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Washington … Security Council to end the mandate of the UNMIK mission in Kosovo

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Richard M. Mills, Jr. serves as Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations (File Photo/AFP)

Washington has called on the UN Security Council to end the mandate of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), stressing that the UN mission “fulfilled the purpose for which it was established.”

This came in a Security Council session, on Wednesday, to discuss the latest report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the UN Mission in Kosovo.

Speaking at the session, Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Richard M Mills Jr said: “It is clear that the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo has fulfilled its purpose as set out in the original mandate of the Security Council in 1999. It is also clear that it is no longer necessary. It is time to reduce the frequency of these briefings here in this Council and make them on an annual basis.”

“We, therefore, call on the Security Council once again to terminate the mandate of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and to enable the United Nations presence in Kosovo to move to a more active role, for the benefit of Kosovo and the region as a whole,” he added.

Ending the UNMIK mission in Kosovo requires a UN Security Council resolution in this regard.

In turn, the Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Caroline Ziadeh, emphasized during the session that “UNMIK continues to provide support to civil society and help Kosovo strengthen the rule of law and contribute to the empowerment of women and youth.”

In her speech to the members of the Council, she stressed: “the need for Pristina and Belgrade to engage more effectively in the dialogue that the European Union is facilitating between them.”

In her speech to the members of the Security Council, Caroline Ziadeh confirmed that “comprehensive normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is still far from being achieved.”

It urged Kosovo and Serbia to seek a lasting solution to issues relating to vehicle license plates and energy issues.

A crisis erupted between the two countries known as the “vehicle crisis” as the Kosovo government refused to allow vehicles with Serbian license plates to enter its territory.

It is noteworthy that UNMIK was established by Security Council Resolution 1244 on June 10, 1999, with the aim of “establishing an interim administration for Kosovo under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy great autonomy.”

Subsequently, following the declaration of independence by the Kosovar authorities and the entry into force of the new constitution on 15 June 2008, significant modifications were made to the mission’s tasks in order to focus primarily on strengthening security, stability, and respect for human rights in Kosovo.