18 February 2008 – Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s concluding remarks to the Security Council on 18 February:
Thank you Mr. President. I have listened very carefully to the interventions made by President Tadic’ and all members of the Security Council. I would now like to make briefly some further comments, especially with respect to key issues raised by delegations.
The situation today on the ground, as well as in this Security Council, is very different from the earlier period of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Within the mandate provided by resolution 1244 (1999), elements of international civil presence have, over the years, evolved to address differing needs and changing circumstances. This was envisaged within resolution 1244 (1999).
As I have stated, the Secretariat continues to operate in Kosovo on the understanding that resolution 1244 (1999) remains in force, unless the Council decides otherwise. I expect everyone in Kosovo to act in a manner consistent with the operational framework for the international civil presence established in accordance with resolution 1244 (1999).
As I noted earlier, I have taken note of the European Union’s decision to deploy a rule of law mission and a European Union Special Representative. I would consider that an enhanced role of the European Union in Kosovo would be assessed in the context of the overall concept of operations of UNMIK, the objectives of the United Nations in Kosovo and the objectives of protecting the United Nations legacy in Kosovo and the Balkans.
The imperative need to ensure peace and security in Kosovo obliges me to address the reality on the ground as it develops and in light of the evolving circumstances.
As we seek to manage the situation on the ground, I would like, in closing, to underline to the members of this Council that my principal objectives are to ensure the safety and security of the population in Kosovo, with particular attention to the minority communities, to uphold international peace and security and the overall stability in Kosovo and regional stability, to ensure the safety of United Nations staff, and to safeguard the United Nations achievements and legacy in Kosovo and the Balkans.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.