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UN envoy urges Security Council to act quickly on Kosovo status

UN envoy urges Security Council to act quickly on Kosovo status

The senior United Nations envoy to Kosovo today urged the Security Council to quickly draw up a roadmap for determining the status of the province, which the world body has administered since NATO troops drove out Yugoslav forces amid inter-ethnic fighting in 1999.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, Joachim Rücker, told the 15-member Council in a closed session that the time had come to provide “a roadmap, a timetable, to assure Kosovo’s two million inhabitants of where they are headed.”

He praised the achievements of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). “Out of a humanitarian crisis, an institutional breakdown, and a complete security vacuum in 1999, UNMIK has put in place very firmly, together with its international and local partners, the foundations for a functioning democracy, a functioning rule of law sector and a functioning market economy,” he said.

At the same time, he cautioned that the international community must act. “We have reached a critical point where further progress on the ground depends on ensuring clarity on Kosovo’s status.”

Mr. Rücker paid tribute to the people of Kosovo. “But today there is an undercurrent of anxiety throughout the population and among Kosovo’s political leaders,” he added. “They fear that the status process is losing momentum and what had appeared to have been an imminent resolution of Kosovo status will unravel.”

The envoy briefed the Council and answered Council members’ questions for about an hour, according to UNMIK.

“The people deserve clarity on status. The people need clarity on status,” he told the members.