Local political leaders to share administration of Kosovo with the UN: Three Kosovo Albanian political leaders today signed a landmark agreement to share the provisional administrative management of Kosovo with UNMIK until elections next year. Under the agreement, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General retains executive and legislative authority.
The agreement establishes a Kosovo-UNMIK Joint Interim Administrative Structure (JIAS), which becomes operational on 31 January and will involve the people of Kosovo in the administration of their own affairs. Under the agreement, 14 joint Administrative Departments will be established, each to be co-headed by a representative of UNMIK and Kosovo. The Departments will be Finance and Economic Development, Reconstruction and Donor Coordination, Business Administration and Commerce, Education and Science, Culture, Civil Affairs, Justice, Transport, Post and Telecommunications, Health and Social Welfare, Agriculture and Environmental Protection, Civil Security and Emergency Relief, Democratization and Media Development, Local Administration and Emigration Issues.
The agreement also establishes an Interim Administrative Council, which will define the policies the Departments will follow and recommend new regulations or amendments to current law. The Council will consist of eight members including the signatories of the agreement -- Mr. Hashim Thaci of the PPDK (Peoples Democratic Party of Kosovo), Mr. Ibrahim Rugova of the LDK (Democratic League of Kosovo) and Mr. Rexhep Qosja of the LBD (United Democratic Movement) and a Kosovo Serb, who has not yet been named, plus four UNMIK members and one observer for each side. UNMIK members will be the Principal Deputy Special Representative and the Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General heading Civil Administration, Democratization and Institution-Building and Economic Reconstruction. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General heading Humanitarian Affairs will have observer status, reflecting the downsizing of emergency humanitarian aid to Kosovo expected to commence next year.
The Council will meet at least once a week and arrive at decisions by consensus or by a majority vote. In the event of a deadlock, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General will make the final decision. The Council will be co-chaired by the Principal Deputy Representative of the Secretary-General and a Kosovo member, who will rotate every two months.
The new administrative structure will conform to the UN Security Council resolution 1244 and the applicable law in Kosovo, namely the UNMIK regulations and the law in place on 22 March 1989, as long as it is not contradictory to international human rights treaties. All parallel structures will be transformed or integrated into JIAS while fair representation of all communities in Kosovo in the administrative management will be ensured.
The Kosovo Transitional Council, which has been the highest level advisory body of Kosovo representatives to UNMIK, will maintain its consultative role and will expand to better reflect the pluralistic composition of Kosovo.