|08STATE64270||2008-06-14 00:02:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Secretary of State|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 064270
1. (SBU) This is an action request. Posts in Tripoli,
Jakarta, Panama, San Jose, Ouagadougou, and Pretoria are
requested to deliver the following demarche on Kosovo at the
highest appropriate level before Tuesday June 17.
2. (C) The objectives of this demarche are to:
-- Encourage host government to support the plan of UN
Secretary General (SYG) Ban Ki-moon to reconfigure the UN
presence in Kosovo;
-- Explain why Ban's plan is a reasonable response to the
situation created by events surrounding Kosovo's February 17
declaration of independence and is essential to preserving
peace and the UN's legacy;
-- Confirm that Ban's reconfiguration plan is fully
consistent with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1244
3. (C) BACKGROUND (UN RECONFIGURATION): Forty-two countries
have now recognized Kosovo's February 17 declaration of
independence. Because Kosovo's independence is still
controversial, UN SYG Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations
Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) have tried
to be "status neutral." Nevertheless, the situation in
Kosovo, notably Kosovo's recognition by UN member states and
the June 15 entry into force of Kosovo's new constitution,
have created a new reality to which the UN believes it will
have to adapt. In particular, the UN will no longer be in a
position to administer Kosovo as it has done since the
adoption of UNSC resolution 1244. In light of these
circumstances and acting on his own authority, on June 12 SYG
Ban issued a report to the UNSC announcing his intention to
"adjust operational aspects" of the international civil
presence in Kosovo and cooperate on a transfer of
police/justice responsibilities to the European Union (EU).
Ban also said he intends intensive consultations with
Belgrade on practical matters (e.g., police, customs) to help
demonstrate that he made good faith efforts to engage all
parties. Russia, backed by China, insists any such
reconfiguration of the UN presence cannot occur without UNSC
blessing; Serbia has also strenuously objected.
4. (C) BACKGROUND (NEXT STEPS): A UNSC session to discuss
Ban's report will take place on June 20. Facing Russian
opposition and threats, Ban needs broad UNSC support for his
initiative. Supporting Ban's plan does not imply support for
Kosovo's independence -- to the contrary, his reconfiguration
of the UN presence is a common-sense measure that recognizes
the new reality in Kosovo, protects the UN's legacy there,
and is designed to be consistent with resolution 1244.
Ideally, a large majority of the UNSC members, both those who
have and have not recognized Kosovo's independence, will
publicly endorse Ban's plan.
5. (SBU) TALKING POINTS. Posts may draw upon these points,
-- The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in
Kosovo (UNMIK) performed great work to provide an interim
civil administration for Kosovo after the conflict ended in
1999. During subsequent nine years, Kosovo has developed
functioning democratic institutions, to which UNMIK has
already handed over most governing responsibilities.
-- After UN-led talks on Kosovo's future status, followed by
an additional round of negotiations under U.S./EU/Russian
auspices, failed to produce an agreement between Belgrade and
Pristina, Kosovo declared its independence on February 17.
Forty-two countries have already recognized Kosovo's
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-- Because the UNSC includes both members who support and do
not support Kosovo's independence, the UN SYG and UNMIK have
sought to be impartial in its actions and words. The SYG
continues to be guided by UNSC resolution 1244 (1999), which
all parties agree remains in force.
-- The Kosovo Assembly has recently approved a new Kosovo
constitution that enters into force on June 15, at which
point there will be a new reality in Kosovo and it will no
longer be feasible for the UN to remain in its current
configuration and exercise governing responsibilities.
-- Indefinite UN administration of Kosovo is not possible.
As far back as 2005, UN Envoy Kai Eide reported that the UN's
leverage in Kosovo was declining and that new international
actors, particularly the EU, would need to play a leading
-- On June 12, Ban presented a report to the UNSC that noted
the recent events in Kosovo "will continue to have a
significant operational impact on the functioning of UNMIK"
and that "UNMIK will no longer be able to perform effectively
the vast majority of its tasks as an interim administration."
-- In light of these circumstances, Ban said he intends to
reconfigure the UN presence in Kosovo and limit its tasks to
certain residual functions (e.g., reporting, facilitating
uninterrupted travel privileges for Kosovo's citizens).
-- Ban's plan, which he calls "status neutral," will also
include intense engagement with all parties (including
Belgrade) and cooperation with the EU, which has offered to
deploy a rule of law mission under a UN "umbrella."
-- Ban is acting under his own authority as UN SYG and in a
manner fully consistent with resolution 1244. His plan is
essential to preserving the peace and protecting the UN's
legacy in Kosovo.
-- We encourage all UNSC members, whether or not they have
recognized Kosovo's independence, to support the SYG's
initiative when it is discussed at the upcoming UNSC session
on June 20.
-- (If Asked) Given that the Council has been so deeply
divided on Kosovo, we do not wish to seek and additional
Council resolution or statement and thus potentially delay
the implementaion of the SYG's plan.
6. (SBU) For further information, please contact IO/UNP -
John Mariz (202-647-0048, email@example.com) or EUR/SCE -
Joshua Black (202-647-9173, firstname.lastname@example.org).