17 September 2001


NEW YORK, 17 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today's statement by the President of the Security Council, Jean-David Levitte (France) on the Council's meeting with Mr. Nebojsa Covic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia):

Members of the Security Council heard a briefing by Mr. Nebojsa Covic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Hans Haekkerup, was present.

Members of the Security Council welcomed the recent appointment of Mr. Covic as head of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Serbian joint coordination centre. They also welcomed the development of cooperation between Belgrade and the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) through increased dialogue. They encouraged the intensification of that dialogue and underlined their support for all measures contributing to further progress in the implementation of resolution 1244 (1999).

Members of the Council noted that the elections in Kosovo (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), on 17 November, on the basis of the constitutional framework promulgated by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, will be an important stage in the implementation of the mandate of UNMIK. These elections should enhance the democratic process in Kosovo. Proper organization and adequate security must be ensured.

Members of the Council welcomed the support offered by Belgrade for the registration of ethnic-Serbian electors in Kosovo. They also stressed that the participation of all communities in the elections, the return of refugees and displaced persons and their participation in elections should be encouraged. All possible measures should be taken by all concerned in that regard. The participation of Kosovo Serbs would allow the fullest representation of views.

Members of the Council also acknowledged the need to continue to improve security and law enforcement in Kosovo. They welcomed, in that regard, the establishment by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of Pillar I ("Law and Order") of UNMIK, the adoption of key legislation to combat organized crime, illegal weapons possession and terrorism, as well as enhanced efforts by KFOR to strictly control borders and boundaries. They recalled that local leaders in Kosovo and all others concerned need to reject all violence, condemn extremism, promote stability and security, promote inter-ethnic reconciliation and inclusion, and support the full and effective implementation of resolution 1244 (1999).

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