PRISTINA - Three Kosovo Albanian political leaders today signed a landmark agreement by which they agreed to share the provisional management of Kosovo with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo until elections next year.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernard Kouchner, who under the agreement retains executive and legislative authority, witnessed and accepted the Agreement on the establishment of a Kosovo-UNMIK Joint Administrative Structure. Signatories were Hashim Thaci of the PPDK (Peoples Democratic Party of Kosovo), Ibrahim Rugova of the LDK (Democratic League of Kosovo) and Rexhep Qosja of the LDB (United Democratic Movement). The Kosovo signatories had represented Kosovo Albanians at the Rambouillet talks in early 1999. A fourth member of the Interim Administrative Council formed by the agreement will be a Kosovo Serb, who has not yet been named.
"This is a major breakthrough, a historic moment for Kosovo", Dr. Kouchner said at a press briefing following the signing. Noting that the agreement had come after months of negotiations, Dr. Kouchner stated that "This is not the end of a process, but the beginning: It is the biggest step yet in our mission to establish substantial autonomy, then, after elections, self-government for Kosovo."
He pointed out that the new structure would involve the people of Kosovo directly in their own affairs, thus contributing to the mandate given to him by the Security-Council and the Secretary-General to establish substantial autonomy followed by self-government.
He said UNMIK's work had been hampered by the activities of parallel structures in Kosovo, which are to be transformed or integrated into the new Joint Interim Administrative Structure by 31 January when the JIAC becomes operational.
Dr. Kouchner and the Kosovo Albanian leaders agreed that the new shared administration should help in the fight against crime and to speed up the creation of new governing structures and police for Kosovo.
- The governing principles of the agreement which were accepted by the signatory parties were:
- Full respect for UN Security Council resolution 1244, meaning that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General retains the legislative and executive authority, while representatives of political forces in Kosovo will be sharing provisional administrative management with UNMIK.
- All administrative decisions of the JIAS must be in conformity with the Applicable Law in Kosovo which consists now of a) the UNMIK regulations and b) the law in place on 22 March 1989, as long as it is not contradictory to international human rights treaties. For example, we have explicitly abolished the death penalty.
- All structures outside the JIAS will cease to exist, at the latest when the JIAS shall be operational by 31 January.
- All communities of Kosovo will be involved in the provisional administrative management with a fair representation.
The Agreement also establishes an Interim Administrative Council, which met for the first time just after 12 noon today to discuss its rules of procedures. It will define the policies which the departments will follow and will recommend new regulations or amendments to current law. The IAC will consist of eight members -- the three Kosovo Albanian political leaders and as-yet-unnamed Kosovo Serb, plus four UNMIK members and one observer for each side.
The UNMIK members will be the Principle Deputy Special Representative and the Deputy SRSGs who head Civil Administration, Democratization and Institution-Building and Economic Reconstruction. The Deputy SRSG heading Humanitarian Affairs will have observer status, reflecting the downsizing of emergency humanitarian aid to Kosovo expected to commence next year.
The IAC, which will meet at least once a week, with the SRSG as presiding officer, will arrive at decisions if possible by consensus or by a majority vote. In the event of a deadlock, the SRSG will make the final decision. The Council will be co-chaired by the PDSRSG and a Kosovo member who will rotate every two months.
The Kosovo Transitional Council, which has been the highest level advisory body of Kosovo representatives to UNMIK, will maintain its consultative role and will expand to better reflect the pluralistic composition of Kosovo.
The 14 departments will be Finance and Economic Development; Reconstruction and Donor Co-ordination; Business Administration and Commerce; Education and Science; Culture; Civil Affairs; Justice; Transport, Post and Telecommunications; Health and Social Welfare; Agriculture and Environmental Protection; Civil Security and Emergency Relief; Democratization and Media Development; Local Administration and Emigration Issues.
For information only-not an official record
Contact UNMIK Press and Information Office-(381-38) 500-223, extension 5719.
UNITED NATIONS INTERIM ADMINISTRATION MISSION IN KOSOVO
13 December 1999
We, the undersigned, herewith agree to participate in the establishment by UNMIK of a Kosovo-UNMIK Joint Interim Administrative Structure as outlined in the annex to this agreement. We agree that the following principles shall govern the establishment of the Joint Interim Administrative Structure:
- Respecting UN Security Council resolution 1244, representatives of political forces of Kosovo share provisional administrative management with UNMIK. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) retains legislative and executive authority.
- All administrative decisions must be in conformity with the Applicable Law in Kosovo.
- The Joint Interim Administrative Structure shall be established. Current Kosovo structures, be they executive, legislative or judicial (such as the "Provisional Government of Kosovo", "Presidency of the Republic of Kosovo"), shall be transformed and progressively integrated, to the extent possible and in conformity with this agreement, into the Joint Interim Administrative Structure. The establishment of the Joint Interim Administrative Structure shall start immediately. It should be operational by 31 January, by which time these and all other Kosovo structures of an executive, legislative or judicial nature shall cease to exist.
- All communities of Kosovo shall be involved in the provisional administrative management through the procedures laid out in the annex with a fair representation of all Communities.
We are ready to participate personally as members of the Interim Administrative Council following appointment by the SRSG. We are looking forward to the early participation of a representative of the Kosovo Serb community in the Interim Administrative Council, to be appointed by the SRSG.
We are looking forward to an early Regulation to be issued by the SRSG to establish the Interim Administrative Council and to authorize the establishment of Administrative Departments.
The agreement and its annex are prepared in Albanian and English. In case of conflict, the English version shall prevail. The agreement and its annex will be translated into Serbian.
For the PPDK: Hashim Thaci President
For the LDK: Ibrahim Rugova President
For the LDB: Rexhep Qosja President
Witnessed and accepted by:
Special Representative of the Secretary-General