|Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya at the Security Council's Public Meeting on Kosovo|
I should like at the outset to thank the Secretary-General for his report as well as Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen for his supplementary briefing. We wish to express our regret at Mr. Jessen-Petersen's upcoming resignation. Over the past two years, he has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). China would like to express its appreciation for all his efforts. We welcome also the presence of Ms. Sanda Rasković-Ivić, President of the Coordination Centre for the Republic of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija, and the important statement she made.
In recent years, Kosovo and the Balkan region have undergone a series of political changes and are at a critical and historic juncture. China has always followed very closely the situation in the region, and we hope that the situation in Kosovo will remain stable and that new uncertainties will not arise in the Balkan region.
We have noted that, thanks to the concerted efforts of UNMIK and of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, considerable progress has been made in the implementation of standards. However, many challenges still remain in the economic, social and cultural fields and with respect to the problem of refugees. The progress achieved in standards implementation will serve as a basis for the future status of Kosovo. It reflects the need to build a harmonious society in Kosovo in which all ethnic groups can coexist. We welcome the will expressed by the Provisional Institutions and their leadership to implement the standards, and we hope that thoroughgoing efforts will be made and progress achieved. Members of the ethnic majority in Kosovo should assume primary responsibility for creating a social climate marked by security and tolerance; all others should cooperate with them in a positive manner.
The process to determine the status of Kosovo began last year. Since then, with the good offices and coordination of Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the future status process for Kosovo, the authorities of Serbia and Kosovo have held many rounds of direct negotiations and have reached some consensus. China welcomes the continuation of such dialogue, which can help enhance mutual understanding and the search for common ground and can move the question of Kosovo onto a positive track. China supports all efforts to find a sustainable solution acceptable to both parties, through peaceful negotiations. The question of Kosovo is rife with very specific characteristics and complexities, and the international community should demonstrate great resolve and patience with respect to its resolution.
China has always respected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries in the Balkan region. We have consistently held that an appropriate comprehensive resolution of the question of Kosovo should be based on the provisions of Security Council resolutions and that all the standards should be implemented. Both parties should be encouraged and assisted to reach compromise through a process of consultation. In a sincere and pragmatic spirit, all the parties concerned should promote the political process in Kosovo. Only with the attainment of economic development, social stability and ethnic harmony in Kosovo can the question of Kosovo be resolved satisfactorily.