UN chief warns Kosovo may regress if status unresolved
( AFP ) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that the democratic progress made in Kosovo could backtrack if the Serbian province's future status remains unresolved.
Ban issued his concerns in a report to the UN Security Council, which will hold new discussions on Kosovo Monday and remains divided over the province's future as Russia opposes a Western-backed plan for supervised independence.
The secretary general said there had been "significant strides in the establishment and consolidation of democratic and accountable Provisional Institutions of Self-Government."
"While Kosovo's overall progress is encouraging, if its future status remains undefined there is a real risk that the progress achieved by the United Nations and the Provisional Institutions in Kosovo can begin to unravel," he wrote.
"Sustaining and consolidating the progress made by Kosovo will require concrete prospects for the conclusion of the future status process and the active and constructive cooperation of all involved," he said.
Kosovo has been administered by the UN since 1999, after a NATO bombing campaign helped to drive out Serb forces carrying out a brutal crackdown on ethnic Albanians, who make up 90 percent of Kosovo's population.
The United States, Britain and France have already rewritten a draft resolution on Kosovo three times in an effort to win Russia's backing.
The trio circulated their latest text in the Security Council last week, but Russia remains opposed to what it calls "automatic" independence for Kosovo.
The Ahtisaari plan is backed by Kosovo's Albanian majority, the United States and the European Union, but adamantly opposed by Serbia and its ally Russia.
In his report to the council, Ban said Ahtisaari's plan includes "the right elements for a sustainable solution to Kosovo's future status, including continued international supervision."