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OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on first visit to Kosovo

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(Pristina, 22 February 2000) OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, today called on all Kosovars, of Albanian and Serb origin, to stop all form for violence in order to create better circumstances for future generation. Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner also pledged that the required funds in the OSCE would be allocated to voters' registration as soon as possible, so that municipal election can be held in Kosovo in the year 2000. The Chairperson-in-Office is on a one-day visit to Kosovo, where the OSCE has its largest field operation. It is her first Kosovo-visit.
Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner began her visit to the OSCE-run Kosovo Police Service School in Vucitrn/Vushtrri. The remains of the day she spent in Pristina, meeting with SRSG Dr. Bernard Kouchner, with political leaders, two of department heads in the new Joint Interim Administration structure and with OSCE personnel. Finally Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner visited the Media house, where a considerable part of the Kosovar media is located. Media developing and licensing are one of the main tasks of the OSCE mission in Kosovo.

The Chairperson-in-Office stressed the importance of the OSCE role for the peace process in Kosovo in creating functioning democratic institutions, promoting human rights, establishing democracy and supporting free and fair media. "In these areas OSCE has the chance to prove that it is the foremost organization in the field of creating the conditions for a better and more humane, for a pluralistic and democratic society."

In this aspect, Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner mentioned especially the registration of the Kosovo population as one of the most arduous tasks for the organization and called on the minorities of Kosovo to participate in this endeavour.

During her visit, the Chairperson-in-Office handed over pistols from the Austrian Glock-company to the Kosovo Police Service. She also announced the Austrian donations to media in Kosovo: 20,000 DEM to Radio Contact to broaden its transmitting area and to the nascent Kosovo-wide press agency.

OSCE MISSION IN KOSOVO
Beograd Str. 32, 38000, Pristina
Telephone: 381 38 500 162 (Sat): +870-762 138 676.
Fax: 381 38 500 188 (Sat): +870-762 138 677

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