16 May 2001


NEW YORK, 15 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the conclusion of the Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self-Government in Kosovo and commends the consultative and inclusive manner in which this important document was elaborated.

The Secretary-General believes that there are adequate guarantees built into the Constitutional Framework to protect the rights and interests of all of Kosovo’s communities. Underlining the importance of inclusive Provisional Self-Government, he strongly encourages all communities to participate in the electoral process and the interim institutions that will flow from these. In particular, the Secretary-General calls on the Kosovo Serb community to register and participate in the elections.

The Secretary-General believes it is now time to move forward the political agenda in Kosovo. He supports the holding of Kosovo-wide elections this year in the hope that these will help consolidate democracy and show that the future of Kosovo lies in the peaceful pursuit of the political process, not in acts of violence and extremism.

This is a major step forward for the people of Kosovo. The Secretary-General encourages the local leadership to seize this opportunity to advance the interests of Kosovo in a peaceful and democratic manner.

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