Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNMIK/ Kosovo

National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on UNMIK/ Kosovo, 14 May 2018, New York.

Thank you Madam President.

Madam President,

I would also like to begin by thanking Special Representative Zahir Tanin for his briefing today. I would also like to thank Deputy Prime Minister Dačić and Ambassador Çitaku for their statements to the Council.

As other European Members of the Council have already stated the situation in Kosovo today calls for a substantial reduction in the frequency of the reporting cycle. We should also refocus UNMIK's efforts so that the means deployed by the United Nations are better tailored to the situation on the ground. To this end we look forward to a strategic review of this mission.

Madam President,

Kosovo's European Perspective was reconfirmed in the European Commission's strategy for 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans', which was adopted in February. The EU – Western Balkans summit, which will take place later this week in Sofia, will offer another opportunity for both sides to reaffirm their commitment to advancing these efforts.

We welcome the progress made since our last meeting, in particular the ratification of the territorial delineation agreement with Montenegro by the Assembly of Kosovo, which represents an important breakthrough. We share the Secretary-General's assessment that the ratification is an indication of Kosovo's commitment to its humanitarian perspective.

Moving forward, it is now important to resume a dedicated reform agenda and to intensify the fight against corruption and organised crime. To this end, we encourage the Government and the opposition to engage in a constructive dialogue to overcome political deadlocks and to enable the acceleration of necessary reforms.

It is also crucial that Kosovo's political leadership continue to respect the rule of law and human rights. In this regard we are concerned over the recent arrest and expulsion of Turkish nationals without customary court proceedings, and we are concerned over the slow pace of progress in the investigation of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic.

Madam President,

The continued deadlock in the normalisation dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo must be overcome. The future of both lies within the European Union, and normalization of relations is vital for a stable, peaceful and prosperous Western Balkans. We call on Pristina and Belgrade to implement their commitments and to inject a new impetus into the dialogue process. As we have stated before, the status issue must not hamper Kosovo's European perspective, or membership in international organizations.

Sweden welcomes the important work being undertaken on Women, Peace and Security in Kosovo. This includes support to wartime survivors of conflict-related sexual and gender based violence and women's political participation. We reiterate the importance of the role of women in the normalization process.

Finally, Madam President,

The United Nations and UNMIK have had invaluable contributions to help bring Kosovo to where it is today. However, the EU integration process, including through the support of EULEX, now provides the most appropriate framework to deal with remaining challenges. By continuing to work towards Kosovo's European perspective, with support from the EU and the international community, Kosovo's leaders can deliver on the expectations of their people for a better future.

Thank you.

Contact

Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis