Security Council backs UN envoy veto of Kosovo Assembly's measure on border pact

23 May 2002

In a move that drew the backing of the United Nations Security Council, the head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) today vetoed a resolution adopted by the province's Assembly on the grounds that the legislative body had exceeded its powers by passing a measure on a border accord.

Michael Steiner, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative in Kosovo and the head of UNMIK, issued a statement declaring "null and void" the Assembly resolution that sought to challenge the border agreement signed in February 2001 between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Mr. Steiner told the press that the Assembly's action was a clear violation of the Kosovo's Constitutional Framework.

The Assembly cannot take up issues relating to foreign relations, including the issue of borders, he explained, noting that those types of issues were within the competency of the Special Representative only.

Later in the day in New York, the Council's current President, Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore, said in a press statement that the 15-member body "rejected" the resolution adopted today by the Kosovo Assembly.

"The members of the Council expressed their full support for Mr. Steiner's decision to declare the resolution null and void," Ambassador Mahbubani said, adding that the Council will discuss the matter tomorrow morning and provide a more detailed reaction soon.


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