Welcome to the United Nations


At the biannual UN Security Council session on Kosovo today, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Caroline Ziadeh highlighted the importance of resolving long-standing issues between Belgrade and Pristina, and between Kosovo Serb communities and Pristina authorities, through open communication and dialogue.

“One of the key common observations is dissatisfaction with the level of progress being achieved through political dialogue, and the direct effects this has upon the security situation. The level of mistrust unfortunately remains high and must be addressed,” she told the Council.

SRSG Ziadeh briefed on recent setbacks that hamper efforts to build trust among Kosovo’s ethnic communities through political dialogue. She reiterated her “continued concern about the manner in which the new regulation on cash transactions was communicated and implemented, and how it has affected the more vulnerable segments of the non-majority communities.”

Underlining the efforts on resolving the contested issue of local government legitimacy in the four municipalities, populated mainly by ethnic Serbs, in the northern part of Kosovo, and following the recall process yesterday where only 253 out of the 46,556 registered voters cast their votes, she reiterated UNMIK’s support to dialogue.

“This unfortunately sets the stage for protracting and prolonging a fragile and unresolved issue. From our point of view, we will continue to support the EU-facilitated Dialogue as the forum to find a consensual resolution on outstanding issues,” she said.

“Another element of the main agreements, which can provide solutions for this and other outstanding normalisation matters, is the taking of earnest, credible steps toward establishing the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities,” she added.

SRSG Ziadeh noted some advances during the reporting period including on vehicle license plate recognition and validity, steps forward on the “energy roadmap,” and the facilitation of customs activities.

She also commended the Pristina leadership for taking action to fully implement the high court decision of 2016, affirming the property rights of the Visoki Dečani Monastery. “Such action is to be welcomed, since it significantly contributes to both inter-community trust, as well as public confidence in the rule of law,” she added.

Reflecting on UNMIK’s commitment to use its resources to foster mutual trust and tolerance, SRSG Ziadeh briefed on the Mission’s programs including on the second United Nations Kosovo Trust-building Forum last November; the activities of the UNMIK- supported Barabar Centre; continued support to the Legal Aid Center and the Kosovo Law Institute; support for full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Programme;  and the upcoming sixth UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo this May. 

“The promotion and protection of human rights is a fundamental part of UNMIK’s mandated work. Together with our partners, we continue to encourage the authorities to place Human Rights and Rule of Law principles at the heart of sound policy judgments,” she said.

In conclusion, SRSG Ziadeh reiterated the importance of the full implementation of the EU-facilitated agreements and for both sides to remain committed to constructive engagement and finding practical compromises.

“Good faith dialogue, communication and mutual understanding mark the path forward. Progress is born from actions undertaken with the willingness to forge compromises,” she concluded.   

Read SRSG Ziadeh’s full statement to the Security Council here:English – Albanian – Serbian