UNMIK to transfer competencies of police and justice to Kosovo Institutions

Prishtina, July 20, 2005 – Special Representative of Secretary General of UN, Søren Jessen-Petersen, yesterday formally presented the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Bajram Kosumi, with UNMIK’s proposals for the transfer of competencies in police and justice, UN Mission in Kosovo informs. The plan envisages the establishment of new ministries of justice and interior before the end of this year. “The transfer of responsibility must be accompanied by effective monitoring and support by UNMIK, a vigorous accountability policy and by focused capacity building,” Jessen-Petersen said.

An initial set of competencies will be transferred to the new ministries upon establishment. After a few months UNMIK will review the performance of these new ministries, and based on satisfactory progress, most remaining competencies would be transferred in a second phase.

“The main criteria will be the PISG’s commitment to an impartial and apolitical justice system and police service, working equally for all of Kosovo’s people irrespective of ethnicity or political affiliation,” underlined Jessen-Petersen.

“Furthermore, I want to stress that local actors must understand that only confidence in the rule of law will ensure lasting security, by enabling people of different political groups or communities to rely on the forces of the State, rather than on private or parallel intelligence structures, for protection. The role of the international community must be to support this process, while making sure that all segments of the population are involved in it,” he added.

To ensure these goals, the new ministries will be subject to monitoring by UNMIK in particular after transfer of competencies and UNMIK will be ready to intervene if necessary. Jessen-Petersen will retain final authority for remedial intervention and will continue to exercise sovereign functions such as conclusion of international agreements and international judicial and police cooperation.

“UNMIK and the PISG must now work closely together to turn these proposals into a reality in the few months remaining before the new ministries are due to start their work,” Jessen-Petersen said.

Jessen-Petersen will brief the Kosovo Forum on these proposals on Thursday 21 July.