(as delivered)

ON SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998), 1203 (1999) and 1244 (1999)

23 March 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.

I would like to start by thanking Special Representative Mr. Lamberto Zannier for his comprehensive briefing this morning. I also welcome the presence of the very high-level Serbian delegation, led by His Excellency President Tadic. We are also grateful to Foreign Minister Hyiseni of Kosovo for his statement.

Mr. President,

Thirteen months have passed since the declaration of independence by the Republic of Kosovo. In our view, the situation in the region since then has been calm and stable. We welcome that Kosovo has built its national institutions, ministries and agencies under the Constitution. We hope that Kosovo will continue to strengthen its ownership and governance capabilities.

The security situation in Kosovo has been generally stable, although sporadic incidents due to ethnic discord were noted in certain areas. We recognize this is largely due to the support of UNMIK, EULEX, and KFOR. In particular, it is important that EULEX has begun its deployment and expanded its presence successfully throughout Kosovo. We also welcome that KFOR is continuing its operations to maintain security in Kosovo. Japan highly values the cooperation among the United Nations, European Union, Serbia, and Kosovo, including adoption of the Presidential Statement on 26 November 2008.

We need to support Kosovo in the area of rule of law including police and customs. Such support is essential to develop Kosovo as a multi-ethnic and democratic State and to promote its economic development. Japan urges all parties in Kosovo including Kosovo Serbs to cooperate fully with EULEX. We should consider carefully the future role and size of UNMIK in light of the progress made in the state-building of Kosovo and the deployment of EULEX.

Mr. President,

I would like to stress the importance of the early commencement of the dialogue on the six items. Only through direct dialogue among the parties concerned, can their mutual interests be ensured, and equitable solutions be found to the outstanding issues, such as protection of human rights of minorities, normalization of trade and transportation with its neighbors, and economic development. All international actors on the ground should support the UNMIK-led dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

In this connection, we are concerned, as noted in the Secretary-General's report, about the decrease of voluntary returns of the minorities and also the refusal by Serbia to allow products carrying a Kosovo "certificate of origin" stamp to enter into or transit through Serbia. Public services, including electricity, should be provided to all of the population without discrimination. Lack of protection of human rights and limited economic opportunities of the minorities will hinder stable development in Kosovo and also neighboring countries.

Kosovo is a test case for proving the validity of the human security approach to provide every individual, irrespective of one's religion or ethnicity, with freedom from fear, but also freedom from want. Japan has been active in addressing various threats to the people of Kosovo and the Western Balkans as a whole, through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. We have provided assistance totaling $200 million to Kosovo for its humanitarian and economic needs. All projects are intended to enhance multi-ethnic co-existence, reconciliation and sustainable development in the region. Japan decided recently to extend an additional $3 million for a "Multi-Sectoral Initiative for Community Stabilization" in Northern Kosovo to expand economic opportunities and human rights protection for minority groups there. Japan will continue to assist Kosovo for its social and economic stability through bilateral and multilateral channels, taking into account its specific needs.

Mr. President,

The development of Kosovo as a multi-ethnic and democratic state will contribute to the stability of the entire region. We have established diplomatic relations. It is our intention to continue to strengthen cooperative relations with Kosovo, as well as our longstanding friendly relations with Serbia.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Japan-Kosovo Relations)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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