Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Statement to the press following Security Council meeting on Kosovo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 18 February 2008

As you may have heard, I made a report to the Security Council yesterday and today on the developments of the situation in Kosovo.

Today I have met with President [Boris] Tadic and reported to him that the situation is largely calm. I have again urged him, as I have done to all others, to exercise maximum restraint and to support our efforts to maintain a secure environment.

This afternoon I received a letter from the High Representative [for Common Foreign and Security Policy] of the European Union, Javier Solana, informing me of the decision by the European Union to deploy a rule of law mission and a European Union Special Representative.

My Special Representative has informed me also that the situation in Kosovo has remained largely calm. Yesterday’s events surrounding the declaration of independence passed without major incident.

In much of Kosovo, there have been peaceful celebrations by tens of thousands welcoming the declaration. Today in northern Mitrovica, up to 9,000 people peacefully protested against the declaration of independence. The Kosovo Police Service, including Kosovo Serb members, provided security.

I immediately brought these developments to the attention of the Security Council, so that it could consider the matter during its sessions yesterday and today.

Pending guidance from the Security Council, UNMIK will continue to consider Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) as the legal framework for its mandate and will continue to implement its mandate in the light of the evolving circumstances.

I call once again on all sides to reaffirm and act upon their commitments to refrain from any actions or statements that could endanger peace, incite violence or jeopardize security in Kosovo and the region.

I have instructed my Special Representative to continue to keep me closely informed.

This is my brief statement.