UNMIK: mandate and structure
The mandate of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was established by the Security Council in its resolution 1244 (1999).
The Mission is mandated to help ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo and advance regional stability in the western Balkans.
The Mission is headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who enjoys civilian executive power as vested in him by the Security Council in resolution 1244 (1999).
The Special Representative ensures a coordinated approach by the international civil presence operating under UNSC resolution 1244, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which retains the status of UNMIK's pillar for institution building.
The Special Representative also ensures coordination with the head of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which has operational responsibility in the area of rule of law. EULEX is deployed under Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), and operates under the overall authority of the United Nations.
The Mission has its headquarters in Pristina and is supported by field offices in Mitrovica and Pejë/Pec. The Mission also maintains an office in Skopje, which provides political reporting and liaises with local and regional authorities for the transit and delivery of goods to the Mission.
In addition, the UN Office in Belgrade plays an important political and diplomatic role and liaises with political leadership of Serbia.
UN Presence in Kosovo
The UN system in Kosovo is comprised of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) led by the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), and the UN Agencies, Funds, Programmes and affiliates, which are grouped under the coordinated umbrella of the United Nations Kosovo Team (UNKT), and are led by a UN Development Coordinator.
The UN presence is comprised of the following UN agencies and partners:
- United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
- United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- United Nations World Health Organization (WHO)
- United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
- The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- World Bank (WB)
UNMIK continued to assist Kosovo’s communities, engaging with the authorities in Pristina and Belgrade as well as with regional and international actors. The Mission has increased its focus on political reporting while continuing to promote security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo through engagement with all communities. In this regard, 2010 saw a number of achievements. For example, in a coordinated action with UNHCR, Mercy Corps International, and the Roma and other residents of the
Česmin Lug Camp, the UNMIK Administration in Mitrovica (UAM), in northern Kosovo, finally closed and sealed off the camp so that it could not be re-inhabited. The camp’s former residents relocated to the newly-constructed homes funded by USAID in the Roma Mahalla or to Osterode Camp to await the construction of additional homes funded by the EU.
Another key aspect of UNMIK’s role in 2010 was facilitating participation by the Kosovo institutions in regional multilateral fora, where the presence of non-recognising countries would otherwise have impeded this participation. While the Kosovo authorities have been less than enthusiastic about utilising UNMIK’s facilitation role, they have lately shown greater flexibility and pragmatism in this regard and UNMIK has continued to provide its assistance and to propose practical ways to overcome political obstacles.
Regrettably, inter-ethnic relations in northern Kosovo were marked by a number of incidents, albeit low-level, during 2010 that highlighted the strong potential for instability and the urgent need to address issues that continue to contribute to friction between the communities. UNMIK’s key task in northern Kosovo remains engaging with and mediating between the communities, as well as serving as a bridge between northern Kosovo and the Pristina authorities. Nevertheless, 2010 witnessed positive developments arising from UNMIK’s facilitation activities in the North. For example, in the northern Mitrovica suburb of Kroi i Vitakut/Brdjani, where in 2009 the Kosovo-Serb and Kosovo-Albanian communities repeatedly clashed over returns and reconstruction, this year the building season was marked by comparatively few incidents, with numerous houses and buildings belonging to both communities being built and families being able to return to their homes.
As of 1 July 2012, 89 of the 192 United Nations Member States had recognized Kosovo as an independent state, including 22 out of the 27 Member States of the EU.
UNMIK continues to implement its mandate in a status neutral manner and operate under Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).