|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the Security Council's Public Meeting on Kosovo|
I thank the Secretary-General for his report (S/2006/906) and his Special Representative, Mr. Rücker, for his excellent briefing. I also welcome the presence of Ms. Raskovic-Ivic, President of the Coordination Centre of the Republic of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, and thank her for addressing the Council.
The question of Kosovo has now reached a crucial stage. We have noted that, since the beginning of this year, with the joint efforts of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, some progress has been made in implementing the standards. However, challenges remain in areas such as security guarantees, the return of refugees and ethnic harmony. Given the situation on the ground in Kosovo, we believe that there can be hope for Kosovo's future only if the momentum for standards implementation is maintained and a breakthrough is achieved in establishing a harmonious and multi-ethnic society. We hope that the Provisional Institutions and their leaders will, with UNMIK's assistance, overcome the current difficulties and implement the standards in a comprehensive and effective manner. The other parties concerned should also provide positive cooperation.
The future status process for Kosovo has been under way for nearly a year. With the assistance of Mr. Ahtisaari, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, the Serbian Government and the Kosovo authorities have engaged in contacts and carried out dialogues and negotiations at various levels and in various places. While some progress has been made, the parties continue to hold opposing positions. Despite the great difficulties facing this endeavour, China believes that it is extremely important and that the efforts should continue. That will help to push the future status process in the right direction. China is concerned about the individual incidents of violence that have occurred recently in Kosovo. We hope that both sides will exercise restraint and continue their dialogue in a flexible, pragmatic and constructive spirit in order to find a mutually acceptable solution. We have also noted that Special Envoy Ahtisaari has indicated that he will submit a conclusive report early next year. We hope that his recommendations will play a constructive role in resolving the question of Kosovo's future status.
The question of Kosovo is sensitive and complicated; it has a direct bearing on peace and stability in the Balkans and the neighbouring regions. Whether the question of Kosovo can be appropriately resolved is a source of concern to all. In resolving the question of Kosovo, we need to listen to the views of all parties, especially those of neighbouring countries. We must be mindful of the possible impact that the modalities of a settlement could have on neighbouring regions. Any settlement must lead to a lasting resolution of the question of Kosovo; it must not create new turmoil or have a negative impact on the stability of other regions. China has always abided by the principle in international law that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected. The international community and the Security Council should be impartial on the question of the future status of Kosovo and encourage both sides to seek a mutually acceptable plan through constructive negotiations on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions.