Shared responsibility, concerted action and compromise, the only route to progress, SRSG Ziadeh tells the Security Council

23 Oct 2023

Shared responsibility, concerted action and compromise, the only route to progress, SRSG Ziadeh tells the Security Council

At the biannual UN Security Council session on Kosovo today, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Caroline Ziadeh highlighted the urgent need for concerted action and compromise to address the deteriorating security environment and to ensure peace and stability in Kosovo.

Briefing on recent developments and security challenges, SRSG Ziadeh emphasized the critical importance of constructive engagement and de-escalatory measures.

She reiterated UNMIK’s condemnation of the serious security incident that took place near the Banjska/Banjskë village in Zvečan/Zveçan Municipality in northern Kosovo on 24 September and the tragic loss of life, calling for restraint. "It is essential that the investigations currently underway provide the opportunity to factually document these events and hold perpetrators accountable," SRSG Ziadeh added.

Noting that the High-Level meeting on 14 September in Brussels produced no consensus, the Head of UNMIK said: "This was an opportunity missed to engage constructively towards a programme for the implementation of the parties’ respective commitments under the agreements made in Brussels and Ohrid earlier this year."

She expressed hope that the outcome of EU-US led meetings held separately in Belgrade and Pristina on 21 October will place the dialogue back on a forward path, with firm commitment by both sides to take de-escalatory steps and act upon proposals set forth during the meetings.

"The current political impasse, with its impact on the security and well-being of the population, can only be overcome through compromise that should be worked out in the Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina," SRSG Ziadeh noted.

Underlining the vital interlinks between peace and sustainable development, SRSG Ziadeh stressed the significance of regional cooperation and integration initiatives in contributing to a more productive dialogue.

SRSG Ziadeh emphasized the need for clear communication with the public on issues affecting their livelihoods and human rights, urging the work of rule of law institutions be firmly “anchored in the human rights framework”.

She welcomed recent legislative developments, including the adoption of a law regulating the application process for the status of conflict-related sexual violence survivors and the Constitutional Court's ruling on the Human Rights Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Reflecting on the 5th anniversary of the implementation of UNMIK's trust-building agenda, SRSG Ziadeh reaffirmed UNMIK's unwavering commitment to fostering communication and understanding among people from all communities in Kosovo.

“Doing so nurtures the ground for acceptance of the difficult but essential compromises necessary to achieve progress in the dialogue at the leadership level,” the Head of UNMIK said.

She commended the resilience of local actors, including UNMIK partners, in their tireless efforts to promote trust and dialogue, emphasizing, "We will continue our trust-building work, even though we often hear that 'trust is at its lowest level' at this moment. But if not now, when?"

In conclusion, SRSG Ziadeh reiterated UNMIK’s support for the EU-facilitated dialogue and emphasized the imperative for inclusive and sustainable dialogue to achieve lasting peace and stability in Kosovo.

“Dialogue is the only way forward,” she said.

Read SRSG Ziadeh’s full statement to the Security Council here:
English – Albanian – Serbian

 Read the Secretary-General’s report here.

Caroline Ziadeh SRSG on the situation in Kosovo - UNSC 23 October 2023