SRSG Tanin in Security Council Session on Kosovo: Normalisation of relations requires cooperation, not provocation
16 May, 2017 – New York: The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo and Head of UNMIK, Zahir Tanin, highlighted to Security Council members today that while the past months witnessed fluctuating tensions and fragility, the situation remained generally stable, and “constructive engagement continues to be possible.”
In his regular update on Kosovo, SRSG Tanin highlighted that the necessary trust between Pristina and Belgrade had been further eroded by a number of “irresponsible and inflammatory statements.” He stated, “Both sides repeatedly accused one another of provocation, whereas the process of normalisation of relations requires cooperation”. “Such incitements to hatred fall outside the realm of civil political discourse,” SRSG Tanin underscored.
Observing that frequent electoral cycles were distracting from the EU-led Dialogue and the implementation of its central agreements, such as the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities, SRSG Tanin emphasised that resumption of the Dialogue “is of the highest importance”.
Noting the decision to call early parliamentary elections in Kosovo in June, SRSG Tanin nevertheless conveyed that elections provide opportunities for greater diversity in leadership and representation, along with greater engagement with youth.
SRSG Tanin highlighted efforts to promote cooperation between communities, which continued to be seen throughout Kosovo. He praised the establishment of a shared Resource Centre by associations of families of missing persons, a project supported by UNMIK. SRSG Tanin was impressed by the “spirit of unity at the Centre”, which brings together Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serb families of missing persons to encourage dialogue and common efforts.
“Improving the situation in Kosovo and the region requires leadership which transcends ethno-national divisions, rather than amplifying them. Overcoming such destructive challenges is the spirit of the European project to which all regional actors aspire,” SRSG Tanin underlined.
SRSG Tanin assured that the UN mission in Kosovo would continue to support peace consolidation in full partnership and cooperation with local and international partners.