Ambassador Bukun Onemola
Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations
3rd August, 2010
I should like to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of August.
I thank His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Foreign Minister of Serbia, and Mr. Skender Hyseni for their statements. I should also like to thank Mr. Zannier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his update and for his efforts in promoting peace and stability in Kosovo and the region.
We welcome the report of the Secretary-General (S/2010/401) and note that the overall situation in Kosovo has remained relatively stable, although the potential for instability exists. We are encouraged by the gradual return to tranquillity in Mitrovica following last month’s incident. We urge all parties to continue to guard against a relapse into violence.
We commend the efforts by United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to facilitate dialogue among all the parties as well as activities in the areas of the rule of law and human rights. We appreciate the collaboration between UNMIK and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in fostering cooperation and peace in Kosovo and the region in general within the status-neutral framework of the United Nations.
In spite of these positive developments, we share the Secretary-General’s concern regarding the slow progress in addressing outstanding challenges related to Kosovo, in particular in advancing regional cooperation and finding solutions to issues of common concern to the communities and between the parties. These problems, if not addressed adequately, have the potential to exacerbate the security situation in the territory. There is a need for all actors to sustain efforts to build confidence among the communities.
We also urge that the same importance be accorded to efforts to locate missing persons from the conflict. In this regard, we call on UNMIK to continue to foster cordial relations among the communities and the parties. The efforts to reconstruct Serbian Orthodox sites damaged or destroyed during the violence in March 2004 are an important step towards building trust among the communities. We therefore urge continued general support for these activities.
The relevant law enforcement authorities should also ensure that all perpetrators of crime and violence against minorities are brought to justice. This would go a long way towards promoting safe returns, as well as reconciliation and the long-term stability and development of Kosovo. It is important to promote voluntary returns and the viability of the conditions for returns, such as access to public services, housing and property rights and socio-economic activities. Additional efforts and enhanced collaboration by law enforcement authorities are needed to prevent harassment and attacks against returnees.