U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Releases > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Other Releases > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Other Releases (2005)

Contact Group Plus Statement

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Washington, DC
February 2, 2005

February 2, 2005
Pristina, Kosovo

The Contact Group met in Pristina on February 1 and 2 with the UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), KFOR, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG), opposition leaders, and leaders of Kosovo’s minority communities.

The Contact Group emphasized the continuing importance of the Standards for Kosovo and the need for concrete, substantive action. The Contact Group acknowledged the strong statements and energy of the new leadership of the PISG regarding their implementation and improvements made so far in some areas, and encouraged the PISG to sustain this momentum. The Contact Group urged the PISG, working closely with municipal leaders, to deliver concrete results as soon as possible. The Contact Group welcomed UNMIK’s prioritization of Standards goals, particularly in the areas of protection of minorities, promotion of returns, and freedom of movement, as a means of managing the overall implementation of the Standards. The Contact Group welcomed Joachim Rucker as the head of UNMIK’s Pillar IV and urged the PISG to work closely with UNMIK on implementation of the Standards on the economy, in particular the privatization of Kosovo’s socially owned enterprises and elaboration of an economic development plan for Kosovo. The Contact Group looked forward to the SRSG’s assessment of progress made to date in the upcoming report by the UN Secretary General to the UN Security Council on Kosovo. The Contact Group reaffirmed that full implementation of all the Standards remained essential to Kosovo’s long-term future as part of Europe.

The Contact Group reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive review of the PISG’s progress in meeting the Standards, the first opportunity for which would come in mid-2005, and stressed that advancement towards a process to determine the future status of Kosovo in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 will depend on a positive outcome of this comprehensive review. The Contact Group underscored the necessity of substantial further concrete progress across all the standards in advance of the comprehensive review.

The Contact Group welcomed recent progress in decentralization and urged finalization of pilot projects under the guidance of the Working Group on Local Government Reform and looked forward to their early establishment. The Contact Group supports UNMIK and the PISG in elaborating Kosovo’s decentralization concept, taking into account issues such as the protection of minority community rights and security, and the need to ensure better living conditions for all inhabitants in Kosovo.

Efforts to reform local government, fulfill the Standards, and ensure the best quality of life for all of Kosovo’s inhabitants will be greatly enhanced by the active participation of all of Kosovo’s communities, especially Kosovo Serbs. The Contact Group urged Kosovo Serbs to take an active role in Kosovo’s institutions and called on the PISG and Belgrade to work constructively to facilitate Kosovo Serbs’ full participation in Kosovo’s political life. In that regard, the Contact Group welcomed Belgrade’s willingness, communicated to the SRSG, to resume the Belgrade-Pristina direct dialogue, which would focus initially on missing persons and energy. The ongoing efforts to reform and stabilize Kosovo’s energy sector are essential for the sector’s long-term viability, but the Contact Group urged due consideration to those individuals of all ethnic groups who face particular hardships in meeting their financial obligations.

The Contact Group welcomed the establishment of new ministries within the PISG as part of the ongoing transfer of competencies from UNMIK within the framework of UNSCR 1244. The Contact Group reaffirmed the need for full responsibility and accountability in all of Kosovo’s institutions and the necessity for swift action when officials and civil servants have not upheld their duties and supports the SRSG’s efforts in this area. The Contact Group expressed its desire that President Rugova, as he pledged at its December 2004 meeting, step down as head of his political party in accordance with the Constitutional Framework and urged that this be done by the end of the month. The Contact Group also reaffirmed the obligation of all individuals and institutions in Kosovo, and indeed throughout the region, to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The Contact Group, noting the continued progress on reconstruction of homes and schools damaged in the March 2004 violence, underscored the need for the PISG to continue efforts to address the causes and consequences of that violence. It looked forward to reengagement by the Serbian Orthodox Church in efforts to reconstruct churches and religious sites damaged in the violence.

The Contact Group noted the assessment by COMKFOR that the security situation was currently stable and that there had been a decrease in incidents of inter-ethnic violence. Following on the reports by COMKFOR and the SRSG, the Contact Group urged the PISG to take steps to remove a continuing perception of insecurity among minority communities in Kosovo.


  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.