STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. SHINICHI KITAOKA
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE PUBLIC MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO
27 MAY 2005
I would like to thank you for convening today’s public meeting. I also wish to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. S?ren Jessen-Petersen, for his comprehensive briefing. We highly commend Mr. Jessen-Petersen and the staff of UNMIK for their proactive and tireless efforts for the future of Kosovo.
Japan recognizes the importance of the "Standards before Status" policy, endorsed by the Security Council in the application of its resolution 1244 (1999), and believes that progress in the Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan (KSIP) by the parties with support from the international community is essential. The commencement of the comprehensive review will be a significant milestone for the “standards before status” policy.
The Government of Japan highly appreciates the clear commitment and tangible efforts on the part of PISG so far for the achievement of the standards, which have included cooperation with ICTY and the resumption of the direct dialogue with Belgrade at the Working Group level. We welcome recent proposals to hold high-level meetings between Pristina and Belgrade as a step forward and hope that they will contribute to the confidence-building between the two parties.
Notwithstanding these indications of good faith, my government does not believe that any of the standards have been sufficiently fulfilled. Instances of harassment of minorities continue to be reported, and a KFOR escort is still required for the movement of those minorities in some areas. The fragile security situation combined with high unemployment has kept the rate of returns of IDPs low. Much remains to be done, especially with regard to the protection of minorities. We welcome the adoption of “Reform of Local Government - Working Programme 2005” and call upon all parties to make further efforts for the implementation of this essential project.
The comprehensive review will, we believe, foster further progress in achieving the standards by the parties and crystallize the progresses made to date with regard to each standard. From this point of view, we consider it appropriate to begin the review at this time, and would like to express our support for the Secretary-General’s recommendation that “a comprehensive review should be initiated this summer.” At the same time, Japan would like to underscore that significant progress in all standards, including in addressing the abovementioned problems, must be recognized in the comprehensive review in order for the review to result in a positive evaluation and the “status talks” to begin.
Japan has been providing its support to the Kosovo Standard Implementation Plan through assistance for the independent media and the schools for ethnic minorities, among other areas. Our total contribution to Kosovo to date in the fields of reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, democratization and human resources development amounts to approximately 188 million dollars. Projects focusing on medical care, education and human resources development will continue to be undertaken in a proactive manner. Japan intends to continue to play an energetic role in the efforts to shape the future of Kosovo and contribute to consolidation of peace and economic development in South Eastern Europe.
Thank you, Mr. President.