PRISTINA – SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen this afternoon made the following statement after having read the announcement made by President Ibrahim Rugova earlier today:
"I welcome the leadership shown by the President at this crucial time for Kosovo and in particular his focus on inclusiveness. By building on progress made by the Forum and naming a 'team of unity' for the final status process, he has underlined the importance of all leaders moving forward together.
It is equally important that the society as a whole be involved in the process. Minority representatives and representatives of civil society must have their voices heard in the move towards future status.
In accordance with UNSCR 1244, UNMIK has been facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovo's future status. As such, UNMIK has provided the Forum as a place for dialogue on the way ahead. The very good work by the Forum and its Secretariat in laying the ground for status preparations will certainly be useful to the 'team of unity', supported by the proposed co-ordinator, as they organise and mobilise experts from all political parties, civil society, and the international sphere.
It is now up to Kosovo and its citizens to seize the moment, by continuing to implement Standards designed to build a democratic, multi-ethnic, and tolerant society, and at the same time preparing themselves for status talks."