Statement by H.E. Ambassador Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop
Deputy Permanent Representative of
Brazil to the United Nations
Debate on United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
New York, 3 August 2010
I welcome H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, and thank him for his statement.
I also thank the Special Representative Lamberto Zannier for his briefing and Mr. Skender Hyseni for his remarks.
As the tragic incident of July 2nd in Mitrovica clearly shows and as the Secretary-General recalls in his report, the security situation in Kosovo is stable but fragile. The risk of further violence caused by ethnic tensions is palpable and continues to be a reason for concern, particularly in northern Kosovo.
It is mainly the responsibility of both parties to ensure that Kosovo is a place where ethnic tolerance and multiculturalism allow for a peaceful coexistence among communities. They must therefore refrain from all acts of provocation and any action that may further aggravate instability.
On its part, the international community must remain fully engaged in Kosovo. The Security Council and the Secretary-General, especially through his Special Representative, as well as individual Member States must continue to follow the situation closely and maintain their efforts to promote stability, dialogue and reconciliation.
UNMIK has a special role to play in this regard under resolution 1244. The fact that it is accepted by all on the ground makes it particularly well placed to spearhead efforts to assist the parties to overcome their differences and bring communities together on issues of mutual interest.
In this context, we reiterate our call for both Belgrade and Pristina to cooperate actively with UNMIK and SRSG Zannier, especially in advancing practical arrangements that may benefit the ordinary citizen.
We are concerned at the Secretary General's assessment that insufficient progress was made in this regard. Also worrisome is the observation contained in his report that relations between the Mission and the Kosovo authorities are at arm's length. It must be recalled that UNMIK is the overall authority established by the Security Council in the territory.
We welcome the initiative of the Secretary-General of seeking ways to make the role of UNMIK as effective as possible and further promote cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina.
One such area of possible cooperation would be the reconstruction of the Serbian Orthodox sites damaged or destroyed during the violence in March 2004. Providing the necessary funds for the Reconstruction Implementation Commission (RIC) to complete the reconstruction of all the destroyed Serbian Orthodox sites would certainly contribute to rebuilding confidence between the communities, as the Secretary-General rightfully suggested.
Restoring such confidence will be key to increase the number of returnees, which continues to be low, according to the report before us. It is troubling to learn that harassment of Serbian returnees has not ceased and that Serbian sites of religious and cultural importance continue to be vandalized.
Brazil took note of the Advisory Opinion delivered in the Hague by the International Court of Justice on 22 July concerning the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo.
While the Brazilian government is still examining the Opinion with the diligence it deserves, we note that the ICJ has not questioned that resolution 1244 (1999) remains in force.
Brazil is therefore of the view that said resolution continues to be the key parameter guiding the presence of the United Nations in Kosovo and those who operate there under the overall UN authority.
We also believe that resolution 1244 continues to offer the conditions for the dispute to be settled through negotiations with a view to reaching a legitimate solution to the dispute under the auspices of the Security Council, consistent with its authority and primary responsibility in matters pertaining to international peace and security.
We therefore reiterate our call for the parties to resume negotiations on all outstanding issues as soon as possible.