NEW YORK — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his new report calls on all sides to desist from actions that could undermine the progress made in the Kosovo dialogue.
“I urge all sides to refrain from actions that could undermine the progress made in the dialogue and escalate tensions, and to work together to avoid any further deterioration of the situation,” reads the report obtained by Tanjug.
The report of the UN Secretary-General on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which will be discussed at the session of the UN Security Council (UNSC) devoted to the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, due to be held on August 29, covers the activities of UNMIK and developments related thereto, from April 16 to July 15, 2011.
The report says that during the period under review, the overall security situation in Kosovo remained relatively calm, although tensions increased towards the end of the reporting period.
“Northern Kosovo Serb leaders raised concerns with regard to decisions of the Kosovo Ministry of Interior to expand its operations into Kosovo Serb-majority northern municipalities, through the activities of the Regional Operational Support Units (ROSU). Tensions rose when ROSU commenced daily patrols in multi-ethnic areas of northern Kosovo, as part of Priština’s efforts to assert authority there,” the report says.
In the middle of May, a decision by the Kosovo Ministry of Interior to rotate the Kosovo police northern station and gate commanders also heightened tensions in northern Kosovo, according to the report.
“In northern Kosovo, the growing tensions remain a cause for concern,” Ban Ki-moon said.
“In this regard, I will continue to firmly stress that sensitive issues relating to northern Kosovo can only be resolved through peaceful means, on the basis of consultation with all communities on the ground, and not through unilateral action,” he added.
The UN secretary-general said he was pleased to report that the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština had continued at an intensive pace during the reporting period and had seen its first concrete results three months after its launch, and appealed to UNSC Members to continue encouraging the sides to make good faith efforts to tackle the remaining challenges.
He welcomed the agreements reached in the areas of freedom of movement, civil registry and academic diplomas and urged Belgrade and Priština to engage fully in implementing them.
“It remains my firm belief that this dialogue has the potential to bridge the differences between the sides and to resolve a series of long-standing issues that affect the lives of the people on the ground,” Ban Ki-moon said.
Despite noting that the engagement of the sides in the process has been facing some opposition, the UN secretary-general nevertheless said he was confident that the positive impact of the agreements, when implemented, would generate a wider understanding and appreciation of the benefits that can be derived from the dialogue.
“As the dialogue process moves forward, the United Nations remains committed to support the European Union’s facilitating role, and to provide its expertise on the issues under discussion,” Ban Ki-moon said.
Ban Ki-moon said the Kosovo authorities had reiterated their willingness to cooperate with an investigation into the allegations contained in Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty’s report on trafficking in human organs and welcomed the creation of a EULEX Task Force to conduct the investigation that should be operational at the end of the summer.
The Task Force, which will exercise its functions under the administrative authority of the Head of the EULEX Justice component, will be located in Brussels and Priština, the report reads.