UN / KOSOVO

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21-Oct-2020 00:04:01
UN top official in Kosovo Zahir Tanin urged Kosovo leaders to “redouble their efforts to counter misinformation” surrounding the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and provide “unambiguous institutional and political support essential for strengthening the rule of law and long-term stability in Kosovo.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / KOSOVO
TRT: 2:50
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 21 OCTOBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

21 OCTOBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Cutaway, SC President
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo:
“In June, the Special Prosecutor’s Office announced the filing of indictments against President Hashim Thaçi, and against the leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, alongside others whose names were not made public. President Thaçi has indicated his intention to step down from office if and when his indictment is publicly confirmed by pre-trial judges.”
4. Cutaway, SC President
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo:
“Some of the public reactions in Kosovo to the June announcement of the higher profile indictments have been concerning, including attempts to question the legitimacy of the Specialist Chambers and accusations that it is politically motivated. Unfortunately, some political leaders have not always helped to rectify these false narratives.”
6. Cutaway, SC President
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo:
“The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office are integral parts of the Kosovo justice system, with mandates crucial to Kosovo’s rule of law aspirations, and to Kosovo’s future. I therefore take the opportunity to urge the leaders to redouble their efforts to counter misinformation, and to ensure that the Prosecution and Chambers proceedings receive unambiguous institutional and political support essential for strengthening the rule of law and long-term stability in Kosovo.”
8. Cutaway, SC President
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia:
“For seven and half years Pristina has stalled the dialogue by failing to implement the obligations it had undertook. It is high time they started to act in a serious and responsible manner by implementing what had been agreed and avoid waiting for another seven and half years to make progress in the dialogue.”
10. Cutaway, SC President
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of Kosovo:
“Serbia must acknowledge the fact of Kosovo’s statehood, including its territorial integrity, unitary character and its constitutional order. Crimes of the past against people and property must be served before justice. The bodies of our missing persons must be immediately returned.”
12. Cutaway, SC President
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations:
“When I hear the Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic speak I have the impression that this is kind of copy-paste from previous interventions and we hear so much about the quote, horrendous crimes committed by the Kosovars and I am just stunned that in his interventions we never hear anything about the crimes that were committed against the Kosovars… what is today Kosovar population that lives in that part… the horrendous crimes that were committed in 98 and 99.”
14. Cutaway, SC President
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations:
“By this policy of trying to get countries to de-recognize Kosovo, our Serbian friends are shooting themselves in their own foot. Because if they are honest about trying to join the European Union, they should work very hard to see that Kosovo is recognized and they should recognize it themselves.”

FILE

16. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

STORYLINE:

UN top official in Kosovo Zahir Tanin urged the Kosovo leaders to “redouble their efforts to counter misinformation” surrounding the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and provide “unambiguous institutional and political support essential for strengthening the rule of law and long-term stability in Kosovo.”

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office were established with a specific mandate and jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under Kosovo law, which were committed in Kosovo between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2000 by or against citizens of Kosovo or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

“In June, the Special Prosecutor’s Office announced the filing of indictments against President Hashim Thaçi, and against the leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, alongside others whose names were not made public,” Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo said in his briefing to the Security Council on Wednesday (21 Oct).

“President Thaçi has indicated his intention to step down from office if and when his indictment is publicly confirmed by pre-trial judges,” Tanin said.

He warned that “some of the public reactions in Kosovo to the June announcement of the higher profile indictments have been concerning, including attempts to question the legitimacy of the Specialist Chambers and accusations that it is politically motivated. Unfortunately, some political leaders have not always helped to rectify these false narratives.”

Special Representative also informed the Council that last month, following publication of allegedly leaked prosecution-related documents, which also were claimed to have included some names of possible witnesses, three individuals were arrested with one facing war crimes charges and two others are being held on suspicion of intimidation, retaliation, violating the secrecy of proceedings, and unlawful disclosure of protected information.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office have a seat in The Hague, the Netherlands. Their staff is international, as are the Judges, the Specialist Prosecutor and the Registrar.

“The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office are integral parts of the Kosovo justice system, with mandates crucial to Kosovo’s rule of law aspirations, and to Kosovo’s future,” Tanin said.

“I therefore take the opportunity to urge the leaders to redouble their efforts to counter misinformation, and to ensure that the Prosecution and Chambers proceedings receive unambiguous institutional and political support essential for strengthening the rule of law and long-term stability in Kosovo,” he said.

In his report, Tanin also reaffirmed the UN support to the EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and commended its respective leaderships for resuming the negotiation process.

Also speaking at the meeting, Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia said “for seven and half years Pristina has stalled the dialogue by failing to implement the obligations it had undertook. It is high time they started to act in a serious and responsible manner by implementing what had been agreed and avoid waiting for another seven and half years to make progress in the dialogue.”

For her part, Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla said “Serbia must acknowledge the fact of Kosovo’s statehood, including its territorial integrity, unitary character and its constitutional order. Crimes of the past against people and property must be served before justice. The bodies of our missing persons must be immediately returned.”

In his remarks, the Germany’s Ambassador, Christoph Heusgen criticized the Serbian Minister Dacic for not speaking about “the horrendous crimes that were committed in 98 and 99.”

“When I hear the Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic speak I have the impression that this is kind of copy-paste from previous interventions,” Heusgen said. “We hear so much about the – quote - horrendous crimes committed by the Kosovars and I am just stunned that in his interventions we never hear anything about the crimes that were committed against the Kosovars.”

Further criticizing Dačić for his statement about the number of counties that have withdrawn their recognition of Kosovo’s independence, Heusgen said “by this policy of trying to get countries to de-recognize Kosovo, our Serbian friends are shooting themselves in their own foot. Because if they are honest about trying to join the European Union, they should work very hard to see that Kosovo is recognized and they should recognize it themselves.”
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