UN Security Council to visit Kosovo

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 18, 2000 -- (AFP) The UN Security Council will send a top-level delegation to Kosovo on April 28 and 29 to impress on Serbs and ethnic Albanians the need to reject violence, diplomats said Monday.

The mission's terms of reference include looking for ways to enhance support for council Resolution 1244, which established the UN interim administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) in June last year.

The terms were set out in a two-paragraph letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan from the Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Fowler, who holds the rotating presidency of the council this month.

The mission would "convey a strong message to all concerned on the need to reject all violence; ensure public safety and order; promote stability, safety and security; and support the full and effective implementation of Resolution 1244," Fowler wrote. A copy of his letter was made available to AFP.

The delegation of nine ambassadors will be led by the representative of Bangladesh, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, who was council president in March, when UNMIK chief Bernard Kouchner invited members to visit the province.

It will include the ambassadors of three of the five permanent members: China, France and Russia.

After briefing the council on March 6, Kouchner told a news conference that 1244 was "a bit ambiguous" and said "we need to start a very clear discussion on the future of all communities."

It was particularly important to reassure Serbs still living in Kosovo that NATO would not expel them, he said.

He said he had found "a consensus" in the council in favor of holding local elections in Kosovo.

A senior UNMIK official said Kouchner had reassured the Russian representative on the council, Sergey Lavrov, that his design was not to lead Kosovo to independence from Yugoslavia.

Original article