Mr. Kio Amieyeofori

Minister/Political Coordinator

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

New York, New York

12th May, 2011

As Delivered

I join others in thanking His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Foreign Minister of Serbia, and Mr. Enver Hoxhaj for their statements. I would also like to thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier for his informative update on the situation in Kosovo.

 Nigeria welcomes the report of the Secretary General (S/2011/281) and the observation that the overall situation in Kosovo has remained relatively stable during the reporting period. We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to foster cordial relations among all actors within the country and in the region. This remains vital to ensuring lasting peace, prosperity and stability in Kosovo. UNMIK therefore deserves the continued support of the Council and the international community.

 Nigeria welcomes the ongoing European Union facilitated talks aimed at regional development, enhancing cooperation among local actors and progress towards joining the European Union (EU). There is a need for the parties to remain engaged in the process and to show the flexibility, compromise and constructiveness needed to achieve results. We commend the European Union and UNMIK for their contributions and urge them to continue to offer their facilitation in support of the talks.

 While the Secretary-Generalís report indicates that the situation in northern Kosovo is calm, the underlying tensions suggest that the situation remains fragile. Broad-based consultations aimed at promoting social change and reconciliation among the communities are needed as a matter of policy.

 The Council can and should do more to help build confidence among the communities and consolidate peace and stability in the country and in the region. It is in this regard that we call on UNMIK to continue to play its pivotal role in facilitating interethnic contacts and fostering cordial relations with international actors. We hope that the EU-facilitated talks will provide an opportunity to address more of the outstanding issues.

 The low number of returns, forced returns and the fiscal and socio-economic limitations that impede the reintegration of returnees deserve serious and concerted action. We reiterate the importance of promoting voluntary returns and the viability of the conditions of return, such as access to public services, housing and property rights, and socio-economic activities. The law-enforcement authorities should also reinvigorate their efforts to curtain the harassment of, and attacks on, returnees. Such measures should go a long way towards promoting safe returns as well as reconciliation and the long-term stability and development of Kosovo.

 On the issue of investigations relating to the inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo, we remain convinced of the need to bring to justice those held accountable. A thorough international investigation is therefore required. However, in such an effort, the various jurisdictional issues involved in the matter should be taken into account. It is essential that the relevant national authorities, UNMIK and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) provide the necessary technical, organizational and logistical support to the investigation.

 Nigeria appreciates the untiring efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his team in the promotion of peace and security in Kosovo and in the region. We would also like to note in this regard our satisfaction with the cooperation between the Mission, EULEX, the Kosovo Force, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as United Nations agencies, funds and programmes aimed at improving the lives of all Kosovars.