22 March 2013 - Security Council - Kosovo - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

I thank the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for his
briefing and the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo
for their statements.

Naturally, my country remains committed to
the reality of a sovereign, peaceful, democratic
and multi-ethnic Kosovo, living in peace with its
neighbours. Our hope therefore is that Serbia and
Kosovo can find an agreement that would allow them
to definitively close the chapter on their conflict,
work towards their European future and contribute to
stabilizing the Balkans.

That is why the European Union is promoting
dialogue between the two countries; the meeting held on Wednesday, 20 March, in Brussels has confirmed that
we were close to an agreement. That is major progress,
and we encourage both sides to finalize discussions by
each making the necessary compromises. We thank
Mr. Dačić and Mr. Thaçi for the information they have
just provided us with respect to the meeting, and we
commend their determination to find an agreement.
Thus, considerable progress has been made in the
dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. That dialogue
is being held at the level of Heads of Government, and
is addressing the most sensitive issues. We offer all our
support to the efforts of the High Representative of
the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security
Policy for the European Union, Ms. Catherine Ashton,
to promote that dialogue.

We need to move towards a long-term solution
on the issue of northern Kosovo. The outlines are
known. Serbia must dismantle the parallel structures
that it maintains there, and Kosovo, for its part,
must provide security assurances and substantial
autonomy that would win the acceptance of the Serbian
populations concerned, which would entail a degree of
decentralization, the scope of which would be agreed
upon by both sides.

Parallel to that, it is important that the technical
agreements that have been reached be implemented
and that an agreement be reached on other issues
that have been identified, particularly on energy and
telecommunications. If the conditions defined in the
conclusions of the European Council of December 2012
are met, we could enter a new phase of the European
rapprochement for the two countries, which means the
launch of European Union accession talks for Serbia and
a stabilization and association agreement for Kosovo.
We call on the authorities of Serbia and of Kosovo to
remain committed to this historic process and to prepare
the public for concessions in each stage. We know that
this is never easy, and we specifically commend the
recent courageous statements of the Prime Minister of
Serbia and the resolute commitment of Mr. Thaçi to the
dialogue, which does not enjoy unanimous support in

On the ground, the security situation in Kosovo
remains calm overall, although incidents continue
to take place, particularly in the northern part of the
country. As is recalled in the Secretary-General’s report
(S/2013/72), it is critical to consolidate the rights of the
different communities within Kosovo, to protect their cultural and religious heritage, and to guarantee the
return of the 18,000 refugees and internally displaced
persons in appropriate conditions of security and

We firmly condemn the recent desecration of
Serbian cemeteries, and any attack against orthodox
religious and cultural sites. Such acts must not go

With the end of supervized independence and
the establishment of the administrative office in
northern Mitrovica, it is normal and desirable that the
international presence should adapt to the new realities
on the ground. We call on all parties to cooperate
with international organizations. It is essential that
the authorities of Kosovo cooperate actively with the
Special Representative of the European Union and
the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo
(EULEX) on the rule of law, especially with respect
to the investigation into alleged trafficking of human
organs. In that regard, I welcome the fact that EULEX
continues to provide to the Security Council information
on progress made in this investigation, as provided in
the report of the Secretary-General.

We would also like to reiterate that the soldiers
and personnel deployed within the Kosovo Force and
EULEX are instructed to ensure the respect for the
freedom of movement within Kosovo. Any impediment
to their own freedom of movement or physical
security is unacceptable. At a time when the European
Union, NATO and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe are adapting their presence to
conditions on the ground, we call on the United Nations
Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
to do the same in a spirit of subsidiarity in order to
contribute to a peaceful evolution of behaviour, in
accord with the Kosovo authorities, without letting
themselves be used by the defenders of the status quo.

I would like to conclude by thanking the Special
Representative of the Secretary-General and the
personnel of the UNMIK in Kosovo for their work.

Learn more on Kosovo.

Dernière modification : 26/02/2015

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