UN Security Council Briefing: Kosovo

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Delivered by Carolyn Schwalger, Deputy Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, 25 August 2016

I welcome First Deputy Prime Minister Dačić and Ambassador Çitaku to the Council today, and thank Special Representative Tanin for his briefing.  

Mr President,

New Zealand welcomes progress in the political situation in Kosovo, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report and in Special Representative Tanin’s briefing.

In particular we are pleased to see some improvement in the standards of political engagement, following the disruptive incidents in the Kosovo Assembly earlier this year.

We look forward to an even more settled political future for Kosovo, free from political violence, with due respect for its democratic institutions of government and for its courts and judges. 

In a climate where political disillusionment is apparently increasing, it is particularly important to ensure all people, in particular youth, feel they have a stake in Kosovo’s future.

We continue to call for renewed efforts to normalise relations between Kosovo and Serbia.  In this regard we hope that more progress can be made in implementing agreements reached between the two sides, including in relation to energy, telecommunications, and Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo.

Kosovars and Serbians will always be neighbours. All will benefit from pursuing reconciliation and developing habits of peaceful coexistence.

We welcome efforts by the EU, including High Representative Mogherini, to facilitate dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. It is encouraging that European leaders remain focused on supporting reconciliation in Kosovo and the normalisation of relationships in the region.

Reconciliation efforts will be strengthened by confronting the past so that people can move forward together. We therefore welcome the progress made towards establishing the specialised court to try cases brought forward by the EU Special Investigative Task Force.

We hope that this court will be operational this year, with support from the EU and in particular The Netherlands.   

Finally, we continue to support consideration of the Council adopting a more flexible approach in how it considers this agenda item, mindful of the many other issues of more immediate gravity that this Council has to deal with. 

I thank you.


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