Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Happens Next? Discussing the ICJ's Advisory Decision on Kosovo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Foreign Minister of Serbia, Vuk Jeremic, met today at United Nations Headquarters in New York, where they discussed questions related to Kosovo as well as a planned high-level meeting on disarmament. The meeting comes one week after the International Court of Justice released its advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in February 2008, which Belgrade rejects.  Click here for links to that decision.

By 10 votes to four, judges at the ICJ concluded that the declaration does not breach either general international law, a Security Council resolution from 1999 following the end of fighting in Kosovo, or the constitutional framework that was adopted by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on behalf of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).   UNMIK was established after Western forces drove out Yugoslav forces amid inter-ethnic fighting in 1999. Ethnic Albanians outnumber ethnic Serbs and other minorities by about nine to one in Kosovo.   

The Secretary-General said today that he planned to closely coordinate next steps with the European Union (EU), which has offered to facilitate a process of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. He and Mr. Jeremic also discussed a Serbian draft General Assembly resolution on this subject, according to information provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson. Mr. Ban said he continued to appeal to all sides to support constructive dialogue and the settlement of all remaining concerns, while encouraging political stability and discouraging provocations.   

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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