National Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on UNMIK
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin-Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council briefing on UNMIK, Wednesday, 16 August, New York.
I would like to begin by thanking Special Representative Tanin for his comprehensive briefing today. I would also like to thank First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dačić and Ambassador Çitaku for their statements to the Council.
Clear and undeniable progress has been achieved in Kosovo since the end of the conflict now almost two decades ago. However, building peaceful and prosperous societies requires constant vigilance and unwavering commitment by all political leaders, as well as from the international community that stands with them.
We welcome that the early elections in June were genuinely competitive and peaceful in most parts of Kosovo, while we regret the incidents that took place in certain Serbian-majority municipalities. We now look forward to the completion of the constitutive session of the Assembly and the formation of government. A new government needs to swiftly start implementing necessary reforms to the benefit of the people living in Kosovo.
Sweden looks forward to continuing its bilateral development cooperation, as well as its political support, to Kosovo's progress in the areas of democracy, human rights, rule of law and sustainable and socio-economic development for both women and men.
The peoples of Serbia and Kosovo are looking towards a future, together, within the European Union. To this end, the normalization of relations is key. Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are crucial for a stable, peaceful and prosperous Western Balkans. Pristina and Belgrade need to re-engage and revitalize the EU facilitated dialogue. Both parties must implement their respective parts of the agreement, most notably with respect to the dismantling of parallel structures in Serb majority areas and the establishment of the Association of Serb Municipalities. It is essential that the status issue does not hinder Kosovo on its European path or prevent its membership of international organizations.
Within the framework of the normalization process women's participation is key – to foster sustainable and inclusive peace and stability. We note that the report of the Secretary-General describes that UN Women, together with the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office, organized an expert meeting on conflict related sexual violence. Sweden would welcome if the next report of the Secretary-General could include reporting on these matters, as well as gender-aggregated data.
The UN and UNMIK have made invaluable contributions to bring us where we are today. Present challenges, however, must be dealt with within the framework of the EU integration process, including together with EULEX.
In concluding we therefore reiterate our interest in receiving SRSG Tanin's view on possible prospects to further downsize the mission's structure, size and tasks, as well as the possibility to adjust the reporting and briefing period from three to six months.