UN Security Council Debate on Kosovo

Stalni predstavnik RH pri Ujedinjenim narodima, veleposlanik Ranko Vilovic, održao je govor na javnoj raspravi Vijeca sigurnosti UN-a o stanju na Kosovu.

Mr. President, I would like to welcome once again the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Vuk Jeremic as well as the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kosovo H.E. Skender Hyseni to the chamber and to thank them for their statements. We also welcome Special Representative of the Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, and thank him for his important contribution and his tireless work. Croatia has aligned itself with the statement on behalf of the European Union that will be delivered by the Swedish Presidency. I would like to use this opportunity to make some additional remarks. Mr. President, Croatia welcomes the continued and steady progress that Kosovo is making along its path of creating a stabile, secure and democratic society. We also salute the European Union for continuing its efforts in advancing the European perspective for all the countries in the region, on the basis of their reform efforts and individual accomplishments. Croatia welcomes the Secretary-General's assessment that the overall security situation in Kosovo has remained relatively calm. However, we are concerned with recent incidents in the north, including the vandalization of 26 European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) vehicles in Priština. Croatia would like to commend UNMIK for its effective and useful role and services it is providing to both communities in Kosovo, as well as for its support to international organizations operating in the north, including through dialogue and cooperation on practical issues that can benefit both Priština and Belgrade. We believe that this in itself confirms the useful role that UNMIK plays in Kosovo, particularly on issues of external relations and international legal assistance, and we call on all parties to continue to cooperate with the Special Representative of the Secretary and his team. Croatia is pleased to see that the EULEX has continued to undertake monitoring, mentoring and advising activities since its full deployment on April 6 this year. Croatia, as a contributing country to EULEX, would like to use this opportunity to commend its leadership and other partner countries for their efforts, in particular in ensuring, in a coordinated manner with UNMIK and KFOR, effective responses to instances of inter-ethnic violence or major public disturbances. We welcome the good cooperation that exists between EULEX and UNMIK, who, together with other international partners, should continue to work together to address new challenges and build a better future for all in Kosovo. We also welcome the high level of interest and support that Kosovo authorities have shown in helping EULEX fulfill its mandate as well as in planning further action. Croatia looks forward to the successful conduct of upcoming municipal elections, scheduled for 15 November this year. As the Central Election Commission, with the support of the OSCE, will for the first time be fully in charge of organizing all phases of electoral operations and certifying the results, this will be a further test of maturity of Kosovo's institutions. We believe that all citizens of Kosovo, including Kosovo Serbs in the north, should be encouraged to participate actively in the elections. Moreover, we welcome the return of almost all Kosovo Serb officers to their positions in the Kosovo Police by the 30 June deadline. Remaining Kosovo Serbs and other non-Albanians will fully realize their civic and democratic rights by actively participating in the political process and institutions in Kosovo, thereby improving the position of their respective communities. In this respect, even though the number of returns remains low, we emphasize the assessment in the Secretary General's report that the reintegration of minority communities continues to be a challenge primarily due to the lack of employment opportunities, fragile economic situation and access to services. Finally, we acknowledge the efforts made on the question of the reconstruction of cultural property and the issue of returns. As stated by the Secretaty-General in his report, the number of returns remains very low, while the reintegration of minority communities, especially the Kosovo Serb community, continues to be a challenge. Further progress in this field remains critical, as Kosovo is gradually developing into a multi-ethnic and peaceful society strengthened by its commitment to the values of tolerance, protection of human and minority rights, dialogue and cooperation. Thank you Mr. President.