Briefing on Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.
Khalilah Hackman (Ms.)
Security Council Chamber
United Nations, New York
October 24 2023
BRIEFING ON THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS INTERIM ADMINISTRATION MISSION IN KOSOVO (UNMIK)
I would like to welcome the participation of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, H. E. Ms. Ana Brnabić.
We thank the Secretary-General for his latest report on the activities of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and also thank Ms. Caroline Ziadeh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, for her important briefing and continuing leadership of United Nations’ efforts in the Kosovo region.
My delegation also takes note of the remarks made by the Civil Society briefer, Ms. Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu.
At the outset, let me reiterate Ghana’s continuing support for the mandate of UNMIK. Given the continuing political conditions in the region, the role of UNMIK in promoting security, stability and respect for human rights remains vital. We also welcome UNMIK-led initiatives for trust-building, social cohesion and enhanced inter-communal engagements.
We note and urge further support for UNMIK’s engagements with women and the youth aimed at enhancing their role in peacebuilding and supporting resilience-building measures at the community level. The decision to integrate the Women, Peace and Security agenda and incorporate gender perspectives into the normalization process can enhance the chances of restoring peace, stability and growth in the region.
We note with concern, however, the violation of UNMIK offices and reiterate the inviolability of its premises and assets. We urge all necessary measures to ensure the unimpeded operations of the Mission.
On the political front, we note with concern the persisting tensions that impede the further implementation of the 27th of February Normalization Agreement and its Implementation Annex of 18th March. We continue to believe that the Agreement offers a renewed opportunity for achieving a comprehensive normalization of relations between Serbia and the Kosovo region, necessary for long-term peace, security and prosperity in the Balkan region.
Therefore, in welcoming the establishment of the Joint Monitoring Committee as an important step, we believe that further efforts are needed for its operationalization and advancing the objectives of the Agreement. We note the sustained support of the European Union and urge continuing efforts to resolve concerns surrounding sequencing modalities which have stalled progress in the implementation of the Agreements.
My delegation firmly believes that dialogue and diplomacy offer the best chances for resolving the longstanding dispute between the Kosovo region and Serbia and welcome, in this regard, the role of regional actors in support of de-escalation.
We urge all authorities to refrain from unilateral actions and inflammatory rhetoric, which have, in some instances, resulted in violent clashes, leading to needless civilian casualties. The parties must continue to remain committed to dialogue in good faith with the aim of reaching mutually agreed pathways for achieving the objectives of normalization and peaceful co-existence.
We continue to be concerned about the persisting tensions in the Northern Kosovo region. The tensions and violent escalations reported by the Secretary-General are emblematic of a deeply divided society. We, therefore, call for the intensification of confidence and trust-building efforts to help assuage deep-seated grievances which stand in the way of reason and mutual cooperation.
Our delegation has also consistently urged the non-politicization of the issue of missing persons, and we welcome the understanding reached by the two sides to address the issue as a humanitarian concern. We believe such an approach is necessary to accelerate action to uncover the facts about the 1600 missing persons who have remained unaccounted for the past twenty-five years.
In closing, let me reaffirm the importance of United Nations efforts in support of a comprehensive and lasting solution to the decades-long problem. We also reiterate the need for all peace efforts in the Kosovo region to be based on the principles of international law and the values of the United Nations Charter.
We reiterate, once more, that all sides must demonstrate an unprecedented level of commitment and good faith in the normalization process. Greater efforts are certainly required for the full and effective implementation of the Agreement and earlier commitments in the wider interest of the people and the Balkan region at large.
I thank you for your kind attention.