New York, 3 August 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalić, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
on Security Council resolutions 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998), 1203 (1998), 1239 (1999)
and 1244 (1999)
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration
Mission in Kosovo (S/2010/401)
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/2010/401) on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). We would also like to thank Mr. Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, for his briefing and the staff of UNMIK for their efforts. We welcome the participation in today’s meeting of Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, and Mr. Skender Hyseni.
We are pleased to note that the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, operating within the framework of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), is successfully continuing its role of maintaining peace, security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo. Furthermore, we appreciate 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.
The report of the Secretary-General indicates that the security situation in Kosovo has remained relatively calm, despite some incidents mainly in northern Kosovo, where the situation has continued to be sensitive and politically delicate. In particular, the end of the reporting period was marked by two incidents that increased tensions. In that regard, Bosnia and Herzegovina condemns the tragic incident that occurred on 2 July, in which one person was killed and several others were injured.
We also regret the tragic death of a member of the Assembly of Kosovo representing the Serb community —Petar Miletić — who was shot by unknown perpetrators in front of his house in northern Mitrovica. Once again, we reiterate our call for an investigation into these incidents and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
We are of the view that efforts to improve intercommunity dialogue and confidence-building among the parties are of particular importance for 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 previous years.
Furthermore, in stressing the importance of providing conditions conducive to sustainable returns, we welcome UNMIK’s efforts to defuse tensions and draw attention to common needs. We encourage the continuation of the practice of “go-and-see” visits, which give displaced persons the opportunity to visit their properties and make first-hand assessments of the conditions in the receiving community.
With regard to the rule of law, 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. 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.
The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not considered the question of whether to recognize Kosovo’s independence. While Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken no position on this question, we take note of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice rendered on 22 July, in which the Court concluded that the declaration of independence of Kosovo, adopted on 17 February 2008, did not violate international law.
Finally, we would like to stress the importance of the European Union-sponsored High-Level Meeting on the Western Balkans held in Sarajevo on 2 June, which reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment to the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries within the new framework of the Lisbon Treaty.
European Union membership for all of the Western Balkans remains our shared objective.