World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Kosovo Parties May Discuss Decentralization


UN Envoy Hopes Kosovo Parties Will Discuss Decentralization Next Month

Whatever the final status of the United Nations-administered Serbian province of Kosovo, majority Albanians must discuss decentralization and minority Serbs must participate in the talks, the UN special envoy on the issue said today.

“My understanding is we will see the parties discussing decentralization in Vienna, hopefully in the latter part of January,” former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, whose UN Office of Special Envoy in Kosovo (UNOSEK) is based in the Austrian capital, told a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said final options could include independence or autonomy for Kosovo, where Albanians outnumber Serbs and others by 9 to 1. Serbia rejects independence for the province which the UN has run ever since North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid grave rights abuses in ethnic fighting.

Mr. Ahtisaari, who visited all parties to the dispute last month, said he had set no “artificial deadlines” for the final status talks although he would like to see them completed within the one-year timeframe of his contract.

He stressed the need for implementation of the so-called Standards, eight targets that include building democratic institutions, enforcing minority rights, creating a functioning economy and setting up an impartial legal system.

“My message to Kosovo Albanians in my discussions was that they should use this opportunity… to put more effort into the implementation of standards,” he said. “We have to realize as well that standards are for ensuring a functioning democratic society and furthermore they are Kosovo’s key to life and Serbia’s key to Europe.”

It is clear that one of the crucial issues is the protection of non-Albanian communities in Kosovo and that everyone realizes this requires reform structure and local self-government, he added. Kosovo Albanians must take this into consideration and engage in talks on decentralization, and the Serbs must participate in the process.

In a report in July, Mr. Annan's Special Representative for Kosovo Søren Jessen-Petersen stressed the need for stronger commitment by Kosovo’s Albanian leaders to move forward on the return of Serbs who fled their homes during the fighting as well as on freedom of movement.

Last month, he said far too little had been done by Albanian leaders in terms of reaching out to minorities and really showing that Kosovo is strongly committed to being a multi-ethnic society.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news