Kosovo: UN mission issues 1 millionth ID card in preparation for elections

16 October 2001

As part of the overall effort to register Kosovars for elections, a top official of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in the territory (UNMIK) today gave the one millionth identification card to a Kosovo Serb, Bojan Nicic, at a ceremony in Gracanica.

Speaking at the event, UNMIK acting head Tom Koenigs announced that a regulation would be issued soon making registration compulsory for the people of Kosovo. In due course, the UN Mission would start the process of registering people under the age of 16 years, he said.

While registration did not mean that the people had to participate in the elections, they had a "political and democratic obligation" to vote, Mr. Koenigs said, adding that it was not, however, "a legal obligation."

The acting chief also said that when the registration exercise began, the UN Mission did not think it would be so "complicated and time consuming." He congratulated both Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs working in processing centres in Pristina and Gracanica for the fine job they had done, and thanked the donors who had financed the entire ID cards operation.

A senior official involved in the effort, Margot Eelman, said processing centres were a good example of team work, where people from all communities were working together to establish a reliable civil registration database.

 

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