Ban Ki-moon's speeches


Statement to the press following informal meeting of the Security Council on Kosovo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 17 February 2008

I have just attended the Security Council informal meeting and made a report on the recent developments of the situation in Kosovo.

I have been informed by my Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, Mr. Joachim Rücker, that the Assembly of Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government held a session earlier today during which it adopted a resolution declaring Kosovo's independence.

I am informed that the declaration pledges continued adherence to resolution 1244, expresses gratitude to the United Nations for what it has done for Kosovo and pledges to continue to work constructively with UNMIK. Kosovo Prime Minister Thaci reaffirmed Kosovo's commitment to the Ahtisaari Settlement Proposal and stated that there would be equal opportunities and no discrimination against any of Kosovo's inhabitants.

Meanwhile, I have received a letter today from the President of the Republic of Serbia informing me that the Republic of Serbia has adopted a decision which states that the declaration of independence by Kosovo represents a forceful and unilateral secession of a part of the territory of the Republic of Serbia and does not produce any legal effect either in the Republic of Serbia or in the international legal order.

My Special Representative has also informed me that the situation in Kosovo remains calm and no major incidents are reported. But an explosion has been reported in north Mitrovica, but there were apparently no injuries. Visits by Serbian government officials are taking place today in a number of locations throughout Kosovo and have been facilitated by UNMIK.

I have immediately drawn these developments to the attention of the Security Council, so that it can consider the matter.

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 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.

Thank you very much.