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While UN Says Kosovo Trust Agency Budget Is Not Public, UK Calls for Transparency

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, November 26 -- The budget of the Kosovo Trust Agency, a fund run by the UN Mission in Kosovo, is not public, UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier told Inner City Press on Friday. Speaking outside the Security Council meeting about the deployment of EULEX, Zannier said he has ordered the central bank of Kosovo to preserve the funds, but none of it will be public. He said he visited the UN's former office and didn't sense anything was wrong.

   Inner City Press then asked the United Kingdom's Deputy Permanent Representative Karen Pierce, who had just called for transparency in any parallel structures, if the UK thinks the Kosovo Trust Agency should be transparent. She called the KTA "not an ideal situation," even before Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence. She said it should be "regularized," and at some point a budget should be issued. But when?

  Inner City Press also asked Zannier about the controversy surrounding former UNMIK chief legal officer Borg-Olivier, who not only went directly to work for the Kosovo government, but bragged that he had lobbied for them while still employed by UNMIK. That was before my time, Zannier answered, refusing further comment.

   On the Secretary-General's report on Kosovo, there was a lot of happy talk, punctuated by Serbia's foreign minister Vuk Jeremic speaking about churches destroyed and paved over. Kosovo's representative responded at the stakeout that Serbia had done much worse, that history will be written from facts. Inner City Press asked Karen Pierce if the UK supports the six point plan. Kosovo has rejected it, she said by way of an answer. She pointed out that several more countries -- Kosovo puts the count at five -- have issued recognitions of independence since the case was filed with the International Court of Justice. Most of these five were arm-twisted. Rule of law, indeed....

Serbia's Jeremic earlier in year, Kosovo Trust Agency budget not shown

  On the other hand, when Inner City Press asked U.S. representative Rosemay DiCarlo is any progress had been made in getting Miladin Kovacevic, the basketball player who beat a New York State college student into a coma and then fled back to Serbia with the assistance of that country's consulate in New York, extradited to the U.S.. We're trying, Ms. DiCarlo said, adding that she is aware of no progress. Hillary Clinton is on record calling for the extradition. Might U.S. policy, even on Kosovo, be influenced by this issue in the future?

Footnote: Inner City Press asked Karen Pierce if and when the Security Council will issue some pronouncement on the shooting spree earlier in the day in Mumbai, India. Not tonight, Pierce answered, going on to deplore the acts. Cynical journalists moaned that they might have to come in on Friday. Thursday, being the U.S. Thanksgiving day holiday, was considered out of the question.

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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