Security Council Briefing: UNMIK

Statement by Karel J.G. van Oosterom ,
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

New York, 7 February 2018

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

First, let me thank ambassador Tanin, as well as his staff for their work, the detailed report and the briefing. May I add that it was also a great personal pleasure to see ambassador Tanin in person today.

Mr. President, we welcome the close cooperation of ambassador Tanin with High Representative Mogherini, also in view of the important role of the European Union in Kosovo.

Mr. President, I will focus on three points today:

  1. Kosovo and this Council
  2. Rule of Law
  3. Accountability

1.Kosovo in the UNSC

Mr. President, my first point: Kosovo and the Security Council. In our view the situation in Kosovo today allows for a reduction of the frequency of our discussions in the Council from three to six months. We also favor changing the format of our discussions into consultations.

And we furthermore call upon UNMIK to focus on its core tasks and look forward to future options for its downsizing.

2. Rule of Law

Mr President, this brings me to my second point: the Rule of Law.

We strongly condemn, as others have done today, the recent murder of mister Ivanović. It is crucial that the perpetrators of this crime will be found and that justice will be done.

Rule of law is important for individuals, to achieve a sense of closure. But it also has a wider importance for society as a whole.

3. Accountability

This brings me to my third point: accountability. Accountability is an important step on the road to reconciliation in Kosovo’s society. For Kosovo’s progress to be continued, its judicial capacities must be accompanied by sincere political will to protect and promote the rule of law.

In that light, recent steps undertaken to undermine the authority and the legal basis of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Special Prosecutor’s Office are reason for concern. We encourage Kosovo’s political leaders to fully act in line with the obligations they have committed themselves to.

In conclusion, Mr. President, Kosovo is on a positive path, but much remains to be done to ensure accountability for past crimes.

Let me also refer to my European colleague’s statements on yesterday’s EU presentation.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has confidence in Kosovo’s future and we call on all relevant parties to build trust, to continue peaceful dialogue and to fully implement the agreement reached.