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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Briefing sul Kosovo / UNMIK

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente e Charge’ d’Affaires a.i dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Briefing in Consiglio di Sicurezza sul Rapporto del Segretario Generale sul Kosovo / UNMIK —

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the SRSG Tanin for his briefing and Minister Dacic and Ambassador Citaku for their statements.

Mr. President,

Italy’s investment in the stabilization of the Western Balkans is renowned. Our commitment to supporting these Countries on the path they have chosen toward the European Union remains unwavering. The outcomes of the Summit held in Trieste on 12 July, under the Italian Presidency of the Berlin Process, attested to the priority we assign to keep this European perspective on focus and to encourage Western Balkans’ Countries to consistently deliver on their own reform agendas and to bolster regional cooperation as a conducive and complementary step toward their European integration.

We firmly believe that the normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade is an essential tile of this picture and a landmark building block of a durable stability and prosperity for the entire region. In this vein, we welcome the meeting between President Vucic and President Thaci held on 3 July under the auspices of the High Representative/Vice President Mogherini whose efforts have all our support. We also take note of the internal dialogue initiated by the President of Serbia on this matter and look forward to its development.

We urge both – Pristina and Belgrade – to do their utmost to revitalize the dialogue, starting with the implementation of the agreements already reached. I recall, in particular, the issue of the Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities that we will continue to follow closely.

Mr. President,

We welcome the conduct of the June elections in Kosovo without major incidents or irregularities as assessed by the European Union Election Observation Mission. Though, we regret the incidents occurred in certain Serbian majorities municipalities during the election campaign.

Now a solid government must be urgently formed in order to achieve meaningful progress in the EU-facilitated Dialogue and tackle policy priorities that are vital for Kosovo such as financial stability, economic development and rule of law. We call on all political actors to do their part toward this goal: to swiftly complete the constitutive session of the Assembly, appoint a new Executive and contribute to establish a constructive dynamic between it and the new opposition.

Mr. President,

I would like to underscore the importance of consolidating rule of law, justice and fight against corruption, sectors where Italy is ready to share its experience. The attainment of operational capacity by the Specialist Chambers is a welcomed development: it is now important that they receive full cooperation from all parties in accomplishing their tasks.

Likewise, protection of vulnerable groups and minorities and respect of human rights are crucial for reconciliation and for preventing radicalization: we appreciate the authorities’ endeavor to uphold them and encourage to redouble it.

In this regard, we also welcome the initiative of the Secretary-General to assist the communities that suffered lead poisoning as a result of relocation in IDP camps in Northern Kosovo.

Mr. President,

besides the bilateral ties of friendship and solidarity binding us to Kosovo and to the region, Italy is a long-standing supporter of the work of UNMIK and EULEX, that we strongly commend, and a major contributor to KFOR whose lead has been recently reassigned to an Italian Commander.

With this in mind, allow me to highlight, Mr. President, that the Security Council has witnessed all the strides made by Pristina in these years. At the same time, we are also aware of the road ahead and of the efforts required to overcome challenges that continue to evolve. For this reason we believe that – in coordination with other international actors involved and in line with the wider review of peacekeeping operations – it is time to make an assessment of the UN presence in Kosovo with the aim of adjusting it to the present needs of the Country and we look forward to recommendations in this regard. As well, we are open to an extension of the Secretary-General reporting period in a way that is more adapted to the evolution of the situation on the ground.

I conclude by reiterating our commitment to assist Kosovo and the Western Balkan Countries consolidate their institutions, accelerate their development, intensify regional cooperation and thus advance toward the European Union which is the real key to their long term stability. From this perspective, it is paramount to refrain from the inflammatory language belonging to the past. It is time to look to the future and start working together to build it.

Thank you, Mr. President.