29 August 2014 - Security Council - Kosovo - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, chargé d’Affaires a.i.
I too would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Zarif, for his briefing, and I welcome the two Ministers who have done us the honour of being here today, Mr. Dačić and Mr. Hoxhaj.
France is pleased that the elections on 8 June in Kosovo took place peacefully and transparently. The robust participation by the Serb community in the national elections is also a very positive sign. The election proves that the path of dialogue will enable balanced solutions to be found for all communities in Kosovo. We hope now that a compromise will finally be found on the speedy formation of a Government, in full respect for democratic institutions. Kosovo needs a stable Government. That is in the interests of all the people of Kosovo, given its pressing economic challenges, as well as in the interests of the region. It is also the Council’s expectation.
More than a year after the historic First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations, of 19 April 2013, it is in everyone’s interests that the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade resume quickly. Both parties will have to demonstrate a constructive spirit and search for compromise to allow for the normalization of their relations and for the implementation of the agreement reached last year. That will also have an impact on their European rapprochement, a subject to which I will return. To accomplish that, the formation of a Government in Kosovo is a prerequisite. A return to the parties’ courageous willingness to look to the future together that prevailed in spring 2013 is another.
Kosovo will not be able to turn confidently to the future without light being shed on its past. We thank Chief Prosecutor Clint Williamson, the Special Investigative Task Force and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) as a whole for their tireless work over the past three years on the allegations of crimes contained in the Marty report. Now it is up to Kosovo to shoulder its responsibilities and facilitate the establishment of a tribunal charged with following up on the work of EULEX. Given the gravity of the alleged crimes, the European Union has also expressed its expectations vis-à-vis the Kosovo authorities as to the appropriate response.
We do not doubt the willingness of Kosovo to engage in a legal process that will respond in a fair and impartial manner to those allegations and to deal with all aspects of the difficult times that Kosovo experienced in the late 1990s. A satisfactory outcome to the case now depends in particular on the political parties in Pristina, which must demonstrate their maturity and determination, as they have done in the past.
I would like to condemn the violent incidents that rocked Kosovo on 22 July, while at the same time acknowledging the responsible stance adopted by the security forces in Kosovo in their measured response. Despite occasional incidents such as the death of a Serbian policeman and a Kosovo citizen yesterday in the border area, which we strongly condemn, the security situation in Kosovo, fortunately, remains stable overall.
I conclude by commending Kosovo and Serbia’s joint progress towards European Union integration, following the normalization of their relations. Important steps have been taken recently by the European Commission and Pristina for the conclusion of the European Union-Kosovo Stabilization and Association Agreement, which is aimed at supporting Kosovo’s development and reforms and thereby contributing to the stabilization of the region. We hope that the Agreement will be finalized very soon.
Serbia, meanwhile, has made significant efforts in terms of internal reforms and relations with its neighbours. The negotiations for its accession to the European Union, launched on 21 January, continue and will have to focus in particular on issues related to the rule of law. That aspect is advantageous for the entire region, and we welcome the efforts already made by Serbia.
It is now up to Serbia and Kosovo to meet their mutual commitments in order to together continue their process of European rapprochement.