NEW YORK, MAY 16 – With the perspective of anticipated elections coming up in Kosovo on June 11, Italy at the UN called on Pristina not to lose the focus on the swift implementation of all measures agreed in the framework of the EU facilitated dialogue, with special regard to the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities. “Also, it is important for Pristina to keep the pace on the path of reforms, spanning from the strengthening the rule of law and the fight against corruption to socioeconomic development”, the Italian Permanent representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi said in a speech to the Council.
The perspective of the European integration is crucial in driving the efforts and reforms that the Western Balkans are expected to carry out, Cardi said. He strongly condemned the “nationalist and divisive rhetoric” recently reignited throughout the region and called on all parties “to refrain from any unilateral initiative or declaration that could hinder the common efforts to improve cooperation and consolidate stability”.
Underscoring the priority of the European track and acknowledging the substantial progress achieved by Kosovo during these years, Italy encouraged the Security Council to consider a review of the UN presence in Kosovo, including a reconfiguration of UNMIK consistent with the overall peacekeeping reform. “This, in our view, will obviously have to be done in close coordination with other International Organizations active in the region, notably, EU, NATO, OSCE”, the Italian Ambassador said.
The future of this region matters to the entire Europe and especially to Italy, Cardi declared recalling the longstanding Italian contribution to the UN, EULEX and KFOR activities as well as at bilateral level. As Chair of the Berlin Process in 2017, Italy has established a fruitful dialogue with all Western Balkans Countries and on May 24 the six Ministers of the region countries will visit Rome to meet with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano in preparation of the Summit hosted in Trieste on July 12th – “a Summit that will provide added value to the regional cooperation process and to the European integration path of the Western Balkans”. (@OnuItalia)