Kosovo: Press Briefing Transcript for briefing of 25 Apr 2007

News and Press Release
Originally published


Special Briefing by UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Joachim Rücker

UNMIK Spokesperson Alexander Ivanko

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Today we have with us the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Joachim Rücker. Sir, you have the floor.

Special Representative of the Secretary General, Joachim Rücker

Thank you and I apologize for the delay. I have been at the Conference for the Investments for Kosovo that is taking place at the Grand Hotel at the moment and I think it comes at the right time, because I think apart from the status, the economy presents the biggest challenge and I think it is good that this is addressed in this way, and people are focusing all day on some of the economic challenges.

Let me talk to you about the upcoming visit of the Security Council delegation. This is of course, the Security Council Mission, an important milestone in the preparation of the decision of the Security Council that is upcoming. This Mission is meant to enable the Security Council members to see with their own eyes the situation on the ground so it is primarily an information gathering, an information-gathering Mission.

I would like to recall that this is not the first time that the SC is coming to Kosovo. They have been here in April 2000, they have been here in June 2001 and they have been here in December 2002. Most of the ambassadors are coming, and this shows that Kosovo is very high on the international community's agenda. The SC Mission will meet with a cross section of Kosovo society. It is very critical to have a balanced and realistic view of the situation.

The program is still being finalized. Care has been taken to ensure that the SC Mission has the opportunity to look into progress since 1999, in particular progress on implementing the standards, but also challenges and disappointments. There will be a particular focus on the situation of minorities and on the commitment by the majority community to look after the minorities in Kosovo.

I do not want to go into details of where the SC Mission will go. I think Alex has given you an overview yesterday, on where we are with the program. They will have meetings in Pristina on Friday, in Mitrovica on Friday as well as in different places in southern and western Kosovo, on Saturday, as Alex has informed you.

I will talk to them not only about the implementation of standards, since the inception of standards in 2003, but obviously also about the implementation of 1244. Both the achievements and disappointments during the past eight years. And if you look into the Resolution 1244, it is basically Paragraph 11 with the letters A to K that describes UNMIK's mandate. I will tell them that there is a Government, there are Ministries, there are Municipalities, four elections have been held since 1999, there is rule of law, crime rates are comparable with those in the region. These are great achievements that all Kosovars can be proud of, but at the same time there are disappointments: low number of returns, inadequate participation of the Kosovo Serbs in the central institutions and still a difficult economic situation, and the SC Mission must see this as well. The reasons for these disappointments are many. I will not go into them here. It is important, however, for the SC Mission to have a better sense of the limitations of what can be achieved, under the current circumstances and that includes lack of status.