Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Delay will not make a solution easier – it will make it much more difficult


Wednesday, 13 December 2006      

SRSG Joachim Rücker addresses the UN Security Council 

PRISTINA – Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo (SRSG) Joachim Rücker today addressed the UN Security Council Session on Kosovo. Prime Minister Agim Çeku accompanied the SRSG in the Security Council. The SRSG noted that while the status process has clearly been brought a long way forward this year, momentum needs to be maintained and a timely status settlement achieved. 

“Resolving Kosovo's status would benefit the entire Balkan region, including Belgrade. On the other hand, further delay would entail significant political and economic costs for Kosovo, for our neighbours, for the region as a whole and for the international community,” the SRSG said. “Delay is more than just a loss of time. Delay will raise tension and play into the hands of extremists on all sides.” 

“Delay will not make a solution easier – it will make it much more difficult.” Mr. Rücker noted. 

Standards implementation remains a top priority of both the Kosovo Government and UNMIK, the SRSG noted. “We sometimes have the impression from our international interlocutors that with all the focus on the status process, the implementation of standards has been forgotten or pushed aside. This is not at all the case. Standards remain at the core of our daily work on the ground in Kosovo, with particular concentration on the 13 priority areas set out by the Contact Group earlier this year, most of which have been fulfilled,” Mr. Rücker said. 

The SRSG also updated the Security Council on UNMIK’s planning for transition. “Once the status decision is made, UNMIK will need to provide for an orderly and smooth handover to future local and international institutions established under the status settlement. Early and prudent planning is indispensable in order to achieve this, and transition planning has now become one of our key priorities,” Mr. Rücker said. 

“We need to do as much as possible – without prejudice to the status process – before the formal transition period begins with the passage of a Resolution by this Council,” the SRSG highlighted. 

In conclusion, the SRSG noted the importance of the international community’s continued support for Kosovo. “The United Nations has accomplished much in Kosovo. We now owe it to Kosovo, and to you, to make sure that this final phase of UN administration is wrapped up in an orderly and in a responsible manner. I trust that you will help in this endeavour by keeping the momentum in the status process and by seeing it through.” 

For the full text of the SRSG’s speech please follow the link below:

(the link will be active from 14 December 2006)

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