NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 14 – Noting recent momentum to advance democracy and good governance in Kosovo, the head of the United Nations Mission there urged for more emphasis on rebuilding trust and reconciliation, including through engagement with women and the youth, as well as on overcoming challenges related to freedom of cultural and religious identity.
“With the end of the election cycle, the time for action now moves ahead of the time for excuse,” Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), told the Security Council Tuesday. “It is important that the potential for embarking on a sustainable peace process not be hindered by inflexibility or simple inaction,” he added, calling all parties to play their part in the process.
In his briefing, Mr. Tanin informed the Security Council that 40 new judges and 13 new state prosecutors from the Serb community were sworn into office in Kosovo, who would work as part of a unitary Kosovo justice system. He, however, noted that the implementation of agreements made in 2013 and earlier, continue, at best, to be sporadic and variable. “Within the framework of the European Union (EU)-facilitated dialogue, technical implementation needs more meaningful commitment from both sides,” said Tanin, noting that the most obvious gap is the lack of progress towards the implementation of the agreed Community/Association of Serb-majority municipalities.
“Italy is bound by long standing ties of friendship to Kosovo and Serbia and is also a long-standing supporter of the path Western Balkans’ Countries have chosen towards the European Union. European integration is the key for the long-lasting peace and development of the entire region. Italy will continue to promote regional integration, building upon the outcomes of the Summit on Western Balkans held in Trieste last July under our Presidency of the Berlin Process”, the Italian permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi said.
Cardi chaired the meeting as president of the Security Council for the month of November. He assured, in his national capacity, that Italy will continue to assist Kosovo, being aware of the many challenges that are still to be confronted but also taking into account the progress made during these years. “In this perspective, we stand ready to discuss a way forward for the United Nations’ presence in the Country, which should be adjusted to the present needs, in coordination with the other international actors involved and in line with the wider review of peacekeeping operations”. (@OnuItalia)