Open Debate on "The Situation in Kosovo
Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, 
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
Security Council, New York, 13 April 2004

Thanks to Under-Secretary Jean-Marie Guéhenno for his valuable briefing on the current situation in Kosovo.

Kosovo is a key element for peace and stability in the Balkans. Brazil supports the process of peace and reconciliation foreseen by resolution 1244 and the “standards before status” policy for Kosovo.

UNMIK and KFOR have performed quite well on the ground. After five years of work, the UN presence has been central in the fight against crime, terror and ethnic cleansing. 

Last month, though, the worst outbursts of violence since the end of the conflict took place in the region, proving that extremism and separatism are still very much alive and that their proponents are anxious to take every opportunity to create further instability. Those responsible for the murderous riots must be brought to justice. 

Despite peacekeeping and international police forces’ effort, the escalation of violence could not be avoided and resulted in so many casualties. Moreover, in an extremely unfortunate 
development, KFOR soldiers and UNMIK civilian police became themselves victims of that violence. 

As a result, it became necessary to deploy new peacekeeping units in order to prevent further clashes. We welcomed the deployment of those troops. Their presence has helped to restore calm to Kosovo, although there are still reports of looting and unrest.

The Secretary General’s Special Representative announced the creation of a review body on the UN mission's response to the recent crisis. We agree that an independent evaluation of the 
situation can lead to valuable suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the work of the Mission. 

We remain aware of the fragility of the situation on the ground. Brutal incidents have unveiled intentions to force a solution to the status question through violence and intimidation. The international community must respond in a clear and unequivocal manner. The Council has condemned violence –particularly ethnically motivated violence. Armed groups carrying out their own agenda cannot be allowed to jeopardize the long-standing commitment of the United Nations and derail the reconciliation process. Moreover, it is our mission to avoid the recurrence of shameful episodes of ethnic cleansing that took place in the past. 

The goal of a stable, democratic, tolerant and multiethnic Kosovo can only be reached through joint action. Full protection of human rights is essential to reach peace on the basis of international law. Rebuilding confidence and trust between the different ethnic communities goes in tandem with rebuilding churches and homes that were destroyed. 

In this regard, we welcome the launching of Kosovo's very detailed Standards Implementation Plan, which must be carried out in strict compliance with resolution 1244. The plan sets 
up valuable guidelines and goals in key areas of the effort of bringing peace and stability to Kosovo, such as the building of democratic institutions, the holding of locally-managed elections, the enforcement of minorities’ rights and freedom of movement, and the strengthening of the economy. It sets the reestablishment of the rule of law as its first
priority, which is fundamental given the recent events. In this connection, we see as a positive development the entry into effect of Kosovo’s Provisional Criminal Procedure and Criminal Codes.

Brazil has stressed on many occasions the importance of cooperation of all parties involved, and above all, the authorities in Pristina and Belgrade. The success of the Standards Implementation Plan, which points to a truly multiethnic society in Kosovo, requires dialogue and the participation of all individuals and groups, including all minorities. Strong commitment to the Provisional Institutions, engagement in the political process, and adoption of economic reforms remain the only hope against the resurgence of conflict.

Thank you.