UNMIK launches new postage stamps: In what was described as a significant step forward in restoring communications within Kosovo, UNMIK today issued a set of five postage stamps designed around the theme "Peace in Kosovo". With the launch of the new stamp series, mail service inside Kosovo will begin this week and international service should be available in mid-May, UNMIK spokeswoman Susan Manuel said. UNMIK has opened 80 of 130 Kosovo post offices, employing 700 staff, with funding from the European Agency for Reconstruction. The agency will also donate 60 vehicles to the Kosovo postal service in late April.
All five subjects of the UNMIK stamps, designed by Kosovo artist Shyqri Nimani, represent aspects of the cultural and historical heritage of Kosovo. First day covers go on sale tomorrow in six post offices in Pristina and in Ferizai, Prizren, Djakova, Peja, Mitrovica and Gjnilane. Outside Kosovo, collectors can order them from the UN Postal Administration in New York, Geneva or Vienna, or through their local stamp dealers.
Interim Administrative Council stresses need for fair coverage of elections: The Interim Administrative Council (IAC) has called for fair coverage of the upcoming campaign for municipal elections and a well-informed electorate. The IAC made the call during its regular meeting today in which it discussed in length the role of the media in the local elections to be held later this year. The head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, who informed the IAC that the elections have received approval from the UN Security Council, also said he opened a discussion with the Security Council during his recent visit to New York on the legal framework for Kosovo-wide elections at some later date.
The IAC also named a Kosovar, a Mr. Zenun Pajaziti of LBD (United Democratic Movement), as the co-head for the Department of Sport.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees to visit Kosovo: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mrs. Sadako Ogata, will on Friday visit Pristina where she will meet with the head of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, UNHCR spokesperson said at today's press briefing in Geneva. Mrs. Ogata. is also scheduled to visit the divided city of Mitrovica and meet with representatives of both the Serb and the ethnic Albanian communities. The High Commissioner will be on a 13-day long tour of the Balkans to examine progress on refugee and displacement issues in the region where last year the agency spent nearly a third of its annual budget. She will meet with high-ranking national and international officials across southeastern Europe.