Pure Chaos

PRISTINA/BELGRADE/BERLIN | | jugoslawien

PRISTINA/BELGRADE/BERLIN (Own report) - After massive pressure from Berlin the UN Security Council will discuss the reconstruction of the UN administration in Kosovo on Friday 20 June. Some days ago the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon gave way to Western pressure and agreed to the illegal step of the deployment of EULEX, the EU "Police and Justice Mission in Kosovo". EULEX will enable the secessionist regime in Pristina to build up the authorities of an independent state on Serbian territory. With its decision in favour of EULEX the United Nations leadership has adopted further Western positions which are contrary to international law. Leading UN officials hope to avoid their total marginalization by ever-new compromises. In spite of the UN's increasing subjection, Berlin and Washington continue to discuss concepts which, if realized, will reduce the UN to a fate similar to that of the League of Nations in the Nineteen Thirties - total loss of significance. The results of the controversy will bear hardest on the population of southern Serbia. Commentators describe the confusion over the remaining competences of lawful authorities in the face of illegally installed institutions, enforced by the occupiers, as chaos itself.

Without Foundation

On Friday the UN Security Council will discuss the reconstruction of the UNO administration (UNMIK) in Kosovo.[1] The background to this is the insistence from Berlin and Brussels that UNMIK should be replaced by EULEX (the EU Police and Justice Mission in Kosovo). EULEX is designed to support the illegal regime in Kosovo and to build up the structures of the police, court system and administration of an independent state on Serbian territory. This will give Brussels de facto control over the area in total contravention of any lawful basis.

Wavering

UN Resolution 1244 is still formally in force. It authorizes the presence of UNMIK in Kosovo and acknowledges that Kosovo is part of Serbian territory. In spite of massive pressure by the Western powers, only 43 countries have so far recognized the independence of Kosovo. Until now, UN Secretary-General Ban had refused to withdraw UNMIK without a resolution by the Security Council and to replace it with EULEX. However, Ban's position appears to be increasingly shaky.

Sabotage

Behind this lie serious derelictions of duty by the German head of UNMIK, Joachim Ruecker, as well as unilateral measures by the EU. Ruecker, whose duty as UN Administrator is to carry out UN decisions in accordance with Resolution 1244, has not only approved the declaration of independence by Kosovo although it is contrary to UN Resolution 1244. This German politician from the Socialist Party did not oppose the adoption of the constitution of an independent Kosovo on 9th April although that constitution denied the legitimacy of UNMIK and, of its own claimed competence, handed over important functions to EULEX. Since the supposed entry into force of that constitution last Sunday, the Kosovo "President" Fatmir Sejdiu said that UNMIK could only remain in Kosovo "for a limited time".[2] Ruecker caved in without complaint to this public attack on his official employers, which was in accordance with German policy. His conduct has led to serious dissension in the UN Security Council which will be aired on Friday. It is said in Pristina that Ruecker's resignation may be called for.[3]

Boycott

As UN Secretary-General Ban has made known, his attempt to give force to international law in Kosovo has not only been sabotaged in fact by his deputy in Pristina but by a boycott from the EU. According to him, Brussels has informed the United Nations that it will withhold its contribution for the UNMIK Department "Reconstruction and Economic Development" from 1st July. This is the so-called "fourth pillar" of UNMIK. According to Ban, this decision was taken without consultation with UN Headquarters. It leaves UNMIK without the technical capabilities and budget allocation to replace the experts financed by the EU Commission.[4] As the Kosovo regime has demanded, with the coming into force of the fictitious constitution, that it should take over the economic development of the area for itself, the Secretary General sees no further possibility of continuing the former "fourth pillar" of UNMIK. "Legislation (by the announced adoption of the Kosovo "constitution") with this decision removes the fourth pillar of UNMIK and the capability of controlling these areas of decision".[5]

A Legitimising Precedent

In order to preserve some shred of credibility for the UN institutions in Kosovo, in spite of the sabotage from Berlin and Brussels, the Secretary General will tolerate EULEX but only "under the umbrella" of UNMIK. He insists that he is seeking a solution which is "acceptable" to all sides.[6] If the developments of previous years are anything to go by, its failure seems likely. Since the UN Security Council retrospectively legitimized the unlawful attack on Yugoslavia with Resolution 1244, the Western powers have undermined the UN step by step. In the meantime the UN in Kosovo has been restricted in practice to giving way to demands from Berlin and Washington with such sufficient seemly delay as to give the appearance of international approval.

The End of the United Nations

Behind the rearguard action of the UN leadership are other considerations of the Western powers, which are, in fact, aiming to end compromise and negotiation on their global interests within the UN framework and to replace them with totally unregulated power politics. Influential forces in Berlin and Washington have the intention of establishing a world-wide right of intervention in foreign states, which could be used to take action against the ill-defined concept of "crimes against humanity" and possibly in cases of natural catastrophe too. This is called "Responsibility to Protect" or "R2P".[7] Such a right could also be invoked without the need for a resolution by the UN Security Council. A debate has flared up in the United States over the establishments of international alliances for the use of force to which are attributed similar powers and rights as to the UN itself (see "League of Democracies" as reported by www.german-foreign-policy.com [8]). Only a few days ago the UN Secretary General tried yet again to persuade the West of the usefulness of the United Nations. If there was no cooperation to meet the "international challenges" of terrorism and nuclear proliferation, "matters would escalate to world-wide threats of irreversible dimensions", said Ban in London. He was there for discussions over developments in Kosovo.[9]

Unmanageable

The international power struggle on which the future world order turns will take place in the south Serbian province on the backs of the people of Kosovo. Informed observers describe the confusion about the remaining competences of legal authorities, arising from unlawfully established institutions and occupiers of the most varied provenance, as pure chaos. People with travel documents from the secessionist regime in Kosovo will not be permitted to travel over Serbian territory to the EU. It is unclear what will happen to a Kosovar who succeeds in getting to Germany and travels on to Spain. Spain does not recognize the secession of Kosovo or papers issued by the secessionist government. In previous years refugees from Kosovo in Germany have experienced difficulty in obtaining passports and identity documents, for which UNMIK was responsible but did not have any representatives abroad. For example, it is not apparent how the holder of a passport issued by the authorities in Pristina could obtain a Russian visa, as Russia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo. An inhabitant of Kosovo with Serbian papers could well obtain a Russian visa but EULEX officials in Pristina - with no standing in international law - would restrain him from crossing the frontier of Kosovo.

A Breach of International Law

The Western powers could achieve the resolution of these difficulties by returning to the agreements in UN Resolution 1244 - or through the global enforcement of illegality. The overwhelming majority of member countries of the UN are opposed to the latter course.

[1] Kosovo: UN-Sicherheitsrat berät am Freitag über UNMIK-Umgestaltung; RIA Novosti 18.06.2008
[2] Sejdiu will UNMIK aus dem Land haben; Der Standard 17.06.2008
[3] UNMIK-Chef Rücker wird sein Amt in vier Tagen niederlegen; RIA Novosti 16.06.2008
[4], [5] Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo; United Nations Security Council S/2008/354, 12.06.2008
[6] Plan to reconfigure UN presence in Kosovo 'least objectionable' option - Ban; UN News Centre 13.06.2008
[7] see also The Right of Might
[8] see also Kein Kurswechsel
[9] Plan to reconfigure UN presence in Kosovo 'least objectionable' option - Ban; UN News Centre 13.06.2008