April 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 March 2010
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EUROPE

Kosovo

Expected Council Action
The Secretary-General’s quarterly report on Kosovo is due on 31 March. A briefing on the report by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Lamberto Zannier, is expected. But it was unclear at press time whether this will be in April or will be postponed until May.

Key Recent Developments
The situation has not significantly changed since the Council last discussed Kosovo on 22 January.

In January the International Civilian Representative and EU Special Representative, Pieter Feith, proposed a strategy for the integration of northern Kosovo which would have the effect of strengthening Priština’s authority in this area.

The Serbian government and Kosovo Serb officials have opposed the integration strategy. For them it is too close to the 2007 Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement prepared by Martti Ahtisaari, then the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy. Serbian President Boris Tadić told the Council in January that the plan would “blatantly violate resolution 1244” and warned against its implementation.

Disagreement on Kosovo’s status in international law led to tensions in March over a regional conference organised by Croatia and Slovenia entitled “Together for the EU: Contribution of the Western Balkans to the European Future”. It was supposed to be the first meeting of all the region’s leaders in 18 years. Serbia refused to participate, however, when it became clear that Kosovo would attend as a state.

Key Issues
An important issue is the slow progress on the six-point dialogue (proposed by the Secretary-General in 2008, covering the areas of police, justice, customs, transportation and infrastructure, boundary management and protection of Serbian patrimony) which remains a key element of the international approach in Kosovo.

Another key issue is whether continued pushing of the integration strategy for northern Kosovo will have a destabilising effect.

A further issue is the upcoming decision by the International Court of Justice on the question of the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. The advisory opinion is now expected in June at the earliest.

Council Dynamics
The Council is still divided between those who support Kosovo’s independence and those who oppose Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. Six Council members (Austria, France, Japan, Turkey, the UK and the US) have formally recognised Kosovo’s independence.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolution

  • S/RES/1244 (10 June 1999) authorised NATO to secure and enforce the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo and established UNMIK.

Selected Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2008/44 (26 November 2008) welcomed the Secretary-General’s 24 November report and the cooperation between the UN and other international actors within the framework of resolution 1244.

Selected Letter

  • S/2007/168 and add. 1 (26 March 2007) transmitted Ahtisaari’s report on Kosovo’s future status and the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement.

Selected Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2010/5 (5 January 2010) was the latest report on UNMIK.
  • S/2008/692 (24 November 2008) provided details on the six-point dialogue.

Other

  • S/PV.6264 (22 January 2010) was the Council’s latest meeting on Kosovo.

Full forecast