UN transfers final government responsibilities to Kosovo institutions
Harri Holkeri, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Kosovo, sent a letter today to Kosovo's Prime Minister, Bajram Rexhepi, stating that 25 "competencies" would now be carried out by Kosovo's major provisional institutions - the presidency, the government and the Kosovo assembly.
The competencies transferred include specific powers over agriculture, the media, culture and the environment. They are the final batch of government responsibilities to be transferred under a process involving Kosovo's Constitutional Framework that began early last year. UNMIK, which has been in place since June 1999, is trying to establish progressively greater autonomy and more effective self-government to Kosovo.
In a statement issued today, UNMIK said "a small number of specific responsibilities," such as the work of an independent media commission, would not become functional until relevant laws are passed or the relevant administering body is established. But every competency is now the formal responsibility of Kosovo's provisional institutions.
UNMIK retains certain reserve powers in Kosovo, including control over security, foreign relations, minority rights protection and energy, until the province's final status is determined.