Security Council welcomes political progress in Kosovo, urges further returns

24 April 2002

The United Nations Security Council today welcomed advances in Kosovo's political structures while stressing the need to further facilitate the return of all displaced persons to the territory.

"The Security Council welcomes progress made in the formation of the executive bodies of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to include representatives of all communities," said the Council President, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation in statement read out during a formal meeting of the 15-member body.

Concerning the issue of displaced persons from the Kosovo Serb and other communities, the Council stressed that interlocking progress in the areas of public security, political development and economic reform and reconstruction "contributes to sustainable returns and requires maximum support from Member States and regional organizations."

The statement called on the leaders of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to "support efforts to promote security, returns, human rights, economic development and a multiethnic and fair society with peaceful co-existence and freedom of movement for all the population of Kosovo."

The Council welcomed the decision by Belgrade to transfer Kosovo Albanian prisoners into the custody of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and encouraged further progress regarding the return of displaced persons as well as efforts to trace those still missing. The statement also emphasized the importance of "the further development of dialogue and cooperation" among UNMIK, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Reaffirming the "fundamental importance of the rule of law" in Kosovo's political development, the Council strongly condemned attacks against UNMIK police in Mitrovica earlier this month and called on all communities to fully respect the Mission's authority.


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