More dialogue needed to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia |
“Although this process has yielded significant results on various practical issues, a full normalization of relations between the two parties continues to be elusive so far,” Caroline Ziadeh said in her first half-yearly speech as Special Representative. of ONU.
“Reconciliation and addressing past grievances should strengthen the pursuit of important strategic goals,” she added.
Resilience is crucial
Acknowledging the current situation in Ukraine and its continued impact on European security and economy, Ms. Ziadeh reiterated that the resilience of democratic institutions in the Balkans is a crucial factor in maintaining a secure and democratic Europe.
However, the shocks to Kosovo’s economy accumulated long before the conflict began, she said, noting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In this context, finding practical ways of economic cooperation between Belgrade, Pristina and all neighbors in the region is of greater urgency”.
His call for cooperation came in the wake of the Serbian general elections.
The UNMIK chief hailed the peaceful logistical exercise – supported by both sides – allowing 19,000 eligible voters to vote at special polling stations in Serbia.
Unfortunately, however, no solution aimed at facilitating electoral participation in Kosovo could be found.
Following recent reports of attacks targeting Kosovo police, Ms. Ziadeh called for concerted condemnation and swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
She also encouraged Pristina and Belgrade to seek a permanent solution to issues related to vehicle license plates and energy.
In these complex times, the Special Representative called on leaders to be judicious in their actions and political rhetoric.
UNMIK’s Legacy of Support
The senior UN official made it clear that UNMIK’s role is neither an obstacle nor a vehicle for the preferred outcome of either side.
On the contrary, she explained, the Mission continues its legacy of institutional support, working in synergy with the family of United Nations agencies, funds and programs to ensure the conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all. the people of Kosovo.
“UNMIK remains the place of relevant knowledge, experience and expertise in the field…supporting an active civil society, promoting new tools to help Kosovo strengthen the rule of law, contributing to the empowerment of women and young people, providing expertise and support”.