UN, Serbia on Churches Paved Over, Kosovo Calls World Court Merely
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 15 -- Even in the run up to the International Court
of Justice's proceeding on the legality of Kosovo's unilateral
declaration of independence, at the UN Security Council the issue has
lost its juice. As the Council on Thursday debated whether or not to
let Kosovo speak, the stakeout outside was as empty as for Nepal.
When the principals emerged, only the Kosovar spoke. Lamberto
Zannier, who cashes checks at the UN's envoy to Kosovo, did not speak
to the Press.
he emerged, walked slowly by the stakeout. There was no other
reporter waiting other than Inner City Press. Further up the hall he
graciously stopped and answered three questions. Inner City Press
asked, what can the ICJ case actually change, on the ground?
the biggest ICJ case in history, with 31 countries participating
including each of the Council's Permanent Five member. What about
cultural damage? Jeremic spoke of a church demolished, paved over and
turned into a park. It must be reversed, he said.
testimony complained that until the eve of his flight to the Council
in New York, the Kosovo authorities refused to meet with him. Jeremic
afterwards told Inner City Press the meeting only took place between
the Kosovars were embarrassed. But what is the future of UNMIK?
Serb protests of Kosovo's UDI, whimper not shown
asked Kosovo's representative if he wants the UN to leave. He spoke
highly of the EU and EULEX. And that may say it all.
that Kosovo even spoke, inside the chamber, may create a precedent.
Others wondered by South Ossetia and Abkhazia can't do it. The answer
is the power of the U.S. as host country. They have to let in
representatives of any member state. But on the cusp states like
Kosovo and Abkhazia, they are not required and can choose. Some
* * *
In Kosovo, Privatizations May Include Ex-UN
Officials Schook and Walker with Ramush
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
March 23 -- The Kosovo Trust Agency
has passed from the UN into Kosovar hands, Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni told the Press on March
23, and it will privatize
the "vast majority" of the underlying socially and publicly owned
enterprises. Waiting in line, sources tell Inner City Press, are
Haradinaj and with him, two American former UN officials in Kosovo,
Schook and William Walker. Inner City
Press on Monday asked the current head of the UN Mission in Kosovo,
Zannier, if there are any rules concerning former UNMIK officials
from the privatizations in Kosovo. Video here,
from Minute 1:12.
wasn't aware of any UN rules, only "professional ethics." He said that
while Schook is a private individual, "we'll also assess what he does
based on that," referring to undefined professional ethics. The UN had claimed to have anti-revolving door
beyond the usual conflicts of interest. The allegation is that Schook
information to Haradinaj, including about witnesses before the
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Several ended up dead.
Now, the sources
say, comes pay back time, referring not only to the Kosovo Power Plant
(and other political projects), but even further privatizations. And
the UN has
nothing to say. There was a previous quashed probe of Schook by the
UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services; click here for one of Inner City
Press' previous articles on Schook and on the KTA.
Minister Vuk Jeremic, after predicting Inner City Press would ask "hard
questions," said he's heard of Schook's involvement as well, and that
the European Union's EULEX Rule of Law mission as well as the UN should
investigate. Video here,
from Minute 5:25. But EULEX cannot even agree to let the UN attend its
Belgrade, it emerged on Monday. Zannier said the UN would only attend
"two parties" agreed. Surprisingly, this did not mean Serbia and
Kosovo, but Serbia and EULEX.
Schook, at right, at UNMIK in 2007, Kosovo privatizations not shown
asked Hyseni about Serbian
President Boris Tadic's
complaint that the Mayor of Belgrade was barred from carrying
into northern Kosovo. Hyseni replied that these were "provocations,"
and that permission had to be sought from protocol officials of the
Kosovo. Jeremic used the word province with respect to Kosovo, and said
should be on hold pending the case before the International Court of
about the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.
on the other hand said he plans to
meet with at least 20 countries' representatives during the next two
New York, with an emphasis on countries which have not recognized
Watch this site.
Footnote: The disparate response
to the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and that of,
example, Western Sahara, Abkhazia and South Ossetia has previously been
at the Security Council stakeout. More recently, a comparison that some
been has been to the situation of Tamils in northern Sri Lanka. There
points on which to compare, from 1999 -- when as some said Monday in
Council, NATO bombed Serbia for its military acts in its province of
to 2008, when the UDI occurred and major Western powers strong armed
countries into granting recognition. Now even on the humanitarian
Sri Lanka, these powers hardly push for a Council briefing, and others
Council try to block even this. To be continued.
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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