The triumvirate of the Joint Committee on Returns also includes the head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, and the commander of the international peacekeeping force (KFOR), General Joun Ortuno. Members of the Committee include the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNMIK International Police, international project donors and Serb leaders of various regions of Kosovo.
Dr. Kouchner announced the formation of the Committee at a press conference yesterday in which the leader of the Security Council delegation visiting Kosovo, Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury of Bangladesh, said at the conclusion of their visit that his delegation encouraged the return of all refugees and displaced people to their homes.
Ambassador Chowdhury said, however, "we should also be able to receive them properly". The question of security, accommodation and livelihood was "very important", he said.
The eight-member Security Council delegation, which visited all major communities in Kosovo, met with Serb religious and community leaders at the main Orthodox Church in Gnjilane where the Serb population has shrunk from 12,000 to 800 since the end of the war in June. The movement of those who remain is possible only with an escort of international peacekeepers or police, according to UNMIK.
Serb community leaders told the delegation that while they believed the registration of all the population currently going on in the province was important, they were unable to advise their people to participate pending concrete signs of local Serbs beginning to return to Kosovo.
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