Albanian Daily News
Albright worries over Kosovo funds

Jan 28, 2000

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday took aim at the international community for failing to live up to its financial commitments in Kosovo.

"Unfortunately, a serious crisis of funding has arisen in Kosovo," Albright said in remarks prepared for delivery at the European Institute here, which awarded her the 1999 Transatlantic Leadership Award.

"The reason is that, too often, the international community has promised money, but not delivered," she said. "Here, as with the region as a whole, it is vital that our partners join us not only in pledging generously, but also in disbursing promptly."

The lack of funds has hindered the United Nations operation in Kosovo which is working to restore the electrical network, ensure law and order, organize elections and boost the province’s economic recovery.

"The UN mission in Kosovo cannot restore electric power, provide public security, arrange elections and revitalize the economy with promises alone," Albright said. "It must have the resources required to help the people rebuild their society and resume normal lives."

On Monday, Albright told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that Washington would contribute an additional ten million dollars to mission and provide an additional 100 police officers for the Kosovo operation.

The additional aid - which will bring the total US contribution to the UN Kosovo operation to 41.2 million dollars since last July and the number of American police officers there to 550 - was designed to impress on other donor countries the need to support the mission, a senior State Department official said at the time.

Albright also told Annan she was concerned that some European countries were not doing there share financially in Kosovo, the official said.

She did not say by how much disbursements have fallen short of pledges for Kosovo. Albright said another challenge facing the transatlantic community is to move ahead on the pact to help integrate all of Southeast Europe into the continent’s democratic mainstream.

She noted that the goals of the pact are to foster peaceful, tolerant societies; build strong viable economies; replace aid with investment; and transform the region from a source of instability into a full "participant and partner in the new Europe."

"We are under no illusions about the difficulty of the task we have set," she said. "It is literally to transform the patterns of history; to replace the whirlpools of violence leading nowhere with a steadily upward tide."

The goals will not be achieved, she said, unless the international community follows through on its commitments to help.

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