Kosovo : the consolidation of the rule of law must be pursued [fr]
UNMIK - Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen - Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Mme Anne Gueguen - Security Council - 14 May 2018
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, as well as the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Mr. Dačić, and the Ambassador of Kosovo, Ms. Çitaku, for their briefings.
Considering the situation described by the Special Representative, I will underscore three points.
1/ First, the commitment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to promoting security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo and the region must continue to be commended. In particular, France welcomes UNMIK’s activities involving bringing together communities and promoting the women and peace and security agenda, together with UN-Women. As the members of the European Union who sit on the Security Council have underscored, we must continue to be attentive to the realignment of UNMIK’s work so that United Nations resources can be fully adapted to the situation on the ground. At a time when there is debate concerning the future of peacekeeping operations, it is our responsibility, as members of the Security Council, to attend to such adaptation, as well as to the coordination of the work of UNMIK with that of other international actors in Kosovo.
2/ Secondly, the strategy for European Union engagement with the Western Balkans published on 6 February attests to the commitment of the European Union countries with regard to the countries of the Western Balkans. The strategy clearly recalls the European perspective concerning those countries, while emphasizing the work that is expected of them so that they might move forward in that direction.
France stands steadfastly with Kosovo so that it can pursue its development efforts and the progress made over the past 10 years, deal with issues facing it and meet the needs of the Kosovar people. We call on the Kosovar authorities to pursue reform efforts with a view to consolidating Kosovo’s institutions and its economic and social development, and on all political forces to work towards building political consensus on key issues for the country’s future. We firmly condemn the use of violent means, such as the use of tear gas, to disrupt the functioning of Parliament.
The Council knows of our commitment to the consolidation of the rule of law in Kosovo, which must be pursued, as well as to the struggle against corruption and organized crime. We welcomed the significant development represented by the ratification of the territorial delineation agreement with Montenegro on 21 March, which was the result of a difficult process and will contribute to strengthening good-neighbourly relations at the regional level. The report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/407) also highlights the positive work done by the Kosovar authorities to further protect victims of sexual violence.
3/ Lastly, France regrets that, since this past January, several incidents have cast a shadow on the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. My country calls on each party to refrain from any action or statement likely to provoke tensions and to try to resolve their differences through dialogue so as to create an environment sustainably conducive to the progress that remains to be made. The Serbian and Kosovar Presidents expressed their willingness to move forward towards the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement on the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. That commitment must be underscored. Despite difficulties that might arise, that path must be resolutely followed.
France fully supports such a perspective and the work carried out to that end by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Ms. Mogherini.
We noted with interest the resumption of efforts by Kosovar authorities to draft the statute of the association/community of Serb-majority municipalities, which is one of the fundamental commitments provided for in the Brussels agreements. France believes that the comprehensive normalization of relations between the two countries is the only way forward for the two countries and their future generations and — as was recalled in the European Union strategy — a prerequisite for moving forward on their respective European paths.