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Kosovo: SRSG and the Prime Minister launch the 2005 Strategic framework on communities and returns

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Pristina - SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen and Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi today launched the 2005 Strategic Framework on Communities and Returns during the first meeting of the High Level Task Force on Returns. Among those present on the occasion were representatives of political parties, Contact Group members, Heads of UNMIK Pillars and representatives of international organizations and NGOs.
Addressing the meeting, the SRSG said, "The issue of returns is clearly a critical one for Kosovo - the priority standard of priority standards in some respects. My hope is that today's launch of the Strategic Framework will help to energise the returns process and thereby lead to significant advances, not necessarily in the number of returnees, but to the quality of life for those that do come back, and for the quality of choice for those that are considering returning."

Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi expressed the Government's readiness to take responsibility for all citizens of Kosovo. "The Strategic Framework on Communities and Returns shows clearly the policy of the Government. It confirms Government's position on returning all refugees in their properties. Furthermore, it confirms our readiness to offer financial help to the returnees. The matter of Communities and Returns shall be treated carefully in our future long term policies," said the Prime Minister.

The Strategic Framework on Communities and Returns outlines the "road ahead" for the returns process, and is articulated around three main priority areas: the promotion of safety and freedom of movement; the creation of sustainable conditions for returns; and the enhancement of institutional support for returns.

The framework will be followed, in the coming months, by the formulation and implementation of specific activities to be included in a "Programme of Action on Communities and Returns". This process will be based on inputs and consultation with all stake holders such as political parties, minority leaders, IDP representatives, donors, NGOs, UNMIK and the PISG.