Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Possible Resolutions Circulated in Security Council

The US and EU have released part of a proposal on Kosovo with 13 points of a possible resolution in an informal meeting of the Security Council at the French UN Mission.  The points include endorsement of Ahtisaari's plan as well as mentioning "urgent necessity" of refugee returns.  The new proposal would replace most of the points in the current UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and set new guidelines for setting standards for minority rights.  The authors of the proposal have stated that they are enacting the measures in Kosovo despite Belgrade's objections because the "violence and repression of the 1990's" creates a special case.

Meanwhile, Russia has also circulated a proposal that suggests a withdrawal of UNMIK and the establishment of an international civilian mission with the UN Security Council in charge of civilian and military operations.  The proposal makes no mention of independence and states that there has been insufficient progress made in reaching standards set by the international community.

Who is going to vote for or against the plan?  There is some news about how some of the non-permanent members may vote.  A senior fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) had urged Indonesia in the Jakarta Post to vote against Ahtisaari's proposal not simply because of the argument of territorial integrity but rather as to not bow to the influence of the US and EU.  The head of the Kosovo negotiating team is hoping that South Africa will vote in favor of the plan as he believes that it will compel Ghana and Congo to also vote for Ahtisaari's plan.

An article in the International Herald Tribune briefly touches on the old slogan "Standards before Status" where Kosovo was to demonstrate progress towards achieving eight standards such as freedom of movement, promoting economic development, protecting minorities, and ensuring rule of law.  The old mantra was scrapped after international diplomats began to realize that they might have to wait a long time for the Kosovo government to meet the standards due to widespread corruption, deep divides between the communities, and a poor economic outlook.

The Serbian parliament has elected "Radical" leader Tomislav Nikolic to be speaker yesterday.  Western leaders fear that nationalism is gaining strength and Serbia may turn inward and away from European integration.  The EU is urging the formation of a pro-EU government between acting President Tadic and former-PM Kostunica.  If no coalition is formed by the 14th, Tadic will have no choice but to call for new elections.