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Security Council holds private meeting on Kosovo

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The United Nations Interim Administration in Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) continued to be preoccupied by the harassment, eviction and murder of minorities, a senior UN peacekeeping official told the Security Council today.
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi was briefing the Council on the latest developments in Kosovo in a private meeting -- an informal session that is closed to the press and the public. Council non-members may be invited to attend such meetings without the right to speak.

According to a UN spokeswoman, Mr. Annabi told the Council that even though the security situation in Kosovo had deteriorated in early February, UNMIK had made gradual progress in restoring the rule of law, including the first round of appointments of judges and prosecutors. By 11 February, there were 2,052 UN police in Kosovo.

The spokeswoman added that Mr. Annabi also drew attention to the humanitarian effort, saying that a humanitarian crisis in Kosovo has been avoided this winter. However, he said that more funding was needed, since the cash available for Kosovo's consolidated budget in 2000 would be exhausted by early March.

In a related development, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Balkans, Mr. Carl Bildt said in a statement released in Sarajevo today that for the international community, Kosovo remained a test of political will and financial resolve in the region.

He said the insecurity that plagued Kosovo would require not only creative solutions but also strong commitments in terms of financial and human resources. "To this day, UNMIK, has been provided by Member States with only about 2,000 out of the total pledged level of 4,000 international policemen. It is urgently necessary that this gap be met as soon as possible," he said.