Thank you, Mr. President.
Let me at the outset thank SRSG Farid Zarif for his briefing on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). I would also like to thank H.E. Mr. Ivica Dacic, Prime Minister of Serbia, and Mr. Hashim Thaci for their statements.
Mr. President, the reporting period has seen several important developments. It is a matter of satisfaction that the conduct of Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections inside Kosovo went off in a peaceful and orderly manner thanks to the efforts of UNMIK and other international organizations especially OSCE in establishing an appropriate modality for such voting that was acceptable to all sides.
We also welcome the expression of the requisite will from both Belgrade and Pristina to resume the EU-facilitated dialogue once a new government assumes office in Belgrade in order to discuss the implementation of agreements reached so far and also take up new subjects. In this regard, we particularly welcome the statements of President Tomislav Nikolic reaffirming Serbia’s commitment to honour all agreements reached in the dialogue and also his readiness to engage in talks with the Pristina leadership in the future. We hope that the talks will resume soon and result in concrete progress on the contentious issues.
Mr. President, the issue of missing persons is an important humanitarian issue and we hope that with direct support and encouragement by UNMIK it will be possible to make further progress on this issue.
We have taken note of the steps taken by the EULEX Special Investigative Task Force to investigate the allegations of organ trafficking, including the recent adoption by Albania of a law on cooperation with the Task Force. We reiterate our stand that a thorough and impartial investigation should be carried out into all aspects of this matter.
Mr. President, we share the Secretary General’s assessment that the situation in the northern part of Kosovo continues to be fragile and requires constant vigilance and restraint on all sides to reduce the potential for instability. We note with concern that during the reporting period a number of inter-communal violent acts took place in June-July. The attack on buses transporting Serb children is a matter of serious concern, as also the continuing violence and crime against Serbian minority including the murder of a returnee couple.
We share the Secretary Generals’ view of the need for genuine outreach by Kosovo institutions, in particular the police. We urge the international organizations present in Kosovo, particularly K-FOR and EULEX to exercise their authority to prevent the recurrence of such incidents and ensure the safety of the minority.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to express appreciation that UNMIK has continued to implement its mandate in an impartial and status neutral manner and facilitated cooperation between Pristina and Belgrade, the communities in Kosovo, KFOR, EULEX and the OSCE. We commend and support SRSG Zarif and UNMIK for their contribution towards improvement in the situation in northern Kosovo and for the services the Mission is rendering in areas that betters the daily lives of all Kosovars.
The Mission should be continued in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1244 and other relevant decisions. Other agencies in Kosovo – OSCE, KFOR, EULEX, etc – should continue to cooperate and coordinate with UNMIK in accordance with their respective mandates.
I thank you.