Despite heightened tensions, the “Agreement on the path to normalisation between Kosovo and Serbia”, reached in Ohrid, North Macedonia, in March, marks a historic milestone, the Security Council heard today, as senior representatives from Pristina and Belgrade offered countering perspectives on the drivers of regional insecurity.
Caroline Ziadeh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), voiced concern over the preceding cycles of tension and provocations that occurred in 2022, noting that those actions and reactions brought Pristina and Belgrade further away from the course previously agreed to in the framework of the European Union-facilitated dialogue, and “worryingly close to the edge of physical confrontation”.
Despite such challenges, leaders from the region have expressed their support for the process now being undertaken by both sides to advance on the path to normalization, she said, underscoring the role of UNMIK in this regard.
Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, rejected the double standards which lead to varying interpretation of territorial integrity and sovereignty, calling for the undiminished presence of UNMIK in its unchanged mandate.
Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz of Kosovo emphasized that UNMIK has become a destabilizing factor that does not serve stability and peace in the region.
In the ensuing debate, Council members cited the 2023 agreement between Belgrade and Pristina as a positive development, as it reinforces both sides’ commitment to a mutually acceptable solution to the question of Kosovo.
The meeting began at 10:01 a.m. and ended at 1:08 p.m.