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8 October 2008 - GA on Kosovo - Statement by Ambassador Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Mister President,

On 17 February 2008, Kosovo Assembly adopted declared the independence of the Republic of Kosovo

This declaration marked the end of special historical sequence - i.e. the violent break-up of former the Yugoslavia in the 1990s, followed by a long period of international administration under the aegis of the UN. It is also the result of the process of definition of the status of Kosovo, which was provided by Security Council Resolution 1244. The shared European perspective, which is being offered to Kosovo and Serbia, also makes this situation unique.

Kosovo’s independence therefore constitutes a sui generis case, which does not call into question the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that are the very basis of international relations.

Under these circumstances, France decided to recognize the new State on 18 February, and since then it has been formally recognized by 22 of the 27 EU States. Since the entry into force of the Constitution 15 June past, the Republic of Kosovo has a legal framework compliant with European standards and values, which provides a protective framework for all communities living in Kosovo.

In this context, France has expressed its disagreement with the Serb draft resolution relating to the submission to the International Court of Justice regarding the legality Kosovo’s declaration of independence. France lends its full support to the Court, the main legal body of the United Nations. However, the request for an advisory opinion proposed by Serbia appears to us to be neither useful - because the situation of an independent Kosovo, recognized by 48 sovereign States seems to us devoid of any legal uncertainty - nor timely, since is does not help the necessary easing of tensions and might complicate the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

France will abstain in the vote to come.

Mister President,

In order to overcome the past divisions, Europe has offered the people of the Western Balkans a shared future within the framework of the European Union. France continues to be guided by this main objective, which must constitute a priority for all.

We remain in particular determined to help Serbia to put its future in a European perspective. A Serbia that is fully integrated into the family of European nations is indeed essential for the stability of the region. France reiterates in this regard its belief that Serbia can accelerate its progress on the road to building closer relations with Europe. France also reminds that the EU also expressed its willingness to contribute to Kosovo’s economic and political development by offering it a clear European perspective.

Lastly, France would like to underscore the European Union’s unwavering determination to play a key role in strengthening stability in the region, notably through the deployment of the EULEX mission throughout Kosovo. In this regard, France encourages the Serbian Government to develop a constructive approach towards the EU’s efforts to contribute to the peace and stability of the Western Balkans./.



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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU