Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Annan backs mid-2005 UN launch of Kosovo review

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on Monday for the launch within months of a U.N. review intended to lead to a final determination of whether Kosovo should gain independence or remain a part of Serbia.

Annan, in a report to the Security Council expected to be released later this week, said he was not totally satisfied with the pace of the progress achieved to date by the leaders of the Serbian province of 2 million people, which the United Nations has administered since the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

But the review process should begin this summer on the assumption of the Kosovo leaders' "continued and effective progress" toward a set of goals enabling the international community to take up Kosovo's long-term status, he said in the report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Annan planned to soon appoint a special envoy to lead the review, he said. Among the top contenders is Kai Eide, Norway's ambassador to NATO, diplomats said.

His report surfaced a week after the United States said it wanted the international community to move more quickly to resolve Kosovo's status, left undecided after the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

The United Nations has set out a list of standards -- on law and order, functioning democratic institutions, security and human rights -- that must be met before the question of Kosovo's eventual status is taken up.

The United Nations has governed Kosovo since 1999 after a NATO bombing campaign to halt Serb repression of its ethnic Albanians. Tens of thousands of Serbs fled the province during the bombing to escape Albanians bent on revenge for Belgrade's harsh rule, and the West wants them to return home and be accepted by the Albanian community as neighbors.

Kosovo's 90-percent ethnic Albanian majority demands independence. Belgrade insists the province remain a part of Serbia.

A final decision is up to the international community, through a process outlined by the Security Council.

U.N. officials have long envisaged a mid-2005 review of the progress on the standards, with an eye to proceeding to the final status question if the results were favorable.

But Kosovo's progress in meeting the standards has been uneven, raising concerns the review could come later.

"It should be clearly understood that the outcome of the comprehensive review is not a foregone conclusion," Annan said. "During and beyond this comprehensive review, the representatives of Kosovo's provisional institutions and Kosovo's political leaders will be expected to pursue and strengthen their efforts to implement the standards, and will continue to be assessed on this basis."


Anonymous said...

Well, it sure does seem that the ball is starting to roll....

The U.S set out its objectives last week, the U.N convenes a week later portraying something very similar....

It seems that Kosovo and the People of Kosovo should be very grateful to the U.S.A.

God Bless America...we have proven it again.....don't worry all you oppressed people out there, when push comes to shove, the U.S will be there for you and your rights.

Anonymous said...

Now that Albanians are suprisingly moving into the right direction, I wonder what are the Kosovo Serb's motivation for boycotting the institutions of self-government.

Anonymous said...

The Kosovo Serb boycot of the Kosovo government is based on insructions from Belgrade. The politicians in Belgrade rely on Serb nationalism to stay in power and Serb nationalism right now is fueled by the story-line of Serb-victimization in Kosovo. The last thing Belgrade wants is normalcy in Kosovo, so they will continue to resist any cooperation with the Kosovo government.

Anonymous said...

God Bless America. This country knows deep down what is right. Refusing Kosovo's independence is un-american and it even goes against the principles that many EU politicians preech. After all the United States was founded by its declaration of Independence.
Serbia has no right to claim sovereignty over a people that it tried to masacre. After all, not even Montenegro wants to be a federation partner.

Anonymous said...

Refusing Kosovar independence is inhuman. Saying No to Kosova being independent is saying Yes to Hitler, Holocaust, Genocide, Milosevic.