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


Kosovo: Envoy Urges Against ‘Unilateral Actions'

Kosovo: UN Envoy Urges Leaders to Avoid ‘Unilateral Actions’ After Delay on Final Status

New York, Nov 13 2006 1:00PM

Just days after a United Nations proposal for the future of Kosovo was postponed, the top UN envoy there warned its leaders against talk of “unilateral actions” in the Albanian-majority Serbian province that the world body has run since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting.

“It is paramount that all Kosovo leaders continue to fully subscribe to the Guiding Principles set out by the Contact Group in November 2005,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Joachim Rücker said after meeting with Prime Minister Agim Çeku and the commander of the international KFOR force Lt.-Gen. Roland Kather.

The Guiding Principles agreed to by the Contact Group (France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States), which is seeking to resolve the issue, stress that a settlement must conform with international standards of human rights and democracy and contain constitutional guarantees for the full participation of all ethnic groups.

Independence and autonomy are among the options for the province where ethnic Albanians outnumber Serbs and others by 9 to 1, but Serbia rejects independence.

“Any statements that allude to Kosovo taking unilateral actions are in contradiction to the Contact Group’s Guiding Principles,” Mr. Rücker said. “Such statements can undermine support for Kosovo at this crucial time.

“It is important that Kosovo leaders continue to reach out to the minority communities and work to promote reconciliation and dialogue. All communities should exercise restraint and show understanding at this sensitive stage of the status process.”

On Friday, Mr. Annan’s Special Envoy for Kosovo’s future status process, Martti Ahtisaari, who had been expected to present his proposal for Kosovo’s future to the parties soon, announced that he would now not do so until after Serbia’s parliamentary elections on 21 January.

Since his appointment a year ago, Mr. Ahtisaari has been holding talks with Kosovo and Serbian delegations in Vienna but these have not progressed beyond technical issues such as the decentralization of municipalities, dashing his hopes that the process would be completed by the end of this year. A major issue is providing sufficient security to encourage Serb refugees to return.

In his latest report in September Mr. Annan said he was disappointed that little common ground had emerged between the Serbian and Kosovar delegations, noting that they remain “committed to ‘substantial autonomy’ and ‘full independence’ respectively, with minimal space for negotiation.”

In early 1999, the province was the scene of atrocities and the forceful displacement of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians. After a three-month intervention by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), culminating in the arrival of troops, most of the Albanian population returned to their homes within days.

But only some 15,600 returns of ethnic Serbs, Roma have been registered out of the estimated 250,000 who fled after the withdrawal of Serbian forces in 1999.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC