4 May 2004
Security Council Reiterates that Kosovo Standards Plan Should Be Basis for Assessing Provisional Institutions of Self-Government
In Presidential Statement, Council Also Strongly Urges Provisional Institutions to Demonstrate Full Commitment to Multi-Ethnic Kosovo
NEW YORK, 30 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this afternoon reiterated that the Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan, as presented on 31 March in Pristina, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), should serve as a basis for the assessment of progress of the Provisional Institutions of Self Government in meeting the standards.
In a statement read by Council President Gunter Pleuger (Germany), the Council strongly urged the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to demonstrate their full and unconditional commitment to a multi-ethnic Kosovo, in particular, with respect to the protection and promotion of the rights of members of the minority communities, as well as human rights, equal security, freedom of movement and sustainable returns for all inhabitants of Kosovo.
According to the standards before status policy, the Provisional Institutions had to achieve certain standards, or benchmarks, before the final status of Kosovo could be addressed. The eight standards to be met concern: functioning democratic institutions; the rule of law; freedom of movement; returns and reintegration; economy; property rights; dialogue with Belgrade; and the Kosovo Protection Corps. A document, Standards for Kosovo, was supported by the Council in presidential statement S/PRST/2003/26 of 10 December 2003 (see Press Release SC/7651).
In todays statement, the Council reiterated that progress by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in meeting the standards would be assessed periodically and that the advancement towards determination of the future status of Kosovo was conditional on the positive outcome of a comprehensive review.
The Council stressed that it was essential to review the following two key sections of the document: sustainable returns and the rights of communities and their members and freedom of movement. The Council called on the Provisional Institutions to take urgent steps on those two standards in order to reach out to the Serb and other communities who had suffered most in the large-scale inter-ethnic violence of 17-20 March, that had resulted in many dead and wounded and the destruction of personal property and Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries.
The Council strongly condemned those events and called on the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government and all political leaders to take responsibility in the current situation, and to ensure that such acts and threats of violence are not repeated. It also asserted that there must be rapid steps taken by the Provisional Institutions to fulfil their commitment to rebuild or provide appropriate compensation for damaged or destroyed property; to rebuild holy sites; and to facilitate the return of those displaced from their homes.
The meeting was called to order at 12:21 p.m. and adjourned at 12:33 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/13 reads, as follows:
The Security Council notes that the presentation of the Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan (KSIP) on 31 March 2004 in Pristina, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), is a step forward in the standards process. The Council reiterates that the KSIP should serve as a basis for the assessment of progress of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) in meeting the standards. The Council in this respect urges strongly the PISG to demonstrate their full and unconditional commitment to a multi-ethnic Kosovo, in particular with respect to the protection and promotion of rights of members of the minority communities, as well as of human rights, equal security, freedom of movement and sustainable returns for all inhabitants of Kosovo. The Council reiterates further that the progress by the PISG in meeting the standards, which should be reflected throughout Kosovo, will be assessed periodically and that the advancement towards a process to determine future status of Kosovo in accordance with resolution 1244 (1999) conditional on the positive outcome of a comprehensive review.
The Security Council reaffirms its strong support for the Standards before Status policy, that was devised for Kosovo, and endorsed by this Council in application of its resolution 1244 (1999). It recalls in this context the document Standards for Kosovo, presented on 10 December 2003 and subsequently supported by the Council in the statement of its President of 12 December 2003, which outlined the standards that are to be achieved in order to reach the goal of establishing in Kosovo a multi-ethnic, stable and democratic society.
The Security Council stresses that it is essential, as indicated in the KSIP, to review and revise in a timely manner two key sections of the document, namely, on sustainable returns and the rights of communities and their members and on freedom of movement. The Council calls on the PISG to take urgent steps on these two standards in order to rebuild and reach out to the Serb and other communities who suffered most in the large-scale inter-ethnic violence of 17-20 March 2004 that resulted in many dead and wounded and the destruction of personal property and Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo.
The Security Council, strongly condemning those events, emphasizes that no party can be allowed to profit or to advance a political agenda through violent measures. It calls on the PISG and all political leaders to take responsibility in the current situation and to ensure that such acts and threats of violence are not repeated. The Council underscores that immediate actions should be taken aimed at the establishment of and public respect for the rule of law, including prosecution of perpetrators, effective collection of illegal weapons and combating organized crime. The Council urges the PISG to take concrete steps to fulfil their commitment to rebuild multi-ethnicity and reconciliation throughout Kosovo, as promised in the open letter of Institutional and Political Leaders of 2 April 2004. The Council asserts further that in addition there must be rapid steps taken by the PISG to fulfil their commitment to rebuild or provide appropriate compensation for damaged or destroyed property and to rebuild holy sites and to facilitate the return of those displaced from their homes.
When assessing the progress made by the PISG, the Security Council would pay particular attention to the adoption and the implementation of laws and regulations, policies and attitudes of the PISG, amongst others, in the following areas: the fight against discrimination, corruption and economic crimes, propagation of hate by the media, as well as the support for multi-ethnicity and reconciliation, genuine devolution, orderly and sustainable returns, effective functioning of the Assembly and of the political parties, disciplinary procedures for the civil service, building up of a professional, politically neutral and multi-ethnic administration, at central and local levels, with a view to provide public services to every community on an equal footing, efficient strategy for the return of refugees and Internally displaced persons in safe conditions, a constructive engagement with UNMIK, and a full participation in the direct dialogue with Belgrade.
The Security Council underlines the importance that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within his authority as set out in resolution 1244 (1999), inter alia, in the context of the review mechanism, continue to consult closely with interested parties, in particular the Contact Group. The Council reaffirms its intention to continue to consider the regular reports of the Secretary-General, including an assessment from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, as to the Provisional Institutions of Self-Governments progress towards meeting the standards. The Council takes note that the Contact Group intends to make a substantive contribution to the regular reviews and to submit its assessments to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
The Security Council requests the Secretary-General in his next report to the Council to include a comprehensive assessment of the violence of 17-20 March 2004.
The Security Council requests also the Secretary-General to present recommendations on possible new institutional arrangements respectful of the objective of building a democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo to allow more effective local government through devolution of central non-reserved responsibilities to local authorities and communities in Kosovo, taking into account relevant studies and recommendations of interested parties and international organisations. How that local government is organized is a matter for further discussion between interested parties in Kosovo.
The Security Council welcomes the strong measures by the international presence in Kosovo aimed at enhancing the security and protection of all communities, as well as their religious, historical and cultural sites, with the goal of ensuring lasting stability in Kosovo. It calls in this respect for the full cooperation of the PISG and all concerned.
The Security Council will continue to follow the matter closely.
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