United Nations Member States today welcomed the European Union’s willingness to facilitate dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo over the latter’s declaration of independence from the former in early 2008.
In a resolution adopted this afternoon by consensus, the General Assembly said “the process of dialogue in itself would be a factor for peace, security and stability in the region, and that dialogue would be to promote cooperation, achieve progress on the path to the European Union and improve the lives of the people.”
The resolution also acknowledged the recent advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of the independence declaration by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) of Kosovo.
The ICJ, also known as the World Court, concluded in July that the declaration did not violate either general international law, a 1999 Security Council resolution following the end of fighting in Kosovo, or the constitutional framework adopted by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on behalf of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
The advisory opinion, which is non-binding, was issued in response to an earlier request from the General Assembly.
Introducing the resolution today, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic described the text as “fundamentally a status-neutral document,” adding that his country does not recognize Kosovo’s declaration of independence.
UNMIK was established in Kosovo after Western forces drove out Yugoslav forces amid inter-ethnic fighting in 1999. Ethnic Albanians outnumber ethnic Serbs and other minorities by about nine to one in Kosovo.