16 November 2016 - The Kosovo authorities must continue to mobilize in favour of dialogue [fr]
Situation in Kosovo - Speech by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 16 November 2016
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Zahir Tanin, for the very comprehensive briefing on the situation that he gave via video-teleconference from Pristina, and we reiterate our full support to him as he carries out his important functions. I also thank the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Mr. Ivica Dačić, and the Ambassador of Kosovo, Ms. Vlora Çitaku, for the statements they have just delivered.
I will begin by once again recalling our desire to see a review of the regularity with which the Security Council considers the situation in Kosovo, given the improvement in the security situation and the progress that has been made in strengthening Kosovo’s institutions. We also believe that those positive developments justify ongoing efforts to reconfigure the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo with respect to its structure, size, number of staff and activities. Alongside a number of our partners, we call on the Secretary-General to formulate recommendations along those lines in his forthcoming report.
France remains convinced that Kosovo’s future is no longer being determined primarily within the Security Council, but rather through the political dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the European Union. Although there have been tensions in the dialogue over the past few months, progress has been made. I am thinking in particular of the agreement on telecommunications of 13 November, the agreement on license plates for vehicles to facilitate traffic between Serbia and Kosovo, or the continuation of work on the Mitrovica bridge. We welcome these positive developments, which must have a concrete impact on the living conditions of the people on the ground. It is important in this respect that the technical aspects of these agreements should be implemented within the time limits laid down.
However, this progress is not sufficient. We therefore expect that all the commitments entered into under the agreements concluded under the auspices of the European Union will be implemented as soon as possible, including with regard to the creation of the association/community of Serb-majority municipalities. This is a key element of the dialogue. We therefore urge the Kosovo and Serbian authorities to intensify their efforts to produce even more concrete results in the months to come. The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina remains in general a prerequisite for their respective advances towards European integration, which were further encouraged at the Paris-Balkans 2016 summit held on 4 July. We invite Serbs and Kosovars to engage on all subjects with a view to normalization, including on the Trepca issue.
Ongoing efforts to consolidate the rule of law in Kosovo must remain a priority. The integration of new Serbian personnel into the Kosovo judicial system is moving in the right direction. The reduction in the number of incidents involving minorities, as noted in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2016/901), is also good news. However, we expect Kosovo to pursue its efforts in the fight against corruption and organized crime.
Stengthening the rule of law also requires the fight against radicalization in all its forms. France welcomes the unconditional commitment of Kosovo in this regard, both locally and within the Global Coalition against Da’esh. I also take this opportunity to reiterate our support for the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, which contributes every day to the rule of law and security there. France also wishes to stress the need to ease the tensions of recent months on Kosovo’s domestic political scene.
The construction of an independent, modern and democratic State requires the establishment of a calm and responsible dialogue between the various components of the political field, in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and in the context of the proper functioning of existing institutions. We are particularly concerned about the tensions arising from the process of ratifying the border delineation agreement with Montenegro. In that context, the Kosovo authorities must continue to mobilize in favour of dialogue among the various political forces and the establishment of a peaceful and inclusive society.
Finally, I conclude by stressing that France will continue to support the efforts of the Kosovo authorities in favour of the international recognition of their State.