, the mission received a comprehensive
briefing by the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Bernard
Kouchner, as well as briefings by the heads of UNMIK’s four key
components –- humanitarian, civil administration, institution-building
and economic reconstruction.
The mission also met, among others, with representatives of Bosniac,
Roma and Turkish communities at Prizren, members of the Kosovo
Transitional Council, Bishop Artemje and members of the Serb National
The mission was composed of the following Council members: Anwarul
Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Head of the mission, Arnoldo M. Listre
(Argentina), Michel Duval (Canada), Shen Guofang (China), M. Patricia
Durrant (Jamaica), Hasmy Agam (Malaysia), Sergey V. Lavrov (Russian
Federation) and Volodymyr Yel’chenko (Ukraine).
ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh), speaking in his capacity as
leader of the Security Council mission to Kosovo, said it undertook a
series of meetings with key actors, on-site visits to a number of places
and encounters with representatives of various ethnic communities. The
mission criss-crossed Kosovo from north to south and east to west --
from Mitrovica to Prizren, from Gnjilane to Djakovica, with Pristina as
its hub. The mission had an opportunity to have a series of in-depth
discussions and interactions with various key people of UNMIK and KFOR,
in addition to its contacts with the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General, Bernard Kouchner, and Kosovo Force Commander General
He said the situation in Kosovo was extremely complex. Equally
complex was the process of implementation of Council resolution 1244
(1999). Every day brought in a new challenge, or a resurfacing of the
one tackled earlier. The UNMIK and KFOR leaderships were engaged
seriously in addressing those challenges with determination and
promptness. The spirit of the staff of the international civil and
security presence in Kosovo was very high, and the mission was extremely
impressed by their teamwork and collaboration. He recommended to the
Council details of the activities of the mission contained in the
He said a return to normalcy was gradually taking place in Kosovo.
Economic activities were starting to pick up. However, the security
situation posed a major and continuing challenge to UNMIK and KFOR. In
its interaction with the ethnic communities, the mission sensed a clear
desire to live in peace together and to engage in economic
reconstruction and restitution of law and order. The mission made use of
every possible opportunity to send a strong message to the ethnic
communities to reject all violence, to promote stability, safety and
security and to cooperate fully with UNMIK in the implementation of
resolution 1244 (1999).
Given its urgency, he said the mission felt it was important to
inform the Council of the strong support among the different ethnic
communities for the appointment of a Special Envoy for Missing Persons
and Detainees. The return of internally displaced persons should also be
The shortage in the staffing requirements for both civil
administration and civilian police was a serious constraint for UNMIK
operations, he said. Steps must be taken by the Secretariat and
contributing countries to solve the problem with all urgency.
He read out the findings of the mission contained in its report to
the Council, stressing that the international community had invested
heavily in Kosovo and the Mission there could not afford to fail.
MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said there was no question that the success of
UNMIK and the full implementation of resolution 1244 depended first on
ensuring “human security” for all residents of Kosovo. That was the
priority task. It could be accomplished in a number of ways: by sending,
as the mission did, a clear message to the local communities that
violence would not be tolerated by the international community; by
providing UNMIK with the civilian police resources it required to ensure
personal safety and social order; and by supporting locally, at the
community level, social and economic reconstruction efforts that were
re-weaving the fabric of normal life after the devastation and violence
so brutally inflicted by the Government in Belgrade.
A second issue was the question of missing and detained persons, he
said. Under a recently signed agreement, Canada would provide 21
forensic experts over the coming months to assist the International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in investigating war crimes
in Kosovo. In addition, the Council needed to consider appointing a
special envoy for detainees and missing persons. Such an envoy would
bring attention and political will to an issue that required both. That
issue was an essential part of the process of the full implementation of
resolution 1244, and was crucial to stabilization and reconciliation
efforts in Kosovo.
Also, ensuring the successful return of those refugees that were
forced from their homes last year required many of the improvements in
the social, economic and physical security already mentioned, he said.
However, countries of origin also had the responsibility of ensuring
that UNMIK was aware of expected flows of refugees back to Kosovo and
capable of handling their reintegration into society.
Lastly, there was a more fundamental issue for which the Council had
absolute authority -- active support by that body for the work of the
United Nations in Kosovo. UNMIK was not perfect, and while the Council
had the right to offer constructive suggestions on ways to improve it,
it also had the responsibility to ensure that it was properly staffed
and financed. The United Nations success in Kosovo depended on the
active engagement and support of each and every Member State of the
Council and of the Organization.
SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said the Council mission’s
report indicated that positive results had been reached in some areas.
The purpose of the mission was to see how resolution 1244 was being
implemented. While it recognized the positive elements, some persistent
problems had also been identified. It was necessary to focus on those
problems and shortcomings. First, with regard to the security situation
in Kosovo, all the minority representatives had stated that they felt
unsafe. They also lacked freedom of movement, faced discrimination in
the job market and in access to health care. It was also noted that
while they carried out dialogue among themselves, serious difficulties
arose when it came to dialogue with representatives of the majority.
He said that terrorist acts continued, churches were being bombed and
killings carried out. The Council must be cautious about UNMIK
statistics reflecting a falling crime rate in Kosovo. The United Nations
Police Commissioner had recognized that the drop in crime could be
explained by the reduction in the number of minorities in the basic
areas of settlement. The Council could be convinced that Pristina was
beginning to look like a city that was alive and returning to normalcy.
But the question was “who could live normally in that city"?
There were practically no Serbs left there, or in many other towns that
had been subjected to ethnic cleansing.
He was in favour of Mitrovica becoming an integrated and multi-ethnic
city. In assessing the statistics on the drop in crime, it must be borne
in mind that the number of such crimes as arson and abduction was not
going down. Since the deployment of UNMIK, 900 persons had been
abducted. Arson, which numbered 10 instances per day, also attested to
the fact that it was not a simple crime, but one directed at
intimidation with clear political overtones. It was obvious that UNMIK
and KFOR could not guarantee the universal security provided for in
Of particular concern, he said, were attacks against representatives
of the international presence. At present, there was no way to punish
those guilty of such attacks. He recalled the murder of a Russian member
of KFOR whose killer had escaped from jail four times. The international
presence was also denied freedom of movement, a situation that
definitely applied to the Russian contingent. He underlined the
importance of controlling the activities of the Kosovo Protection Corps.
While in Kosovo, the mission was not shown the report prepared by
UNMIK's human rights section on the activities of the Corps. He hoped
that the report would be presented soon for consideration.
The Kosovo Liberation Army had not fully disarmed and there was an
enormous amount of weaponry in Kosovo, he continued. Monitoring the
borders in accordance with resolution 1160 was a priority task, and he
hoped that the mission's request for more detailed information on
compliance with the arms embargo would be met. In the absence of proper
security, the problem of the return of internally displaced persons was
not being resolved. Unfortunately, the question of when UNMIK would be
prepared to implement that part of the resolution had not received a
proper response. He had not detected even a general concept of the
return of internally displaced persons to Kosovo. That was a serious
omission on the part of the UNMIK command.
He was concerned that among Kosovo Albanian returnees, there were
many who had been arrested for crimes in Western European countries and
then sent back to Kosovo. That process had to be followed closely. The
mission’s report had called for a thorough approach to the process of
registration in order to prevent any further artificial disruption of
the demographic balance in the province.
There had also been no reply to questions about the use of the
territory of Kosovo for drug trafficking. The UNMIK leadership had
stated that no such problem existed. But according to information
provided by non-governmental organizations, 40 per cent of all heroin
used in Western Europe travelled through Kosovo.
There prevailed a pessimistic attitude among the minorities, he said.
If security did not improve radically by the summer, they intended to
leave Kosovo to find a more tranquil place to live before the beginning
of the coming school year. So the security situation was a priority both
for KFOR and the International Police and the Kosovo Police. The
question of the return of Yugoslav police in numbers agreed to earlier
must also be urgently resolved.
Of equal concern, he said, was implementation of portions of
resolution 1244 pertaining to respect for the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Everything
that UNMIK was now doing must correspond to that provision, and ensure
the mandated autonomous functioning of Kosovo within the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. That was not happening now; he hoped it would
happen soon. The Joint Committee would soon be set up, and would begin
its real work of resolving specific questions. He called on UNMIK to
desist from taking actions that violated the sovereignty of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia. Another problem was the establishment of foreign
offices and missions in Kosovo. On what basis were such offices being
established? he asked.
It was clear that resolution 1244 was far from being implemented.
Today, he said, much attention had been drawn to missing persons, which
was a serious problem. The key to solving that and other problems in
Kosovo consisted of establishing normal and working relationships with
Belgrade. If UNMIK was serious about resolving the issue of missing
persons, it should raise the question more energetically in its
interactions with Belgrade.
He was concerned about the lack of agreement on the status of the
international presence in Kosovo. Once again, he called on UNMIK to
establish a normal agreement on status, both for itself and KFOR, with
representatives of the host country. The problem of the return of
refugees was being impeded by the presence of a large number of mines in
Kosovo, as well as unexploded ordnance. That problem too must be
addressed. There was also the issue of problems associated with NATO’s
use of depleted-uranium weapons in the course of its military action in
Kosovo. He would like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
panel to continue its work on the issue, so that the Council could
become acquainted with its findings. On the whole, the Council did need
more detailed information on the situation in Kosovo. It was important
to ensure a comprehensive approach to the implementation of resolution
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said today’s meeting was being held,
once again, without the benefit of input from the European Union. There
was no justifying the omission. The European Union was one of the
largest contributors to the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, having
contributed 8 billion euros to the operation.
He went on to say that the Security Council mission to Kosovo had
been necessary and useful because of what was at stake for the
Organization. It was useful also for impressing on the people of Kosovo
that violence would not be tolerated and that they must cooperate with
The Council mission had found that UNMIK had made remarkable progress
in less than a year, and that the international community must be
patient with the pace of UNMIK’s work. The mission's positive view of
UNMIK's achievements was consistent with France’s own assessment.
However, the forthcoming elections could bring about demographic shock,
although registration had begun in good conditions. It was essential for
everything possible to be done to bring about Serb participation in the
elections and in the life of the general community. Citing a Serb
presence in some bodies, he said it was important that conditions be
created to strengthen that trend and to ensure Serb participation in the
Improvement in the daily life of minorities was essential not only
for those living in the province but also to encourage others who wished
to return. That could be achieved by strengthening security. He noted an
improvement in the security situation, but recalled that the Council
mission had noted the lack of means available to UNMIK to establish the
rule of law. Judges must be sent to the area. The culture of impunity
should not continue. Those guilty of violations must be prosecuted. The
question of detainees should be dealt with promptly, and France endorsed
the idea of appointing a special envoy for detainees and missing
persons. The envoy’s cooperation with the International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) would be essential.
The re-launching of economic activity should be pursued, he said, and
noted what UNMIK had done to establish the framework for economic
STEWART ELDON (United Kingdom) said the report made clear that there
was enormous public concern about the fate of those Kosovo Albanians who
were detained elsewhere in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or had
been missing since the end of the conflict last year. The international
community’s efforts to make progress on that issue needed to be given
a higher profile. He strongly supported the appointment of a special
envoy to look into the question, in cooperation with UNMIK. The Special
Representative should address the fate of all detained and missing
persons, regardless of their ethnic origin.
He said that the mission was right to highlight the importance of
reinforcing the justice system in Kosovo. His country stood ready to
offer the United Nations some candidates for posts as international
judges and prosecutors in Kosovo. He agreed that it was crucial to
manage an orderly return process for refugees, both from the rest of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and from abroad. Adequate security for
all returnees was essential. He welcomed the establishment of the Joint
Committee on Returns to coordinate that process. Today's meeting should
make one thing clear -- UNMIK was not only operating effectively, it was
also doing so within the mandate set out in resolution 1244. And that
resolution was being implemented, as the mission stated.
JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) said the report of the Council’s
mission was an impressive achievement that added considerably to the
Council’s understanding of the challenges UNMIK faced on the ground in
Kosovo. His delegation was glad to see the mission’s unqualified
praise for Special Representative Bernard Kouchner, who had done an
outstanding job of leading UNMIK in the most difficult of circumstances.
It was good for the Council mission to see Mr. Kouchner in action and
the hard task that he faced. Also, it was good for the Council to see
firsthand the violence and devastation inflicted on the province by
Belgrade, so as to understand more fully the problems which now existed.
He hoped the report would also make clearer the disingenuousness of
speaking of Belgrade’s willingness to cooperate in support of UNMIK’s
As the Council mission had witnessed firsthand, the situation in
Kosovo, although improving, continued to be extremely difficult. The
sustained attention and ample resources of the international community
would be needed to implement Security Council resolution 1244. It was
clear that UNMIK had set the right goals for the future: consolidation
of the rule of law and further work on the interim political framework.
Unquestionably, there continued to be a security gap in Kosovo which
the United States wanted closed. He believed the mission had made
important recommendations to that effect. He said additional
international judges and resources for the judicial sector would help
make fair trials and effective criminal prosecution the rule rather than
the exception in all of Kosovo.
Kosovo, he said, must move expeditiously towards self-government, as
called for in resolution 1244, under institutions designed to protect
the interest of everyone in the province. Municipal elections were an
important first step, he said. Recent reports that members of the Serb
community were registering for elections against the wishes of their
leaders suggested that UNMIK should redouble its efforts to encourage
participation by all groups in those elections.
By clarifying the difficult issue of property ownership and adopting
strong and sustainable macro-economic policies, UNMIK would help bring
prosperity to Kosovo and strengthen its own administrative structure.
Economic revitalization would also help reinforce programmes to promote
the return of refugees and displaced persons. He underscored the
importance of resolving the problem of the detainees and missing
persons, adding that it must be addressed.
M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said the mission’s visit served to
highlight the critical role of UNMIK. She paid tribute to the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General and to his staff. She said the
visit not only provided an opportunity for the mission to meet with the
administrative authorities in Kosovo but also with representatives of
the various minorities to get their views of the future.
She said the situation in Kosovo was volatile. There was a need for
the rule of law. The issue of missing persons and returnees must be
dealt with. Violence aimed at minorities was worrying and UNMIK and KFOR
consultations with the people at the community level must be encouraged.
Despite its limited numbers, UNMIK continued to do a great job. The
leaders of different ethnic groups must engage in dialogue. The need for
more judges must be addressed if the rule of law was to be maintained.
UNMIK police needed specialized units, and she hoped that would be dealt
with by Member States.
Tackling the issue of missing persons was one of the important
questions that must be resolved, and in a comprehensive manner. Her
delegation supported the proposal to consider the appointment of a
special envoy for missing persons and detainees.
Another issue of concern to her delegation was the forthcoming
elections. Conditions must be created for all ethnic groups to
participate in the voting. She saluted the work of United Nations
volunteers in Kosovo, adding that the General Assembly should urgently
address the staffing table of UNMIK.
Economic recovery as a means of promoting reconciliation was another
challenge, she said. While there had been some improvements, more effort
was needed. Attracting broad-based donor support was one way to move.
The question of property rights remained unresolved. Ethnic hatred was
unacceptable and would hamper reconciliation -- a message the mission
had delivered. There was a need to assure the people of Kosovo that the
international community would support them.
There was also a need to strengthen the arms embargo imposed by
resolution 1160. As the mission’s report pointed out, there had been
an improvement in the situation. KFOR must be made to provide monthly
reports on its activities to help the Kosovo Sanctions Committee, of
which she was Chairperson, in its work.
HASMY AGAM (Malaysia) regretted the decision not to include
non-members in today’s discussion. He greatly appreciated the fact
that UNMIK was a complicated and difficult Mission, and the
implementation of resolution 1244 was equally difficult. He noted,
however, that the situation on the ground was far from ideal. There had
been tremendous improvements in the situation due to the efforts of KFOR
and the police. At the same time, security was still fragile and could
be put in jeopardy. Hence, the presence of KFOR was crucial. Also
important was the role of the judiciary in maintaining law and order. A
stable and peaceful Kosovo would depend to a great extent on the
credibility of its institutions.
Inter-ethnic relations and the need to forge multi-ethnic harmony
were among the critical issues facing UNMIK, he continued. It was
unrealistic to expect a quick process of reconciliation. The process
must start now by instituting confidence-building measures. Clearly, no
lasting reconciliation was possible unless the long-standing grievances
of different communities were addressed. An important issue in that
regard was the question of detained and missing persons of both
communities, particularly the Kosovar Albanians. He supported the
appointment of a special envoy for missing and detained persons. The
early appointment of an envoy would contribute positively to the healing
of the wounds of the past. That appointment had been the earnest and
expressed desire of the people of Kosovo. For the envoy to be
successful, all parties must extend their full cooperation to him,
especially the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
He said that the future of Kosovo would depend on the management of
the situation by the international community and the Kosovo people. He
looked forward to sustained support for UNMIK, KFOR and the successful
conduct of upcoming municipal elections. The international community
must come to grips with those issues to ensure a long-term solution to
the Kosovo question. Of course there were flaws and imperfections in the
implementation of resolution 1244. However, it was important for the
Council and the international community to look at the larger picture of
what UNMIK was doing rather than focus on the imperfections.
ALPHONS HAMER (Netherlands) said that the report echoed the call by
Mr. Kouchner for the appointment of a special envoy for detained and
missing persons. That envoy’s mandate would require some careful
drafting. Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
and others should be giving the issue their full attention. He remained
concerned with the continuing violence in Kosovo but noted that the
mission had been useful in urging all communities to reject such
Other recent developments had raised the hope that breaking with the
destructive past was possible, he continued. There was Serbian
participation in State structures, even if it was now only in an
observer capacity. It was not constructive to note only the problems
which still existed. It was a small miracle that there were still people
left in Kosovo, people who were willing to break out of the past. They
deserved undivided support. Preparations for the upcoming municipal
elections were well under way. He hoped that the Serbs would realize
that it was in their best interest to register for those elections.
There were indications that public opinion was shifting in favour of the
moderates. It was regrettable that Serb hardliners were still trying to
obstruct the holding of successful elections.
OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) said it was essential to exercise a little
realism and to keep in mind that UNMIK had not been deployed long enough
to fully execute its mandate. The results it had achieved so far were
remarkable and must be acknowledged.
The report of the mission was full of positive signs, for example the
desire by all the ethnic communities to live in peace. UNMIK’s
measures to establish an interim administration and to rebuild economic
infrastructures seemed likely to lead to lasting results. Access by the
whole population to basic services must be enhanced.
In Tunisia’s opinion, it would be a good move for the Council to
respond rapidly to the request for the appointment of a special envoy
for disappeared and detained persons. Strengthening the rule of law
would make it easier for the judicial system to assume its role. He
called on the international community to support the creation of
conditions favouring the return of refugees. He believed that the
forthcoming municipal elections would make it possible to gauge the will
of the various communities to live together, and to that end, he
favoured broad participation by each and every community.
He appealed to Member States to support the efforts under way in
ARNOLDO M. LISTRE (Argentina) said his delegation thought the
Security Council mission had fulfilled its objectives. Council
resolution 1224 was being implemented properly and reasonably well in
Kosovo as a result of the efforts of UNMIK and KFOR. His country was
proud of its contribution to UNMIK. He said UNMIK and KFOR were working
in difficult conditions and their needs should be met. Public order was
being maintained and refugees encouraged to return to Kosovo.
He said the mandate for organizing and supervising institutions,
including the holding of elections, was being carried out. Argentina
hoped that the Serb community would participate in the elections. He
trusted that the work of UNMIK and the Special Representative would
allay the fears of the Serb community. The continued inter-ethnic
violence, the question of missing persons and the return of refugees
should also be tackled. He said violence had made it difficult for
refugees to return. His delegation supported the appointment of a
special envoy for missing persons, and hoped the envoy would have the
support of the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said that the international community ought
to support the efforts of UNMIK and KFOR in a sustainable manner, and at
the same time continue to encourage the ethnic communities in Kosovo to
participate actively in the process. As the report of the Council's
mission to Kosovo made clear, UNMIK and KFOR faced Herculean tasks in
providing for physical security, freedom of movement (particularly for
ethnic minorities), access to education and health care, as well as
guaranteeing the return of refugees and internally displaced persons.
His delegation welcomed the participation of Serbs as observers in
the Joint Interim Administrative Structures, Kosovo Transitional Council
and the Interim Administrative Council. He also hoped that soon the
Serbs would upgrade their participation in those institutions. He
encouraged the Bosniac and Roma representatives to join the Transitional
The international community should help all the ethnic communities
move towards peaceful coexistence, he said, noting the mission’s
reference to the expressed desire of those communities to “live in
peace together". Namibia hoped that the contacts between leaders of
Albanian and Serb communities in Mitrovica would continue and would
provide the opportunity for confidence-building and reconciliation.
Namibia agreed with the mission that the process of reconciliation,
rebuilding and resettlement was a protracted one. But it was confident
that the foundation derived from the work of the international community
would continue to provide the people of Kosovo with the necessary
ingredients for reorganizing their lives.
ILLALKAMAR AGOUMAR (Mali) said the report before the Council was
significant. Although they had proclaimed their wish to live in peace,
the different ethnic communities in Kosovo continued to be deeply
divided. Progress along the road to peaceful coexistence remained
His delegation therefore considered the proposal to appoint a special
envoy for missing persons and detainees was essential if the differences
among the various ethnic communities were to be resolved. Mali strongly
supported all measures, particularly those on confidence-building, to
re-start the local economy. Given the terms of resolution 1060, and in
the interests of transparency, KFOR should keep the Council informed of
progress in Kosovo.
VOLODYMYR YEL’CHENKO (Ukraine) said that the mandate of the mission
to Kosovo was successfully accomplished. Now it was essential for the
Council to build on those findings and conclusions in order to define
further steps towards the enhancement of the implementation of
resolution 1244 and support to UNMIK. Having noticed some positive
tendencies to normalization of life in the province, he remained
concerned with the overall security situation, first and foremost as it
related to the protection of ethnic minorities and their human rights.
Although the crime rate in the province had gone down, it still remained
It was absolutely clear, he said, that unless the proper security of
the national minorities was ensured and their basic human rights
properly protected, they would continue to be subjected to violence and
thus feel insecure about returning to Kosovo. Undoubtedly, all
additional security arrangements should be undertaken by UNMIK and KFOR
to reverse that situation. Given the urgent need to enhance the security
situation and to assist UNMIK police in meeting the pressing
requirements for specialized units, Ukraine was prepared to send a
110-strong specialized police unit. Also, preparations for the joint
Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion earmarked for KFOR were under
While he supported the appointment of a special envoy for missing and
detained persons, the creation of that post would not bring any results
unless it was supported by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said.
That support was conditional on full implementation of all provisions of
resolution 1244. Also, everything should be done to ensure participation
of all Kosovo inhabitants in civil registration and municipal elections,
whether they were currently being held in or outside the province.
Denial of the right of the numerous Kosovo inhabitants outside the
province to take part in those elections might give them grounds to
challenge the legitimacy of the final results.
As to the future of Kosovo, he said that it would be impossible to
tackle that issue without the direct engagement of the parties -- the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Albanians of Kosovo. No decision,
regardless of how attractive it was to the international community,
would be workable unless it was directly negotiated and implemented by
the parties themselves. The final decision could not be imposed on the
parties to the conflict. Finally, reconstruction efforts in the region
as a whole should be cohesive, and not used as a means of political
Mr. CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh), speaking in his national capacity, said
that improvement in the security situation in Kosovo called for the
urgent deployment of approved security personnel. Also necessary was
stimulation of economic activities and reconstruction. Community-based
programmes needed to be undertaken extensively. With regard to missing
and detained persons, he supported the appointment of a special envoy.
Having personally seen the agony of hundreds of families in Kosovo, he
reiterated his strong support for such an appointment. It was crucial
for mutual trust and confidence-building among the different
Improvement in the situation of refugees and internally displaced
persons and their return hinged on the perception of security as well as
a functioning judiciary, he continued. The role of UNHCR in that regard
was very much appreciated. The matter should be closely monitored by the
Council. The foundations of sustainable peace and reconciliation were to
be laid by a culture of peace by all, particularly the younger
WANG YINGFAN (China), President of the Council, said his delegation
shared the regrets expressed that some countries, including the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, had not been able to address the Council. He
hoped the situation would change. He said it was highly necessary that
the situation in Kosovo be reviewed comprehensively, as the KFOR and
UNMIK had been deployed there for almost a year. China appreciated their
dedication and hard work.
He said the security situation, the physical security of Serbs and
other minorities in particular, was still worrying. Due to the extreme
lack of a sense of safety, and given the situation of Serbs and other
minorities, there still existed enormous difficulties in the way of the
return of internally displaced persons and refugees from third
countries, even though UNMIK had emphasized it was a priority. In
Pristina, where 40,000 Serbs and Montenegrins had once lived, there were
now fewer than 100 Serbs. It was a horrible situation, he said.
Since Serbs and other minority groups were not able to return
normally to their homes in Kosovo, he said it was impossible for them to
integrate into society. Without integration, similarly, the “strengthening
of the multi-ethnic interim administration" was out of the
question. Regarding the forthcoming municipal elections, he said that
careful planning and preparation must be carried out in addition to
improvements in the security situation. The registration of voters must
ensure broad representation, especially of minorities. Otherwise, there
was no way to guarantee the fairness of the elections.
He stressed that Council resolution 1244 must be fully implemented.
UNMIK must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as
the laws of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and seek its cooperation
and participation. He said some administrative measures currently
adopted in Kosovo had undermined the sovereignty of the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia. He mentioned identification documents issued in Kosovo
without Yugoslav authorization stamps issued, and the flying of the
Albanian flag beside the United Nations flag at the UNNMIK compound. He
said some foreign guests had visited Kosovo without notifying the
Yugoslav authorities, and some countries had also sent diplomatic
representatives without prior consultation.
Security Council resolution 1244 reaffirmed the commitment of all
Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he pointed out. The United Nations was
not in Kosovo for the purpose of helping the locals gain independence.
UNMIK should get that message across unmistakably to the local people,
Any attempt either to discriminate against other ethnic groups in
Kosovo’s public life, or to pull Kosovo towards independence, was
dangerous. It would give rise to new disturbances in the Balkans and
thus eventually victimize people of all countries in the region, he