On 14 June 2013, the British presidency of the Security Council convened a debate with Mr. Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo, Mr. Ivica Dacic, Prime Minister of Serbia, and his counterpart from Kosovo Mr. Thaci Hacim.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the agreement reached by Serbia and Kosovo on 19 April, under the auspices of the European Union, which marks the normalization of relations between the two countries and determines the conditions for a sustainable regional peace. The representative of France called for a rapid implementation of the provisions contained in the agreement, and a reinforcement of the cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia, in the perspective of European integration.
On 22 March 2013, for its quarterly debate on the situation in Kosovo, the Security Council heard a report from Mr. Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, in the presence of Mr Haçim Thaci, Prime minister of Kosovo and of Mr Ivica Dacic, Prime minister of Serbia.
The Representative of France welcomed the significant progress made by the governments of Serbia and Kosovo under the aegis of the European Union, however, calling the authorities in each country to remain engaged in this historic process. He emphasized on the one hand, it was essential to strengthen the rights of different communities across Kosovo, protecting their cultural and religious heritage and, on the other hand, to ensure the safety and reintegration of internally displaced persons.
The complete timeline of events here.
- Declaration of independence of Kosovo and advisory opinion of the ICJ
— The UN mediator, Martti Ahtisaari, stated in his report of 26 March 2007 that “independence is the only option capable of ensuring the political stability and economic viability of Kosovo.” He recommended “independent status under the supervision of the international community.” This plan was not endorsed by the Security Council at the time, due, in particular, to Russia’s opposition.
Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on 17 February 2008. It is recognized as an independent State by 98 States (as of June 2013), including 22 of the 27 members of the European Union (Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia have not recognized it). France recognized Kosovo’s independence on 18 February 2008. Kosovo is a member of the IMF and of the World Bank (since June 2009). On 15 June 2008, it adopted a constitution that established a parliamentary system.
— On Serbia’s initiative, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on 8 October 2008, which referred a request for an advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence to the International Court of Justice. France abstained from the vote: it did not consider Serbia’s initiative to be useful since it saw no legal uncertainty with regard to the independent status of Kosovo and deemed the initiative inappropriate since it did not contribute to easing tensions and could complicate the Western Balkans’ European prospects.
The advisory opinion of the Court was delivered on 22 July 2010. The Court concluded that the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate international law nor resolution 1244.
In response to this position of the ICJ, the general Assembly adopted on 9 September 2010 a resolution by consensus submitted by Serbia and the 27 EU Member States on the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the declaration of independence Kosovo.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the following statement the next day: "The resolution paves the way for a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the European Union intended to resolve the difficulties which exist between the two states. This dialogue will contribute to strengthening peace, security and stability in the region. It will also help Serbia and Kosovo to move forward on the path towards Europe. France will remain at their side to promote dialogue and cooperation, and assist in the process of rapprochement with the European Union. "
- International presence in Kosovo
On 10 June 1999, following the NATO strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Security Council adopted resolution 1244 which approved the deployment of an international security force - KFOR, the NATO-led force – and an interim civil administration mission in Kosovo – the UNMIK, under the control of the UN.
There are currently four international organizations present in Kosovo.
— When it was established in 1999, NATO’s Kosovo Stabilization Force (KFOR) was tasked with deterring renewed hostilities, demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army, establishing a secure environment, maintaining law and order and public safety, supervising mine clearance, supporting the work of the international civil presence, conducting border monitoring duties and ensuring the protection and freedom of movement of all international organizations. Since Kosovo declared its independence, KFOR has been mainly responsible for maintaining the security and stability of Kosovo at the border posts, in the Serb regions of Kosovo and in the city of Mitrovica. KFOR has 6,000 troops (May 2011, down from 15.000 in 2009), and is transitioning towards becoming a deterrent presence which will lead to further reduction in its troop levels. France contributes almost 800 troops (November 2010). France is in charge of a particularly difficult zone, in contact with the Serbs in the north in Mitrovica.
— The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was established by resolution 1244 in order provide an interim administration for Kosovo through an international civil presence. Since Kosovo’s independence and the reconfiguration of the international civil presence, it has maintained a residual presence in close cooperation with the other international stakeholders present on the ground (it has about 500 personnel including one-third international staff). Since June 2008 it has been led by Lamberto Zannier, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Kosovo.
— The European Union’s “Rule of Law” Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is the largest civilian mission deployed by the EU within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It is a technical mission established under the Joint Action of 4 February 2008, and operates within the general framework of Security Council resolution 1244. Its central aim is to assist the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law field, specifically in the police, judiciary and customs fields. In accordance with the reconfiguration of the international presence, as proposed by the Secretary-General and endorsed by the Security Council in its presidential statement of 26 November 2008, EULEX now carries out all of the operational tasks associated with the rule of law, which previously came under the responsibility of UNMIK. The deployment of the EULEX mission reached its final operational phase on 6 April 2009. Led by a French national, General Xavier Bout de Marnhac, the mission comprises around 1600 international advisors (May 2011), including approximately 200 French experts. General Xavier Bout de Marnhac took replaced another French national, General Yves de Kermabon (former KFOR commander) on 15 October 2010.
— The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Mission in Kosovo (OMIK) was established on 1 July 1999, within the framework of resolution 1244. It operates within the framework of UNMIK. The OSCE Mission focuses on issues related to strengthening institutions, as well as democracy and human rights.
The Kosovo issue is the subject of quarterly reviews at the Security Council.
14 June 2013 - Security Council - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Chargé d’Affaires a.i of France to the United Nations
22 March 2013 - Security Council - Kosovo - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
27 November 2012 - Security Council - Kosovo/UNMIK - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
See all French statements
8 October 2008 - General Assembly Resolution - Seeks an advisory opinion from the ICJ
26 November 2008 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
27 September 2007 - Statement on Kosovo by Contact Group Ministers
26 March 2007 - Report by Mr. Martti Ahtisaari
24 October 2005 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
12 December 2003 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
6 February 2003 - Statement by the President of the Security Council
10 June 1999 - Security Council Resolution 1244