Mr. O. C. Onowu
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN
New York, NY
30th August, 2011
I join others in thanking His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, for sharing his perspectives with us. I thank Mr. Enver Hoxhaj for his statement. I would also like to thank the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Farid Zarif, for his update on the situation in Kosovo.
It is satisfying to note the return to normalcy in northern Kosovo following last month’s incident. We urge the parties to continue to maintain the momentum in order to guard against a relapse into violence. They should also engage just as seriously in promoting reconciliation and the peaceful settlement of pending issues through the time-tested principles of compromise and mutual respect.
While the report of the Secretary-General (S/2010/514) indicates that the overall security situation in Kosovo is stable, it remains in a fragile balance. Incidents of attacks against minority communities and international personnel and the underlying tensions in northern Kosovo are indicative of the challenges in the territory. Of particular concern is the need to address insecurity and other outstanding challenges bedevilling northern Kosovo. Concrete and concerted action is required to strengthen law enforcement and encourage broad-based consultations towards promoting social cohesion and reconciliation among the communities.
We commend the efforts of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to facilitate dialogue and cordial relations among the communities. We appreciate the collaboration among UNMIK, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and other actors in fostering cooperation and peace in Kosovo and the region in general. Finding sustainable and far-reaching solutions to issues of common concern to the communities and between the parties will go a long way towards fostering lasting peace and stability in Kosovo and the region.
We therefore urge regional and international actors to work in concert and to intensify their efforts to reach a durable solution to the problems in Kosovo. We further urge the parties not to allow the misgivings over last month’s incidents to impede the European Union-facilitated talks. Both parties have hitherto to engage constructively in those talks. We commend them on the results achieved thus far, and urge them to stay committed to the process. It is only proper that the international community step up efforts to preserve the gains in those talks.
In that connection, we urge the European Union, UNMIK and other international actors to continue to provide the necessary support to the talks. We also underline the importance of ensuring that all local stakeholders are involved in the process.
On the issue of returns, it is essential to sustain efforts to promote voluntary returns, as well as the conditions necessary for those returns. In that context, we support the proposal to include benefits for the receiving communities in returns projects. The sustained outreach activities of UNMIK, as well as the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and of the international community, are needed to underpin such efforts.
Nigeria notes the intention of EULEX to commence investigations into the allegations of trafficking in human organs. We underline the importance of ensuring that the views and concerns of all stakeholders are adequately accommodated. That will ensure that the final outcome of the investigations enjoy the broadest possible support.
In concluding, we pay special tribute to the work of the former Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Lamberto Zannier.