Serbia parliament rejects UN plan for Kosovo autonomy

[JURIST] The Serbian Parliament [official website, English version] voted Thursday to reject a United Nations plan released by the United Nations that calls for Kosovo's autonomy and for the right of Kosovo [JURIST news archive] to govern itself as a multi-ethnic society. The plan by Special Envoy for the Future Status Process Marrti Ahtisaari [official profile] was rejected by 225 of 244 deputies of the newly elected parliament, who voted to adopt the outgoing parliament's resolution [PDF text] to condemn the proposal:

The statement is equally offensive to Serbia, the Serb people, and the international community as a whole. The National Assembly considers this view to be contrary to principles upon which international order is founded, democratic values, and principally, to the very mandate of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General.
Ahtisaari's plan calls for the creation of a constitution which will protect the rights of all ethnic groups [JURIST report], emphasizing their cultures, languages and religions. Kosovo's two million inhabitants consist of roughly 1.5 million ethnic Albanians, 100,000 Serbs, and smaller populations of Bosnians, Turks and other ethnic groups. These groups would all be represented in the judiciary, police and political institutions, which would be monitored by an EU Mission in Kosovo [official website]. Other features of the plan include recognition of the rights of displaced persons to return and reclaim their property with the cooperation of the International Committee of the Red Cross [official website]. During the transition, a multi-ethnic security force will work with NATO troops to ensure order. Finally, decentralization will be a goal, with the Serbian population gaining control over health care, education and other services for its population.

The parliament also voted on the position it will take as negotiations on Kosovo's status resume next week. Ahtisaari estimates that negotiations on the final status of Kosovo should end before June. Deutsche Welle has more.

 

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