On February 17, 2018 the Republic of Kosovo celebrated its 10th Anniversary of Independence marking a historic milestone. INPS-IDN joined a UN Media Team from June 23-28 to get to know the landlocked territory in the Balkan Peninsula and the challenges it faces ten years after it declared unilateral independence from former Yugoslavia in the aftermath of the Kosovo War in the whirl and muddle of Yugoslav Wars.
Kosovo is a product of a lengthy and consensual political negotiation process mediated by United Nations envoy Marti Ahtisaari, a project that was anything, but isolated. Ahtisaari’s conclusion was forged on the basis of the sui generis character of Kosovo’s independence while taking into account the international humanitarian intervention to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity in Kosovo.
In 2010, the International Court of Justice once again confirmed Kosovo had the right to declare independence thereby reinforcing Kosovo’s statehood. Ten years onward, Kosovo and the region are at peace. Kosovo is recognized as an independent state by 116 countries, it is a member of various international and regional organizations, and is in the process of becoming a member of the European Union and NATO.
Since independence, Kosovo has made significant progress in its implementation of comprehensive reforms including economic development, rule of law, education, and minority rights – with a key focus on securing and guaranteeing the rights of Kosovo’s Serbian minority, for which today Kosovo is a leading example.
Relations with Kosovo’s neighbour, Serbia, have also improved, with a new array of agreements reached as part of the EU-facilitated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. However, whatever has been achieved does not yet suffice to translate into reality what Kosovo rightfully aspires: to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO.
As part of the UN Media Team, INPS-IDN DG and Editor-in-Chief Ramesh Jaura also met with Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, asking him to explain his roadmap for the country to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO.