Security Council Briefing: Kosovo

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

New York, 14 November 2018

Mr President,

We thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ambassador Tanin, as well as his staff for their report and this briefing.

We also thank High Representative Mogherini and the EU for facilitating the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

These efforts should be rewarded, in turn, with a strong commitment of Serbia and Kosovo, in good faith, towards normalization of their relations.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands believes that it is high time to recognize Kosovo’s considerable progress since 2008.

Please allow me to focus on three issues today:

  1. Reporting cycle of UNMIK
  2. Strategic Review
  3. Rule of Law

1. Reporting cycle of UNMIK

Firstly, the current situation in Kosovo clearly allows for a reduction of the Secretary General’s reporting cycle.

We also encourage a shift of format from briefing to closed consultations.

The Security Council has set a welcome example by reducing the frequency of its discussions to twice a year.

We call upon the Secretary General to adjust his reporting cycle accordingly.

2. Strategic Review

Secondly, we believe that it is possible for UNMIK to downscale its operations.

We therefore call once more for a strategic review of UNMIK, in coordination with all relevant actors.

This review should align the mission to the situation on the ground.

3. Rule of Law

Mr President, my third and final point is on the Rule of Law.

We appreciate Kosovo’s progress in strengthening its judiciary and we want to welcome the launch of Justice 2020 and the Functional Review, as a positive example of efforts to increase performance and accountability.

However, political will and an effort of all strata of Kosovar society remain necessary to push forward strengthening the Rule of Law and improving the daily lives of citizens.

High-profile cases must be treated with utmost scrutiny and precision.

We encourage Kosovo to keep reforming its judiciary.

Kosovo needs to embrace its responsibilities and ensure accountability at the national level, as we encourage EULEX to hand over responsibilities to Kosovar authorities.

Conclusion

To conclude, Mr President, Kosovo has come a long way since its independence 10 years ago.

We encourage Kosovo to keep building up its institutions and we have full faith in its ability to handle its affairs as a sovereign nation.

Thank you, Mr President.   

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