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RESOLUTION 368 on A WAY FORWARD IN KOSOVO

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Presented by the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security and adopted by the Plenary Assembly on Tuesday 18 November 2008, Valencia, Spain.

The Assembly,

1.         Reiterating its strong commitment to peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans;

2.         Regretting the failure of internationally mediated negotiations over Kosovo’s final status, and the breakdown of direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina;

3.         Convinced that long-term stability in the Balkans cannot be achieved without the reestablishment of good relations between Belgrade and Pristina;

4.         Emphasising that the prospect of full integration in Euro-Atlantic institutions is a key stabilising factor for the region;

5.         Welcoming in this regard the recent steps taken by Serbian authorities towards enhanced relations with the European Union (EU) and NATO;

6.         Reaffirming that Kosovo is a unique case which cannot constitute a precedent for the resolution of other territorial conflicts;

7.         Acknowledging the UN General Assembly Resolution to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on whether Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence is in accordance with international law;

8.         Stating its strong commitment to the consolidation of Kosovo as a multiethnic and democratic society, free of any form of discrimination;

9.         Concerned, however, about ongoing inter-ethnic tensions and sporadic acts of inter ethnic violence;

10.        Noting also that, despite commendable progress, serious challenges remain in many areas, including the establishment of the rule of law, the implementation of decentralisation projects, the economy, and the fight against corruption and organised crime; 

11.       Concerned, in particular, that institutions are unable to function properly north of the Ibar river;

12.       Acknowledging the important roles that the United Nations and the OSCE continue to play under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, and welcoming the EU’s commitment to help strengthen the rule of law in Kosovo through the deployment of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) under a UN umbrella;

13.       Regretting, however, that political blockages continue to hamper the reconfiguration of the international presence in Kosovo called for by the UN Secretary-General in his June 2008 report to the Security Council;

14.       Commending KFOR personnel for their excellent performance in demanding conditions, and stressing the ongoing need for a strong KFOR presence to maintain a safe and secure environment throughout Kosovo;

15.       Welcoming the Alliance ’s commitment to assist with the implementation of future security arrangements in Kosovo;

16.       Stressing that the unity of the international community’s efforts in Kosovo is in the interest of all parties and should be considered of utmost priority;

17.       URGES governments and parliaments of member and partner countries of the North Atlantic Alliance:

a.         to remain committed to securing peace and stability in Kosovo by ensuring an appropriate level of international military and civilian presence as long as the situation requires it;

b.         to promote actively a clear division of responsibility and effective mechanisms of co-ordination and co-operation among all international institutions in Kosovo;

c.         to facilitate the prompt deployment of EULEX throughout Kosovo and fully resource its efforts to strengthen the rule of law;

d.         to strive to overcome remaining obstacles to the conclusion of a technical agreement between KFOR and EULEX;

e.         to foster the process of rebuilding mutual confidence between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as among ethnic groups in Kosovo; and, to this end,

i)          to encourage dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina on the six issues identified in the UN Secretary-General’s June 2008 report* , and the adoption of pragmatic solutions, which would maintain Kosovo as one administrative unit while taking into account the legitimate concerns of local populations in Serb-majority areas;

ii)         to foster a more active and constructive dialogue between Pristina and Kosovo Serb representatives;

iii)         to support the implementation of measures aimed at enhancing the protection of Kosovo Serbs and other minorities, including further decentralisation and a genuinely multiethnic Kosovo Police Service;

iv)        to continue to support actively efforts to create appropriate conditions for the return of displaced persons to their homes;

f.           to continue to offer all countries of the region clear prospects of and sustained assistance with their full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions and, in particular, to support actively Serbia’s renewed commitment and efforts towards Euro-Atlantic integration. 

 

* Police, courts, customs, transportation and infrastructure, boundaries and Serbian patrimony.

 

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