posted on Fri 26 Aug 2011 2:37 PM
Council Debate on Kosovo

Council members will have a debate on Kosovo on Monday, 29 August. It seems that
border tensions which began on 25 July following incidents involving armed Kosovo police units in the area, are expected to be discussed. The Secretary-General’s report, circulated to the Council on 12 August, did not cover the incidents as they occurred after the 16 April to 15 July reporting period. The report notes the growing tensions in northern Kosovo and emphasises that sensitive issues need to be resolved through peaceful means and not unilateral action. Some Council members may also wish to discuss the issue of human organ trafficking. A EULEX task force has been created to investigate this and Kosovo appears to support its work.

It appears that the foreign ministers of both Serbia and Kosovo will participate in Monday’s meeting. It seems that Serbia will raise Kosovo’s “unilateral” use of force in the Serb-dominated north Kosovo.

On 26 July, following the border incident, Serbia wrote to the Council president asking for an open meeting on Thursday, 28 July, intending to participate in the discussion of the incident. The Council was briefed by DPKO on the incident on 28 July but decided that a formal meeting was not necessary. The Serbian foreign minister met with the Secretary-General but was not able to brief the Council. Serbia sent a letter in protest on 29 July. The letter condemned the “unsanctioned act” of Kosovo sending its paramilitary police to the area and called for a return to the “status quo ante’’.

Council members were divided on whether an urgent formal meeting was necessary following the incidents in July. Russia was supportive of Serbia’s request and apparently was keen to have the briefing to send a message to Kosovo that unilateral steps are unacceptable and that contentious issues should be dealt with through negotiations. However, other members felt that the issue could be taken up during the regular debate in August.