Post-election Kosovo entering period of uncertainty that will demand strong leadership – UN envoy

The Special Representative of the Secretary General for Kosovo, Zahir Tanin, briefs the Security Council on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

16 August 2017 – Following the parliamentary elections of 11 June, which took place without “major irregularities or incidents,” Kosovo has entered a “period of uncertainty” marked by reconfiguring the political landscape and a “functional void,” the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Kosovo Zahir Tanin told the Security Council today.

“The transition phase has proven to be full of obstacles. The main coalition was not able to achieve an absolute majority, some of the parties increased their representation marginally and the long-standing opposition has taken a significant boost,” said Mr. Tanin in his regular briefing to the 15-member Council.

But the polls had revealed a “change of mentality” among many voters, especially young people, more concerned about issues of access to economic opportunities, reducing corruption and strengthening the rule of law.

Noting the proposed initiative of President Vucic of Serbia for an internal dialogue on Kosovo, Mr. Tanin, who is also head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), underlined that “pursuing fair, difficult, often painful, compromises demands strong leadership from all sides.” He stressed that political reconciliation must also be accompanied by societal reconciliation.

He went on to note the UNMIK's efforts to support the advancement of inter-community relations on the ground. In that regard, he highlighted the round-table meeting in Geneva co-hosted with the High Commissioner for Human Rights to bring attention back to the many unresolved cases of missing persons in Kosovo.

Other UN-led initiatives to strengthen societal relations included the first UN Kosovo Youth Assembly was attended by over 140 young leaders – 60 percent of them women – representing all Kosovo's ethnic communities.

After three months of election campaign and post-election uncertainty, Mr. Tanin underlined the importance for Kosovo to move forward seriously and responsibly, and for the international community to work together to continue to provide essential support.


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