Kosovo: political dialogue under the auspices of the EU [fr]
Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 14 November 2017
I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia and the Ambassador of Kosovo for their briefings.
France welcomed Kosovo’s formation of a new Government on 9 September in the wake of the legislative elections, which were held on 11 June and monitored by a large number of international observers.
The establishment of new institutions is an essential step in enabling Kosovo — which France fully supports in both its national capacity and as a member of the European Union (EU) — to meet its challenges and the needs of the Kosovan people. The municipal elections are now taking place, and the first round, held on 22 October, was an overall success. We hope that the second round will also go well, free from attempts at intimidation, particularly in the Serbian municipalities, as the European Union Election Observation Mission has highlighted.
France supports the new Prime Minister’s desire for reform, particularly in the area of economic development and its corollary of job creation, as well as improving health care and the education system. We also welcome the unanimous ratification on 4 October of the agreement between Kosovo and the European Union on the disbursement of financial assistance from the EU. Kosovo’s political and economic institutions have been consolidated in recent years, and that significant progress, particularly on the security and economy fronts, is reason to continue adjusting the work of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and coordinating it with the other international stakeholders in Kosovo. Changing nothing is not acceptable, considering that it is our responsibility, as members of the Security Council, to ensure that United Nations resources are fully adapted to the situation on the ground. Kosovo no longer needs peacekeeping efforts per se, so we should therefore review how we are spending those resources.
France firmly believes that the future of Kosovo will be shaped by the political dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina conducted under the auspices of the European Union, which has been very clear about this. For both Serbia and Kosovo, rapprochement with Europe is conditional on normalizing relations between the two countries. In that respect, it is important that the parties show good faith and a willingness to engage with each other at the highest level. The recent meetings of the Presidents of both countries convened by Ms. Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union, at which both sides emphasized their willingness to resume the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, are positive signs in that regard. We have also noted with interest the initiative of President Vučić to launch an internal dialogue on Kosovo in Serbia.
Beyond the declarations of intent, from now on we expect that all the agreements reached in 2013 and 2015 will be effectively implemented as soon as possible, so that meaningful progress can be made in fully normalizing relations between the two parties.
In that regard, we welcome the integration of Serbian staff into Kosovo’s judicial system that took place on 24 October. France fully supports the mediation efforts led by the European Union and its High Representative, Ms. Mogherini. We urge the Kosovo and Serbian authorities to step up their efforts to produce concrete results in that regard. Each side must do its part by adopting a constructive attitude and refraining from any provocations that could jeopardize the stability of the region. We also stress the importance of efforts to promote reconciliation and closer ties within and between communities.
In conclusion, further efforts to consolidate the rule of law in Kosovo must remain a priority. That is a particularly firm European demand and one that we support. Whether this issue is one of administrative capacity-building, justice or of combating corruption and organized crime, much remains to be done. Fighting radicalization in all its forms must also continue to be a priority. We therefore commend Kosovo’s unconditional commitment to this issue, both at the local level and in the international coalition against Da’esh.