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UN plan for Kosovo autonomy emphasizes rights safeguards

[JURIST] The United Nations Friday released a plan for Kosovo [JURIST news archive] to govern itself as a multi-ethnic society that it says safeguards the rights of all groups within its territory. An executive summary of the plan was issued to Serbian and Albanian leaders by Special Envoy for the Future Status Process Marrti Ahtisaari [official profile] and will be negotiated before its finalization and submission to the UN Security Council. The plan includes the creation of a constitution which will protect the rights of all ethnic groups, 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 will all be represented in the judiciary, police and political institutions, which will 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 [advocacy 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 UN News Service has more. AP has additional coverage.

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