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 Serbia-Montenegro. Serbia
Makedonien Macedonia [FYRoM]
USA United States (US)
Danmark (Norge, Sverige) Denmark (Norway, Sweden)
My first lesson is that, in today's world, the security of every one of us is linked to that of everyone else.
My second lesson is that we are not only all responsible for each other's security. We are also, in some measure, responsible for each other's welfare. Global solidarity is both necessary and possible.
My third lesson is that both security and development ultimately depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
My fourth lesson – closely related to the last one – is that governments must be accountable for their actions in the international arena, as well as in the domestic one.
My fifth and final lesson derives inescapably from those other four. We can only do all these things by working together through a multilateral system, and by making the best possible use of the unique instrument bequeathed to us by Harry Truman and his contemporaries, namely the United Nations.
You Americans did so much, in the last century, to build an effective multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart. Do you need it less today, and does it need you less, than 60 years ago? Surely not. More than ever today Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world's peoples can face global challenges together. And in order to function, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition. I hope and pray that the American leaders of today, and tomorrow, will provide it.
SG Kofi Annan. UN Photo/Mark Garten
Truman Library, 11 December 2006
As Secretary-General prepares to step down, five lessons learnt during difficult but exhilarating decade
Thank you, Senator [Hagel] for that wonderful introduction. It is a great honor to be introduced by such a distinguished legislator. And thanks to you, Mr. Devine, and all your staff, and to the wonderful UNA chapter of Kansas City, for all you have done to make this occasion possible.
What a pleasure, and a privilege, to be here in Missouri. It's almost a homecoming for me. Nearly half a century ago I was a student about 400 miles north of here, in Minnesota. I arrived there straight from Africa – and I can tell you, Minnesota soon taught me the value of a thick overcoat, a warm scarf… and even ear-muffs!
When you leave one home for another, there are always lessons to be learnt. And I had more to learn when I moved on from Minnesota to the United Nations – the indispensable common house of the entire human family, which has been my main home for the last 44 years. Today I want to talk particularly about five lessons I have learnt in the last ten years, during which I have had the difficult but exhilarating role of Secretary-General.
I think it's especially fitting that I do that here in the house that honors the legacy of Harry S Truman. If FDR was the architect of the United Nations, President Truman was the master-builder, and the faithful champion of the Organization in its first years, when it had to face quite different problems from the ones FDR had expected. Truman's name will for ever be associated with the memory of far-sighted American leadership in a great global endeavor. And you will see that every one of my five lessons brings me to the conclusion that such leadership is no less sorely needed now than it was sixty years ago.
My first lesson is that, in today's world, the security of every one of us is linked to that of everyone else.
* That was already true in Truman's time. The man who in 1945 gave the order for nuclear weapons to be used – for the first, and let us hope the only, time in history – understood that security for some could never again be achieved at the price of insecurity for others. He was determined, as he had told the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco, to “prevent, if human mind, heart, and hope can prevent it, the repetition of the disaster [meaning the world war] from which the entire world will suffer for years to come.” He believed strongly that henceforth security must be collective and indivisible. That was why, for instance, he insisted, when faced with aggression by North Korea against the South in 1950, on bringing the issue to the United Nations and placing US troops under the UN flag, at the head of a multinational force.
* But how much more true it is in our open world today: a world where deadly weapons can be obtained not only by rogue states but by extremist groups; a world where SARS, or avian flu, can be carried across oceans, let alone national borders, in a matter of hours; a world where failed states in the heart of Asia or Africa can become havens for terrorists; a world where even the climate is changing in ways that will affect the lives of everyone on the planet.
* Against such threats as these, no nation can make itself secure by seeking supremacy over all others. We all share responsibility for each other's security, and only by working to make each other secure can we hope to achieve lasting security for ourselves.
* And I would add that this responsibility is not simply a matter of states being ready to come to each other's aid when attacked – important though that is. It also includes our shared responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity – a responsibility solemnly accepted by all nations at last year's UN summit. That means that respect for national sovereignty can no longer be used as a shield by governments intent on massacring their own people, or as an excuse for the rest of us to do nothing when such heinous crimes are committed.
* But, as Truman said, “ If we should pay merely lip service to inspiring ideals, and later do violence to simple justice, we would draw down upon us the bitter wrath of generations yet unborn. ” And when I look at the murder, rape and starvation to which the people of Darfur are being subjected, I fear that we have not got far beyond “lip service”. The lesson here is that high-sounding doctrines like the “responsibility to protect” will remain pure rhetoric unless and until those with the power to intervene effectively – by exerting political, economic or, in the last resort, military muscle – are prepared to take the lead.
* And I believe we have a responsibility not only to our contemporaries but also to future generations – a responsibility to preserve resources that belong to them as well as to us, and without which none of us can survive. That means we must do much more, and urgently, to prevent or slow down climate change. Every day that we do nothing, or too little, imposes higher costs on our children and our children's children.
My second lesson is that we are not only all responsible for each other's security. We are also, in some measure, responsible for each other's welfare. Global solidarity is both necessary and possible.
* It is necessary because without a measure of solidarity no society can be truly stable, and no one's prosperity truly secure. That applies to national societies – as all the great industrial democracies learned in the 20 th century – but it also applies to the increasingly integrated global market economy we live in today. It is not realistic to think that some people can go on deriving great benefits from globalization while billions of their fellow human beings are left in abject poverty, or even thrown into it. We have to give our fellow citizens, not only within each nation but in the global community, at least a chance to share in our prosperity.
* That is why, five years ago, the UN Millennium Summit adopted a set of goals – the “Millennium Development Goals” – to be reached by 2015: goals such as halving the proportion of people in the world who don't have clean water to drink; making sure all girls, as well as boys, receive at least primary education; slashing infant and maternal mortality; and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.
* Much of that can only be done by governments and people in the poor countries themselves. But richer countries, too, have a vital role. Here too, Harry Truman proved himself a pioneer, proposing in his 1949 inaugural address a program of what came to be known as development assistance. And our success in mobilizing donor countries to support the Millennium Development Goals, through debt relief and increased foreign aid, convinces me that global solidarity is not only necessary but possible.
* Of course, foreign aid by itself is not enough. Today, we realize that market access, fair terms of trade, and a non-discriminatory financial system are equally vital to the chances of poor countries. Even in the next few weeks and months, you Americans can make a crucial difference to many millions of poor people, if you are prepared to save the Doha Round of trade negotiations. You can do that by putting your broader national interest above that of some powerful sectional lobbies, while challenging Europe and the large developing countries to do the same.
My third lesson is that both security and development ultimately depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
* Although increasingly interdependent, our world continues to be divided – not only by economic differences, but also by religion and culture. That is not in itself a problem. Throughout history human life has been enriched by diversity, and different communities have learnt from each other. But if our different communities are to live together in peace we must stress also what unites us: our common humanity, and our shared belief that human dignity and rights should be protected by law.
* That is vital for development, too. Both foreign investors and a country's own citizens are more likely to engage in productive activity when their basic rights are protected and they can be confident of fair treatment under the law. And policies that genuinely favor economic development are much more likely to be adopted if the people most in need of development can make their voice heard.
* In short, human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity. As Truman said, “We must, once and for all, prove by our acts conclusively that Right Has Might.” That's why this country has historically been in the vanguard of the global human rights movement. But that lead can only be maintained if America remains true to its principles, including in the struggle against terrorism. When it appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused.
* And states need to play by the rules towards each other, as well as towards their own citizens. That can sometimes be inconvenient, but ultimately what matters is not convenience. It is doing the right thing. No state can make its own actions legitimate in the eyes of others. When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose – for broadly shared aims – in accordance with broadly accepted norms.
* No community anywhere suffers from too much rule of law; many do suffer from too little – and the international community is among them. This we must change.
* The US has given the world an example of a democracy in which everyone, including the most powerful, is subject to legal restraint. Its current moment of world supremacy gives it a priceless opportunity to entrench the same principles at the global level. As Harry Truman said, "We all have to recognize, no matter how great our strength, that we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please."
My fourth lesson – closely related to the last one – is that governments must be accountable for their actions in the international arena, as well as in the domestic one.
* Today the actions of one state can often have a decisive effect on the lives of people in other states. So does it not owe some account to those other states and their citizens, as well as to its own? I believe it does.
* As things stand, accountability between states is highly skewed. Poor and weak states are easily held to account, because they need foreign assistance. But large and powerful states, whose actions have the greatest impact on others, can be constrained only by their own people, working through their domestic institutions.
* That gives the people and institutions of such powerful states a special responsibility to take account of global views and interests, as well as national ones. And today they need to take into account also the views of what, in UN jargon, we call “non-state actors”. I mean commercial corporations, charities and pressure groups, labor unions, philanthropic foundations, universities and think tanks – all the myriad forms in which people come together voluntarily to think about, or try to change, the world.
* None of these should be allowed to substitute itself for the state, or for the democratic process by which citizens choose their governments and decide policy. But they all have the capacity to influence political processes, on the international as well as the national level. States that try to ignore this are hiding their heads in the sand.
* The fact is that states can no longer – if they ever could – confront global challenges alone. Increasingly, we need to enlist the help of these other actors, both in working out global strategies and in putting those strategies into action once agreed. It has been one of my guiding principles as Secretary-General to get them to help achieve UN aims – for instance through the Global Compact with international business, which I initiated in 1999, or in the worldwide fight against polio, which I hope is now in its final chapter, thanks to a wonderful partnership between the UN family, the US Centers for Disease Control and – crucially – Rotary International.
So that is four lessons. Let me briefly remind you of them:
First, we are all responsible for each other's security.
Second, we can and must give everyone the chance to benefit from global prosperity.
Third, both security and prosperity depend on human rights and the rule of law.
Fourth, states must be accountable to each other, and to a broad range of non-state actors, in their international conduct.
My fifth and final lesson derives inescapably from those other four. We can only do all these things by working together through a multilateral system, and by making the best possible use of the unique instrument bequeathed to us by Harry Truman and his contemporaries, namely the United Nations.
* In fact, it is only through multilateral institutions that states can hold each other to account. And that makes it very important to organize those institutions in a fair and democratic way, giving the poor and the weak some influence over the actions of the rich and the strong.
* That applies particularly to the international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Developing countries should have a stronger voice in these bodies, whose decisions can have almost a life-or-death impact on their fate. And it also applies to the UN Security Council, whose membership still reflects the reality of 1945, not of today's world.
* That's why I have continued to press for Security Council reform. But reform involves two separate issues. One is that new members should be added, on a permanent or long-term basis, to give greater representation to parts of the world which have limited voice today. The other, perhaps even more important, is that all Council members, and especially the major powers who are permanent members, must accept the special responsibility that comes with their privilege. The Security Council is not just another stage on which to act out national interests. It is the management committee, if you will, of our fledgling collective security system.
* As President Truman said, “the responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world." He showed what can be achieved when the US assumes that responsibility. And still today, none of our global institutions can accomplish much when the US remains aloof. But when it is fully engaged, the sky's the limit.
These five lessons can be summed up as five principles, which I believe are essential for the future conduct of international relations : collective responsibility, global solidarity, the rule of law, mutual accountability, and multilateralism. Let me leave them with you, in solemn trust, as I hand over to a new Secretary-General in three weeks' time.
My friends, we have achieved much since 1945, when the United Nations was established. But much remains to be done to put those five principles into practice.
Standing here, I am reminded of Winston Churchill's last visit to the White House, just before Truman left office in 1953. Churchill recalled their only previous meeting, at the Potsdam conference in 1945. “I must confess, sir,” he said boldly, “I held you in very low regard then. I loathed your taking the place of Franklin Roosevelt.” Then he paused for a moment, and continued: “I misjudged you badly. Since that time, you more than any other man, have saved Western civilization.”
My friends, our challenge today is not to save Western civilization – or Eastern, for that matter. All civilization is at stake, and we can save it only if all peoples join together in the task.
You Americans did so much, in the last century, to build an effective multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart. Do you need it less today, and does it need you less, than 60 years ago?
Surely not. More than ever today Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world's peoples can face global challenges together. And in order to function, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition.
I hope and pray that the American leaders of today, and tomorrow, will provide it.
Thank you very much.
Kosovo envoy tells Security Council delay of status proposal raised tension;
Says further delays will play into hands of extremists on all sides
Serbia Representative Warns Against ‘Precipitous Solution’;
Albania Says Slippage beyond January 2007 Might Put Orderly Settlement at Risk
Anxiety had risen following the decision to delay a proposal on Kosovo’s status until after the Serbian elections in January 2007, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Joachim Rücker, said today, stressing that any further delays to settling the question of Kosovo would raise tension and play into the hands of extremists on all sides, making a solution more difficult.
Briefing the Security Council, Mr. Rücker said that status dominated the agenda of everyone concerned with Kosovo. After more than seven years of international administration and local capacity-building, the timelines attached to the process were now the key focus of attention. Further delay would entail significant political and economic costs for Kosovo, for its neighbours, for the region as a whole and for the international community, whereas resolving Kosovo’s status would benefit the entire Balkan region, including Belgrade, he stressed.
Agreeing with the latest report of the Secretary-General, which was before the Council, he said that sustaining momentum in the status process would be a key factor in heading off a feeling of uncertainty, which was a potential source of instability on the way forward. Once the status decision was made, the Interim Administration Mission would have to provide for a smooth handover to future local and international institutions established under the status settlement.
Important work on standards remained a top priority of both the Kosovo Government and UNMIK, he said, seeking to correct the impression among the international interlocutors that, with all the focus on status, the implementation of standards had been forgotten or pushed aside. That was not at all the case. Standards remained at the core of the daily work on the ground in Kosovo, with particular concentration on the 13 priority areas set out by the Contact Group earlier this year, most of which had been fulfilled by the institutions of Kosovo.
Following Mr Rücker’s briefing, the President of the Coordination Centre of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, Sanda Raškovic'-Ivic', said the situation must be viewed realistically, and stressed that any precipitous solution would cost the region, the province itself and the international community dearly and open up a Pandora’s box. The Albanian side’s strategy boiled down to not engaging in the status negotiations. They were idly waiting to be given yet another Albanian State in the Balkans within Serbia’s internationally recognized borders. Such an outcome was unacceptable. A solution had to be a compromise between Serbs and Albanians -- a durable solution on their coexistence in a modern, democratic and decentralized State.
The representative of the Russian Federation said it was unacceptable to have a timetable determined for political events “by the street”. Any strict timeline must be rejected. Also, any attempt to destabilize the situation would require a review by the Council, and that could spell an immediate halt to the status process. Achieving the standards would influence the rate and outcome of the negotiations on the future status. He welcomed the wise decision to interrupt the status talks until the election campaign in Serbia was completed, adding that concrete proposals by Belgrade should be examined, as there was no alternative but to negotiate a compromise, however difficult that might be. The positions of both sides must be brought together and not be based on “tying anybody’s hands”.
Albania’s representative said that further slippage after the January 2007 deadline might seriously put at risk an orderly settlement and exhaust the many bonds that had so far kept the process “a promising one for a good cause”. Wide acceptance by the Council and key Member States on the need to deliver results sooner rather than later was welcome, as further delay would prolong instability, uncertainty and institutional paralysis and serve nobody’s interest. The most pragmatic and just solution was independence, with a supporting continuation of a civil and security presence by the international community. Independence would guarantee social and economic stability and security for Kosova and the region.
Also speaking were the representatives of France, Argentina, United States, Japan, Ghana, Greece, United Republic of Tanzania, Slovakia, Congo, Peru, China, United Kingdom, Denmark, Qatar (in his national capacity), Finland (on behalf of the European Union) and Ukraine.
The meeting began at 3:11 p.m. and adjourned 5:40 p.m.
The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) (document S/2006/906), which covers developments in Kosovo from 15 August to 31 October.
According to that report, the political situation in Kosovo was characterized by an intensified focus on the future status process, which continued to be the dominating factor in Kosovo political life, as further rounds of direct talks between Belgrade and Pristina on decentralization, cultural and religious heritage and community were convened on 7 and 8 September. Overall, the parties’ positions remain far apart. High expectations, coupled with speculations about a possible delay in the process, are likely to be a source of instability if momentum slows. Fringe groups and extremists stand ready to exploit uncertainty and frustration.
Security incidents involving Kosovo Serbs continued, but the overall number of potentially ethnically motivated crimes had considerably decreased, the report states. UNMIK has made strenuous efforts to encourage members of the negotiating team and the Provisional Institutions to reach to majority and minority communities, but still, there has been virtually no Kosovo Serb participation in Kosovo’s political institutions at the central level.
The report adds that the Mission and the Provisional Institutions have moved forward in transferring aspects of security to greater local control. The establishment of the Kosovo Ministry of Justice is proceeding well. UNMIK and the donor agencies are focusing on four priority areas: clarification of the role of the Ministry vis-à-vis the Kosovo Police Service; capacity for managing migration and repatriation; improved capability for emergency preparedness; and civil registration and documentation.
Sustained progress on standards has been an encouraging feature throughout the year, with the 13 priorities identified achieving substantial progress. An annex to the report describes the priorities, as well as progress achieved and challenges ahead. The report further describes progress and challenges in the decentralization process, addressing cultural and religious heritage, minority returns to Kosovo, the economy, regional cooperation, and future international arrangements and transition.
The Secretary-General states that he remains disappointed that the negotiations on future status have resulted in only uneven progress and limited agreement on some specific elements. He calls upon all sides to refrain from any unilateral actions and statements. It is important to keep the momentum in the political process, as everyone needs clarity with regard to the future status of Kosovo. The sustained support of the Council and key Member States to that end is essential.
While welcoming the commitment shown by Kosovo’s Government to the implementation of the standards, the Secretary-General says that progress will be achieved by demonstrating through actions, not words, that everyone has a future in Kosovo. He urges the leaders of all communities not to yield to the temptation of divisive words and actions, but to embrace the opportunity to promote reconciliations and dialogue. “It takes more courage and strength to do so, and the main burden rests with the leader of the majority population.” He called on the members of the negotiating team to remain united and appealed to them to continue their efforts in order to keep the communities informed about the future status process and to prepare the population for the eventual settlement.
The Secretary-General notes with dismay that violent attacks continue to be made by a few in an attempt to affect political change and calls upon the people of Kosovo to help their institutions defeat such violence. “Political developments and timelines will not be dictated by the streets, and violence will not be tolerated,” he states. He is also disappointed that Kosovo leaders continue to remain outside the political process, which is a disservice to their community. He once again calls on Belgrade authorities to remove all impediments to Kosovo Serb participation in Kosovo institutions, and on the Kosovo Serb leaders to engage with the Provisional Institutions.
JOACHIM RÜCKER, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), said that status continued to dominate the agenda of everyone concerned with Kosovo and, after more than seven years of international administration and local capacity-building, after Kai Eide’s finding that the status quo was untenable, the timelines attached to the process were a particular focus of attention. Anxiety had clearly risen, following the decision to delay the proposal on status until after the Serbian elections on 21 January. Keeping momentum in the status process thereafter would be a key factor in heading off a feeling of uncertainty -- which was a potential source of instability -- on the way ahead.
At the same time, he said, important wok on standards remained a top priority of both the Kosovo Government and UNMIK. Sometimes, there was an impression among the international interlocutors that, with all the focus on the status process, the implementation of standards had been forgotten or pushed aside. That was not at all the case. Standards remained at the core of the daily work on the ground in Kosovo, with particular concentration on the 13 priority areas set out by the Contact Group earlier this year, most of which had been fulfilled by the institutions of Kosovo.
The Government, under the Prime Minister’s leadership, had continued to demonstrate effective leadership on standards implementation, strengthening central and local government institutions, and transitioning governance-building and reform to the longer-term platform of European integration through the European Partnership for Kosovo, he said. The Assembly passed, and he had promulgated, key legislation prioritized by the Contact Group, including a law firmly establishing the equal official status of the Albanian and Serbian languages throughout Kosovo, and laws on religious freedom and cultural heritage containing provisions of particular importance to the Serbian Orthodox Church.
He said that the Kosovo Government had also taken steps to ensure freedom of movement by agreeing to take over responsibility from UNMIK to operate the bus and train system. One noteworthy area of progress had been the effort to address the consequences of the March 2004 violence, not only related to investigations, indictments and convictions, but also in terms of creating the conditions for returns. The Kosovo Protection Corps would this week complete a six-month project in the village of Svinjare near Mitrovica to repair damage to homes and improve local infrastructure. That had been one of the largest and most high-profile projects undertaken by the provisional institutions, and its successful completion demonstrated those institutions’ ability and willingness to serve all the people of Kosovo.
Despite the project’s success, he said, the Kosovo Serb internally displaced persons had still not returned to Svinjare. He appealed to Belgrade to encourage them to do so. Providing other examples of projects completed or under way to encourage returns, he said that good efforts would have limited impact if more was not done, particularly by Belgrade, to encourage returns when conditions were created. Continuing calls by Belgrade for Kosovo Serbs to boycott Kosovo institutions had undermined the work done to reach out to minority communities and end their often self-imposed isolation. The Serbian Government had still not withdrawn its directive to Kosovo Serbs to withdraw from the payroll of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, despite numerous calls to do so by the international community. He appealed to the representative of the Serbian Government to withdraw that direction.
He said that one of the most frequently cited complaints of Belgrade and Kosovo Serbs was inadequate security to allow greater participation in Kosovo’s political and social life. However, police statistics actually showed a sharp drop in potentially ethnically-motivated incidents. While there had been serious incidents that had attracted wide public attention, the overall improvement in the situation merited great recognition.
UNMIK had also been working intensively to address another important concern, namely the supply of electricity. The energy provider in Kosovo had inherited an infrastructure in a state of disrepair and it did not have enough funds for repair and investment, unless consumers paid for the electricity they used. There had been some success in improving the payment culture recently, but some consumers, including nearly all Kosovo Serbs, still did not pay and had significant debts. Overall, however, much had been achieved during the year on standards, but not everything. Continuous efforts were needed, as indicated by the challenges noted in the technical assessment of standards implementation. Progress on many of the standards also depended on clarity on status.
Everyone knew that progress in key areas like returns was limited by the lingering uncertainty over Kosovo’s future, he continued. Momentum in the status process should be maintained and a timely status settlement achieved. The constructive engagement and the unity of the Kosovo Negotiating Team, including the opposition leaders, had substantially contributed to the progress made in the process so far. It was crucial that all stakeholders in Kosovo remain committed to the process and continue to support the work of the Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari.
He said that the Contact Group had unambiguously stated that, once the status process had begun, it could not be blocked. Resolving Kosovo’s status would benefit the entire Balkan region, including Belgrade. On the other hand, further delay would entail significant political and economic costs for Kosovo, for its neighbours, for the region as a whole and for the international community.
Delay was more than just a loss of time, he stressed. Delay would raise tension and play into the hands of extremists on all sides. Delay would not make a solution easier; it would make it much more difficult. No one could have an interest in such an outcome. Once the status decision was made, UNMIK would need to provide for an orderly and smooth handover to future local and international institutions established under the status settlement. Early and prudent planning was indispensable in order to achieve that, and transition planning had now become a key priority.
He emphasized that as much as possible must be done -- without prejudice to the status process –– before the formal transition period began with the passage of a resolution by the Security Council. The transfer of responsibilities from UNMIK to the future local and international authorities was a highly complex task. Some of the elements required were: the need for a new constitutional arrangement; adoption of a new constitution, followed by elections; review of the entire body of legislation; takeover by future authorities of all executive functions thus far under the helm of UNMIK; and the creation of new ministries for that purpose. Those tasks, as well as the implementation of the status settlement, would place substantial strain on the local authorities. International support was required in that endeavour.
The United Nations had accomplished much in Kosovo. “We now owe it to Kosovo, and to you, to make sure that this final phase of UN administration is wrapped up in an orderly and responsible manner,” he concluded.
SANDA RAŠKOVIC'-IVIC', President of the Coordination Centre of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, said Serbia was fully prepared to assume its share of responsibility in the process of successfully resolving the question of Kosovo and Metohija. Only by systematic, responsible and gradual management of the negotiations on the future status of Kosovo and Metohija could a long-term sustainable solution be reached. Such a solution could not be achieved in haste. Confidence and dialogue were sine qua non preconditions for any coexistence. “There is a saying -- avoid a short cut, it can be the wrong way,” she said.
Informing the Council of the “cruel reality” in Kosovo and Metohija, she noted that from 15 August to 1 December 2006, 75 ethnically-motivated attacks had been committed in which 23 persons of Serb nationality had been injured. The extremists had also targeted members of other communities. In the same period, 17 transmitter stations of the Serbian mobile operator Telekom Srbija had been put out of operation, in what was virtually a criminal act being conducted in front of UNMIK’s eyes. There were also drastic and selective electricity cuts. Even with UNMIK’s assistance, the Albanian side had not agreed, on at least a declaratory level, to the need to rebuild the houses of Serbs in Badovac village. They were expelled in the March 2004 riots.
Regarding the return of expelled and internally displaced persons, she noted that, from 1999 to the present, some 250,000 internally displaced persons had not been in a position to return to Kosovo and Metohija. Major demographic and migratory shifts had taken place in Kosovo and Metohija. The population in the capital Pristina had tripled and was currently estimated at some 600,000. There were some 100 Serbs in Pristina compared to the 40,000 before 1999. Serbian shrines were looted and desecrated on a daily basis. Illegal construction close to cultural sites within the proposed protected zones was rampant. Those activities were a deliberate attempt to prevent the preservation of cultural and environmental integrity of those sites. There had also been attempts by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government at revising history and deleting all traces of Serb existence in Kosovo and Metohija.
UNMIK’s role was, unfortunately, a cause of concern, she added. While not defined in its mandate, UNMIK often assumed the role of “condominium” by seeking to create a State for Albanians. UNMIK, almost as a rule, had taken a sympathetic attitude and ignored Albanian extremism. Organized crime, human trafficking and corruption were rampant in Kosovo and Metohija. Drug and arms trade and smuggling provided a lifeline for the criminal and terrorist business in the international community’s very presence. Mafia-style Albanian clans were currently flourishing.
Stressing the need to look at the situation in Kosovo and Metohija in a realistic and objective way, she noted that any precipitous solution would cost the region, the province itself and the international community dearly. The Albanian side’s strategy boiled down to not engaging in the status negotiations. The Kosovo Albanians were idly waiting to be given yet another Albanian State in the Balkans within Serbia’s internationally recognized borders. Such an outcome was not acceptable. A solution needed to be a compromise, based on agreement by the two negotiating parties -- Serbian and Albanian. Belgrade, the Government of Serbia and the Serbs from Kosovo in particular sought to reach an agreement guaranteeing a durable solution on their co-existence in a modern, democratic and decentralized State.
The Serbian side saw the solution to the Kosovo problem through the implementation of principles and specific solutions contained in the Platform of the Serbian negotiating team on the future status of Kosovo and Metohija, she said. The international community should demonstrate by its deeds its commitment to a stable and safe region, which could only be achieved by taking steps towards introducing the rule of law, punishing criminals and terrorists, and creating security and other conditions for a normal life.
“We firmly believe that there is a way out of this situation”, she said. A sustainable solution could be based only on giving up extreme demands and embracing a rational approach and compromise. In practice, it meant substantial autonomy for Kosovo, the kind of autonomy that no European or other State had granted the region so far. It was there, she added, that despite obvious difficulties, there was manoeuvring space for agreement and compromise. Talks so far had not borne fruit, largely due to a lack of engagement and an insufficient number of meetings. In that regard, she proposed that the Vienna talks be immediately resumed in order to find modalities for the broadest autonomy of Kosovo Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, with the European Union’s participation. “The talks should be intensive and enable us to get results soon,” she said. The threat of violence could not be accepted as a rational argument.
Just a month ago, Serbia had voiced its position on Kosovo and Metohija in a most legitimate and powerful fashion, she added. More than half of the registered voters had opted in favour of the new constitution of Serbia. By adopting the constitution in a referendum, an absolute majority of Serbia’s citizens had reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of democratic States and to the inviolability of Serbia’s borders.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIÈRE ( France) noted with satisfaction the adoption of several laws aimed at the protection of minorities. That had been necessary to ensure that Kosovo was a multi-ethnic community, and that positive evolution should be built upon. All standards should be implemented in a tangible and practical way, particularly with regard to property rights and the rule of law, and especially with respect to the legal sector. He had also noted the drop in ethnically-based crimes. Nevertheless, such acts remained unacceptable and must be treated through the appropriate legal channels. The Secretary-General had stressed in his report the efforts made to establish contacts with the minority communities and, thus, he had been disappointed that the Serbian leaders remained on the sidelines of the political process, to the detriment of their community.
He called on the authorities in Belgrade to lift all impediments preventing participation in the Kosovo institutions. He fully supported the process led by Mr. Ahtisaari, the Special Envoy. He also noted the announcement that recommendations on status would be submitted after the parliamentary elections in Serbia. The Security Council should then take decisions based on those recommendations, particularly in order to adapt the international presence in Kosovo. It was important not to delay resolution of an issue that weighed on regional stability, or to prevent implementation of the reforms that all wished to see. The guidelines established by the Contact Group and endorsed by the Council should also be respected, he urged.
MARÍA JOSEFINA MARTÍNEZ GRAMUGLIA ( Argentina) wanted to highlight the willingness of the Provisional Institutions to give priority to the programme that, without doubt, contributed to strengthening the Kosovo institutions. Standards implementation was also a sine qua non for realizing the European prospective on Kosovo and must continue to be the core of the efforts during the future status process for Kosovo and even after it concluded. It was disappointing, however, that the standards programme’s impact upon Kosovo Serb communities was limited, primarily due to their own reluctance to cooperate with the Pristina authorities.
She urged Kosovo Serbs to engage with the Provisional Institutions and to participate at the country level of the political process in Kosovo. The leaders of the Serb National Council must put an end to their boycott of the contacts with the Provisional Institutions, while Belgrade authorities must remove, without delay all impediments to such participation. The leaders of the Provisional Institutions must persist with standards implementation, if they were to succeed in creating the basis of a truly multi-ethnic and democratic society where all communities lived together in dignity and security. All communities needed to exercise moderation in the current critical moment for Kosovo’s future.
While there were different expectations on the part of the key actors regarding its results, it was necessary to keep the momentum in the political process, as more uncertainty could result in greater instability, she added. The primary aim of the process should be to assure all who lived in Kosovo that they would have a safe, decent and peaceful life. To achieve that, it was of the utmost importance that any solution be the outcome of negotiation between the parties, not an international imposition. A negotiated solution should be an international priority, as well. The settlement of Kosovo’s status should contribute to the regional stability, with a realistic agreement that was viable and fully compatible with resolution 1244 (1999). She called on the leaders of both parties to demonstrate vision and political will to achieve a negotiated solution that would allow Kosovo to enter a new phase of its history.
ALEJANDRO D. WOLFF ( United States) expressed his continued support for UNMIK’s role in developing meaningful self-government in Kosovo. He had been encouraged by the progress made in implementing the Contact Group’s standards priorities. Kosovo should make every effort to complete all priorities and the overall work on the standards, paying particular attention to respect for individual property rights. He strongly condemned the explosion of the railway line, and noted with concern the establishment of illegal checkpoints in western Kosovo. He called on all sides to respect the rule of law and to refrain from all acts of violence. Belgrade must do its part to improve the situation by supporting the Kosovo Serbs’ participation in local institutions, returning all records, and working with the international community to ensure stability, particularly in the north.
Noting that six and one half years had passed since the international community’s intervention had brought an end to the fighting in Kosovo, he said that all people of Kosovo deserved clarity about their future. The mere speculation of delay in the status process had led to a feeling of uncertainty and could represent a source of instability if momentum abated. It was important, therefore, to keep the momentum of the political process and achieve status settlement soon. The United States supported the decision to present the report on status -- without delay -- following the 21 January elections in Serbia. The report should be received with open minds, understanding the importance of an integrated settlement. As the status process neared its concluding stages, both sides should be realistic about the probable outcome: there would be no return to the pre-1999 situation; there would be no partition of Kosovo and no union of Kosovo with any other, or part of another, country.
Additionally, he said, the settlement must solidify Kosovo’s multi-ethnicity and must also offer real protection for the political and cultural rights of all communities. At the same time, the settlement must be acceptable to the people of Kosovo. It was also important for UNMIK, as well as the Pristina and Belgrade authorities, to work closely with the representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and bilateral missions on the transition planning needed for the period following the conclusion of the status process.
TAKAHIRO SHINYO ( Japan) noted that, while a form for Kosovo’s final status dominated the political situation in Kosovo, the implementation of the Kosovo standards was the challenge, which Kosovo’s leaders must address on a day-to-day basis. He welcomed the steady progress on the implementation of the 13 priority areas and appreciated the creation of structures and work plans by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to implement the European Partnership Action Plan, in which the standards were now integrally incorporated. Serious work should go into all standards implementation efforts.
Regarding “functioning democratic institutions”, it was a serious problem that no progress had been reported on the issue of participation of Kosovo Serbs in Kosovo’s political institutions, he said. He expressed deep concern with regard to the three northern municipalities’ ongoing boycott of contacts with the Provisional Institutions and urged those municipalities to assume their contacts without delay. To solve the problem, Serbia’s Government should respond positively to the international calls for action on the issue. A stable society would not be achieved through the stabilization of governance alone, but also required economic recovery. The Provisional Institutions needed to redouble efforts to build the necessary economic system and institutions and also needed to address the issue of youth unemployment.
Mistrust among ethnic groups was an underlying factor that was hindering freedom of movement, he continued. Both the Serbian and Albanian leaders needed to take the necessary measures for confidence-building among the people. Japan had been fully supportive of Special Envoy Ahtisaari and expressed understanding for his decision to present his comprehensive proposal immediately after the upcoming Serbian elections. He welcomed the careful preparations now under way for the transition to an international civilian presence after UNMIK’s withdrawal. The transition needed to take place without delay, upon the determination of the final status. While the situation in Kosovo would reach a critical juncture at the beginning of next year, he strongly urged all parties to act with prudence to ensure that the final status would contribute to peace and security in the region.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that the contents of Mr. Rücker’s briefing would have been better had he not gone beyond his mandate. Despite some progress, the gains could not be described as significant, particularly in terms of protecting minorities, decentralization and the return of non-Albanian refugees, among many other unresolved matters. The key problem was still the same: the growing gap between the existence of relevant instruments and documents and the actual situation in the province. It must be said that pledges to guarantee the security of non-Albanians in Kosovo had still not taken on a concrete form. Recalling the conclusions of the Secretary-General in his latest report, he said that, in order to ensure confidence-building and stability, it must be ensured that priority in implementing the standards be given to concrete, and not symbolic, measures.
He said, for example, that more attention should be given to property rights, such as the protection of orthodox churches, during the prioritization process. Any mistakes could lead to a single-ethnic society in Kosovo. A precondition to progress was enhancing security and combating organized crime. Without that, freedom of movement and return of refugees and internally displaced persons were impossible. He was concerned that, despite a drop in the overall number of ethnically-based crimes, acts of violence against Kosovo Serbs persisted. Freedom of movement under the threat of massive unrest was another subject of serious concern. He condemned the recent mass unrest, including the acts of violence committed against the UNMIK office in Pristina.
The Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Kosovo and the international presence were keeping the situation under control, he said. Those situations must not be allowed to be repeated in the future. It was unacceptable to have a timetable determined for political events “by the street”. Any attempt to destabilize the situation meant that the Security Council would have to review the situation, and that could mean an immediate halt in the status process. The Kosovo Albanian leadership had the main responsibility for not allowing extremist acts on the territory of the province, which could only complicate the settlement process. Leadership in the province should step up efforts to ensure genuine progress in implementing the standards, particularly those dealing with ensuring a multi-ethnic society. The Serbian side should also play its part in that regard.
He noted the Secretary-General’s disappointment at the participation in the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, but that demonstrated the little confidence minorities had in those Institutions. The majority community should establish a climate to encourage minorities to cooperate with the provisional authorities and participate in all areas of life in Kosovo. Achieving the standards would influence the rate and outcome of the negotiations on the future status of the process. He welcomed the wise decision to interrupt the status talks until the election campaign in Serbia was completed. Of extreme importance was to ensure consistent efforts by Belgrade and Pristina to find an acceptable, effective and negotiated outcome to the status, on the basis of the fundamental principles set out in Council resolution 1244 (1999) and by the Contact Group.
The Secretary-General had rightly pointed out the need for both parties to show more flexibility in the status talks, to find points of agreement and long-lasting and sustainable decisions, he noted. Those should be aimed at a comprehensive status proposal, which the Secretary-General’s Special Representative would submit to the parties. Any strict timeline must be rejected, and the positions of both the Serbs and Albanians must be brought together and not be based on “tying anybody’s hands”. Concrete proposals by Belgrade should be examined; he saw no alternative but to negotiate a compromise, however difficult it might be to achieve that. Any condemnation of Belgrade’s lack of a constructive approach on Kosovo’s status was unfounded. At the same time, he aligned himself with the Secretary-General’s appeal to refrain from any unilateral acts by either side. Only a negotiated, and not a unilateral or imposed, decision on Kosovo could be supported by the Security Council and would avoid an international crisis on settlement.
NANA EFFAH-APENTENG ( Ghana) said he attached equal weight to the two conflict claims and believed that all possibilities for a negotiated settlement must be explored. There could be no lasting peace and stability in Kosovo unless the final status process resulted in an outcome that guaranteed respect for the rights of all ethnic groups. The current strategy contained the right elements, with its emphasis on the creation of functioning democratic institutions that could effectively entrench the rule of law, ensure the freedom of movement in a safe and secure environment, facilitate the return of displaced persons, not to mention the creation of a vibrant economy. Although the progress made so far did not measure up to expectation, with respect to the 13 priorities for standards implementations, it was not for want of trying. In the absence of a strong political will to engage their Albanian counterparts, the Kosovo Serbians had impeded progress.
In that connection, the continuing refusal of the Serbian minority to participate in the Provisional Institutions, coupled with the institutional mechanisms being put in place to ensure accountability and respect for the rights of all minorities, was a major challenge. He urged all Kosovo Serbs and the Belgrade authorities not to dismiss the positive overtures as cynical manipulation of the final status process, without subjecting them to a practical test. The only way to do that was to be involved in the process of institution-building that was shaping the future of their homeland.
At the same time, the pattern of hostility among Albanian youth towards the Serbs was particularly disturbing, as it did not augur well for harmonious existence between the two communities in the future. He urged that conscious effort be made to instil in the youth of the various ethnic groups the values of tolerance and unity. The critical question today was whether, at the current stage, Kosovo had the internal strength and resilience to withstand the pressures of the conflicting claims on its future status. Closely related to that was whether the Belgrade authorities and the Kosovo Serbs could be brought around to accepting an independent and sovereign Kosovo with the levers of power firmly in the hands of an Albanian majority. Ghana did not have easy answers to those questions.
ADAMANTIOS TH. VASSILAKIS ( Greece) welcomed the progress made in implementing the standards, including the recent adoption of such legislation as the laws on freedom of religion, the use of languages and cultural heritage. Progress made in the functioning of the ministries of justice and internal affairs were also positive steps. However, there seemed to have been no substantial progress on decentralization, beyond the first three pilot projects, and he called on the parties involved to take that process forward. He also fully condemned the recent violence. He noted the decrease in the number of attacks against religious sites; such incidents had no place whatsoever in a modern and democratic society.
He stressed, once more, the need for the involvement of the Kosovo Serbs in the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government. Their participation was key in serving their own best interests, and he, therefore, urged Belgrade to encourage them in that direction. On Kosovo’s future status, he reiterated his country’s position that the best possible and most sustainable outcome was the achievement of a mutually acceptable solution. He, thus, welcomed the realization by the international community of the need for certain flexibility on the time frame. That would allow for a more genuine status process and give the Provisional Institutions, among others, the necessary time to press on with their efforts to implement the standards, he said.
TUVAKO N. MANONGI (United Republic of Tanzania) welcomed the progress made by the Provisional Institutions on their sustained effort to implement the 13 priority points for standards implementation presented by the Contact Group. Substantial progress had been made, in that regard. While he hailed progress in their implementation of standards, he regretted that the issue of Kosovo’s future status remained in abeyance. Undoubtedly, that had taken more prominence and visibility in Kosovo’s political life. Commending the Special Envoy for his efforts in convening further rounds of direct talks between Pristina and Belgrade, he said he was concerned that the positions of the two sides still remained far apart.
Troubled by the risk that further delay could potentially raise instability in the country, he called on the leaders of both sides to negotiate in good faith. He appealed to the Serbian side to encourage Kosovo Serbs to participate in Kosovo political institutions and to the Kosovo leaders to reach out to the Serbs and other minorities. He also urged them to refrain from any public pronouncements and unilateral decisions that might be construed by the other as being hostile and provocative. Continued violence that sought to effect political change could only be unhelpful. It was in the interest of all people of Kosovo that the leaders used the opportunity between now and March to promote reconciliation and dialogue.
PETER BURIAN ( Slovakia) said he joined the Secretary-General’s call on the majority population in Kosovo to demonstrate political responsibility and firm commitment to non-violence in achieving political change. UNMIK’s role, as well as that of other international bodies in Kosovo, was still vital and instrumental for peace, and for the status process outcome and its implementation. An international presence would have to be sustained after the final status determination process concluded. He agreed that the implementation of the standards must remain an important priority. He noted with satisfaction the trends and the commitment of the Government led by Agim Çeku for efforts in that direction. Ensuring that those efforts were maintained was crucial, with a special focus on the 13 priorities.
The standards implementation was equally essential for assuring Kosovo’s multi-ethnicity, as well as for its European perspective. As the European Union would play a more visible role, the more standards it could reach today, the further along it could be in the integration process. Kosovo was also a home for Serbs. He agreed that progress would be achieved by actions -- and not words -- that indicated everyone had a future in Kosovo. It was ultimately the authority of the Kosovo Albanian authorities to demonstrate that they were ready to expect the high responsibility for the future well-being of ethnic minorities, which should feel that they were an integral and welcome part of society.
He said the issue of participation of Kosovo Serbs in the Provisional Institutions should be disconnected from the status process. He called again on Belgrade and Pristina to encourage Kosovo Serbs to exercise their rights in full through their participation, thereby contributing to the status negotiation process. Slovakia supported the process led by Mr. Ahtisaari and believed in the need to find a balanced settlement.
BASILE IKOUEBE ( Congo) said he sought a process in which Albanians and Serbs lived together in a multi-ethnic society. What was at stake in Kosovo was the stability of the whole region. He had associated himself with the aim of completing status talks by the end of 2006, but today Kosovo was at a crossroads. He had awaited with great interest the submission of a settlement proposal. In light of the situation described in the Secretary-General’s report, it was important not to further delay the process, as any further stall would risk a resurgence in violence by armed groups, whose only objective was to exploit frustrations.
He said that, at a time when the situation was close to the finish line, the Council must forcefully condemn any unilateral threat or use of violence that could undermine the political process. It should also deplore the fact that the Serbian leaders had chosen to remain on the sidelines or been absent from the political institutions in Kosovo. Whatever the outcome of the future status, Serbians and Kosovo Albanians must find common solutions to their joint problems. The Secretary-General’s report had noted the limited progress in negotiations, owing to the irreconcilable positions of the two parties. He hoped Mr. Ahtisaari would be able to submit proposals consistent with the international community’s expectations.
Mr. OROZCO ( Peru) said the Secretary-General’s report referred to the importance of the status process. Progress had been made in that regard, despite difficulties. He was happy to see what had been achieved in applying the standards, particularly regarding the 13 priorities. Progress on the standards strengthened Kosovo’s institutions and would help its future development. There had been significant progress in the economic sphere, including in the production of electricity. The international investors’ conference in October had been an important step in bringing in foreign investment. A political agreement on Kosovo’s final status would only be viable with long-term socio-economic stability. In that regard, he asked the economic players in Kosovo to promote their productive sectors on a regional basis.
He agreed that there were difficult barriers to overcome in Kosovo. With future status dominating the political scene, the parties continued to have opposing views. Violence persisted and the Serbs’ lack of participation in Kosovo’s institutions was also a source of concern. While the number of minorities returning to Kosovo remained constant, the number was still unsatisfactory. The definition of future status should not exclude any segment of society. Without consensus, there would no sustainable solution. Peru supported the political process for a negotiated settlement and supported Mr. Ahtisaari in looking for a status that would bring stability to the entire region.
LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said that the question of Kosovo had reached a crucial stage. With the joint efforts of UNMIK and the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, some progress had been made towards implementing the standards, but challenges remained in the area of security, returns and entrenchment of ethnic harmony. Judging from the present reality, only when momentum from the standards’ implementation was achieved, along with a breakthrough in creating a truly harmonious society, could there be hope for Kosovo’s future. He hoped that the difficulties would be overcome and that the standards could be implemented.
Noting that the future status process had been under way for nearly a year, he said that the Serb Government and Kosovo authorities had made contacts at various levels, and while some progress had been made, different positions also existed. It was a matter of major importance that work press ahead on the status question in the right direction. He was concerned about the recent violence, and he urged both sides to exercise restraint and to seek to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution in the status talks. The question was rather sensitive and complicated; whether it could be properly settled was of concern to all.
In resolving the question, it was essential to listen to all parties, especially those in the region, he said. It should be kept in mind that any settlement of the question of Kosovo would affect all in the region. A lasting solution should be sought, therefore, which avoided any further turmoil or destabilization in the region. At the same time, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected. The Security Council and the international community as a whole should be impartial on Kosovo’s future status and encourage both sides to seek a mutually acceptable plan.
KAREN PIERCE ( United Kingdom) condemned the violence unreservedly and stressed the need for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, regardless of ethnicity. All sides should respect the rule of law and the Contact Group’s guiding principles. If violence continued once status was settled, there would be consequences for Euro-Atlantic integration. She welcomed the progress achieved on the standards’ implementation. The Kosovo authorities deserved support in making further progress. Standards did not end with status settlement, but were a part of the integral framework for European integration. On the issue of participation, she said it was disappointing that Council members were again calling on Belgrade to allow Kosovo Serbs to take part in the negotiations on their own future. Belgrade was protecting its own hard line, and the Council had said that was not acceptable. It was disappointing that they continued to defy the Council, in that regard.
She said the United Kingdom considered itself a friend of Serbia and wanted to help it integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions. It was disappointing that the hand of friendship extended by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in bringing Serbia into the Partnership for Peace was not matched by a willingness on the part of Serbia to engage in good-neighbourly relations. It was important to have a Europe that was whole and free. She welcomed what had been said about the rule of law governing Serbia’s actions. In that connection, she called on Belgrade to transfer Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadic to The Hague Tribunal. She also called on Belgrade to stop encouraging separatists in the Republika Srpska and noted that the Dayton Peace Agreement established what Bosnia was. The Council must, she added, back Special Envoy Ahtisaari. On the constitution, she respected the right of the Serbian people to express their views. The Serbian platform and the constitution were, however, “side shows”. The only show in town was the Ahtisaari status process.
She added that a wish to bring Belgrade along had meant that a long time had been taken to settle Kosovo’s status. It was becoming clear that Belgrade did not wish to engage with the Council or the Special Envoy in settling the status issue. Council members had agreed that they would prefer a negotiated solution. The Contact Group had, however, laid down an alternative route, if that was not possible. It was not for her to say what the status should be. That was for Mr. Ahtisaari. At the same time, however, there was a growing consensus that any settlement was likely to be based on some form of independence for Kosovo with cast-iron guarantees to protect the rights of its minority communities. Any settlement must enshrine the standards discussed today, which formed the bedrock of any integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.
LARS FAABORG-ANDERSEN (Denmark), also expressing satisfaction at some of the progress made towards implementing the standards, said, however, that he was still very concerned about the steps taken by the Kosovo Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo to end contacts with the Provisional Institutions and set up parallel structures. As the Secretary-General noted in his report, by remaining outside the political process in Kosovo, the Kosovo Serb leaders were doing a disservice to their community. He, therefore, urged Belgrade to encourage the Kosovo Serb representatives to participate constructively in the Provisional Institutions in Pristina and, not least, in the municipal bodies.
He said he also sought a sustainable solution to Kosovo’s future. Non-cooperation, isolation and entrenched positions would not lead to a better future. Flexibility and compromise were prerequisites for a sustainable solution and coordinated and forward-looking actions from all actors were required. The primary beneficiaries would be all Kosovars, regardless of ethnicity, the population of the Republic of Serbia and indeed all the people of the Western Balkans. Cooperation and participation was in everyone’s best interest.
Denmark viewed the situation in Kosovo from a regional perspective, he said. He steadfastly supported UNMIK and the Kosovo multinational security force (KFOR), and he looked forward to a more peaceful a prosperous future, which the peoples of the region deserved. That would entail close regional cooperation towards the common integration of those truly European countries into the Euro-Atlantic structures, where they rightfully belonged. However, the Euro-Atlantic perspectives depended on implementation of standards and a sustainable solution to Kosovo’s future status.
NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said it was time to resolve the crisis in Kosovo. In that regard, it was encouraging to see the significant efforts that had been expended so far. The United Nations, along with other partners, had played a central role in those efforts. State institutions in Kosovo had started to take shape and were managing the territory in an efficient manner. The territory still needed the international community’s support, however, in strengthening its institutions and ensuring its stability. Achieving long-term stability required settling the territory’s status. While the positions of both parties were still largely at odds, it was encouraging to see that dialogue was still ongoing.
He noted that one of the conditions for finding a permanent settlement of Kosovo’s future was the need to ensure the effective participation of Kosovo’s Albanians and Serbs in the Government apparatus and State activities. All groups should take part in the dialogue on the territory’s future status. Both parties should refrain from any act that would undermine that participation. Noting the low levels of refugee returns, he said the international community should support the process. The real reason for the low number of refugees was the uncertainty regarding Kosovo’s future status, he added.
On behalf of the European Union, KIRSTI LINTONEN ( Finland) said that recent months had been dominated by the status talks, the first preparations for the end of UNMIK’s mandate and for the transition period. Regarding Kosovo’s future status, Belgrade and Pristina had continued expressing “diametrically opposed” positions. The talks had enabled the two sides to engage in substantial exchanges, but they had not resulted in any major shifts of position. The Union encouraged both Belgrade and Pristina to engage constructively in the status process. However, the process should not be open-ended and neither party should unilaterally block or derail the process, for example, by resorting to violence.
She stressed the crucial importance of further accelerated and effective implementation of the standards, which were equally essential for Kosovo’s “European perspective”. More efforts were needed to create an administrative environment that would ensure further approximation of the European standards. She also stressed the need for further efforts in full respect of the rule of law and an independent judicial system. Combating organized crime and corruption, building macroeconomic stability, and protecting all communities living in Kosovo required the special attention of the Kosovo authorities. The future status settlement would be a challenge, not only for Serbia and Kosovo, but for the whole international community, and required coordinated and forward-looking action. However, the status settlement alone would not solve Kosovo’s pressing economic and social problems. Those challenges must be tackled with renewed vigour.
The western Balkan region, including Kosovo, had been given a European perspective, she said. The Union had a major interest in a positive, clear outcome of the status process. Its success would be essential, not only for providing a clear perspective for the people in Kosovo, but also for the overall stability of the region. In that context, maintaining the European perspective of Serbia was of great importance. The Union viewed the question of Kosovo’s status as “sui generis”. The outcome of the status process would not set a precedent for other regions, as its current status was exceptional and based on resolution 1244 (1999). Like other speakers, she regretted the fact that Kosovo Serbs still did not participate in the work of Kosovo’s central institutions, despite the international community’s repeated calls for them to do so.
VICTOR KRYZHANIVSKYI ( Ukraine), welcoming positive developments in the implementation of standards, stressed the need for that work to be further strengthened as a perquisite for Kosovo’s long-term unity and stability. Particular efforts were needed to ensure that Kosovo remained multi-ethnic, democratic and respectful of minorities’ rights. It was also important for the Kosovo Government to reach out to the Serb population and make them partners in the ongoing transformation. Noting the increasing tension in Kosovo, he said he was disturbed by the fact that ethnically- and politically-motivated crimes had continued during the reporting period, some of which were an obvious attempt to exert pressure on international actors.
He said Ukraine strongly believed in the necessity of achieving a final settlement of the political, economic and security situation in Kosovo through the creation of adequate conditions for the return of the non-Albanian population. He also cautioned against hasty or unilateral steps, which could destabilize the region. The current negotiations needed to be prolonged and based on recognized norms and the principles of international law. He was particularly concerned by references to the “universal nature” or “precedence” of the Kosovo settlement. Such an approach could pose a threat, in that other countries could use their influence for advancing similar scenarios in other regions with “frozen conflicts”, particularly within the post-Soviet areas.
ADRIAN NERITANI ( Albania) expressed satisfaction with the overall assessment that significant achievements had been made in implementing the standards. Also, it was notable that the security situation had not been adversely affected by the ongoing future status process. He shared the view that that situation must not be taken for granted over an unrealistically extended period of time. At the same time, it was dictated by the evolving situation on the ground. Keeping up the political momentum required bold and determined action by all parties. Further slippage after the January 2007 deadline might seriously put at risk an orderly settlement and exhaust the many bonds that had so far kept the process “a promising one for a good cause”. He was pleased that the need to “deliver results sooner rather than later is commonly understood and widely accepted by the Council and key Member States”. Their coherence and level of certainty was indispensable to delivering an acceptable result.
Echoing the view of previous speakers, he said it was equally essential that Kosova Serb leaders participate fully in the political process. Remaining outside the process did a disservice to their community. The Belgrade authorities should respond to coherent international policy by removing all impediments to Kosova Serbs’ participation in Kosova’s institutions. It was the right time to solve the issue and not the time to try “raising the bargaining chips in the negotiating table”. At the same time, he appealed to the Kosova Albanians to redouble their efforts in respect of freedom and rights of minorities, and increase their outreach to all communities. Both Albanians and Serbs in Kosova should leave aside the past, engage in reconciliation, strengthen their cooperation and look forward to their common future.
Albania would continue to play an active and constructive role in the status process, which should proceed steadily and swiftly, he said. Further delay or any artificial status quo would prolong instability, uncertainty and institutional paralysis and serve nobody’s interest, inside or beyond the region. The solution should be clearly defined, politically and legally, without any ambiguity. The outcome of the status talks should contribute to ending the unpredictability and uncertainty that stemmed from the current lack of status, strengthen Kosova’s stability and security and that of the entire region. The most realistic, pragmatic and just solution to the matter was independence, with a supporting continuation of a civil and security presence of the international community. In other words, a promotion and protection of Serbs and all other minorities’ rights, their cultural and religious heritage, within a society in Kosova in which all people lived in dignity and prosperity, and without fear.
He was confident that independence would guarantee social and economic stability and security for Kosova and the whole region, and help to establish a sustainable, multi-ethnic, democratic society there. It would also pave the way for its European perspective. The international military and civilian presence in Kosova, even after the determination of status, would be essential.
Ms. RAŠKOVIC'-IVIC', President of the Coordination Centre of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, thanked members for their proposals and comments. She understood them as strong support of the negotiation process. She had heard several times the argument of the uncertainty of the Kosovo Albanians as a reason for haste. That was not a good argument. Regarding the participation of Serbs in the institutions, she noted that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija did not have confidence in their freedom of movement. There were still many attacks on people who have been moving around. The issue of participation was a complex one, and not just a problem of confidence or security. Serbs had the feeling that they were just décor. Their participation in Kosovo should be meaningful. From her point of view, Kosovo was, by its substance, a precedent, and not a case of sui generis. She welcomed the cooperation with the European Union on technical matters.
Mr. RÜCKER said he would not comment on the substance of the status process, but, in his view, it was his mandate to point out the objective costs associated with continued lack of clarity on status. He hoped that had become clear in his briefing. It was his mandate to facilitate the transition period, and he wanted to bring that process to an orderly conclusion.
He noted that many delegates had mentioned incidents of violence in Kosovo, and he assured them that he not only condemned the violence, but he saw to it that the perpetrators were being brought to justice. Regarding the figures mentioned in Ms. Raškovic'-Ivic'’s report, they did not match his own, and he was happy to share his data on the incidents. However, every incident was one too many. Regarding her remarks that UNMIK was going beyond its mandate and seeking to establish a State for Albanians in Kosovo, he said that certainly UNMIK was not seeking a State for Albanians in Kosovo, but was seeking a multi-ethnic Kosovo.
On standards implementation, he said he fully agreed with speakers that further progress was required. However, further progress depended on status. For example, concerning the economy, how could the economy develop without access to international lending or borrowing, which was not possible without status. Also, the question of returns, too, depended on status because there was uncertainty and a lot of potential returns were awaiting status.
In terms of protection of cultural heritage and decentralization, everyone knew that Mr. Ahtisaari was negotiating ways to address those issues. Other progress in standards implementation clearly depended on the participation of Kosovo Serbs in the institutions. He was grateful that so many speakers had stressed the need for the Serbs to participate. Only their participation would enable them to properly influence developments in Kosovo, and he again appealed to Belgrade to “make that happen”. He added that freedom of movement was not impeding that participation.
He said that confidence-building and dialogue was key overall, and he urged the Kosovo Serbs and all other minorities to take the “extended hand” of the Provisional Institutions and its representatives. He would work hard with the Security Council, and under the direction of the Secretary-General, to come to a good conclusion of the still open question of Kosovo, he said.
PRISTINA – Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo (SRSG) Joachim Rücker today addressed the UN Security Council Session on Kosovo. Prime Minister Agim Çeku accompanied the SRSG in the Security Council. The SRSG noted that while the status process has clearly been brought a long way forward this year, momentum needs to be maintained and a timely status settlement achieved.
“Resolving Kosovo's status would benefit the entire Balkan region, including Belgrade. On the other hand, further delay would entail significant political and economic costs for Kosovo, for our neighbours, for the region as a whole and for the international community,” the SRSG said. “Delay is more than just a loss of time. Delay will raise tension and play into the hands of extremists on all sides.”
“Delay will not make a solution easier – it will make it much more difficult.” Mr. Rücker noted.
Standards implementation remains a top priority of both the Kosovo Government and UNMIK, the SRSG noted. “We sometimes have the impression from our international interlocutors that with all the focus on the status process, the implementation of standards has been forgotten or pushed aside. This is not at all the case. Standards remain at the core of our daily work on the ground in Kosovo, with particular concentration on the 13 priority areas set out by the Contact Group earlier this year, most of which have been fulfilled,” Mr. Rücker said.
The SRSG also updated the Security Council on UNMIK’s planning for transition. “Once the status decision is made, UNMIK will need to provide for an orderly and smooth handover to future local and international institutions established under the status settlement. Early and prudent planning is indispensable in order to achieve this, and transition planning has now become one of our key priorities,” Mr. Rücker said.
“We need to do as much as possible – without prejudice to the status process – before the formal transition period begins with the passage of a Resolution by this Council,” the SRSG highlighted.
In conclusion, the SRSG noted the importance of the international community’s continued support for Kosovo. “The United Nations has accomplished much in Kosovo. We now owe it to Kosovo, and to you, to make sure that this final phase of UN administration is wrapped up in an orderly and in a responsible manner. I trust that you will help in this endeavour by keeping the momentum in the status process and by seeing it through.”
Billeder fra: UNMIK/DPI
PRISTINA, 14 December 2006 - Kosovo's court system must continue to work toward effective fulfillment of the rule of law, which is the best way to ensure public confidence in the criminal justice system, according to an OSCE Mission report published today.
The OSCE review addresses the problems of witness protection, the administration of justice in minor offences courts and juveniles in criminal proceedings.
"The challenges faced by the courts in Kosovo are not unsurpassable," said Jens Modvig, OSCE Deputy Head of Mission. "It is important to have an effective court system that can administer justice and have the confidence of the public, in order for the rule of law to become a daily reality."
The report focuses on violations of domestic law and international human rights standards that arise in the courts and affect the right to a fair trial. Among the main areas of concern are:
- The failure to adequately protect witnesses and witness intimidation.
- Charges filed and decisions issued in minor offences courts are of poor quality and often not well reasoned, while using collective punishment that fails to assign individual responsibility.
- The courts' failure to appropriately handle juveniles who are charged with crimes, including unlawful and excessive periods of detention.
The report urges authorities to tackle deficiencies in the law to ensure that witnesses are protected before, during and after the trial. It recommends minor offences courts and courts handling criminal proceedings with juveniles to comply with procedural rules.
The report also notes that the Kosovo Judicial Institute and the Chamber of Advocates should continue train judicial and legal officials to ensure that human rights are fully promoted and protected.
"These concerns need to be addressed to help the local judiciary to foster a culture of respect for the rule of law, which will work for the benefit of all who live in Kosovo," said Henry McGowen, Director of the Mission's Human Rights and Rule of Law Department.
The OSCE, which is tasked with monitoring human rights in Kosovo, applies a human rights perspective to its monitoring of the judicial system. This monitoring has helped the United Nations Mission in Kosovo create a justice system that functions more effectively and is striving towards international standards.
The report is the eighth in a series on the development of the judicial system in Kosovo.
In Kosovo's municipalities, it used to be common practice for local officials to issue personal identification documents, such as birth certificates, to citizens only once they had paid their property taxes. Now, officials are learning that this goes against the fundamental right to be recognized as an individual before the law.
"More and more municipalities are abandoning this practice, finding other legal ways to increase their revenues," says Fedzat Sagdati, an OSCE Human Rights Training Officer. Over the last two years, the OSCE Mission in Kosovo has been delivering a training programme to help local decision-makers understand human rights standards and know how to apply them in their daily work.
By the end of 2006, officials in 23 of Kosovo's 30 municipalities will have taken part in the course. Participants come from municipal directorates in all areas - urban development, civil registration, social welfare, education and health care - as well as from the police and judiciary.
Applying human rights
"Our training course focuses on the principles of legality, legitimacy, necessity, non-discrimination, equality and proportionality," says Sagdati. "But we aim to ensure that they are addressed with Kosovo's particular situation in mind."
Prior to NATO's military intervention in 1999, Kosovo was administered by Serbia. Following the conflict's end, Kosovo was placed under United Nations administration, which has been helping to create and develop Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government. The OSCE, as a part of the administration, is charged with institution-building and promoting human rights.
"The programme's central message is that upholding human rights has practical benefits, both for officials and citizens," says Sagdati.
"By learning about human rights standards, officials are minimizing their chances of making decisions that do not comply with them. This in turn decreases the number of complaints that people might have about the work of municipal bodies, which is becoming more effective and efficient."
The training programme
The OSCE human rights course consists of ten weekly three-hour sessions that are divided into two parts. The first part focuses on theory, covering the UN system for protecting and promoting human rights, European human rights standards, as well as legislation and human rights in Kosovo.
The second part is practical, aiming to develop the skills necessary to apply the theory. Participants learn skills such as active listening, paraphrasing and summarizing, physical communication, and building positive relations and perceptions. All these are needed for handling the difficult situations officials often face at work.
"We try to establish a link between human rights and these practical skills by focusing on the principles of international human rights law," said Diamant Kastrati, a Human Rights Training Officer from the OSCE Mission's field office in Peja.
Alija Fazli, a Judge in the Prizren Offence Court, who is currently participating in the course,is especially enjoying the first part. "During our formal studies, we learned about human rights principles, but only a few judges had the chance to go deeper into the subjects that we are now discussing in this course."
Different professions, common objective
Dr. Erdina Kabashi, public health co-ordinator with the municipal directorate for health and social welfare in Prizren, liked the fact that participants represented a mix of professions. They brought in their range of experiences, discussing how they would solve problems in various situations.
"As part of the general administration," she said, "we deal with clients daily, so it was extremely useful to learn how to treat people who are upset and angry - how to talk to them and respond to their requests."
Although in 2007 the OSCE Mission will no longer focus on institution-building, it will continue to help develop existing institutions through proactive monitoring. This includes four steps: monitoring the work of local officials, reporting on deficiencies, recommending corrective actions, and where necessary, building the capacity of local institutions through training programmes such as this one.
Written by Mevlyde Salihu and Nikola Gaon
4 December 2006
OSCE Kosovo Mission builds "bridges of friendship" between municipalities and their people
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Citizen participation in government decision-making processes is essential to the development of any democratic society.
Yet in Kosovo, such practices are often haphazardly implemented or left to the discretion of municipal or central Government officials.
The OSCE Mission there - which is mandated with institution- and democracy-building - has therefore launched a project called "Bridges of Friendship", aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of contacts between people and municipalities.
"The main objective of this project is to foster and institutionalize communication between people and municipal institutions through support to local advocacy initiatives," says Jade Duchesneau-Bernier, Project Manager and Democratization Officer with the Mission.
"Reinforcing the idea that the primary purpose of municipal leaders is to provide adequate services to the people is also one of our aims," she adds.
Listening to citizens' opinions
In the first phase of the project, some 12,000 people are being surveyed to identify the main problems they face regarding the provision of public services. The survey, which is being conducted during October and November, will also assess people's needs and evaluate their relations with Kosovo's institutions.
In the second phase, running from December 2006 until March 2007, citizens will be invited to public meetings, where their concerns will be discussed with the authorities and where they will have the chance to propose potential solutions.
"The pro-active involvement of municipal residents and the continuous commitment and responsiveness of municipal leadership are both necessary for municipalities to become more effective service providers," says Per-Oeyvind Semb, Director of the Mission's Democratization Department. "Bridges of Friendship aims at contributing to the establishment of this process."
The project is being implemented in all of Kosovo's 30 municipalities, as well as in the three pilot municipal units. To ensure adequate territorial coverage, public meetings will be held in ten randomly-selected towns or villages in each municipality.
Five local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were selected as the project implementing partners. They will each cover one of Kosovo's regions: Prishtine/Pristina, Gjilan/Gnjilane, Peja/Pec, Mitovice/Mitrovica, and Prizren.
"It's no accident that we chose to work with local NGOs," says Duchesneau-Bernier. "We think that people will feel more comfortable to deal with NGO representatives coming from their own regions and who face similar problems in their daily lives."
Good co-operation, good results
According to Driton Tafallari, Director of the NGO Developing Together, which covers the Prishtine/Pristina region, the five NGOs now form one network and already are sharing experiences and helping each other implement the project.
"In our contacts with municipal officials, we are finding that they are very interested in collaborating with the NGOs and the OSCE," notes Duchesneau-Bernier. "They think that this is a good way to understand what their residents really want."
At the end of the project, the results of the Kosovo-wide needs assessment survey and the recommendations submitted to municipal officials during the public meetings will be compiled and made publicly available.
"This material will represent valuable data for both municipal officials and residents of the municipalities. It will be used as a basis for the annual municipal budget planning process, as well as for the development and review of the municipal strategic planning," says Tafallari.
Duchesneau-Bernier adds that such projects can be useful for both local politicians and people.
"On the one hand, local officials become better aware of peoples' needs and are therefore better equipped to plan ahead. On the other hand, the local population gains a means by which they can apply pressure on their leaders," she says.
Written by Paolo Fraccaro and Nikola Gaon
20 November 2006
PRISTINA, 12 December 2006 - A joint campaign on urban upgrading and informal settlements was launched today by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.
The initiative, which runs under the slogan, "For a better life in our municipality", will include posters that will be displayed in public buildings and more than 30,000 leaflets that will be distributed to promote the right to adequate housing and a more sustainable land governance and housing policy framework in Kosovo.
"Kosovo needs better cities. For this reason, the OSCE Mission has gathered neighbourhood representatives, non-governmental organizations and government officials to ensure a more sustainable urbanization and thus to promote the right to city," said Jens Modvig, the Mission's Deputy Head. "This refers to the notion that all inhabitants have an equal right to access to collective infrastructures, services and facilities, and to actively contribute to the development process."
The campaign is part of a series of initiatives to regularize informal settlements which are neighbourhoods built without construction and urban planning permissions and, in some cases, without proof of actual land ownership. Such uncontrolled development needs to be prevented as it has negative consequences on the cities' economy since municipalities need to pay for all the costs of providing infrastructure, as well as on the inhabitants living conditions.
To remedy these shortcomings, a list of recommendations, based on the conclusions of a workshop organized earlier this month, has been drawn up.
These recommendations outline that Kosovo's government should formulate a detailed action plan on the regularization of informal settlements and the prevention of future ones, as well as revise the relevant laws on land use, construction and spatial planning. Among other things, municipalities are advised to improve the conditions in the most disadvantaged areas including Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian neighbourhoods, and to develop social housing programmes.
"Integrating informal settlements is a matter of human solidarity. Municipal planners have to take into account the social dimension when dealing with informal settlements," said Ardian Gjini, PISG Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning.
The recommendations also address the inhabitants of those settlements themselves. They are encouraged to pay all necessary taxes and fees to enjoy public services such as roads, water, electricity and sewage, and to respect other persons' land and properties, as well as public property. Moreover, they are expected to take an active role in the improvement of their neighbourhoods.
"It is important to recognize the positive contribution of everybody, including inhabitants of informal areas, to the cities," said Krystyna Galezia, Acting Head of UN-HABITAT in Kosovo.
The Ministry in co-operation with OSCE Mission, through its human rights component and its presence in the municipalities, will monitor and support the implementation of the recommendations.
KiM Info Newsletter 07-12-06
Albanian paramilitary groups operate in Western Kosovo
Exchange of gunfire between police and armed groups in Western Kosovo
PRISTINA, December 7 (Tanjug)
During the past several days Kosovo police clashed with a group of armed and masked men on the territory of Metohija (Western part of UN Province of Kosovo) who on several occasions put up illegal checkpoints and inspected vehicle traffic, (Albanian language) electronic media in Pristina reported today, citing police officials in Kosovo.
According to regional police administrators based in Pec, masked and armed men began to put up checkpoints on rural roads during the night. Police reacted quickly when this was reported by citizens. Near the village of Grcin close to Djakovica, there was an exchange of gunfire between approximately ten masked men and strong police forces. No one was hurt and several of the masked men disappeared into the nearby woods. The appearance of masked and armed men in western Kosovo was last recorded more than a year ago. The region where they put control checkpoints then was in the same location as now along the route between Decani and Djakovica. At that time one armed group near Djakovica stopped and disarmed a KFOR military patrol. This was followed by a major campaign by international troops to find the armed groups but they were unsuccessful. After several days of reports of armed and masked groups of men, the command of the international military forces in Kosovo confirmed their presence. Informed sources state that the appearance of armed and masked groups is tied to the increasingly uncertain resolution of the Kosovo crisis and negotiations led by international UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari.
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Additional information from a UNMIK police report: Masked men armed with rocket launchers
Grcina/Gërçinë village, 10 km SE of Ðakovica/Gjakovë – 05/12 – 2105 hrs: An anonymous person reported that approx 10 masked suspects had mounted an illegal VCP. When KPS officers went to the scene, the suspects fired at them and fled. KPS returned fire but no injuries were reported. An anonymous person who identified himself as a member of the Albanian National Army called the Police Station three times and asked if there were any injuries to KPS officers. He claimed to be calling from Priština/Prishtinë and stated that his group did not suffer any casualties. 6/12: Police found a handset, a flash light, an AK-47 magazine, a cartridge case and a rocket launcher loaded with a projectile.
December 14, 2006. The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu received today the Head of OSCE/ODIHR Mission, Jorgen Grunnet with whom he discussed about the progress of the electoral process in our country.
December 12, 2006
The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu expresses his deep concern about the aggravated political climate and its impact on the normal realization of local elections. At these important moments, President Moisiu stresses once again that the democracy and elections are not and cannot be a monopoly of politics, let alone of only one political force.
President Moisiu assesses that the upcoming local elections must be a turning point in the elections’ history of Albania in order for them to offer an impetus forward to the democratic developments and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the country. That is why the President of the Republic appeals publicly once again to the political forces of the ruling majority and opposition to cooperate with responsible and trust and to reach a consensus through dialogue in fulfilling their constitutional obligation in front of the country and citizens.
The President of the Republic, Alfred Moisiu appointed today in the post of the Commander of the Joint Forces Command, Brigadier General Shpëtim Spahiu.
At the official ceremony organized on this occasion in the Presidency were present the Minister of Defense, Fatmir Mediu, the Deputy Minister of Defense, Zana Xhuka and Petrit Karabina, the Joint Chief of Staff, Major General Luan Hoxha and other high ranking leaders of the Air, Naval and Land Forces.
After the playing of the National Anthem and reading the respective decree, President Moisiu while wishing good luck in the new and responsible post, handed to Brigadier General Spahiu the appointment edict.
On his part, the Commander of the Joint Forces Command addressed the participants by expressing the gratitude for the maximal trust and appreciation for his appointment in this post. Brigadier general Spahiu stressed that as a Commander and military man will make all the efforts so this new command, founded for the very first time in the Albania military history can be successful and meet the objectives.
061207 Prime Minister Berisha comments election related issues 7/12/2006
Answering to journalists’ questions, Prime Minister Berisha made the following comments on issues regarding the upcoming local elections:
Question: Negotiations between the majority and the opposition are stuck. Will the elections be held on January the 20th?
Prime Minister: The Democratic Party has never and will never negotiate the date of the elections. The Democratic Party and my self, as Prime Minister, have repeatedly declared that we will respect without making any comments the date that the President of the Republic will decree.
I also want to inform you that behind the pretext of the date hides only the effort to demonstrate that someone can hold the country hostage and this is unbelievable. A country and a society can not be hold hostage like that.
No one is more interested than me not to have elections this winter, or even this spring, for we are proceeding very quickly with the reforms and elections will distract us. But the idea of not respecting the constitutional requirements has never crossed my mind. If you check the newspapers or the TV news editions you will find that Mr. Rama demanded postponing elections even 6 months before the date of the elections. He sent foreign diplomats in July to let us know that Mr. Rama demands the postponement of the elections. In August, two days before the signing of the agreement, his representative, Mr. Ben Blushi, declared in the presence of the negotiating group, locals and foreigners, that the 12 points of the agreement were of no importance, all they wanted was the postponement of the elections date.
The opposition uses the voter lists thinking that this is the hook to hang the country and the nation and drag them around. I would like to inform you that the Electoral Code has two Articles concerning the lists. According to these articles, legitimate lists must be prepared six months before they are made public. But legitimate lists are also those that are used during early elections and that are prepared only 45 days before the elections. Laws are not caricatures or scratch paper, but are the infrastructure we are obliged to apply.
Following this debate, the General Civil Registry Office, in compliance with the requirements of the law, has distributed today lists all over the country. The law defines the time in which the lists must be updated, the time in which they must be made public and the right of the citizens to file with the court when they names are not included in the lists.
Lists and certificates in this city are, in 90 percent of the cases prepared and managed by Mr. Rama and his employees. I want to inform you that the General Civil Register Office has not clear any of the duplications but instead has, together with a software designed jointly with the OSCE, sent the lists to every municipality and commune so that clear them from duplicates. The government stayed out of the preparation of the lists. If someone is looking for a hook to drag the country around, I can only say that this is a terrible decision.
Question: Is the list that has been distributed based on the 2005 list?
Prime Minister: The lists that have been distributed were based on the 2005 list but, after the demands of the socialists, the temporary registrar was also fully incorporated in these permanent lists. The Civil Registrar Office employees have all the data to update the 2005 lists, which are a solid base. They have the time and they will have the financial means for everything. The updating of lists in about 64 percent of the country is in the hands of socialist local authorities. We do not say that they will not do it the right way or that they will manipulate the lists. We trust them. They compiled the 2005 lists, they will compile the 2007 list.
Question: Mr. Berisha, where is this 64 per cent and if they don’t agree to update the list, will the elections be held in these areas?
Prime Minister: I can not imagine that there might be people that would play with their own country like that. I assure you that people that are trying to use the lists as a hook to drag Albania along will face the consequences for their actions.
Question: There are rumors that Mr. Rama has asked to meet with you.
Prime Minister: I have no knowledge of such a request coming from the Socialist Party. I have met his predecessor several times. I do not choose the leader of the opposition, I respect the one the opposition chooses.
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Prime Minister Berisha replied today to a letter that the leader of the opposition, Mr Edi Rama, sent him three days ago:
The will and desire that I feel to communicate with the opposition and my respect for it, compel me to reply to a letter that you addressed to me through the media three days ago.
I wish to say since the beginning that the Government is determined to ensure the entire material and financial support, to make all necessary efforts on which we are incumbent and establish full cooperation with all the political forces in order to guarantee free and fair elections.
I appreciate the fact that, at last, in your letter, you refer to Albanian citizens interests. Sharing the same concern with you, Id like to transmit to you my conviction that it is first and foremost in the interest of citizens, Albania, Albanians wherever they are and it is the obligation of the Government and all political forces that the upcoming local elections be held on the date decreed by the President, that is, on 20 January 2006, as the Constitution, the principal law of the country sanctions it.
It is also my conviction that, if there is real political will, that is, if political parties place the interest of the country above party interest or personal interest of party leaders, we still are fully capable to carry out free and fair elections, with good standards on 20 January 2007.
In your letter, you express your concern about the voters lists, which should be announced six months before the elections date, pursuant to electoral law, in order to have correct elections.
On this occasion, I have to recall that the Democratic Party Parliamentary Group, to comply with this legal deadline, based also on the written opinion of OSCE/ODHIR experts, presented to the Elections Commission the amendment to the list on April 2006, which the Socialist Party refused and blocked.
In July, just six months before the elections date, you did not accept the lists announcement again, and suddenly and surprisingly, like a bolt from the blue, you required postponement of the local elections date. Why opposition required the postponement of elections six months before their date is surprising, while acceleration is its purpose and interest. Of course, though it may occur that sometimes it may be in the governments interest to postpone elections and prolong the mandates; fortunately they can not do it in free countries. The Constitution prohibits it. The Constitution of Albania and that of every free country clearly provides for special circumstances, in which government mandates may be prolonged.
If six months ago we would accept postponement of the elections date, we would show Albanians and the international community that for us, our mandates are above laws, rule of law and the countrys Constitution and as omnipotent, pursuant to our good will, we might extend our powers mandate. This would be the ruin of rule of law, the constitutionality principle, without which democracy does not exist. And sincerely speaking, opposition, as the main pillar of democracy of a country as it is, would be terribly undermined and compromised.
You conditioned the request for postponement of elections, that is, the unconstitutional prolongation of three-year mandates of local government, with Socialist Party participation in elections.
For more than six months, hundreds and hundreds of times, you have threatened to boycott the elections, thus showing that you are going to use the “blocking” of the voting lists as a pretext to evade the election race and your participation in the elections.
In order to establish a climate of trust for the coming elections, the August dialogue was organized.
In every meeting, your representatives presented as the main request the prolongation of local elections for October 2007.
Whereas the other participants, honoring the Constitution and the Presidents powers, did not accept this request to be discussed.
Regardless of this, our two parties signed by the end of August the agreement with 12 points, from which eleven were requests presented by the opposition and only one request presented by the government, and this related to the publishing of the lists. But again, without waiting for the agreement ink to dry, you blocked the lists until the date the President decreed elections.
In all the positions held by the Socialist Party, from April until December, on voters’ lists, which were drafted by socialist governments for the 2005 elections and which should be updated in about 2/3 of the countrys communes and municipalities, it is clear that you conceived their issue like Archimedes lever to lift (to block) the electoral process or like a hook to drag the free vote of Albanians, their democracy and Albania herself. But, the general and local elections vote belongs to the citizens and not to the political parties. I think that in believing that you can drag your country, you have vested yourself with superhuman power. This is a fatal historic mistake.
Besides the lists, in recent months you have also raised the certificate question. But, fortunately 90% of certificates issued in Tirana and 2/3 of them issued in the entire country are signed by state officials in local government units, which are led by socialists.
You have complained to international institutions and you have sent the certificates case to the Prosecutors Office. International institutions found your claims ungrounded. We found in the elections of 2005 that thousands and thousands of certificates were distributed, which contrary to the law did not contain the Zone Code and the Registry Office Code.
In such a situation, ODIHR and the Central Election Commission decided that every person who would vote with a certificate should carry with him another document proving his identity. To this purpose, CEC approved a list of ten documents (such as driving license, diploma, etc). In the meeting held with your representatives a few days ago, the representatives of the majority proposed reestablishment of the same framework of guaranteeing measures that CEC and ODIHR established in the 2005 elections. Besides these, they proposed two additional amendments in this meeting:
- allowing voting with a certificate in the polling station only for people whose certificate contains the Zone Code and the Registry Office Code where their polling station is.
- penalizing every voter found with a forged certificate with three years of imprisonment;
In conclusion, I want to express my full determination to do whatever is in the hands of the government and the Democratic Party for the successful realization of local elections. I appeal to you for cooperation to carry out a civilized, constructive electoral campaign and a free and fair electoral process. Please accept, Mister Chairman, the expression of my highest consideration
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The Prime Minister held today a press conference in his office where he made the following statement:
Albania is a country that has an historical contract with the EU, a country that has signed the SAA with the EU and has the obligation to implement this agreement. Albania also received from the Riga Summit the message that she is a possible candidate to receive in the next summit the invitation to join NATO. Yesterday, during the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, the European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, called upon Albania, an EU associated country, and its political forces to renounce boycotting, to participate in the elections of 20 January and to cooperate for accomplishing free and fair elections.
I take this opportunity to assure Albanians that the coalition Government that I lead and the Democratic Party are ready to provide all financial and material resources to the Central Electoral Commission, and to make every possible effort to cooperate with the Socialist Party and other political forces held successful elections on 20 January 2007. Therefore, I would like to once again call upon Mr. Rama to put the interests of the Albanian citizens, Albanian democracy and Albania itself above personal interests, to renounce the boycott and to commit with all the potential of his political force to free and fair elections.
I would like to use this occasion to say that standards could never be achieved through boycott, and you cannot contribute to standards by violating the Constitution and the laws of a country, because observing them is at the foundation of any standards of free and fair elections. I invite the Socialist Party to work with us for the achievement of these standards and to leave their assessment to the election monitoring institutions.
Yesterday, Mr. Rama publicly declared that he has not asked for the extension of his mandate, that is he has not requested the postponement of the elections, as the media have reported tens and hundreds of times, but, according to him, such request has come form the international factors.
I would like to declare here, in front of the media and the Albanian citizens, with full responsibility that in all the meetings I have had during this year with officials from different countries, prime ministers, ministers, leaders of various European parties, including leaders of the Socialist International, leaders of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and parliaments of our friendly countries, ambassadors, diplomats, none of them, with no exception, has asked the postponement of the elections and the unconstitutional extension of mandates, but on the contrary have clearly demanded respect for the Constitution concerning office terms and elections date.
I would like to stress once again that the Democratic Party enters these elections with lists compiled in two thirds of the country and 90 per cent of the capital city by socialist local government authorities, with certificates issued in 90 per cent of Tirana and two thirds of the country by officials of local government institutions that are run by socialists and with a date that the Democratic Party has not chosen but which was decreed by the President of the Republic.
The Democratic Party reassures you that it is willing to vote in Parliament, with expedited procedures, all the amendments linked to the August Agreement and to become effective upon their approval. The DP also commits to a free, fair and constructive electoral campaign.
On 1 December 2006, enters into force the Interim Agreement between Albania and the EU – Article by the Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn
Today, on December 1st, an Interim Agreement, which will allow Albania and the EU to start benefiting from increased trade with each other, enters into force. From now on Albania will benefit from practically unlimited duty-free access to the EU market.
The agreement is "interim" because it will only be in place until the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Albania and the EU is ratified in all EU member states and enters into force. I expect that to be done by 2008. Both the SAA and its Interim Agreement have the potential to be of great benefit both to the EU and to Albania.
The signature of the SAA a few months ago is an important milestone on Albania's path towards the EU. It is also a significant step for the EU itself, through which we are confirming and deepening our contractual relations with Albania.
The signature was made possible by Albania's progress in pushing forward reform and in demonstrating that it can make its democratic institutions work. Albania's achievement demonstrates a core principle of the EU integration process – if countries focus their efforts on reform, they can move forward towards the EU. There is no automatic scheme, the pace by which a country moves towards joining the Union depends on own merits and its capacity in implementing political and economic reforms.
The SAA marks the beginning of a new phase in the EU's relations with Albania. It provides a mutually agreed framework for the EU and Albania to work together in a wide range of fields, and it sets up structures through which we can jointly monitor progress.
Implementing the SAA will be a challenging task for Albania, as it is for any country with such an agreement. The agreement creates significant obligations in terms of trade, rule of law, human rights, democratic standards, regional co-operation and new legislation.
But first and foremost the SAA represents an important economic and political opportunity. Trade liberalisation should bring significant economic benefits to Albania but also to the EU. Bringing Albanian laws into line with those of the EU will bring Albania closer to European standards and help further strengthen the ties between us. A good track record in implementing the SAA (the interim period counts as well) is also a prerequisite for the next step in the EU integration process, which in Albania's case would be to achieve "candidate status". The European Commission will do its utmost to ensure that the full benefit of the SAA and its interim agreement is achieved. Of course I expect no less from our Albanian partners.
Member of the European Commission
responsible for EU enlargement
- - -
Tirana, 12 December 2006
On the 15th meeting of the Consultative Task Force and the 9th meeting of the Joint Committee between the EU and Albania
The 15th meeting of the Consultative Task Force and the 9th meeting of the Joint Committee between the EU and Albania were held on 11 and 12 December. These meetings allowed the Commission and the Albanian authorities to engage in fruitful discussion on issues including election preparations and reform in the fields of rule of law, fiscal policy, infrastructure, environment, agriculture and fisheries. The talks focused in particular on Albania's obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).
The EU Presidency and the Commission welcomed the entry into force of the Interim Agreement on 1 December. The Interim Agreement and the SAA provide a comprehensive framework for the further development of EU-Albania relations.
The Commission underlined that respect for democratic principles is a fundamental tenet of the SAA. All Albania’s political leaders bear a responsibility to its citizens for the conduct of the local elections. Political leaders should not expect the international community to arbitrate among them. All twenty-five EU foreign ministers met yesterday in Brussels. They stressed that the government and the opposition need to work together constructively to ensure the free and fair conduct of the local elections.
The Albanian authorities agreed with the Commission that strengthening the rule of law is a key underlying factor for Albania’s further development. The Commission welcomed Albania's progress in fighting corruption and organised crime and encouraged Albania to sustain its efforts. It called on Albania in particular to further pursue judicial reform, to adopt further systemic measures to fight corruption, and to strengthen its efforts to fight money laundering and to protect witnesses.
The Commission welcomed Albania's ratification of the Energy Community Treaty and signature of the European Common Aviation Area Agreement and encouraged Albania to continue to progress in implementing these agreements. The Commission welcomed the positive trend on collection of customs revenue and Albania's efforts to strengthen customs capacity and structures to promote export and investment. It encouraged Albania to make further progress in the areas of privatisation, addressing the grey economy, land registration and restitution, and veterinary and sanitary issues. The Commission assured Albania that it will continue to play its part under the agreements signed with Albania and more broadly through the Stabilisation and Association process. Minister Trashani assured the Commission that Albania will continue to show determination in fulfilling the commitments it has undertaken.
The Albanian delegation to the meetings was led by Minister of European Integration Mrs Trashani. The EU delegation was led by Ambassador Hans-Peter Annen, Ambassador of Germany to Albania, representing the EU Presidency, and Mr Dirk Lange, Head of Unit for Albania at the European Commission.
TIRANA, December 5, 2006 – The World Bank is launching the next phase of external consultations on its enhanced Governance and Anti-Corruption (GAC) Strategy, which was discussed by the Development Committee – the Bank’s policy-setting panel – at the recent Annual Meetings in Singapore. The consultations, based on the Development Committee paper and a new work plan, will take place over the coming months, and the findings will be reflected in a progress report to be sent to the Bank’s Board before the Spring Meetings in 2007.
Consultations on the World Bank’s Enhanced GAC will take place during December in Albania. Key stakeholders—among them government, members of the parliament, the private sector, civil society organizations, and donors—will be asked to review and provide feedback on the Development Committee paper. Feedback from the consultations will lead to revised guidelines for World Bank staff.
The consultations will help guide the Bank in implementing the new GAC approach, which is centered on a greater awareness of these issues in the Bank’s lending and advisory work with member countries. The Bank has already produced a number of Country Assistance Strategies that have focused on governance and anticorruption issues (e.g., Albania, Bangladesh and Indonesia) and such an approach is expected to be applied in more CASs, where appropriate, under the new plan.
Innovative approaches in addressing corruption and weak governance that have proved to be successful in some countries will help guide World Bank teams as they help countries to develop capable and accountable states that deliver services to the poor, promote growth led by the private sector, and tackle corruption effectively.
A draft work plan for the implementation of the GAC strategy has been prepared and was endorsed by the Board of Executive Directors on 9th November 2006. The Bank’s senior management is promoting full understanding of the governance and anticorruption work plan, to ensure that subsequent consultations with external groups are well-informed and effective. This period of consultations is expected to continue into 2007, and the Bank will seek guidance and opinion from key external stakeholders throughout the process of refining the implementation of the GAC plan.
New York, Dec 14, 2006 – President of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said last night in New York that only compromise is a solution which is in the interest of peace and long term stability and which should be reached through agreement between the Serbian and Albanian negotiating sides.
In her address to the UN Security Council Raskovic-Ivic warned that the province and the entire region will pay too high a price for any haste in reaching a solution.
We are firm in our conviction that there is a way out of the situation in which we all find ourselves today, stressed Raskovic-Ivic, and added that a stable solution can be based only on avoiding extreme demands and accepting a regional approach and compromise.
According to Raskovic-Ivic, in practice that means autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija with authority which not a single country in Europe or the world has yet provided to any region on their territory.
She pointed to the fact that the strategy of the Albanian side comes down to not participating in negotiations and Kosovo Albanians are calmly waiting to be presented with another Albanian state on the internationally recognised territory of Serbia.
Belgrade, the Serbian government and particularly indigenous Serbs in Kosovo, wish to reach a long term agreement with Albanians on coexistence, a joint life in a modern, democratic and decentralised state, said Raskovic-Ivic.
The international community should give support to and actively show that they want a stable and safe region, and that can be achieved only by establishing the rule of law, punishing crime and creating conditions for security and a normal life, she said.
Raskovi-Ivic stressed that Serbia, in resolving the Kosovo issue, with full confidence expects crucial contribution by the Security Council in the spirit of previous documents adopted by it, above all the Resolution 1244 which unequivocally confirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
She pointed to the fact that it is perfectly clear that only a systematic, responsible and gradual process of negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija can lead to a viable long term solution.
According to Raskovic-Ivic, Serbia proposes immediate resumption of negotiations in Vienna on finding a model for widest possible autonomy for ethnic-Albanians in Kosovo-Metohija, with the participation of the EU.
At the same time, she pointed out that the security situation in the province is catastrophic. She presented the fact that 75 ethnically motivated attacks took place from August 15 to December 1, 2006, in which 23 Serbs were wounded, and many involved in these attacks have still not been identified.
Raskovic-Ivic said that in 2005 by October 24, 260 inter-ethnic incidents were recorded, whose victims were solely Serbs, and since 1999 it has been impossible for 250,000 people to return to Kosovo-Metohija.
Speaking on the subject of Serbian religious and cultural heritage and religious freedom, she stressed that although Albanians declare that they support their protection, in practice they defile and rob Serbian holy shrines.
She warned that despite the presence of representatives of the international community, police and military, trade in drugs and weapons and smuggling channels of criminal and terrorist networks are thriving in Kosovo-Metohija.
Brussels, Dec 14, 2006 – Serbian President Boris Tadic, who was authorised by the Serbian government, signed today in NATO’s headquarters in Brussels a framework agreement enabling Serbia to become a full member of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, which makes Serbia 23rd member of this programme.
Tadic signed the document in a meeting of the North Atlantic Council presided over by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
European integration as Serbia’s strategic priority
Belgrade, Dec 13, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stressed today in a meeting with ambassadors of EU countries in Serbia that European integration is Serbia’s strategic priority and stressed the importance of continuing negotiations as well as necessity of partner relations between Serbia and the EU.
In the meeting which was also attended by head of the European Commission Delegation to Serbia Josep Lloveras, Kostunica stressed that Serbia has made big progress in reforms and noted that the Serbian government passed a National Strategy for EU Integration, which is the basis for implementation of reforms.
He recalled that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) proclaimed Serbia leader in economic growth in 2006 in Southeast Europe and that a recent EU report also saw significant progress and particularly large growth of investment in Serbia.
Kostunica stressed that Serbia strongly supports the respect of international law, whose fundamental principle is to maintain stability and territorial integrity of states, and also added that Serbia is ready to provide essential autonomy for Kosovo-Metohija being part of Serbia.
He reiterated that the Kosovo-Metohija problem must be solved with a compromise by both sides and stressed that any imposed solution is unacceptable as it could cause serious consequences not only in the region but also outside the region.
The Prime Minister said that the new Serbian Constitution, which was confirmed by a majority vote in the referendum, is clear in its preamble defining Kosovo-Metohija as integral part of Serbia.
Information on 'signing of agreement between Serbia and Russia' adopted
Belgrade, Dec 14, 2006 - The Serbian government has adopted at its session today the Information on preparations for the signing of an agreement between the Serbian and the Russian governments on the regulation of liabilities of the former Soviet Union related to trade exchange between the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.
Accession negotiations on eight chapters relevant to Turkey’s restrictions as regards the Republic of Cyprus will be put on hold, EU Foreign Ministers decided at their Council meeting in Brussels on 11 December. The frozen chapters include policies such as free movement of goods, customs union and transport. Other chapters for which technical preparations have been completed will be opened in accordance with established procedures.
“All in all, there will be no Turkey summit on Thursday and Friday”, said Finnish Foreign Minister and Council President Erkki Tuomioja, referring to the upcoming summit of EU leaders at the end of the week. “Nobody questioned the possibility of Turkey joining the EU once it meets all the criteria.”
The remaining chapters on the accession agenda - 35 in total - will not be closed until Turkey has fulfilled its commitments related to the additional protocol to the EU-Turkey association agreement, which requires the extension of the EU-Turkey customs union to the ten new Member States, including Cyprus.
The Presidency, in a statement, expressed its support for UN efforts towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue.
Council press release (pdf) (page 8): http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/gena/92122.pdf
Presidency press release: http://www.eu2006.fi/news_and_documents/other_documents/vko50/en_GB/1165866274490/
EU Presidency statement on Cyprus issue (pdf): http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/misc/92125.pdf
Commission website: key documents on Turkey: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/turkey/key_documents_en.htm
Webcast of press conference: http://ceuweb.belbone.be/archivevideo.php?sessionno=521&lang=EN
President George W. Bush listens to a reporter’s question following his meeting on Iraq with U.S military leaders at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006, joined by from left, Vice President Dick Cheney; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, right. White House photo by Eric Draper
President Bush Meets with Senior U.S. Defense Officials on Iraq
2:45 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: I've just concluded a very productive meeting with the Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Pete Pace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice President. I thank these men who wear our uniform for a very candid and fruitful discussion about the -- about how to secure this country, and how to win a war that we now find ourselves in.
We spent a lot of time talking about a new way forward in Iraq, to help the Iraqi government confront and defeat the enemies of a free Iraq. We all agree it's in our nation's interest that we help this government succeed. We recognize there are enemies that would like to topple this young democracy so they could have safe haven from which to plot and plan attacks against moderate nations in the Middle East, as well as attacks against the United States. It's in our interest that we help this government succeed.
There has been a lot of violence in Iraq. And the violence has been horrific. Scores of innocent men, women, and children are being brutally killed by ruthless murderers. Our troops are engaged in offensive operations, and we mourn the loss of life. We are saddened by the loss of every single life amongst our servicemen and women. Our folks are very active in al Anbar and in Baghdad, which is where the enemy is concentrated.
Our commanders report that the enemy has also suffered. Offensive operations by Iraqi and coalition forces against terrorists and insurgents and death squad leaders have yielded positive results. In the months of October, November, and the first week of December, we have killed or captured nearly 5,900 of the enemy.
While the enemy is far from being defeated, there should be no doubt in anybody's mind that every day and night, the Iraqi government and our brave men and women of the Armed Forces are taking the fight to the enemy; that in spite of the fact that I am conducting a strategic review of the best way forward in Iraq, there are a lot of operations taking place, day and night.
Yesterday, the Secretary and the Vice President and General Pace and I were on the SVTS with General Casey, and he's talking about the hard work our troops and Iraqi troops are doing to defeat these enemies.
I do want to say something to those who wear our uniform. The men and women in uniform are always on my mind. I am proud of them. I appreciate their sacrifices. And I want them to know that I am focused on developing a strategy that will help them achieve their mission. Oh, I know there's a lot of debate here at home, and our troops pay attention to that debate. They hear that I am meeting with the Pentagon or the State Department or outside officials, that my National Security team and I are working closely with Iraqi leaders, and they wonder what that means. Well, I'll tell you what it means. It means I am listening to a lot of advice to develop a strategy to help you succeed.
There's a lot of consultations taking place, and as I announced yesterday, I will be delivering my -- my plans, after a long deliberation, after steady deliberation. I'm not going to be rushed into making a difficult decision, a necessary decision, to say to our troops, we're going to give you the tools necessary to succeed and a strategy to help you succeed. I also want the new Secretary of Defense to have time to evaluate the situation, so he can provide serious and deliberate advice to me.
I do want our troops to understand this, though: that this government and this group of military leaders are committed to a strategic goal of a free Iraq that is democratic, that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself, and be a strong ally in this war against radicals and extremists who would do us harm; secondly, that our troops deserve the solid commitment of the Commander-in-Chief and our political leaders and the American people.
You have my unshakable commitment in this important fight to help secure the peace for the long-term. I pledge to work with the new Congress to forge greater bipartisan consensus to help you achieve your mission. I will continue to speak about your bravery and your commitment and the sacrifices of your families to the American people. We're not going to give up. The stakes are too high and the consequences too grave to turn Iraq over to extremists who want to do the American people and the Iraqi people harm.
I thank you for your service. I'm proud to be your Commander-in-Chief. We'll honor the sacrifices you are making by making sure your children and grandchildren can grow up in a more peaceful world.
I'll take a couple of questions. AP man.
Q Mr. President, thank you. You've been gathering advice, as you said, from leaders here and from leaders in Iraq. As you've gone through that extensive process, have you heard any new ideas at all, anything that would change your thinking?
THE PRESIDENT: I've heard some ideas that would lead to defeat, and I reject those ideas -- ideas such as leaving before the job is done; ideas such as not helping this government take the necessary and hard steps to be able to do its job.
I've heard interesting ideas. I won't share them with you because I want to make sure I continue to collect those ideas and put them together in a strategy that our military and the commanders and our national security team understands will lead to an Iraq that can govern and sustain and defend itself.
I put off my speech -- actually, I was quite flexible about when I was going to give my speech, to begin with -- and one of the main reasons why is I really do want the new Secretary of Defense to have time to get to know people and hear people and be a part of this deliberation. And he will not be sworn in until next Monday. I also -- one of the interesting things about this experience is that there's a lot of ideas and a lot of opinions. And I want to make sure I hear from as many of those ideas and opinions as possible.
Today I heard from some opinions that matter a lot to me, and these are the opinions of those who wear the uniform. These generals have spent a lot of time thinking about this issue. There's nobody who cares more about our troops than they do, and nobody who wants us to achieve more -- than to achieve our objectives than they do. And it was a fascinating discussion we had. These are smart people and capable people, and people whose judgment I listen to. And at the appropriate time, I will stand up in front of the nation and say here's where we're headed.
But one thing people got to understand is we'll be headed toward achieving our objectives. And I repeat, if we lose our nerve, if we're not steadfast in our determination to help the Iraqi government succeed, we will be handing Iraq over to an enemy that would do us harm, the consequences of which -- of leaving Iraq before the job is done, for example, would be grave for the American citizens.
As we learned on September the 11th, the enemy has got the capacity to strike us. And there's no doubt in my mind a failure in Iraq would make it more likely the enemy would strike us. It would certainly make it more likely that moderate people around the Middle East would wonder about the United States' will. Moderate people -- moderate governments in the Middle East would be making irrational decisions about their future. It would be a disaster for governments that have got energy resources to be in the hands of these extremists. They would use energy to extract blackmail from the United States. And when you couple all that with a regime that is -- doesn't like the United States having a nuclear weapon, you can imagine a world of turmoil. And we're not going to let it happen.
Q Thank you, sir. You said you would reject plans that would lead to defeat. Would you put the Baker-Hamilton report in that category?
THE PRESIDENT: No, my opinion of Baker-Hamilton hasn't changed. One, I appreciated their look. Secondly, I thought it was interesting that both Democrats and Republicans could actually work in concert to help achieve an objective. And the objective they stated that was necessary in their report was a government that could defend itself, govern itself, sustain itself, and serve as an ally in the war on terror. I thought there were some good ideas in there. And I -- as I told both Baker and Hamilton and the American people after I received the report, I take every one of their considerations seriously.
Q As you give the new Defense Secretary time to get more in the mix, what is the strategy that you're looking to build? Is it a military strategy for success in Iraq, or a political one?
THE PRESIDENT: I think that our military cannot do this job alone. Our military needs a political strategy that is effective. And that includes things such an oil law passed by the Iraqis that basically says to the people, all of you, regardless of where you live or your religion, get to share in the bounty of our nation. It requires a reconciliation effort, including a rational de-Baathification law.
Q That's not something you can do with your new strategy, is it?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, I can do that with my strategy. I mean, it is -- I can hold people to account. It's something the military recognizes that they're not -- that's not their job, it's my job to convince the Maliki government to make the hard decisions necessary to move his country forward.
But the good news is, he agrees. In my conversations with him, I have said, are you going to promote a unity government, or will you be so divisive in your approach that you can't achieve the objectives that the Iraqi people expect you to achieve? How do I know they expect to achieve? They voted; 12 million of them actually went to the polls and expressed their opinions.
And so there needs to be a political track. And we're working very hard with the Maliki government to achieve that political track. That's what I've been doing the last couple of days. As a matter of fact, today on the telephone I spoke to the two Kurdish leaders. These men have been outspoken about the desire to have a moderate governing coalition, which we support. I met with the major Sunni leader yesterday, all talking about how we hope that there is political reconciliation and a commitment to a political process that says to the Iraqi people, you count; you matter for the future of our country.
There needs to be an economic component. As you know, part of our successful strategies in parts of Iraq have been based upon "clear, hold and build." Well, "build" means getting projects up and running in key parts of the country, so that people see the benefits of either working with coalition forces, and/or the benefits of supporting a government. And so this is much more than a military operation.
And finally, there's the foreign policy piece that's necessary. And we spend a lot of time in our government talking to people like Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, or Jordan, or Turkey, and sending messages, clear messages, to countries like Syria and Iran. And I believe, for example, the Saudis are committed to a government that will bring peace and stability, and that's a unity government. It's in their interest they do so. And we're working hard with them to figure out a strategy to help the Maliki government succeed.
I'm pleased when Iraqi leaders go to Saudi Arabia and talk to my friend, the King of Saudi Arabia, and talk about how they can work together to achieve stability. It's in Saudi's interest, it's in Jordan's interest, it's in the Gulf Coast countries' interest that there be a stable Iran [sic], an Iran [sic] that is capable of rejecting Iranian influence -- I mean, Iraq that is capable of rejecting Iranian influence. It's in our interests that we succeed in Iraq so that we can continue to send a clear message to those in Iran that are desirous of a free society that freedom is possible in your neighborhood.
And so the stakes are high in this fight. Nobody knows that better than the gentlemen standing behind me. They clearly understand the stakes that are confronted -- that confront this nation. And I am proud to have listened to their points of view. And I'm proud to be working with them, as they help lead the greatest military ever assembled -- a military, by the way, in which we've got brave volunteers, people who understand the stakes of this fight, saying, I want to be in, I want to serve my country.
It's a remarkable period in American history right now. And as I deliberate the way forward, I keep in mind that we've got brave souls that need -- to need to know that we're in this fight with a strategy to help them achieve the objectives that we've got.
Listen, thank you all very much.
END 3:02 P.M. EST
President George W. Bush announces his nomination of Gen. Michael V. Hayden as the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Monday, May 8, 2006, in the Oval Office as Ambassador John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, looks on. Said the President of Gen. Hayden: 'He's the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation's history.' White House photo by Paul Morse [Klip fra: »Sidste Nyt fra Albanien, Kosóva og Makedonien« # 302, 12.05.2006]
TRANSCRIPT OF GENERAL HAYDEN'S INTERVIEW WITH WTOP's J.J. GREEN 22 NOVEMBER 2006
General Hayden was interviewed by WTOP Radio's J.J. Green November 22. WTOP aired portions of the interview this week. The following comprises the full transcript of the interview.
Green: General, thank you for the opportunity to do this. It has been something that I had been hoping to do for a very long time, considering your profile in the national security community, for at least the last year or so. So I am really happy that this has come to fruition. You have been on the job for six months now. What are your top priorities?
General Hayden: Well, there are a variety of things. One certainly had to do with the [Central Intelligence] Agency itself, and perhaps a bit with its confidence and with its spirit. It was to allow the Agency to focus on its work. I said during my confirmation hearing that I wanted to get the Agency out of the news as either source or subject, to allow it to focus on the things the nation needed it to be doing. And in fact I think we have been successful at that. We spend a lot of energy -- myself and other members of the leadership team -- just focusing on mission, just getting things done.
Green: What are those things that need to be focused on to get done?
General Hayden: A variety of things -- two primary ones. Number one, we are the nation's premier human intelligence agency. We collect intelligence from human sources. So that absolutely has to be one focus. The other one, another Agency mission, is to be the premier all-source analytic agency. So those are the two primary ones. Look at the other things we do -- science, technology, support, and so on. It's all in direct support of those two functions. Collection of intelligence from human beings, and the analysis of all-source intelligence. National intelligence to national consumers. Those are the two things we need to focus on. That's where we try to put all of our effort.
Green: How would you assess how it's going at this point?
General Hayden: I'm pleased, but this is a business in which you can always do better. And any time you have an advantage, it's always transient. So you just have to keep working all the time. But to give you a sense in both areas: In terms of the collection of intelligence, there has been a great deal of emphasis for us to use non-traditional methods, for us that means non-traditional platforms -- what folks call "out of embassy" platforms -- and we're progressing along those lines. With regard to analysis, it's real simple; it's just "getting it right" more often. Now people have to understand. This isn't a mathematical problem in which there is a known solution, you just have to work your way toward it. This is far more "art," in terms of analysis, than it is pure abstract science. So people have to understand that even at the top of our game, there still is some ambiguity in what it is we analyze and what it is we project. Our job is to be as crisp as we can in our judgments, and as clear as we can in where the ambiguity might lie, so that policymakers know what level of confidence to put in the information we provide them.
Green: General, one of the biggest issues that some policymakers, and some people, have projected when it comes to the CIA, is the murky, dark, and kind of mystical manner in which the CIA and the Intelligence Community functions. But that, by nature, is how it has to be, I assume. But, if you can, demystify, just a bit for us, what your goal is, as the nation's premier intelligence agency.
General Hayden: Sure. But first of all, I'll comment on your characterization. You're right. We are a secret intelligence service inside a free and open society. So that sets up natural contradictions. By the way, those aren't contradictions we want to back away from. They constitute our state of nature, and we just have to live within that larger political context. Now, in terms of what it is we provide, we keep the nation safe and we keep the nation free. We keep it free by keeping it safe, obviously, some other state or body or organization doesn't impose its will on us, that's how safety leads to freedom. But in addition, we have to be very careful that in keeping the nation safe, in keeping the nation secure, we use methods that do not, in and of themselves, impinge on American freedoms. These are challenges. There have been issues raised in the last several years particularly with regard to some of the things we are doing in the global war on terrorism. But that is the objective. That takes the mystery out. That opens the curtain. Security of the nation while preserving the nation's liberties.
Green: As you mentioned, some of the things that you have done over the last few years, certainly since 9/11, have raised some eyebrows. One of the questions I would like to throw out there for you at this point: It has been both a productive and a tough year for CIA, with major gains in the war on terror but several key programs have been outed, one way or another. And I'm wondering how that has affected your ability to get your job done. How would you assess the damage as it stacks up against the gains that you have made?
General Hayden: I don't want to use the word "conflict," but there are values here. I mean to emphasize that. These are values that sometimes bump up against one another. The nation survives on a free press. The nation also survives on its intelligence services being successful. And so you have these things hitting against one another. As I've said to some people in your profession, we each have our role to play in terms of the safety of the republic. Now, in doing that, some things that we would prefer not be in the public domain get in the public domain. I have to tell you as the director of an intelligence agency, that is costly, that is upsetting. There are times when things are irresponsibly revealed, and when that takes place, our ability to protect both the security and the freedom of the nation, is reduced. Now there have been stories out there -- and you can just imagine the circumstance it puts an agency like CIA in -- when a story is put into the public domain, with distortions, or half-truths, or incompleteness, and so on. One of the things we can't do is set the record straight. We can't go out there and say, "Well, you got this part wrong." And so an agency like this [CIA], when a story is pushed into the public domain with an agenda on it, when a story is pushed into the public domain in an unfair, irresponsible way, there is almost nothing this agency can do to set the record straight without making the situation worse. And that's a difficult challenge for us.
Green: Programs like the Terrorist Surveillance Program, I believe that is the way you refer to it, is that correct?
General Hayden: That's right. But bear in mind, while you are asking me that question, it had more to do with me as Director of NSA than it does with me as Director of CIA. But you are right. It is those kinds of things. The one that has become fairly public recently is the CIA detention and interrogation program. Now some of that was the result of unauthorized disclosures. Some of it was the direct result of a decision made at the highest levels of this government to bring some of these individuals to justice, and that is what happened with the President's speech on September 6th, when he announced that those 14 members of Al-Qaida were brought to Guantanamo to face justice in front of military commissions. Clearly, when the decision was made to do that, some aspects of the program would have to be revealed, would have to be confirmed, and that is indeed what happened. But it is clear to us, though, that the imperative to bring these people to justice trumped some of the other considerations. Believe me, that's not always the case, when secret intelligence activities are made public.
Green: Admiral Scott Redd, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told me about a year ago, in answer to the question, "How was the war on terror going?", he said there are some things that maybe 30 or 40 years down the road that will be released or talked about that will be very heartening to people, as they look back on the war on terror and where we are now. Do you believe that these programs, specifically the ones that relate to CIA -- being outed, being leaked or talked about -- have put at risk the lives of CIA assets, human assets, and other relationships? And is that damage, if there is any, reparable?
General Hayden: It's a difficult question. The answer to your question is yes. I'm not going to sit here, certainly in an open environment, and draw cause and effect relationships between this story and these activities. It's just not possible for me to do that. But I can say, as a matter of first principle, that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information has actually led to the deaths of individuals who would not otherwise have been subjected to that, had this information not been inappropriately put into the public domain. More broadly, the discussions of many of these activities publicly -- and look, J.J., I'm the Director of CIA but I'm also a citizen and I understand the nature of our republic and the nature of a free press, and a free press has a great deal of power and appropriately so -- but that, then, imposes on the press a tremendous amount of responsibility. That they must take great care when they have information that can cause harm to the nation's security activities. They really have to weigh that carefully. And I've said this both privately and publicly in the last year or two: I'm not convinced at all times that that care has been taken.
Green: As a result of that care not being taken, the Agency has come under fire from some of the United States' key allies -- this year Italy, the Swiss, and Germany are all conducting investigations of what they call allegations of wrongdoing by the Agency. How would you assess the Agency's partnerships with foreign intelligence agencies? Have they been damaged by these developments, stories, leaks, etc.? How would you assess your current standing at this point?
General Hayden: That's a great question. Obviously, I can't draw a cause and effect between revelations and what may have happened. I can say, as a matter of principle, though, very clearly, that our inability as a nation to keep secrets harms our ability to cooperate with other intelligence agencies around the world. Clearly, much of the activity that we do is sensitive. And if an ally believes--fears--that we can't keep such activities private, then that ally is going to be much more reluctant to deal with us on these most sensitive matters. That is a real cost to our intelligence relationships with what we call liaison partners. That said, this Agency has worked very hard to strengthen relationships with the intelligence services of like-minded nations. In my first two months on the job, I must have contacted about three dozen of my counterparts around the world by phone -- introduced myself to them, these are people who have cooperated with us in one way or another over the years. I introduced myself to them personally, told them to feel free to call me at any time when there were problems or concerns, or areas of mutural interest, that we needed to discuss. So we've worked very hard on partnering with like-minded and like-valued nations.
Green: And General, I imagine that throughout your career, which has gone some 25-30 years, I suppose, you have made acquaintances with people in different positions, and, as time has passed, you have maintained those relationships. People who may actually be in foreign governments, obviously. Is that the case, and is that helpful? Have you found it to be helpful at any point since you've been in this position?
General Hayden: It is beyond helpful. Many times, it is essential. To be able to pick up a phone and track down a counterpart in another country, and know, going in from the first word of the conversation, that it's a personal conversation, that you are dealing with someone in whom you have confidence and someone who has confidence in you, it really is priceless. There was one instance in a previous job, where I actually had to call the head of a foreign service, get him out of a family wedding that was going on, on a Saturday afternoon in his country -- I knew him, I knew his wife, and the first thing I said to him was, using his wife's name, "Please tell her I'm sorry, but I have to talk to you." ((laughter)) It's absolutely essential. Look, there are a lot of good people out there. I used the phrase a few minutes ago, "like-minded and like-valued nations." There are a lot of nations out there who are friends to this country and friendly to this country's values. And we would be foolish not to establish relationships with these kinds of people since our interests and our concerns are almost coincident.
Green: What about other countries, though, the ones that aren't friendly...obviously are not sworn enemies, but those that may not be committed. Do you have a process or protocol under way to try to improve relations with countries that may be borderline or may be "out there," that you would like to improve relations with?
General Hayden: Hard to get into specifics, so I won't. Clearly, any relationship we have has to be consistent with broader U.S. policy with the other nation. That said, there are times when it is quite possible and quite appropriate for us to maintain robust intelligence relationships even while we are having what I could describe as very severe policy differences with that same nation. That is quite common.
Green: General, moving on to another area. Among us who cover the war on terror regularly, there are a couple of names that always seem to float to the top, and there is always a bunch of speculation going on about what's going on with these people. A number of intelligence analysts, this is out in the private sector, have said since we have heard nothing from Osama bin Laden for a very long time, and no responses from Ayman al-Zawahiri in over a month, since a Pakistani air strike, that they are dead. What do you think of this hypothesis, and is that us just speculating....I mean the media, doing what we do best, or doing the only thing we can do because of the lack of information?
General Hayden: Uh-huh. ((laughter)) I have no reason to believe that these people are not alive. That is the best I can do in an open environment, J.J., that I have no reason to believe they are not still alive, and willing us harm and working to hurt the people and values of the United States.
Green: One of the things that has come up about their strategies and tactics is that you can never pinpoint what these guys are up to. Give me your sense of how to approach the war on terror against Al-Qaida. Give me how you view of what it is that they are trying to get accomplished now, because they have had to make some significant changes since 9/11 in their operating process, because their backs have been pushed against the wall, many of their key leaders have either been captured or are dead. So give me your sense of how you think they are operating now.
General Hayden: OK. It is going to be a bit of a long answer and I'm going to do it on two tracks, but both tracks will be united by one underlying theme, and that is that their time horizon is very, very long. With that as a backdrop, the first track: The organization that attacked us more than five years ago has been badly crippled if not dismantled by American action since then. We use numbers like 60 percent or 65 percent of the Al-Qaida leadership in 2001 has been killed or captured. What has happened though, is that it has been a very adaptive enemy -- adaptive in several ways. The first, and the President made this clear in a series of speeches about a year ago, you have Al-Qaida as an organization; then you have Al-Qaida and organizations that are affiliated with it, Jamiat Islamiyah in Southeast Asia, for example, Al-Qaida in Iraq is another organization that is affiliated with Al-Qaida, and there you see the connective tissue between AQ and AQ-affiliated, in terms of funds, personnel, materiel, guidance, and so on; the third layer is not Al-Qaida, and not Al Qaida affiliated, but Al Qaida inspired. And that is what you are seeing, I think, for example -- and again, the jury is still out and we are still trying to learn details with this -- but a lot of the activity in Great Britain that you have seen over the past two years, from the 7 July bombings in the subway system there to last August's activity with regard to trans-Atlantic airliners -- some of that, at least some of that, is Al Qaida-inspired. So that is one track, the enemy adapting.
The other track I would like to talk to you about is that we, in our response to that, have been quite good in what I'll call the tactical -- the killing and capturing. In fact, we have been remarkably successful, and that may be one of the things that Admiral Redd, the head of NCTC, was talking to you about when he said, "When the history of this is written, you're going to see a lot of things that will make you feel good about what the American security establishment has accomplished over the last five yearrs." At the tactical level, at the operational level, there is a lot of good news.
But fundamentally, this won't be won at the tactical level. At the strategic level, where the actions will be decisive, this is fundamentally a war of ideas. And at that level, we still have work to do in terms of marshaling our nation's resources to fight this war at that level as well. So beyond the killing and capturing, beyond the disrupting organizations, beyond the breaking up of cells, the real achievement will be, again, in winning the war of ideas. That people no longer see as legitimate the kinds of activities that we saw on September 11th, 2001 in our own country. That people no longer see as legitimate the kind of car bombings against innocents in marketplaces in Iraq . Pick your location. Morocco . Madrid . Istanbul . London . That people, again, don't see that as a legitimate way of social or pollitical change. That is going to take a great deal of time, and we are going to have to marshal the resources of our nation to do that -- not unlike the way we did it in the Cold War. If you look at the Cold War, and that half-century conflict, it too was fundamentally a conflict of ideas. And fundamentally, it was ideas that led to the defeat of our enemy during that war. Same same here. But there are additional challenges. We're a Western nation. The ideas we're talking about are happening inside one of the world's great religions. The tools we have to effect that debate are distant and limited, and our right to comment on that probably has limited legitimacy. In that case, though, we do have friends and allies who enjoyed different historic and religious traditions than we do, and it going to be very important for them to step up in this war of ideas, and to say to the people who would choose violence, that there are alternative paths.
Green: General, looking at the ideas that you are talking about, and the process of moving people beyond -- the not so current thinking now but the thinking that certainly was in place on 9/11 in the minds of many who committed these atrocities and many of those who are working with Al-Qaida's affiliates and inspired organizations and many of their sympathizers and supporters, and moving people beyond that kind of thinking. Clearly, it takes more than just guns. It takes more than just force or military might. It takes thinking people. The CIA no doubt has those people within its ranks. So am I hearing you say that the CIA is thinking about how to do this in the future, as time passes, how to win those hearts and minds? How to participate in this thinking game with people, to move people's thinking away from where the terrorists want them, to a place where it can better benefit mankind? Is that what I'm hearing you say?
General Hayden: That is exactly what you are hearing me say. And that is the great challenge we have. For much of the life of this Agency, a great deal of expertise was put into understanding communism and looking at the military readiness rates in Group Soviet Forces-Germany, or the deployment rate of SS-18 interncontinental ballistic missiles. All of that is fairly familiar to us, even communism is a Western philosophy, developed in Germany and in England . Now, we are being asked to master and understand cultures and belief systems -- as rich as we are as an immigrant nation, as rich as we are in terms of welcoming a variety of views and cultures into the American mainstream -- despite that richness, we are being asked to look into societies and cultures that are largely not our own, and to understand them to a great level of detail, to a high level of perception. That is very challenging. And frankly, that is what this Agency has to do. I said before, it is the nation's premier analytic agency for national customers, for our highest ranking policymakers. And so what we have to offer them is not information or data -- deployment rates to the readiness rates of a Soviet tank army in Germany -- but wisdom....understanding....of these kinds of trends and movements. That's a tall order, and that's what we're about.
Green: We're talking with General Michael Hayden, he's the Director of the Central Agency, and we'll have more in just a moment. When we come back, we'll discuss more about his views, the goals of the Agency, and the challenges.
General, you talked to us so far about a number of things that have taken place since you've been on the job -- the six months you have been on the job. But one thing I want to get to, because it clearly is going to determine how your next six months go, and that is Robert Gates. You've known him for a while. What kind of relationship do you have with him, and what do you look forward to, what can we look forward to, between the two of you, working-wise, assuming that he is confirmed by Congress? What can we look forward to, from him and you?
General Hayden: You are right in saying that Bob Gates has been a friend. He was the deputy national security adviser to General Scowcroft, under the President Bush "41"Administration, and I was on the National Security Council staff at that time as a Lieutenant Colonel. And so I got to know Bob Gates at that point. We stayed in touch throughout the years. During the debate several years back on the Director of National Intelligence and the restructuring of the American Intelligence Community, as I was trying to identify truth, goodness, and beauty in my own mind with regard to a way ahead, I called him, I talked with him, he offered me advice. So we have stayed very much in contact. I very much look forward to working with him, as you correctly point out, assuming he is confirmed as Secretary of Defense. We talked in the last week, after his nomination was announced, and, again, assuming confirmation, I'm sure this will be a very good partnership.
Green: General, lots of challenges out there that can only be managed with all of the country's agencies and organizations being on the same page. And DOD and CIA have to work together, I'm assuming, very closely, on a number of elements as they relate to the war on terror. Is there a wish list, or any things on your mind as you view your priorities for the coming timeframe that you would like to see happen with reference to this relationship?
General Hayden: With the Department of Defense? I'm glad you asked, because let me try to set the backdrop for this before I answer your question specifically. There isa bit of an urban legend out there, that the distance between here and the Pentagon, which is about seven miles down the river, is the line of confrontation. That's simply not true. I actually talked about this during my own confirmation hearings, and some of the members of the Senate [Intelligence] Committee talked about -- what's the right word, I don't mean to misquote them, I'll paraphrase -- an expansion of defense activity in the intelligence realm and that sort of thing. I answered then, and I'll repeat it now: We are happy to have other players on the field. The Defense Department performing additional intelligence tasks is good news for America ; it brings more resources to a problem we have discussed as being very, very difficult. The only question, of course, is like any team, that the performance and activities of the new players are coordinated with the squad already out there on the field. And I have to tell you, that activity is coordinated. This is fundamentally a good news story. I am the national human intelligence manager; it comes with the job. I have the responsibility by law and policy to coordinate, deconflict, and evaluate all human intelligence activity in the US Government performed by any organ of the US Government, including the Department of Defense. We do that out here. I have a staff that does that for me. And conflicts are few and far between, and quickly resolved. And generally are caused by junior officers who don't have a clear understanding of some things. In essence, what I think you are going to see with Mr. Gates taking the Department of Defense, is reinforcing the success that we've had under Secretary Rumsfeld, and frankly, with Under Secretary for Intelligence Steve Cambone.
Green: General, what bothers you the most about your job? What bothers you the most about what you are faced with, what you have to do because...and I'm sure you know this, people view you as a guy who gets things done, a guy who is able to manage things and make things look a little easier than they actually are. What bothers you about your job? What bothers you about what you have to do, and what you have to work with to get it done, or what you face?
General Hayden: A couple of things, one personal and one, more kind of institutional. The personal one is that every morning I get in the car at about 6:45 a.m., and I'm handed my morning read book, which comprises elements of the President's brief plus a whole bunch of other cable traffic. It takes me about an hour, an hour and 10 minutes to get through it. I read it on my way out here to Headquarters, usually finish a little bit before 8 a.m. It is really hard to have an optimistic view on life after going through the book. I mean, there is rarely a good news story, anywhere inside, that hour, hour and ten minutes of reading. So number one, there is a challenge, again, just keeping up optimism. That's my answer with regard to a personal basis.
Institutionally, this is a critical time in the history of the republic. We are trying to deal with a new kind of threat that puts the individual safety of our citizens more at risk than any threat we've had since probably the American Civil War. And we're trying to do it without changing our DNA as a nation. We have a threat that isn't a nation-state -- what I'm talking about here now is the war on terrorism, there are a lot of other issues out there, too, that we have to tend to -- but in this particular threat, which is clearly "Job One," when you ask, what are our priorities, number one is defense of the homeland and number two is the global war on terrorism. You wouldn't have gotten that answer 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. And both of those realities bring up the safety of individual Americans in ways, again, we haven't experienced for more than a century. How do we go about doing that? Doing it successfully, and doing it ways that don't change our character? That is hard work, and I don't think the nation is going to be very understanding or very forgiving if we fail. And so that's a pretty focused environment in which we have to operate.
Green: That leads me to my next question, how to improve that. So what would you say is your overall vision for the CIA's future? How do you use what you have -- technologies that are coming on line, obviously plans, people, ideas that are out there, now -- to shape them into one big tool for the CIA to improve that picture for the future? What is your vision for doing that?
General Hayden: A couple of things. One I mentioned earlier, and that is get our focus back on work. Out of the news as source or subject. Focus on what it is the nation expects us to do. That's number one. Number two, internal to the organization, break down any unnecessary barriers between our constituent parts. I mentoned earlier we have two primary functions and other activities as well. We've got a Natonal Clandestine Service, human intelligence; we have a Directorate of Intelligence; that's our analysts; the Directorate of Science and Technology, obviously that's fairly self-explanatory. Each of those kind of have their own culture. That's understandable. Actually, that's desirable, because they are different kinds of work. But the leadership team here now -- myself; Steve Kappes, the deputy; Michael Morell, the associate deputy director -- we all agree that we will be more efficient as an Agency, and therfore better able to serve the nation, if we mute more of those cultural differences. And I'm choosing my words carefully here. I don't want them to go away. There are differences between each of these tasks laid out in front of us. But we may have emphasized the differences a bit too much and not emphasized the commonality of being part of a Central Intelligence Agency. So that is the next step. Getting more unity of effort here. In straightforward terms, looking a little more left and right inside the Agency, and being able to cooperate and communicate more easily inside the Agency.
The third step, beyond "back to work" and doing some shifts in our culture, is to bring the right kind of people on board. We are blessed as a nation, we are blessed as an Agency. We had about 130,000 applications last year. We're growing at a tremendous rate. The numbers by which we grow and the overall size of the Agency are all classified, but I can tell you this -- one seventh of this Agency was hired in the last 12 months. That is tremendous growth. That is a tremendous opportunity to get the right kinds of folks in. But it also creates some tremendous torque and tremendous stress. One-seventh of your agency here with 12 months or less experience requires an awful lot of coaching and mentoring to go on. This is a tremendous opportunity, but there is some risk involved here as well. If we get it right, if we hire the right people, and Lord knows we have the pick of the nation because of the interest in security now -- and we do it well once they have arrived -- we have fixed, we have set the trajectory of the Agency at least for a decade, a healthy trajectory. But that is a challenges, and it has got to be done now. The current leadership has to do this right, otherwise the leadership in 5, 10, or 15 years from now will have to pay the price for it.
Green: So that means what you have just told me about that one-seventh number, that 40 percent of the CIA's workforce joined after 9/11.
General Hayden: That's right. About 40 percent after 9/11.
Green: How are they being prepared for their jobs, and does that training differ from previous training protocols -- training, say, from before 9/11?
General Hayden: It differs in a couple of ways, but, then again, there are some basic fundamentals, too. I know I overuse sports metaphors, but the best coaches have some training regimens that they rely on and they prove successful year after year after year. So do we. But there are other things, though, that we have to adjust. I mentioned earlier using non-traditional platforms, working in ways differently than we have in the past. Clearly our training has to accommodate that. In addition, this is a different kind of entering cohort than we had 20 years ago. We're living in a different kind of world. I can still remember, about a decade or so ago, visiting an ally and their analytic organization, and seeing someone literally go into his left-hand desk drawer, and pull out a shoebox of 3 x 5 cards with information on them. Clearly, we've got to take advantage of the cultural inclinations of our entering cohorts and the information technology available to us right now. So our training has to adjust to that as well. We have to build tools so that our analysts can deal with this flood of information. So, I guess my answer is, the core things -- traditional values, absolutely. But there are other things that have to be added as well for us to be successful.
Green: I should have asked this before, but I'll put it to you now. Specifically, since we're talking about training newbies, people who are just coming to the Agency, to deal with the age in which we live, and that age can't be mentioned without talking about a much more aggressive, a much more pervasive press, media, all over the place. Is there a protocol, is there some type of training that they can get to deal with this media, because I have to admit that we don't always make the best of decisions in terms of what we do. How are they schooled on that?
General Hayden: First of all, the first schooling, obviously, is that what is secret has to be secret. And you have to protect things. I know there are criticisms out there that things may be overclassified and so on, but the other side of the coin is also true. There are some things that are genuinely secret and they have to stay secret. We spend a lot of energy training our folks in the need to maintain that secrecy, maintain that security. We really do. We do it more here than any other agency in the American Intelligence Community, just because of the nature of our work. We don't really teach folks, "But if you are going to talk to the press let me tell you how to do that." What we try to do is to allow our Office of Public Affairs to have a robust interface with the press and then to facilitate that dialogue between us and the press. Let me make sure this is very clear. If you want to paint what I just said with a dark brush, you would accuse Mark Mansfield, our Director of Public Affairs, to be a gatekeeper. That's not what I mean. I really do mean facilitator. I said in my public testimony that we needed to be out of the news as source or subject. But I also recognize that we do have a responsibility to the American public to give them enough information to be aware of what it is we do, again I'm talking about information that can safely be put into the public domain, that doesn't help our enemies. We are not talking about "no comment" at any time on any story. In fact, quite the opposite. We want to have a rich relationship with the press, because we have found that if we have a rich relationship with the press, it is easier for folks in your profession to understand when we say, "That one can't go out there. That one can't be made public. Bad things will happen to Americans." If you have that relationship built up over a longer period of time, that conversation is a lot easier.
Green: General, a few more questions, and we'll be done. In any discussion about CIA, we have to talk about missteps. There have been some -- some before you got here -- that your critics hang on to, your critics still talk about some of the missteps that have taken place. I won't go into them, but everyone knows that there have been some situations that have come up within the last five years that people are questioning now. "Why did this happen" and, you know, people have questioned why certain people who were agents, or case officers, I think they are referred to, did this or that. So my question is, how do you address the critics of the Agency when they throw these things at you, when they say, "Well listen, you're talking about how you want to proceed in the future, but first you've got clean up some of your messes in the past? How do you address critics who bring that up?
General Hayden: Number one, we do have aggressive oversight inside the Agency. We have an empowered Inspector General who is confirmed by the Congress and has a reporting function to the Congress as well, and so that kind of oversight is embedded in our very structure. We need to go further though. I can't remember the exact words I used, I was kind of adlibbing them, but we had a graduating class of case officers several weeks ago, and I talked to them. And one of the things I mentioned to them was this question of ethics. I said the nation is going to ask you to go out and do things, to paraphrase it, to do things in the shadows, do things that if they weren't being done by you, other people might have real questions with regard to their lawfulness and morality and so on. And I said to the new graduates, "Do you understand the moral burden that puts on you? Do you understand the ethical standards by which you must now be held?" When you work with human sources, as sources of intelligence, just think about the multiple dimensions that brings into that venue, into that dialogue, because of the very nature of your work. I have found in my six months here that this is the most ethical organization I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. And it almost just comes with the territory. You can't do this kind of work without the highest ethical standards and the highest expectations for yourself and for the people with whom you work.
Green: General, you said recently, and I'm going to quote this accurately, it is often said that intelligence is the tip of the spear, true enough, but in today's world, intelligence is even more than that. It is the single most effective weapon in our national security arsenal. Explain why that is, and, if it is, how important is it for intelligence to always be correct?
General Hayden: "Always be correct" is a very high bar. I recall in another commentary, at another time, I said something along the lines of, "If we were sure, it wouldn't be intelligence." ((laughter)) It is just the nature of it. There is always some degree of ambiguity, Now that doesn't relieve us of our responsibility to get it right as many times as we can possibly get it right. We just need to put that marker down. Let me show you the difference, and now I'm focusing on the global war on terrorism. As I've said, defense of the homeland and terror are the number one and number two priorities of the Agency.
I'm old enough to remember that other war, that Cold War thing. There, we had an enemy who was easy to find -- you knew where those Echelon tank armies were in Eastern Europe -- he was hard to kill. You had to bring an awful lot of firepower to bear against that kind of enemy. Now, think of what we have today.
Green: The reverse.
General Hayden: It's just the reverse. Easy to kill, and I'm using "kill" here a bit metaphorically -- kill, capture, disable, disrupt, and so on. Hard to find. That describes our enemy in the war on terrorism. So now you can understand why so much emphasis in the last five years has been placed on intelligence. It is locating that threat, it is identifying where, precisely, that threat is, so that you can use the tools of the nation in a precise way -- remember the war of ideas we talked about earlier -- to defend ourselves and to do it in a way that the entire planet understands, "That was a legitimate use of force," or a legitimate use of the sovereign power of the United States. This is an intelligence war. And we are going to win it or lose it based upon our intelligence.
Green: Two more questions, General. What would you say is the biggest threat to the nation's security at this point in time, here in the States or anywhere in the world. What is the biggest threat?
General Hayden: It is the threat posed by global terrorism, clearly. As I said earlier, in a way we haven't experienced for more than a century. It is a very real, not theoretical threat, to the safety of every American. I undertand that during the Cold War we had mutually assured destruction, nuclear weapons, and so on, and the danger there was catastrophic, but the probability was quite low. This is different. Anybody getting on an airplane, anybody traveling overseas, anybody visiting at an embassy overseas -- that threat is more real than anything our citizens have experienced since, as I said earlier, probably our Civil War.
Green: Is there anything you want to add, General, that I haven't asked you, that you think is important, that you would like to talk about?
General Hayden: I would like to thank the folks who work for the Central Intelligence Agency. We're in a Holiday Season here, we are trying to give as much of our workforce some time off as possible, but we won't get the same time off that some other professions get. I know an awful lot of listeners actually work here. And I want to take this opportunity to say "thanks" to our officers who work here, and I really want to say thanks to their families. I don't think the American public appreciates enough the peculiar and special burdens that working for an organization like CIA places on our members and on our families. One of the most touching moments I had during our Family Day here in September: Two groups of people, one were those new cohorts, the 20-somethings, coming up and introducing me to Mom and Dad who had just driven in from Memphis or Toledo or wherever. And the other group, who were people in their 40s, who were introducing me to their teenaged children, and Mom and Dad were telling me that the teenagers just learned where Mom and Dad worked. That's a burden we put on our officers, on their spouses, and on their immediate families that no other profession does. So I just want to say "thanks."
Green: Well, General, with that, you've actually brought up another question that I need to ask you, and I can't leave without doing it. How has this job changed your life?
General Hayden: The operational tempo here is pretty high. ((laughter)) And one has to work pretty hard to stay ahead of the things that the job and the nation require, so that has been one aspect of it. The other aspect has been the degree to which the workforce has been very welcoming of me and the leadership team, and we've tried to bring our spouses into this as well, in order to take care of families, to show interest in families. So I've been pleased with the way they have welcomed the new leadership team and their spouses to Langley and the other parts of CIA.
Green: And your family has been able to manage this well, as well?
General Hayden: The family has been making those kinds of sacrifices I just described...they are making it in this job, too.
Green: General Michael Hayden, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with us, and to demystify for us the CIA, but also to give us a bit of a roadmap, to the degree you could, for where intelligence in the Agency and, indeed, for this country, is going in the future.
General Hayden: Thanks J.J. Thanks for coming by.
Information on 'signing of agreement between Serbia and Russia' adopted
Belgrade, Dec 14, 2006 - The Serbian government has adopted at its session today the Information on preparations for the signing of an agreement between the Serbian and the Russian governments on the regulation of liabilities of the former Soviet Union related to trade exchange between the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.
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