Kosova-o - Part 31

posted by julia on 2006/07/02 18:51

[ Kosova-o ]

This was the last week in office of UN Special Representative of the Secretary General in Kosovo, Soren Jessen -Petersen, who announced he would resign from his functions on June 12th (cf. D-Welle, 14.6.2006) and had his last official appearance on June 20th when he reported to the UN Security Council about the situation in Kosovo. In his speech (pdf), he underlined the progress Kosovo has made: "I hold that, after seven years of (UN) interim administration in Kosovo, society is ready - indeed impatient - to move on, and that in fact it would be a far greater risk to keep Kosovo in limbo for much longer."

And - like Kofi Annnan in his report (pdf) of 5th June 2006 - he

urged Kosovo-Serbs to participate in the Provisional Institutions for Self-Government:

Despite all efforts,

the fact remains that the situation is very difficult for the majority of Serbs in Kosovo and that they feel confused and

isolated, and that they do not know what to think about the future. I do not see how they can make informed choices and

decisions about their own future within Kosovo if they are not even permitted to take part in the democratic processes there,

whether centrally or locally
" (cf. SEE

, 21.6.2006; BBC, 30.6.2006).

S. Jessen-Petersen officially quits his post for "personal reasons", but has been criticised for his allegedly "pro-Albanian" stance (cf. TOL, 19.6.2006) and his closeness to former

prime minister Ramush Haradinaj
(indicted by the ICTY and provisionally released - cf. also the last decision from the ICTY appeal chamber). For the time

being he will be replaced by UNMIK-deputy head of mission Steven Schook (US).

The 7th edition of Kosovo

from 16th June 2006 features an editorial wondering who will become the future SRSG. As Kosovo Perspectives is not available online (yet), I copy-pasted the article:

Who will be the new UNMIK head Kosovo has been flooded with the usual cycle of rumors
among opinion-makers and the media. Diplomats, journalists
and government officials are trying to find the successor of
Soren Jessen-Petersen, the longest serving and (among
Kosovo Albanians) most popular SRSG in UNMIK’s history
in Kosovo. The job is not easy because of the very unique
moment and the demands to choose a person with the right
qualifications to become the last SRSG in Kosovo.
Jessen’Petersen’s departure, although mentioned as a
possibility for some time now, has left an unexpected void in
the international structures in Kosovo.

The UN does not have the convenience of naming a
candidate that has little knowledge about Kosovo, as was the
case earlier with Hans Haekerup or Harri Holkeri. The right
person should be someone with experience in administrative
management, and this excludes from the list the names of
superstar diplomats who have spent more time in front of TV
stations than in front of Excel sheets. The future SRSG will
lead the process of shrinking UNMIK down and transferring
current administrative operations to the local institutions and
to the new, and visibly smaller, international mission.

Although the American deputy-SRSG Steven
Schook has been mentioned as an option for becoming
Petersen’s successor, Kosovar media carry out statements by
anonymous UN officials who confirm that the new head of
Kosovo will nevertheless be from the EU—to make it easier
to consolidate the future international presence which will be
based mostly on EU financial and human resources. Kosovar
dailies mention the names of Francesco Bastagli, Tom
and Gerrard Stoudman, but the main pretender
seems to be Peter Feith, as he has been mentioned by various
media sources. In the last years all four have served, in
different regions, as UN Special Representatives—from Aceh
to Western Sahara and Afghanistan. The Norwegian
Ambassador Kai Eide, whose report paved the way for the
beginning of status negotiations for Kosovo, will most likely
not engage in the last part of the path toward the final status.

All candidates fulfill some requirements that
condition the naming of the new SRSG. The candidate should
have previous experience with Kosovo, so that not much time
is lost on informing him on the situation in Kosovo. The
institutional knowledge inherited from the mission’s history
and the staff currently working in UNMIK should be used as
much as possible.

New details are now emerging on Kosovo’s last
SRSG. The most important one is that the new contract will
be valid for nine months, leaving the SRSG with a time-frame
of 4-5 months to help-out in the process of defining the status
through negotiations, and the same amount of time to
implement the future deal and transforming UNMIK into a
new mission. There are voices who say that the new mission
will still have a UN umbrella and not a EU one due to
Russia’s request for Kosovo to be overseen by a mechanism
under its influence. The new SRSG is surely not going to
leave Kosovo with a popularity level that Jessen-Petersen
had, but this will most likely not matter at all. At a time when
UNOSEK is the focal point of political processes, the SRSG
will have to untangle the UNMIK bureaucracy, always
having looking to look behind his back at kosovar leaders
who have already begun playing cat games at a time when the
main cat is leaving the scene.

Link: interview with S. Jessen-Petersen by the Osservatorio sui Balcani (Italian version and French translation by the Courrier des Balkans)

Photo: S. Jessen-Petersen, source: Osservatorio sui Balcani


1 Attachment(s)



This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
> RSS Feed RSS 2.0 feed for Kakanien Revisited Blog SEE-EU