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Germany contributes additional DM 19 million to the UN Trust Fund for Kosovo

On November 5, 1999, Bernhard Kouchner, the head of the UN Mission in Kosovo, issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations for additional resources for Kosovo. Kouchner explained that many communal services such as hospital, fire brigades, water and electricity utilities remain, despite some progress, in desperate need of reconstruction. Deputy mission leader Tom Koenigs, who is overseeing the rebuilding of civil administrative structures, has likewise described the situation in Kosovo as alarming and has stressed the need for additional financial contributions from the UN member states. Following this report, Secretary General Kofi Annan and the UN Secretariat launched an urgent appeal to the donor community to respond positively to this request.

Germany's Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted immediately and decided to contribute an additional DM 19 million to the UN Trust Fund for Kosovo. This supplemental funding comes as the German government is grappling with the need to cut federal spending while continuing the rebuilding of the Germany's eastern states and providing the lion's share of the financial support for the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Germany is now the largest contributor to all areas of the peace efforts in the Balkans in general and Kosovo in particular. This underlines our serious commitment to a peaceful and stable Kosovo, free of violence and hatred, and, via the Stability Pact, to a more promising future of the whole region as a part of Europe.

This intensive engagement calls attention, moreover, to the lack of reform of the decision-making process in the United Nations. Especially in the Security Council, outstanding contributors to peacekeeping operations have insufficient opportunity to make their opinions heard in a timely and just manner. Thus the Permanent Representative of Germany, Ambassador Dieter Kastrup, has on several occasions appealed to the Presidency of the Security Council to enhance the transparency of its deliberations on all Balkan issues.