Security Council members welcome increased Belgrade-UN dialogue in Kosovo

Security Council members welcome increased Belgrade-UN dialogue in Kosovo

Members of the Security Council have called for intensified dialogue between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the United Nations mission in Kosovo, and urged participation of all communities in the forthcoming Kosovo-wide elections.

The call came in a press statement by the Council President, Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France, which was released late Monday after the Council met in closed-door consultations to hear a briefing by Nebojsa Covic, Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). The head of the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK), Hans Haekkerup, was also present at the meeting.

Welcoming Mr. Covic's appointment as head of the Yugoslavia/Serbian joint coordination centre, as well as the increased cooperation between Belgrade and UNMIK, Council members stressed their support for all measures contributing to the implementation of Security Council resolution 1244 adopted in 1999.

Council members stated that the 17 November elections in Kosovo should enhance the democratic process and called for "proper organization and adequate security." They also welcomed Belgrade's support for the registration of ethnic-Serbian electors in Kosovo.

"The participation of Kosovo Serbs would allow the fullest representation of views," the statement stressed, calling for "all possible measures" to ensure participation of all communities in the elections, the return of refugees and displaced persons, and their participation in elections.

Acknowledging the need to improve security and law enforcement, Council members welcomed the establishment of a new "Law and Order" branch, the adoption of legislation to combat organized crime, illegal weapons possession and terrorism, as well as enhanced efforts by the international security force, KFOR, to strictly control borders and boundaries.