|Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNMIK|
I thank SRSG Ziadeh for the briefing, and welcome the presence of Foreign Minister of Serbia, His Excellency Mr. Selakovic. I also listened attentively to the statement made by Ms. Schwarz.
At a time when Europe is facing enormous security challenges, maintaining stability in Kosovo is of even greater significance. The international community, especially the Security Council, should maintain its attention and engagement, work under the framework of Resolution 1244, and support the parties concerned to seek a mutually acceptable political solution through negotiation and consultation. In this process, Serbia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity should be fully respected. In light of the current situation, I would like to make four points.
First, maintain the security and stability of Kosovo. Since September last year, Kosovo has taken a spate of unilateral actions, leading to an escalation of tensions. Until the two sides reach a new consensus through dialogue and consultation, any unilateral actions will only lead to heightened tensions, which is not in the interest of any party or the overall security interests of Europe. The temporary arrangement of vehicle registration plates is about to expire. China encourages the two sides to reach a flexible and pragmatic arrangement under the coordination of the EU, and actively consider extending the current temporary arrangement.
Second, protect the legitimate rights of the Kosovo Serbs. The harmonious coexistence of all ethnic groups is the key to realizing long-term stability in Kosovo. Pristina should adopt active measures to enhance mutual trust, solidarity, and cooperation among all ethnic groups, including safeguarding the legitimate rights of the Kosovo Serbs. Since January of this year, there have been disputes between the two sides over the participation of Serbs living in Kosovo in Serbian elections. China believes that any unilateral moves in violation of established practices will only exacerbate existing differences, and will not contribute to the political settlement of the Kosovo issue. We hope that similar incidents will not happen again. The international community, especially the EU, should play an important role in this regard.
Third, continue to promote the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. Since July last year, the high-level talks have once again been at an impasse. We look forward to the relaunch of the dialogue process under the auspices of the EU. The negotiation outcomes already reached by the two sides should be fully respected and implemented. We urge Kosovo to take concrete measures to implement as soon as possible the provisions of the Brussels agreement on the establishment of an association of Serb majority municipalities in order to resolve a key obstacle in the bilateral relationship.
Forth, support UNMIK to fulfill its mandate. UNMIK was established pursuant to Resolution 1244 and shoulders important responsibilities on the Kosovo issue. Given the current standstill in bilateral talks and continued attention on the ground, maintaining UNMIK’s presence is crucial. China appreciates the efforts of UNMIK under the leadership of SRSG Ziadeh, and supports UNMIK to carry on with its work in accordance with its mandate and to play an important role in maintaining peace and stability in Kosovo, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting national reconciliation, and assisting the return of displaced persons. The United Nations and the Security Councill should continue to support UNMIK, and provide the political backing manpower and financial resources required for the full implementation of its mandate. Kosovo should also provide security guarantee and facilitation for UNMIK’s mandated operations.
Thank you, Mr. President.