Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Report from the Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo – UK response [October 2022]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 13 October 2022.

Ambassador Neil Bush thanks Head of OSCE’s Mission to Kosovo, Ambassador Davenport, for their work including on strengthening Kosovo’s institutions.

I would like to welcome Ambassador Davenport back to the Permanent Council. Thank you to you and your team for this comprehensive report, which provides a helpful summary of developments and activities over the reporting period.

The UK highly appreciates the work of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, its close engagement with government institutions, municipalities, and civil society, and its delivery of important initiatives across the three core pillars of its mandate.

In particular, I would highlight the Mission’s work in contributing to the development of government strategies on Preventing and Countering Terrorism, and on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Communities. We also commend the work of the Mission in supporting reviews of 22 draft legal and policy documents for compliance with international human rights standards; and in launching the “Protection of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo” Report in July. The UK also particularly values the Mission’s important ongoing work to implement activities focused on tackling domestic and gender-based violence.

The UK notes the increased tensions in late July – highlighted in the Report – around the introduction of new measures on car number plates, and entry and exit documentation. The UK welcomes the subsequent agreement between Serbia and Kosovo on ID documentation, which we strongly support. We continue to encourage both parties to engage constructively to resolve outstanding issues, and to refrain from any inflammatory rhetoric which may increase tensions between communities and reduce the chances of constructive progress.

The UK – alongside our international partners – continues to strongly support the EU-facilitated Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, and the need for a comprehensive, conclusive, legally binding agreement, which is acceptable to the citizens of both countries and will deliver long-term benefits to them and to the whole region. We value the continued work of EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák, including through his visit to Pristina and Belgrade on the 9th of September, outlined in detail in this Report.

Mr Chair, the United Kingdom remains a long-standing and strong supporter of Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state. In this context, we value and appreciate the Mission’s renewed commitment to its work to strengthen Kosovo’s institutions.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you, Ambassador Davenport, for your leadership of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo during this reporting period, and your team for their continued commitment, hard work and expertise.

Thank you, Mr Chair.