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Developments as regards the future status of Kosovo

Recommendation 1822 (2008)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 22 January 2008 (3rd and 4th Sittings) (see Doc. 11472, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Lord Russell-Johnston; and Doc. 11498, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Omtzigt). Text adopted by the Assembly on 22 January 2008 (4th Sitting).
1. Referring to its Resolution 1595 (2008) on developments as regards the future status of Kosovo, the Parliamentary Assembly strongly affirms that in no way should the status process shift the attention of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) and the international community from the implementation of the Standards for Kosovo. In fact, putting a renewed and resolute focus on standards is even more necessary to foster trust and facilitate reconciliation in the current climate of political tension, determined by the failure to reach a compromise.
2. The Assembly reiterates its aspiration for Kosovo to be, irrespective of its status, a multi-ethnic area which is safe for all those who live in it, where Council of Europe standards of democracy, the rule of law, protection of human rights and rights of national minorities, and good governance are fully enforced; where the most important international and European instruments in these fields, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5), the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ETS No. 126) and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ETS No. 157) are fully applicable and their respective control mechanisms fully in force; and where the values of democracy, tolerance and multiculturalism are shared by its people and institutions.
3. As regards the status itself, the Assembly considers that it should allow the full implementation of the Standards for Kosovo, the strengthening of human rights protection mechanisms in Kosovo and ownership of reforms by Kosovo institutions, as well as the increased accountability of all parties concerned, including of the international community, in Kosovo.
4. The Assembly also welcomes the possible deployment of a European Union Rule of Law Mission to Kosovo and, in this context, reaffirms that the Council of Europe, as the leading human rights watchdog in Europe, should be closely associated with any such mission.
5. Being convinced that the Council of Europe should continue to play a major role to ensure that this aspiration becomes a reality, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to:
5.1 reinforce the current Council of Europe field office in Kosovo;
5.2 make every effort to ensure that the most important Council of Europe international instruments in the field of human rights and rights of minorities are fully implemented, including their respective control mechanisms;
5.3 provide its support and expertise to the relevant authorities in Kosovo in the following areas:
5.3.1 constitutional and legal issues;
5.3.2 protection of human rights and strengthening of human rights protection mechanisms, including the ombudsperson institution and other mechanisms aimed, inter alia, at ensuring accountability of the international community in Kosovo;
5.3.3 durable solutions for all asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs);
5.3.4 protection of minority rights, including those of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) community, and the use of minority languages;
5.3.5 protection of the Serbian community and its cultural heritage in Kosovo;
5.3.6 independence and efficiency of the judiciary, including the fight against impunity;
5.3.7 fight against corruption, organised crime, money laundering and trafficking in human beings;
5.3.8 democratisation, financing of political parties and good governance;
5.3.9 decentralisation and effective local government;
5.3.10 protection of cultural and religious heritage;
5.3.11 intercultural dialogue;
5.3.12 education;
5.3.13 support for civil society and measures to foster reconciliation.