New York, 17 May 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
on Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (S/2010/169)
On behalf of the delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I would like to express our appreciation to the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report (S/2010/169) on the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK). I would also like to thank Mr. Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, for introducing the report. We welcome the participation of His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and Mr. Skender Hyseni in today’s meeting.
We note with appreciation that the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, operating within the framework of resolution 1244 (1999), is successfully continuing the implementation of its strategic goal — the promotion of security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo. We particularly welcome and commend UNMIK’s efforts to encourage the process of reconciliation and to facilitate constructive dialogue and regional cooperation, as well as its focus on mediation between the communities and its support to minority communities.
In that context, we are of the view that efforts to encourage inter-community dialogue and confidencebuilding among the parties are of particular importance in the area of returns. Although the number of voluntary minority returns remains low, we are encouraged by the fact that there has been an increase in comparison to 2008. Furthermore, in stressing the importance of providing conditions conducive to sustainable return, we welcome UNMIK’s efforts to establish task forces, with the main objective of decreasing tension and drawing attention to common needs.
Furthermore, during the reporting period, UNMIK continued to facilitate the activities of the Reconstruction Implementation Commission, led by the Council of Europe, on the reconstruction of cultural and religious heritage sites. We also welcome the European Union’s announcement of the appointment of the head of the Greek Liaison Office in Pristina as facilitator in that area, and we urge the key stakeholders to engage constructively in consultations led by the facilitator.
Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that strengthening the rule of law in Kosovo is of great importance. Hence, we welcome the activities of UNMIK and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), operating within the status neutral framework of the United Nations, in that regard. We also support the existing practice of cooperation and coordination among UNMIK, EULEX, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO — the latter present through the troops of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) — and we hope that this practice will continue. Furthermore, we note that, during the reporting period, the transition of KFOR to a deterrent presence was implemented in gradual and phased manner, as stated in the Secretary-General’s report.
In conclusion, Bosnia and Herzegovina would like to reiterate that stability and security in Kosovo are important to achieving lasting peace and prosperity in our region. We believe that the international community should continue to play an important role in supporting the aspirations of the countries of the region to their integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. At the same time, we believe that the countries of the region should continue to cooperate with the international community in order to reach these goals. Finally, we would like to reiterate that fostering good relations and cooperation with its neighbours is of the utmost importance to Bosnia and Herzegovina.