Mr. Kio Amieyeofori

Minister, SAPR

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

New York, NY

16th February, 2011

As Delivered

Let me also join others in thanking His Excellency Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, for his very useful statement this afternoon. We would also like to thank Mrs. Vlora Çitaku for her statement and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier for his comprehensive update on the situation in Kosovo.

 Nigeria welcomes the report of the Secretary General (S/2011/43) pursuant to resolution 1244 (1999). We also welcome the continued collaboration between the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo and the other facilitators in fostering peace and stability in Kosovo and the region. However, it is evident from today’s briefings that there are still difficult challenges in Kosovo and in the implementation of resolution 1244 (1999). That situation requires the careful consideration of the Council.

 In that regard, we want to observe that UNMIK continues to operate in difficult circumstances, with sustained media attacks undermining efforts by the Mission to fully deliver on its mandate. We deplore those attacks and urge restraint on the part of the parties involved. Nigeria believes that UNMIK still has an important role to play and that its presence and support is required to bolster efforts at assisting the communities to overcome their various challenges.

 Nigeria shares the Secretary-General’s concerns about the fragile security situation in northern Kosovo. Inter-ethnic tensions and attacks against the minority communities, as well as members of the international community, undermine the prospects for peace and stability in the territory. We believe that the perpetrators of crimes should be properly brought to justice, and efforts made to reach out to the victims. It is important to prevent such incidents from reoccurring by enhancing the necessary mechanisms for the protection of lives and property and by promoting mutual tolerance, harmony and coexistence among the people.

 Nigeria remains convinced that sustained dialogue is indispensable to achieving a mutually acceptable solution to all outstanding issues in Kosovo. The parties should therefore remain fully committed to dialogue, in furtherance of General Assembly 64/298, adopted on 9 September 2010. We urge the parties to redouble their efforts to commence that process in the shortest possible time, taking into account the specific circumstances and concerns of all communities. The resulting overall peace dividend would be far-reaching for Kosovo and the region, as it would not only address the problem of insecurity but also open up economic opportunities for the various communities.

 On the issue of illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo, highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report, Nigeria considers it a very serious human rights issue that requires an international investigation, taking into account the various jurisdictions involved in the matter. We encourage UNMIK to provide the support that may be necessary to the process.

 We welcome the increased support for returnees recorded during the reporting period. Efforts should be deployed to address concerns over the viability of conditions of return, including security, access to public services, housing and property rights and  socio-economic opportunities. The absence of these critical elements will constrain efforts to promote the sustainable return of displaced persons, as well as reconciliation, longer-term stability and the development of Kosovo.

 We commend the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his team for their unrelenting efforts in promoting peace and stability in Kosovo, as well as the region, and assure the Mission of our continued support.