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Kosovo elections 'important step' towards eventual self-government, Annan reports

Kosovo elections 'important step' towards eventual self-government, Annan reports

The past three months in Kosovo have been dominated by the election of a legislative body and the subsequent efforts to forge a government majority, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

In his latest report to the Security Council, the Secretary-General says that the Assembly election on 17 November 2001 was an important step forward in the implementation of the Council’s 1999 resolution on Kosovo, which created a UN administrative authority that would gradually hand over control of the province to provisional institutions of self-government.

With the electorate giving no single party a majority, political forces have been compelled to work together to overcome the legacy of the past and contribute to the building of a common future. "The time it is taking to elect a President and form a Government is an indication of the difficulties that will have to be overcome," Mr. Annan observes.

Saying security remained a paramount concern, the Secretary-General calls on all Assembly members to lead by example in creating conditions conducive to improving inter-communal relations and promoting reconciliation.

"Reconciliation must begin in the Assembly, as members of all communities work side by side to improve the situation of all the people of Kosovo," Mr. Annan stresses.

The Secretary-General also pays tribute to his Special Representative in Kosovo, Hans Haekkerup, "for his steady leadership during a period that has seen significant progress, and to the men and women of UNMIK for their wonderful work in difficult circumstances."

Mr. Annan says that he will be writing to the Security Council about the successor to Mr. Haekkerup, who decided for personal reasons not to continue in his post.

The Council has scheduled a public meeting on 21 January to discuss Kosovo.