The Status Process
The SE and the DSE paid
their first visit to the parties and the region in November 2005, visiting Pristina and
Belgrade, as well as the neighbouring capitals of Tirana, Podgorica and Skopje.
Since then, the Special Envoy, his Deputy and senior staff members of UNOSEK
have made frequent visits to the region.
In the course of 2006, UNOSEK has held 15 rounds of direct talks between the Belgrade and Pristina negotiating teams.
Fourteen of theses rounds of talks have focused on decentralization, the protection of cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo, economic issues, and the protection of community rights.
In addition, the SE presided over direct talks with the Serbian and Kosovo leadership in Vienna on 24 July 2006. President Boris Tadić and Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica led the delegation of Serbia, while President Fatmir Sejdiu led the Kosovo Team of Unity. The meeting gave each party the opportunity to present at the highest level its view of the future of Kosovo to the other, as well as to the international community, represented both by UNOSEK and by observers from the CG, the EU and NATO.
Listing of Direct Talks between the Belgrade and Pristina Delegations
- Meeting of the Serbian and Kosovo leadership in Vienna (24 July)
- Eight meetings related to decentralization: (20-21 February, 17 March, 3 April, 5 May, 19 July, 7 August, 7 September and 15 September)
- Three meetings related to the protection of cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo: ( 23 May, 18 July and 8 September)
- Two meetings related to community rights: (8 August and 8 September)
- One meeting related to economic issues: (31 May)
In addition to these direct talks between the parties, since January 2006, 26 UNOSEK-led expert missions have visited Belgrade and Pristina to talk separately to the parties on various issues.
Seemingly, since November 2005, the SE and his Deputy have been meeting extensively with other key players in the process. Those have included briefings to the Security Council (4 March, 13 July and 22 September 2006); meetings with the CG, EU Foreign Ministers, and other international actors, including NATO and the OSCE.
On 25 January 2007, the Special Envoy met the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon in Paris to brief him on the latest developments in the status process and share with him the proposal. The next day, the Special Envoy met in Vienna with the Contact Group (CG) members and also shared the content of his proposal, as part of the regular consultations and close cooperation process between UNOSEK and the CG.
On 2 February, the Special Envoy travelled to Belgrade and Pristina to present his draft Comprehensive proposal for a Kosovo Status Settlement to both parties. In Belgrade, the proposal was handed over to President Boris Tadić of Serbia. In Pristina, the Special Envoy presented his proposal to President Fatmir Sejdiu and the Team of Unity.
The Special Envoy then invited both parties in Vienna to a series of meetings on the draft proposal. During a first round of talks, held between 21 February and 2 March, delegations reviewed the whole document. UNOSEK then revised its initial draft and the Special Envoy invited the highest representatives of both parties to attend a High-level meeting in Vienna on 10 March. Belgrade delegation was led by President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Pristina´s Team of Unity was led by President Fatmir Sejdiu. Representatives of the Contact Group, EU and NATO also participated in the meeting.
At the end of the High level meeting, the Special Envoy observed that there was no will from the parties to move away from their previously stated positions. Left with no doubt that the parties’ respective positions on Kosovo’s status did not contain any common ground to achieve an agreement and that no amount of additional negotiation would change that fact, the Special Envoy concluded that the potential of negotiations was exhausted. He announced his intention to finalise his proposal for submission to the UN Security Council in the course of the month of March
On 14 March, Deputy Special Envoy Albert Rohan went to New York to hand over to the Secretary-General the Final Comprehensive proposal for a Kosovo Status Settlement, as well as the Report of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Kosovo’s Future Status. The report and the Comprehensive proposals were officially delivered to the UN Security Council member on 26 March.