Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Sebastiano Cardi, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Briefing in Consiglio di Sicurezza sul Kosovo / UNMIK —
I would like to thank the SRSG Mr. Zahir Tanin for his briefing on the activities of UNMIK and Minister Kuburovic and Ambassador Sahatqija for their statements.
For Italy the perspective of the European integration is crucial in driving the efforts and reforms that the Western Balkans are expected to carry out with the goal to make stability a durable achievement for the region, uphold the institutional consolidation and the economic and social development of the area. A few days ago, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini made a very clear point on the EU commitment to the European future on that.
We firmly believe that the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina is crucial to the stability of the entire region, can be accomplished only through tangible progress in the process of dialogue facilitated by the European Union. Important and concrete results have been achieved and we appreciate the commitment reiterated by the parties to this process. At the same time, we share the hope of the Secretary General to see a more consistent and sustained effort of both parties to reactivate the talks and deliver more substantial results.
In this respect, with the perspective of the anticipated elections coming up in Kosovo, we call on Pristina not to lose the focus on the swift implementation of all measures agreed in the framework of the EU facilitated dialogue, with special regard to the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities. Also, it is important for Pristina to keep the pace on the path of reforms, spanning from the strengthening the rule of law and the fight against corruption to socioeconomic development, that we hope will be swiftly pursued by the new elected government and with the constructive cooperation of all parties.
Underscoring the priority of the European track and acknowledging the substantial progress achieved by Kosovo during these years, we encourage the Security Council to consider a review of the UN presence in Kosovo, including a reconfiguration of UNMIK consistent with the overall peacekeeping reform. This, in our view, will obviously have to be done in close coordination with other International
Organizations active in the region, notably, EU, NATO, OSCE.
We would like to reiterate the request to the Secretary General to make recommendations in this regard, also in the light of the fact that UNMIK is already refocusing its activities on confidence building and collaboration among communities and draw his attention, and that of this Council, on the opportunity to improve UNMIK’s synergy with the EU by complementing at community level its efforts to facilitate dialogue, and its coordination with other international actors.
We equally support the proposal to revise the frequency of the Secretary General briefings and reporting to the Security Council in order to better reflect the current situation on the ground.
I conclude by highlighting the relevance of the regional dimension. As Chair of the Berlin Process in 2017, Italy has established a fruitful dialogue with all Western Balkans Countries to identify with them the priorities to boost regional integration, stability and economic growth. Both Belgrade and Pristina are actively participating in this process.
On May 24 the six Ministers of the Western Balkan countries will visit Rome to meet with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs in preparation of the Summit we will host in Trieste on July 12th – a Summit that will provide added value to the regional cooperation process and to the European integration path of the Western Balkans.
Italy has always been and will continue to be proactively engaged in the Western Balkans. In Kosovo with our longstanding contribution to the UN, EULEX and KFOR activities as well as at bilateral level. The future of this region matters to the entire Europe and especially to Italy.
For this reason, we strongly condemn the nationalist and divisive rhetoric recently reignited throughout the region. In order to avoid political instability inside Countries of the region, and to counter any further deterioration of the relations among the Western Balkans, we call on all parties to refrain from any unilateral initiative or declaration that could hinder the common efforts to improve cooperation and consolidate stability. We believe it is time for all Western Balkan Countries to turn the page and work together in the interest of each and all of them and of their people.