I would like to thank, for their presence here and for their briefings, Mr. Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and Mrs. Vlora Çitaku, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo. I would of course also like to commend the work of Mr. Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, as well as that of all members of his Mission.
Almost three years after Kosovo’s independence, the institutions of this young country continue to be consolidated. Democracy is under way. The vote, on 2 November, of no confidence in the Government has led to the organization of early parliamentary elections, which are expected to take place on 12 December. We see that the political climate is allowing everyone to express himself. We therefore hope that the elections will permit democratic institutions to be strengthened even further. In that context, we regret the calls to boycott the elections. We urge everyone to support this democratic process, in the interests of all the communities of Kosovo.
Since our last debate, the General Assembly has adopted a resolution (General Assembly resolution 64/298) that acknowledges the consequences of the advisory opinion handed down by the International Court of Justice (see A/64/881), requested by Serbia, with regard to the question of the conformity with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo. In taking note of this opinion, according to which the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate any applicable rule of international law, the General Assembly therefore brought closure to a debate that had weighed heavily on the political life of both countries. Serbia received an answer to the question it had asked. A chapter has been closed and a new one, of dialogue between the two States, must now begin. The European Union has offered to facilitate dialogue between the Republics of Serbia and Kosovo, and the General Assembly has welcomed this initiative. It should begin as soon as possible, and should touch on various subjects that directly concern the lives of the peoples by promoting cooperation between the two countries.
For its part, Serbia continues to make progress on the road to European rapprochement. On 25 October, the 27 Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the European Union decided to entrust to the European Commission the examination of Serbia for candidacy for Union membership. France, which has strongly supported this positive development, welcomes this development.
On the ground, as the Secretary-General notes in his report (S/2010/562), the situation is relatively calm. Although we welcome the improvement in the general climate, France strongly condemns all violence, whoever the victims and perpetrators may be. It is important that the Kosovo authorities, supported by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, pursue the perpetrators of these crimes and step up their efforts in this area. Kosovo must continue to focus on its fundamental priorities and to make progress towards establishing the rule of law and good governance for the benefit of all its communities. We hope that this will be the chief goal that the next Government sets itself.
France will continue to pay great attention to the situation in Kosovo and to promote dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and their joint and shared European future.