Seneste 4 udgaver af »Sidste Nyt fra Albanien, Kosóva og Makedonien«:
Sidste Nyt #295
Sidste Nyt #294
Sidste Nyt #293
Sidste Nyt #292
Udgaver siden seneste »Albansk Almanak«:
Internationale organisationer International organizations
Verdensbanken, IMF m.fl. World Bank, IMF etc.
OSCE, Europarådet OSCE, Council of Europe (CoE)
EU European Union (EU)
ICTY - Tribunalet i Haag ICTY
Balkan, generelt The Balkans
Kosóva Kosóva [Kosovo]
Øst Kosóva / Presevo-dalen / Syd-Serbien Eastern Kosóva
Serbien og Montenegro. Serbien (alene) Serbia-Montenegro. Serbia
Montenegro (alene) Montenegro
Makedonien Macedonia [FYRoM]
USA United States (US)
Danmark (Norge, Sverige) Denmark (Norway, Sweden)
OSCE Mission increases human rights support to Kosovo's provisional ministries
PRISTINA, 20 March 2006 - Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku and Ambassador Werner Wnendt, Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, today signed an agreement increasing the OSCE support in the field of human rights to the ministries of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG).
"The Prime Minister's commitment to ensure a human rights unit in each ministry aims to improve the executive branch's accountability and compliance with human rights standards," said Ambassador Wnendt. "This demonstrates the Government's readiness, with OSCE's support, to make Kosovo a place where human rights are respected for all people."
Under the agreement, a Central Human Rights Advisory Unit, jointly co-ordinated by the Prime Minister's Advisory Office on Good Governance, Human Rights, Equality Opportunity and Gender and the OSCE Mission, will be created. The Unit will be staffed by senior human rights advisors who will work within select ministries to provide daily assistance to staff tasked with developing new structures, policies and practices.
The human rights units will also assist response by PISG ministries to cross-cutting human rights-related elements of the government's 2006 work plan, including the implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Law and in developing a Kosovo-wide human rights strategy. Key vulnerable groups identified in the work plan include minorities, returnees, refugees, internally-displaced persons, women, persons with disability, children, pensioners and persons at risk of being trafficked.
The Prime Minister's approval of this new OSCE-funded programme demonstrates the government's dedication to working hand-in-hand with human rights professionals from the OSCE Mission in order to see that human rights are protected and respected in Kosovo.
Advisors will be working in the Office of the Prime Minister, the ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, and Communities and Returns, as well as other ministries.
"The decision to improve each ministry's ability to implement international human rights standards will also work toward the goal of European integration," added Ambassador Wnendt.
"An additional long-term benefit of increasing Kosovo's compliance with such human rights provisions is that is supports the creation of a more stable and hospitable environment for investment from abroad."
6 Years onwards - Putting the Helsinki Final Act into action
Full version PDF English (1,614.6 Kb), Albanian (903.2 Kb) Table of contents
Foreword by Ambassador Werner Wnendt; OSCE Mission in Kosovo structure and inter-Pillar co-operation; 30 years of the Helsinki Final Act and six years of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo PDF English (461.2 Kb), Albanian (315.6 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Human rights promotion
Ensuring a right to a fair trial in Kosovo - monitoring the legal system; Human Rights Experts within the Police; Strengthening the right to property in Kosovo; Paving the long road to instill Anti-Discrimination Standards PDF English (184.8 Kb), Albanian (145.9 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Rule of law support
Implementation of Kosovo Assembly laws; Ombudsperson Institution; Kosovo Judicial Institute; Kosovo Law Centre -cultivating legal skills; Criminal Defence Resource Centre PDF English (159.4 Kb), Albanian (123.4 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Civil society support
Civic Dialogue; Civic Bridge; Multi-ethnic women's network; Democratic education programme PDF English (151.5 Kb), Albanian (108 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Youth
Youth Assemblies; Catch-up classes and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian youth; awareness project; Sesame Street; Human rights education PDF English (117.1 Kb), Albanian (100.8 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Police education and development
Community-based policing; Protecting people's right to protest; It is for real - Women are making a difference PDF English (152.4 Kb), Albanian (121.8 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Good governance
Assembly Support Initiative - ASI; From OSCE training to a Kosovo Institute of Public Adminis; Beginnings of municipal governance; Local development; Listening to people PDF English (157.5 Kb), Albanian (122 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Media development and support
KOSMA; Police and media; Multi-ethnic RTV Herc successfully reaching out to communities PDF English (272.4 Kb), Albanian (155.6 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian Elections
Increased responsibilities of locals in running elections; Kosovo Election Forum marks new stage in handover of responsibilities; Local bodies administering elections at the local level PDF English (245.9 Kb), Albanian (155 Kb) View as HTML: English, Albanian
SRSG urges Kosovo Serbs to join efforts to address peoples concerns
PRISTINA – Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) Søren Jessen-Petersen today visited Gracanica/Graçanicë Monastery where he met Bishop Artemije. This was followed by meetings with the Additional Deputy President of Pristina Municipality Radojica Mitrovic and Head of the Municipal Community Office Predrag Vasic, as well as with local Kosovo Serb leaders Randjel Nojkic (SLKM), Rada Trajkovic (SNC) and Milija Popovic (KOS), among others.
In his meeting with Bishop Artemije, the SRSG explored ways to focus on the real needs of all the people of Kosovo during this crucial period of status talks that have raised “a lot of hope among a lot of people in Kosovo, but also concerns among many of the minorities and the Kosovo Serbs in particular”.
“The point I made to the Bishop is that political personalities and institutions deal with politics in the status talks and what I hope we can do with our responsibilities is now to focus on the people,” the SRSG said in his press encounter after the meeting. “I appealed to the Bishop that this is the moment when, if we all work together – the Kosovo Albanians, the political leaders, the Kosovo Serb citizens and the Church – we could do a lot for the people to reassure them,” he added.
In his meeting with the Kosovo Serb leaders the SRSG dwelled on the potential impetus economic development would provide to inter-ethnic reconciliation. “It is the economy that can and will bring people together,” he said, “But to open up the economic opportunities that exist potentially in Kosovo we need clarity on status. That will bring the kind of private investments that we need to move the economy forward.”
“We have a Kosovo Albanian leadership that understands the importance of reaching out to the minorities. We will see a lot of initiatives in that area in the next couple of months,” the SRSG said, and added: “I hear more and more from the Kosovo Serbs their strong determination to be a part of this society. Now I think it is the responsibility of UNMIK, the international community, but ultimately of the Kosovo Albanian political leaders and people to work on that and make that possibility a reality.”
President Moisiu wished the Bektashian believers from the Teqe of Father Xhaferr in Përmet.
March 22, 2006 Përmet
The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu paid a visit in the city of Përmet on the occasion of the Sultan Novruz Holiday. Accompanied by the authorities of local government and parliamentarians of the area, President Moisiu wished the holiday to Father Besnik Fekushi at the Teqe of Father Xhaferr and placed a bouquet of flowers on the grave of Father Xhaferr. During the talks held on this occasion, the Head of State called the Albanian Bektashism a symbol that reflects the purity, veracity, usefulness and warmth of Islam religion in Albanian soil. On his part, Father Besnik expressed the gratitude to Mr. Moisiu who chose to celebrate with them this holy day to all the Bektashian believers.
Addressing the citizens of Përmet who were gathered in front of the Teqe, President Moisiu stated: “Përmet has been, is and will remain a hotbed of patriotism and Albanian language. Përmet has given to the country many translators and must continue to do so even further.
We are a country that is going through a difficult and prolonged transition. We need to support and help one another, we need to say to each other the good and warm word, we need to be united in order to face all the gloom currents that come from various directions to divide the Albanian religious tolerance.
Today is truly a blessed day and may this day always be blessed! We are here at the Father Xhaferr Teqe to celebrate the Sultan Novruz Holiday. The Albanian Bektashism is truly a symbol that reflects the purity, veracity, usefulness and warmth of Islam religion in Albanian soil. Sincerely I would like to say that we Albanians, the same way as we have lived united so far, will continue to stand and live because this is in our benefit, in the interest of the generations that will follow and because history has also proved this. This land has been defended by us all, has been developed by us all regardless of religious pertinence. This is a major patrimony of our people, it is a great achievement of you all and our duty is to take it further ahead, to strengthen it because it is in our interest. I think that this is clear to the religious leaders in our country and they are working well in this direction. Of course there might be different thorny bushes here and there, but they do not prevent Albania from moving forward, do not obstacle the progress of the Albanian religious faith, do not halt the progress of fraternizing among the religious beliefs in Albania. We can see here in such an important day as this one, the Bektashian Father and also the representative of Christian Orthodox religion. This is a very great indicator and I am pleased and hail the Father for the words he spoke about Mother Teresa who has been and remains the most respected Albanian throughout the world, by Indus, Budists, Muslims and Christians wherever they are. On this occasion, I hail also the stand of the Muslim clergyman, Haj Selim Muça who demonstrated that we inherit and preserve in our hearts what our forefathers; our Renaissance figures said that the religion of the Albanian is Albanism.
At the mountains near you the great Frashëris of the Albanian people were born who brought knowledge, patriotism, wisdom, the word of God and the word of unity. God is one to all, each one respects and loves him according to what he has inherited in the family, according to the religious belief he belongs to and according to his wish. We will continue this way because that is the way our forefathers taught us to and that is how we will teach our sons, grandsons and great grandsons.
On this occasion, I would like to invite you all that the same the religious tolerance is, the same must also the political tolerance be in Albania. Our people need to move ahead. Albania needs to have new jobs, needs to fight poverty, to halt emigration, to have understanding in solving major problems which must be resolved in such a way as not to present problems anymore in the future, to think that all the Albanians have the right to hold them accountable for their election, to be more careful while using that trust that has been bestowed on them and not misuse it because they do not only cause us concern and present us with dilemma, but also make up an image that does not reflect our Albanian reality. Once again, I would like to wish you and all the Albanian Bektashian believers and Muslims and all the Albanians, may this day be blessed! May you enjoy happiness, fraternity and unity!”
After greeting the citizens of Përmet, President Moisiu placed a bouquet of flowers at the monument of the great poet, Naim Frashëri.
March 17, 2006
The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu through the law dated March 16, 2006 returned the law “On the legalization, urbanization and integration of the buildings without permits” to the Assembly to be reviewed once again.
In the assessment of the President of the Republic, the law in question has a specific importance for the solution of a problem of many aspects and social consequences in the country. The issue of legalization, urbanization and integration of the buildings without permits presents a preoccupation to the entire Albanian society and being such, its solution is an important step for the stability of economic and social relations in the country and offers means for development. But, the President of the Republic, while appreciating the work done for the drafting of this law and the importance of the problem it attempts to solve, judged to return the law to the Assembly to be reviewed once again in order for the solution that the law offers to be as close as possible to the standards of human rights and the principals that permeate the Constitution of the republic of Albania. The motivation for the return of the law is based on a few arguments that have been made known to the Assembly.
The President assessed the solution that the law has given to the compensation of the social problem which has been caused in the informal areas is not in line with the constitutional guarantee of preserving the private property foreseen in its Article 41. According to the law, the rightful owners of real estate in informal areas, are dispossessed and their property is initially registered under the ownership of the local government units and later they would become the property of those who actually posses them in infraction with the law. In no case, with the exception of dispossession for public interest, the Constitution of Albania and the European Convention of Human Rights do not authorize anyone to disposes the owners collectively from their rightful properties. Such a solution through the law, according to the President of the Republic will threaten not only the right of ownership guaranteed in Article 41 of the Constitution. The collective dispossession of the rightful owners to compensate the social problem caused in the informal areas is an unjust treatment of the owners by breaking this way also the principal of the citizens’ equality – an equality which is guaranteed by the Article 18 of the Constitution.
The President of the Republic considers as very important the necessary need to secure a political consensus as wide as possible also with the groups of interest about the passing of such a law. This consensus would require time and transparency, but the President asses that it would have been necessary to find the best way and mean to solve this social problem and at any case, without threatening the constitutional principals and the fundamental human rights and freedom.
Such laws which are important for the development and stabilization of the country required to be acceptable by the majority of politics and public opinion. Only this way these laws would have the necessary longevity for the values they carry.
Prime Minister Berisha answers to the questions of the journalists about the statements of the Foreign Minister
Asked during the today press conference on the declaration of Mr.Mustafaj, Prime Minister Berisha answered:
“I don’t intend to comment your quotations put out of the context. What I want to say here is: First of all, the Democratic Party, yesterday in opposition and today in government, together with the coalition, has supported and still supports strongly the rigorous respect of the current international borders in south Balkans and Balkan in general. We are among the first countries who have welcomed the EU stance for not changing the borders in this region and the framework of the definition of the final status of Kosovo, by not changing the international borders and not joining it to other countries. Thirdly, since the Republic of Macedonia has proclaimed its independence until now, I have had and still have the opinion that the integrity and stability of this Republic is of vital interest for the region and Albanians too. The Ohrid Agreement, as the basis for peace and stability in Macedonia, has got the greatest support. Implementing it seriously, for sure is a merit of authorities of this neighbor country. Finally, I would like to confirm that the relationships between the two countries are great ones, and you have witnessed this too. It is with pleasure I confirm that the trade has doubled and I hope it will be tripled the next year and so on. Those were the things I wanted to make clear to you, not about the issue you put out of its context, but for the issue as a whole.
Thinking that Mr. Mustafaj has a different opinion from what I said, is like looking for Eskimo people in the desert.
Asked on Kosovo. Mr.Berisha answered:
“The stance of Albania is a serious effort to contribute to the solution of this problem. I have had meeting with the UN special envoy for negotiations over future Kosovo, who is doing a great job related to this. I have had meetings with the Kosovo authorities, with the representative of the General Secretary and also I have had meetings in Brussels. During all these meetings, the stance of Albania has been appreciated. There have been other people those who unsuccessfully tried to make use of it. We have a single stance. In case we can give our contribution, we offer our contribution. But we have said and still say that we can not, and we will not be actors in this issue. This stance is made known to international authorities a long time before the negotiations started. This was my opinion even when I was in opposition. It is an issue, which belongs to the international community and Kosovo authorities. It would be wrong in case Albania gets such a role. Albania will offer its contribution like Macedonia does, or Montenegro and all other countries, of course Albania has a specific, but as you see, for this issue there is a Contact Group, there is the Council of the United Nations Organization; they are the decision makers together with the Kosovo authorities.
Press Release of the Spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry
With regard to the comments of some opposition politicians concerning an interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Besnik Mustafaj for TV “Alsat” on Monday, 13 March 2006, the Spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry, Ms. Desada Metaj clarifies as follows:
Minister Mustafaj has stated the following in the said interview ”Today, we also stick to our commitments to the international community and Albanians. We are contributing, with all our energies, to the independence of Kosovo, as a neighboring state to us”.
This statement is in full compliance with the policy of the Albanian Government on the Kosovo future status, which should be independence, as the sole realistic option, producing stability and tranquility for the entire region. The other comments of the Minister have a retrospective character and they refer to the time period when the Serbian Government foresaw even the partition of Kosovo, as a possible solution.
Minister Mustafaj emphasizes that such a choice, leading to the partition of Kosovo has been and remains unacceptable and it would inevitably cause a tremor, threatening even the violation of borders.
Further on, Minister Mustafaj underlines: “Among the conditions or the guarantees that should associate Kosovo independence, there should necessarily be included the inviolability of Kosovo borders, either with Albania, or even with parts of another state. This has been and remains the unchanged stand of Minister Mustafaj on this issue. Any comment deviating from this stand is only a speculation.
World Bank Supports Modernization Of Health System in Albania. News Release No:2006/309/ECA
In Washington: Merrell Tuck (202) 473-9516
In Tirana: Ana Gjokutaj (355 42) 805 60/1
Washington, March 14, 2006 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a credit of US$15.4 million to Albania to help finance the Health System Modernization Project in Albania. The project will help the government improve both physical and financial access to health services with an emphasis on the poor and those in rural and remote areas. The total cost of the Project is estimated at US$19.1 million and will be co-financed by the Government of Japan (US$1.6 million) and the Government of Albania (US$2.1 million).
The quality of health care in Albania is low compared with other countries in South East Europe, particularly at the primary care level. Physical and human resources in the health sector need to be aligned with the population’s health needs. Productivity in this sector is low and the efficiency of resource use can be improved. The public sector contribution to health care is small, so low-income groups are not well protected and are easily thrown into poverty as a result of out-of-pocket spending. Further, there is large contribution evasion in the health insurance, which decreases the number of those who benefit from the coverage. The Health System Modernization Project aims to tackle all these deficiencies by introducing fundamental and systemic changes in the way health care is financed, delivered, and organized. These changes will require a gradual introduction, careful preparation and capacity building of health care providers, Health Insurance Institute, and Ministry of Health to ensure that they are ready to assume their increased responsibilities.
“This project will support Government health priorities set in the National Strategy for Social and Economic Development and the Ministry of Health Long-term Health Strategy for improving, in general, the efficiency of the health system and, in particular, the health service access and health status of the poor and those in rural and remote areas,” says World Bank Task Team Leader Dominic Haazen.
The Project includes the following components: (i) strengthening health sector stewardship, financing, and purchasing; (ii) improving primary health care service delivery; and (iii) strengthening hospital governance and management. It will build on the work done by other development partners, including USAID, WHO and SDC, and will involve those partners in project implementation.
By the time the project is completed, at least 70 percent of the population will be enrolled with a primary health care provider and use him/her as their first source of health care, and hospitals will perform better, using new governance approaches.
The Health System Modernization Project has a maturity of 20 years, including a ten-year grace period.
Since Albania joined the World Bank in 1991, Bank commitments to the country total approximately US$808 million for 58 operations.
March 18, 2006
Dear activists and leaders of the Mjaft Movement,
More than eight hundred non-governmental organizations and some hundreds of civil initiatives at local and national level have been registered during the fifteen years of transition in Albania. Only some tens of them managed to survive with dignity by creating a positive image, identity and balance sheet in their important role as active actor of civil society. Among them, the Mjaft Movement presents a special innovation, a delayed one but very succesful.
Your greatest success is not limited in the capability demonstrated to gather around you a great part of university youths and public opinion, but also in the fact that you shattered the silence and transformed the civil voice into the most courageous institution in Albania. Your strength is a moral one, a civil power. You and your colleagues in other groups of civil society have given a precious contribution in promoting the ideas and platforms that united the positive energies of Albanian society to be alienated with courage and determination form the old state-party mentalities and state control over the life and assets of the citizens.
There is a daily clash in Albania among the social, political and psychological wounds of the past and the civil aspirations for political and economic reforms. Unlike many of the former communist countries, in our country this process has lasted longer and has had a higher cost. However we rejoice from the appearance of a young generation of students and graduates here and abroad who, inspired by the democratic ideas, idealism and the hunger for a developed and entirely European Albania realistically compose the strongest foundation of hope and faith in a different future. July 3 was a signal of change, which must be enriched through the quicker pace of reforms, enhancement of decision taking transparency, strengthening of legal culture and Rule of Law institutions. The civil society needs, the same way as the Albanian state and society on all their level need to further strengthen the democratic identity and mentality, to keep on distancing more and more from the political interests of the parties. The Albania of the political parties is much smaller than the Albania of the dignified citizens who demand protection, a tribune of thought, representation of interests and also room where they can take on responsibility.
You have and will enjoy my continuous support in fulfilling this civil and patriotic mission. Through this public pledge I also would like to wholeheartedly congratulate you about the third anniversary of the organization and wish you good luck and prosperity in your families!
Dear friend, We remind you that this Saturday, 18th of March, at 17:00 hours, at the Palace of Congresses, the MJAFT! Movement celebrates its third anniversary. Below you will find the program of this event: 17:00 – 17:45, greetings from: - Mr. Erion Veliaj
- Mrs. Marinela Lika
- Mr. Besjan Pesha
- Ms. Ejona Torba
- Mr. Ismail Kadare
- Mr. Afrim Krasniqi (a message from the President of Albania, Mr. Alfred Moisiu)
- Her Excellency, Ambassador of the United States of America, Mrs. Marcie B. Ries
- His Excellency, Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Mr. Richard Jones
17:45 – 18:00, a documentary on the MJAFT! Movement
18:00 – 19:00, a concert with some of the most renowned singers of Albania
19:00 - ... , a party at the hall of the Palace of Congresses, with the best DJs in the country, and the well-known DJ Haris.
Also, we would like to inform you that the new issue of Mjaft Telegraf, a special edition on the occasion of Mjaft's third anniversary, has been published. In this issue you will find:
You radiate hope - Ismail Kadare
Three years later - Viewpoints of the Mjaft Movement The third shock - Ardian Klosi What is Mjaft 'hiding' - Marinela Lika Dear enemy - Sokol Shameti Writing about Mjaft - The international press The Civic Clubs of Mjaft wish the third anniversary I remember that... - Memoirs of Mjaft members The Albanians need to laugh - Rubin Beqo
A PDF copy of this special issue can be downloaded clicking here http://www.mjaft.org/pdf/tel_XI_en.pdf [5.5 MB]
Next Saturday, on the 18th of March, at 17:00 hours, at the Palace of COngresses, you have a get-together with your Movement. Leave your mark in history!
For more information, don't hesitate, contact us.
Rr. Elbasanit, Nr. 77, Tirana
Tel/Fax +355 4 223 661
Report of the Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro,
Ambassador Hans Ola Urstad, to the Permanent Council
Vienna, 2 March 2006
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Permanent Council,
I am very pleased to make my first appearance before this body, and to have been entrusted by the Chairman-in-Office with a most challenging assignment as Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro. I look forward to working closely with all of you and to seeing many of you in Serbia and Montenegro very soon.
Almost a year has passed since my predecessor’s last report to the Permanent Council, during which the Mission continued to assist Serbia and Montenegro in its democratic reform process. The Political Context
This period has been characterized by a difficult but steady process of transition, bringing Serbia and Montenegro closer to the standards needed for European and Euroatlantic integration. The opening of talks in October 2005 on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU suggests that the country is on the right track and that reform achievements have been recognized internationally. The recent decision of the Board of the International Monetary Fund to complete the review of Serbia and Montenegro’s economic performance constitutes a further recognition of economic and political stabilisation.
However, Serbia and Montenegro is still at the early stage of post-authoritarian transition and EU integration. This year will be unusually challenging – the future of the state Union and Kosovo’s status are now on the political agenda. Economically, restructuring and creation of an efficient market economy still are the main priorities. The democratic leadership faces a challenge from populist and nationalistically oriented parties. Consolidation of democratic processes and stable institutions remains a primary task which still requires international support, not least from the OSCE.
Parliaments at the union level and in both republics have passed a number of reform laws aimed at harmonization with European standards. Among the many laws passed by the Serbian Parliament, legislation of particular relevance to the Mission’s mandate included: the law establishing an ombudsperson institution; a new Criminal Code and related laws, including on witness protection; and the Law on Police. The Montenegrin Parliament’s legislative accomplishments include the adoption of the Law on Police and the Law on Free Access to Information.
The role of Parliament requires further strengthening. The State Union Assembly meets rarely and we have witnessed some setbacks in parliamentary life in Serbia. The Mission has expressed its concern regarding this. Political tensions in both republics are on the rise, which is understandable in view of important issues ahead – Kosovo and the future of the State Union. This makes it even more important that the Governments and other state institutions do not slow down on their reform agenda.
In spite of all the uncertainties and difficulties of the transition process, commitment to the European perspective in Serbia and Montenegro has not wavered. The Serbian Parliament has established, with OSCE support, an office for harmonizing draft laws with European and other international standards.
However, the European prospects – including Partnership for Peace membership and concluding an SAA with the EU – are still dependent on Serbia and Montenegro's full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). While further steps in this direction were taken over the past year, five remaining fugitives – in particular General Mladic and Karadzic – have still not been transferred to The Hague.
One of the dominant obstacles to regional reconciliation still remains the lack of durable solutions for remaining refugees and IDPs. Over 300,000 refugees remain displaced between Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (almost two-thirds of them residing in Serbia).
Governments of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia committed themselves through the Sarajevo Declaration of January 2005 to resolve all outstanding refugee return and integration issues by the end of 2006. This commitment was encouraged by the OSCE Missions, UNHCR Offices and European Commission delegations. Still, more than a year after the Sarajevo Declaration, its goal is far from being reached. The Mission, together with its international community partners, remains committed to upholding the rights of the refugees. But meeting the agreed 2006 target would require extraordinary efforts and goodwill by all the concerned parties.
Another crucial issue in 2006 is the future of the State Union. While overall trends in Montenegro during the reporting period remained positive, characterised by continued progress in democratic consolidation and reform processes, the question of state status has polarized the Montenegrin political elite and society as a whole. It has also resulted in a certain loss of momentum for the ongoing transition process.
Aiming at overcoming these obstacles and contributing to achieving a consensus on the referendum procedure in Montenegro, as you are well aware the EU has mediated between the parties and made a proposal concerning controversial issues such as the required majority. Upon request, the Mission has provided expert assistance in this process. The referendum will take place on 21 May.
The security situation in Southern Serbia continues to improve, with only minor incidents recorded. Following reform of the Government’s Coordination Body in 2005 and the subsequent participation of local Albanians in the new structures, progress has been achieved in such areas as use of Albanian language textbooks and qualification of Albanian lawyers for integration into the judiciary. In policing, a major in-service training programme commenced in 2005 and continues on sites in Bujanovac, Presevo and Medvedja.
After this brief review of some major developments in the last year, let me also turn attention to some problems and challenges lying ahead.
In Serbia, the momentum and quality of the reform process still suffers from continuing political rivalries and disunity within the democratically-oriented bloc of parties. This is being exploited by anti-reform forces and creates disillusionment and passivity among the democratically-oriented voters in Serbia, who are in majority, but need to be motivated for future elections.
In Montenegro, establishing a constructive political dialogue, efficient democratic institutions and transparent, inclusive decision making processes are main challenges on the road to a modern democracy. Furthermore, intensified reform of the law enforcement and criminal justice system are needed in order to strengthen the rule of law and take serious action against organised crime.
In both republics, there is also a lack of consensus on necessary constitutional changes, as required by the state union Constitutional Charter.
There is still a noticeable discrepancy between the legislation adopted and its implementation. Notable examples in Serbia are the Law on Lustration and on Free Access to Information. This underlines the need for recently adopted important laws, such as new Laws on Police in both republics and the Criminal Code in Serbia, to be put into practice in an effective way. The Mission is strengthening its engagement in this field.
Finally, some important laws are still pending. Among these are long overdue laws on the opening of files of security services and protection of national minorities (in both Republics) and a law on non-governmental organizations in Serbia.
The Mission, in addition to supporting further development of the necessary legislative framework in Serbia and Montenegro, will focus even more on helping domestic institutions – courts, parliaments, local government bodies, civil society partners, and ministries – to build the capacity to implement reforms.
Let me now address in some more detail the Mission’s activities on the most important fields of its mandate. Rule of Law and Reform of the Judiciary
In Serbia, legislative reform progressed with the adoption of a package of criminal legislation strengthening the capacity of the Serbian criminal justice system to respond effectively to Organized Crime. The Mission supported the drafting of the Criminal Code and Law on Witness Protection, which entered into force on 1 January 2006, as did the Law on Cyber Crime. The Mission will follow up concerning the implementation of these laws and the drafting of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Mission has also supported judicial reform in Serbia through providing advice and recommendations on a draft National Strategy for Judicial Reform and has pledged technical assistance to the work of the Strategy Implementation Commission.
The Mission has continued its assistance to the judiciary through a training program for newly elected judges. To assist the judiciary in Southern Serbia, the Mission supported training on bilingual court proceedings for ethnic Albanian litigants and defendants.
Regional co-operation among prosecutors has been strengthened through support to institutions such as the Southeast European Prosecutors Advisory Group (SEEPAG).
Corruption remains a matter of concern. The Mission has encouraged the development and adoption of important measures, such as the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and the Law on the State Audit Institution, to address both high-level corruption and red tape in Serbia. Accountability of public officials started to improve thanks to the work of the new Republic Board for Resolving Conflict of Public and Private Interest, which the Mission has also supported.
In the fall of 2005 the Serbian National Assembly approved the Law on the “Protector of Citizens” (State Ombudsperson Institution) filling an important gap in the legal reform process. The Mission has supported the Minister for Local Self-Government during the law-drafting process and has prepared capacity and institution building projects ready to be implemented upon appointment of the Protector of Citizens.
Considerable progress has been made in prison reform. The Ministry of Justice has approved a National Strategy for Prison Reform and a new Law on Enforcement of Penal Sanctions entered into force. The Mission was directly involved in drafting of the Law and supporting provisions related to Alternative Sentencing to imprisonment.
The Mission is assisting the War Crimes Chamber of the Belgrade District Court and the War Crimes Prosecutor in Serbia, and is monitoring war crimes trials, as the domestic war crimes caseload continues to grow. Currently eight trials are under way. The complex Ovcara trial – for the massacre of around 200 Croatian prisoners of war by Serbian forces – resulted in first instance convictions of 14 persons to long prison sentences.
Regional judicial co-operation in war crimes proceedings has been improved, with the Mission working in cooperation with the Conflict Prevention Centre as well as the Missions from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (the “Palic process”). Judges and prosecutors are prepared to enhance their co-operation further and to include the war crimes investigative services of the police in this process.
The Mission cooperates with local authorities and public institutions, civil society and international partners on an outreach campaign aimed at fostering public awareness of wartime atrocities while raising support for the prosecution of war crimes before domestic courts and co-operation with the ICTY.
With the support of the Mission, the Government of Montenegro adopted the Program for combating organized crime and corruption and is preparing an Action Plan with benchmarks. The adoption of the Law on Liability of Legal Persons for Criminal Acts, which will incorporate the international obligations in the area of anti-corruption and organized crime, is expected in May 2006.
The Mission assisted in drafting of the Montenegrin Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code and the Law on Public Procurement. It supported professional development and capacity building of the Ombudsman Institution. Law Enforcement
The Mission’s role in police reforms in Serbia and Montengro has been reaffirmed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro in November 2005. (In Serbia a similar MOU was signed in November 2004).
Police accountability remains a major concern. The Mission continues to support the Office of the Inspector General in Serbia and the Internal Affairs Department in Montenegro, which investigate allegations of crime, corruption and unprofessional conduct by police officers.
The Mission organized a training course for war crimes investigators, investigative judges and prosecutors, and published a handbook on human rights. Regional co-operation was enhanced through study trips and by facilitating co-operation between the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office in Serbia and UNMIK.
The Mission continued to assist the governments of Serbia and Montenegro in their activities to ensure secure and demilitarised borders. The process of demilitarisation of the borders in Serbia is continuing in 2006. The Mission assists the Ministries in both republics in their efforts to establish an integrated approach to border management.
The Mission continued to support community policing programmes. Community policing has helped to alleviate ethnic-based tensions in Southern Serbia and in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. The Mission co-ordinates international assistance on community policing, and assists both Ministries of Interior in developing national community policing plans.
Efforts were made to improve relations between media and police through roundtable meetings held in Serbia, which culminated in concrete guidelines for police-media interaction. The Mission also launched a programme to improve police awareness and treatment of minority and diversity issues, including hate crime.
Programs in regular police training and education, assisting both Ministries to implement reforms in this field, were continued. In Serbia, the OSCE has trained a number of national trainers to take over in-service training, gradually shifting focus from police training to supporting the structural reform of police education. The Mission is engaged in a program to transforming a Police High School into an entry-level police training facility.
In Montenegro, the Mission facilitated a Police Donors’ Conference in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and supported establishment of a National Criminal Intelligence System. Assistance to the Ministry included help in establishing and training a Surveillance Unit, as well as anti-trafficking and anti-drug-smuggling training. Capacity building programs for the Strategic Planning Unit, Internal Control Unit, Danilovgrad Police Academy and Special Anti-Terrorist Unit were implemented.
Parliamentary Support and Democratic Institution-Building
The development of accountable and effective parliamentary work in Serbia and Montenegro remains a key concern of the Mission. In Serbia, the Mission assists MPs and parliamentary staff in improving procedural practices and opening the Assembly for media, civil society and citizens’ visits.
The supremacy of the democratic civilian authorities in Serbia and Montenegro over the armed forces (military, police, intelligence services) is being enhanced. The Mission’s activities continue to strengthen the control capacity of the state institutions and civil society and to support the improvement of the legal framework for control. Work is progressing on the Strategic Defence Review which will outline further army reforms and on the draft law on democratic control of the army, in which the Mission is involved.
The Mission has developed a Municipal Assembly Support project that should soon reach every municipality in Serbia. The project aims at improving the work of local assemblies in terms of transparency, accountability, and efficiency.
In Montenegro, the Mission focused on promoting regular and effective public participation at the municipal level through its continued support for five Citizen Information and Education Centres established by OSCE.
The Mission is a key organisation in building gender equality institutions in the country. Assistance was provided in drafting the Law on Gender Equality in Serbia and to further the process of its adoption. In Montenegro, a draft law on gender equality is pending the Government’s approval and is expected to be adopted this year. National Minorities
There are no significant changes regarding the situation of national minorities. In both republics the completion of the legal framework on national minorities is still pending. At the State Union level, the Parliament adopted the Law on the Ratification of the Charter on Regional and Minority Languages in December 2005. The Mission will continue working with the relevant institutions and provide assistance both for completing the legal framework and promoting coherent implementation.
In the context of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, the Mission organized, together with ODIHR and the State Union Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, a Regional Conference on the Civil Registration of Roma in South Eastern Europe. The conference resulted in the establishment of a Working Group on Personal Documents within the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights. The Mission signed an agreement with the European Agency for Reconstruction for a one-year project on “Support to the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights to Co-ordinate Assistance to the Roma in Serbia.”
In Montenegro, the Mission supported the drafting of an Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion, which the Government adopted in April 2005. The Mission is implementing a long-term educational project to develop Roma leadership potential. The Roma Scholarship Foundation, a pivotal part of this project, has also been established. Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings
Two key developments were implementing the concept of a National Referral Mechanism in Serbia and enhancing the professional capacity of law enforcement and the judiciary in fighting this crime. The Referral Mechanism brought about considerable improvement in safeguarding human rights of trafficking victims in Serbia. The mechanism, setting new standards for the whole region, has been handed over to full local ownership as of June 2005 and enables Serbia to fulfil its international commitments in protecting victims'human rights as a key element in fighting trafficking in human beings.
Particular progress in this field was made in enhancing the capacity of law enforcement and the judiciary. The Mission has developed and implemented jointly with the Judges’ Association of Serbia a set of workshops bringing together police officers, prosecutors and judges. These education efforts will be continued in 2006.
In Montenegro, the Mission assisted the Government and its partners in institutionalizing the fight against human trafficking through the implementation of the National Anti-trafficking Strategy and adoption of a code of conduct and new statute for the National Anti-Trafficking Project Board. While these activities have yielded positive results, the court system is a weakness in the fight against trafficking in human beings. Human Rights
Despite improvements, there continues to be insufficient knowledge or capability amongst legislators, state officials, judges, law enforcement personnel and others regarding international human rights obligations. This directly affects the rights of vulnerable categories, such as refugees, internally displaced persons, and detainees, as well as Serbia and Montenegro’s prospects for further integration into the international community. The Mission continues to provide human rights training and advice.
Supporting the reform of the education system in Montenegro, the Mission launched a capacity-building project for the Education Institute, which has been tasked to introduce a new compulsory subject on civic education in order to promote human rights and civic values. Media
Following the appointment of the Republican Broadcasting Agency Council and of the Managing Board of the Telecommunication Agency in Serbia, several key documents, such as the Broadcasting Development Strategy and the Broadcasting Frequency Assignment Plan, were adopted. The Mission helped in establishment of working groups in the Broadcasting Agency to draw up those documents. It also provided expert advice on regulations and public tender documents. The licensing of commercial broadcasters in Serbia should now be carried out with full transparency and equity.
It is also critical to complete the transformation of Radio Television Serbia (RTS) into a genuine public service broadcaster, a process the Mission has been supporting.
The Mission helped facilitate the revision of a ministerial decree which opened up the privatization of municipal broadcast media in Serbia, a process to be completed by December 2007. The deadline for the privatization of municipal print media is approaching (26 April 2006).
Securing transparency of media ownership and preventing media concentration represent critical and pressing issues in Serbia. The Mission has initiated expert consultations to address these matters.
Since the adoption of the Law on Free Access to Information in Serbia in November 2004, the Mission has been cooperating closely with the Commissioner for Information and the Coalition for Free Access to Information in order to enable effective implementation of the Law. Civil servants and journalists are invited by the Mission to training workshops tackling the key provisions and mechanisms of the Law.
With support of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Mission encouraged decriminalization of libel and insult in Serbia. As a result, the provisions on imprisonment for defamation offences were deleted from the new Criminal Code. Another important development supported by the Mission in Serbia was the drafting of a unified code of ethics by the two main journalists’ professional associations.
The Mission supported training programs to increase the knowledge and skills of Serbian mainstream media and local journalists reporting on issues such as the Parliament, judiciary, corruption, organized crime, police, and environment.
In close co-operation with the Council of Europe (CoE) and other international actors, the Mission supported the drafting of the Montenegrin Law on Free Access to Information, adopted in November 2005. With other international partners it has developed an action plan for proper implementation of the Law. With the adoption of the Law on Media concentration, for which the Mission and CoE are providing professional expertise, the media legislative framework in Montenegro will be almost completed.
The Mission also continues to support the transformation process of the Public Broadcaster in Montenegro (RTCG). Economy and Environment
In this field, the Mission operated at three levels: multilateral initiatives (regional programs), strategic projects at the national level (support to legislation, institutional and capacity building) and strategic modeling at the local level with practical projects.
Support was provided to the drafting of provisions related to the economic and environmental aspects of Serbia’s National Strategy for European integration. The Mission contributed to the strengthening of competitiveness of the Serbian economy by organizing three workshops with international experts and providing technical assistance.
Business Incubator Centres (BIC) have proven an effective mechanism for the development of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) and a tool for local and regional economic development. The Mission has worked on the establishment of eight such BICs in Serbia.
To contribute to overall SME development, a new round of the YES Programme (Young Entrepreneur Spirit), combined with a presentation on the activities of the Centre for the Protection of the Victims of Human Trafficking, was organized in seven municipalities throughout Serbia. Since the launch of the YES Programme in 2004, over 420 participants completed the training. OSCE prepared a “VAT Guideline” publication in the Albanian and Hungarian languages.
The Mission promoted its activities related to Energy Security. The book “Liber Perpetuum,” underlining renewable energy and energy efficiency was presented in four international fora.
As part of the broader ENVSEC (Environmental Security) and Sava Initiative programmes, the Mission facilitated the establishment of a network of local actors from the Sava River basin and launched an initiative aimed at introducing a Postgraduate Course on Environmental Diplomacy and Security for the Western Balkan countries. It provided the technical assistance for a feasibility study on the course.
In Montenegro, the Mission continued with capacity building and training projects for the business community to develop managerial and entrepreneurial skills. It campaigned for the adoption by the business community of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, participated in the drafting of the National Sustainable Development Strategy for the protection of the environment, and will support the establishment of a resource centre.
Prime Minister Sali Berisha hardly denounces the terrorist act of the Taliban phalange toward Albanians, who were Macedonian citizens, as another barbarous act of Mullah Omar and his terrorist groups.
Prime Minister Berisha extends the most sincere condolences to the families of the victims, to the people and government of Macedonia, and also expresses the deepest feelings of solidarity.
Such barbarous acts will in no way hinder the common endeavors of the democratic world to support afghan people in their approach towards democracy and development.
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