View Full Version : Kosovo recognition looks to be defeated in UN and ICJ despite US and Germany

Magda Hassan
10-05-2008, 11:28 AM
Arbitrariness in Power

(Own report) - Because of a Serbian UN initiative, Berlin's Kosovo policy is threatened with serious defeat. Belgrade is requesting that the UN General Assembly petition the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on Kosovo's secession from Serbia. The Assembly is expected to vote on Wednesday. Germany was unsuccessful in mobilizing a majority against Serbia's initiative. For the first time, UN member states have announced the intention of reversing their recognition of Kosovo, if the ICJ should confirm its secession was illegal. While EU functionaries declare that the International Court's decision would be of no consequence to them, Berlin is continuing its aid in consolidating Kosovo's illegal sovereignty. State officials, who, with Western help, had been brought to power in Pristina, are confronted with new accusations. According to reports, new evidence has surfaced pertaining to criminal trade in human organs in Kosovo. Kosovo's "prime Minister" is suspected to be implicated in this crime. One of Pristina's designated "ambassadors" to a European country is also accused of serious crimes.

Serbia has placed a demand that the UN General Assembly petition the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) for an advisory opinion concerning the secession of its southern province. For the time being, Belgrade is therefore renouncing legal action against Pristina and those states that have recognized its secession. The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on Serbia's request on Wednesday. A simple majority will suffice. Already back in July, the Serbian Foreign Minister, Vuk Jeremi?, pointed out that "never before" [1] has "the General Assembly prevented a member state from seeking an ICJ advisory opinion." But governments of several Western states are attempting just that.

Refusal of Loyalty
German and US American attempts to prevent the ICJ advisory opinion are doomed to failure. Western pressure, which already last summer were the topics of interviews in the media,[2] could not prevent the Serbian government from introducing its resolution in New York. And all attempts to tone down the formulation of the resolution have failed. Washington and Berlin plan to either vote "No" or abstain. But in a test vote, approximately two thirds of the 192 UN member states are refusing loyalty, endorsing an ICJ advisory opinion on Kosovo's secession.[3] The Serbian President reported a few days ago that Western states continue their efforts to obstruct the vote by trying to induce more states to recognize Kosovo's independence. In spite of massive pressure from large EU member countries and the United States, only 47 countries - not even a fourth of the UN member states - have recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state.

Latest Tricks
Berlin is therefore faced with a serious defeat. Since the legal questions are clear - Kosovo's secession was obviously in violation of the UN Charter - the West is uncertain about how to prevent an ICJ ruling in Serbia's favor. According to Christian Tomuschat, professor of law in Berlin, there would be possibilities when the concrete formulation of the demand is decided in the UN General Assembly's sub-commission, where controversial questions are often excluded. Then "the ICJ would not even have the possibility of formulating an opinion on the primary issue."[4] The sub-commission will be convened on Monday. If Serbia's formulations still pass, the only thing left would be massive pressure on the ICJ.

Creating Facts on the Ground
If this option is also unsuccessful, German experts are pleading for disregarding international jurisprudence. Neither the ICJ nor the UN can create facts on the ground, alleges the political advisor, Franz-Lothar Altmann. "A nation's independence can only be established through recognition by individual states."[5] The EU's special emissary to Kosovo subscribes to the demand that the arbitrariness of the mighty be lifted to the global principle of design in central questions of sovereignty. "Kosovo's independence is a fact and cannot be changed, even if Serbia's ICJ initiative should prove successful."[6] Until now the larger EU nations and the USA have been relatively isolated in this standpoint. Now nations that had already recognized Kosovo, are beginning to serve notice that in the case of a negative ICJ verdict, they would consider rescinding their recognition.[7]

All of the dispute notwithstanding, the German government is creating facts on the ground and is pushing the establishment of an independent "Kosovo" nation. Alongside the political accompaniment, in mid-September Berlin had promised further support for the development of the infrastructure of Kosovo and earmarked a total of 40 mil. Euros from its development budget for the rest of the current year. For 2009, 60 mil. Euros more have been reserved. These measures are not limited to construction aid, but extend to the consolidation of Pristina's quasi-state structures. For example, 600,000 passports and 400,000 driver's licenses that the Interior Ministry in Pristina has begun to issue have been produced by the Giesecke and Devrient Corp. in Munich. "By issuing passports, we are establishing the legal basis for a sovereign Kosovo," declared Kosovo's "Interior Minister" - providing an indication that the criminal accusation of abetting an illegal act of secession can be raised not only against the government, but even against employees of private firms.[8]

Trade in Human Organs
Serious accusations are recurringly being raised against Kosovo's new ruler, placed and maintained in power by Berlin. Extensive press research has reinforced the suspicion that the former Kosovo terror militia, UCK, killed Serbian prisoners and sold their organs.[9] Months ago this was reported by Carla del Ponte, former head prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, citing numerous witnesses. Pristina's "Prime Minister" and former head of the UCK, Hashim Thaci, is said to be implicated in this affair.[10] There is also controversy over the "ambassadors" Pristina wants to dispatch to several European nations and to the USA. Kosovo's designated "ambassador" to Switzerland is being accused of having collected money in Switzerland to finance the UCK's war on Serbia and thereby run into conflict with the Swiss authorities. It is alleged that even blackmail was involved.[11] The Swiss Foreign Ministry denies however that these accusations have any meaningful bearings on existent reservations concerning this "ambassador." The accreditation nevertheless is still pending.

Not Isolated Cases
The accusations against members of Pristina's elite are not isolated cases. As just recently reported in an appraisal of Kosovo's human rights situation by the OSCE, it is not only a question of grave shortcomings of application in conditions of rule of law.[12] Particularly the struggle against organized criminality and the slave trade [13] are making limited progress. On the other hand, the new political elite is interfering to a growing degree in the workings of the justice, the police and even the media. The new power in Pristina is creating its realm of the arbitrary.

Please read also Imperial Consummation (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/55971?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5), A Sort of Resurrection for Yugoslavia (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/55997?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5), Self Determination (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56051?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5), Out of Control (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56052?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5), Political Friendships (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56126?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5), "Thank you Germany!" (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56134?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5) and Pure Chaos (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56166?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5).

[1], [2] "Wir sind fest entschlossen, Mitglied der EU zu werden"; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 25.07.2008
[3] Westliche Kosovo-Politik kommt auf Prüfstand; Handelsblatt 28.09.2008
[4], [5] Serbien wirbt vor der UNO für Gerichtsvotum zu Kosovo; Deutsche Welle Fokus Ost-Südost 25.09.2008
[6] "Kosovo-Teilung eine Möglichkeit"; Wiener Zeitung 30.09.2008
[7] Belgrad: Einige Staaten könnten Anerkennung des Kosovo revidieren; Der Standard 02.10.2008
[8] Giesecke und Devrient liefert Reisepässe und Führerscheine für Kosovo; www.behoerden-spiegel.de (http://www.behoerden-spiegel.de)
[9] Family Denies Organ Harvesting Allegations; Spiegel Online 22.09.2008
[10] see also Organhandel (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/57232?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5)
[11] Umstrittener Kosovo-Diplomat; Basler Zeitung 25.09.2008
[12] OSCE Mission in Kosovo: Background Report. Human Rights, Ethnic Relations and Democracy in Kosovo, September 2008
[13] see also Unter deutscher Aufsicht (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/57183?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5) and Enorme Gewalt (http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/57182?PHPSESSID=5507hku78sldofv9dp5u8bmjf5)
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Magda Hassan
10-09-2008, 01:40 AM
Serbian resolution wins UN GA backing 8 October 2008 | 09:16 -> 23:07 | Source: B92, FoNet, Beta, Tanjug NEW YORK -- With 77 votes in favor and six against, the UN General Assembly on Wednesday accepted Serbia's draft ICJ resolution.

http://www.b92.net/news/pics/2008/10/141999176048ecde1e9d9b6604279425_MidCol.jpgJeremi? addresses the UN GA on Wednesday (FoNet)

The document requests an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.

74 countries abstained, Tanjug news agency reports from New York this afternoon.

The European Union member countries, according to a Beta news agency report, did not have a united stand on the issue, with the UK and France abstaining, while Slovakia, Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Romania voted in favor.

In the discussion that preceded the voting, Serbia was supported by Panama, Cuba, Mexico, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa.

The United States and Albania voted against the adoption of the resolution.

They were joined by the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau.

British Ambassador to the UN John Sawers reacted to the result by saying that he was surprised by the outcome.

In the debate before the voting, Sawers said Belgrade's resolution was "politically motivated".

U.S. representative Rosemary DiCarlo said she would vote against, since Washington considers Kosovo Albanians' declaration to have been in line with international law, and added that her country "firmly believes in Serbia's and Kosovo's European future".

When Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremi? addressed the UN General Assembly ahead of the debate and voting, he urged the representatives of the United Nations to support Serbia's ICJ intiative.

Sending the resolution to the court, Jeremi? told the assembly, would reduce tensions in the region and in the rest of the world.

"The Republic of Serbia believes that sending this question to the ICJ would prevent the Kosovo crisis from serving as a deeply problematic precedent in any part of the globe where secessionist ambitions are harbored," Jeremi? said explaining Serbia's request.

"We also believe that the ICJ advisory opinion would provide politically neutral, yet judicially authoritative guidance, to many countries still deliberating on how to approach UDI in line with international law," Jeremi? added.

He stated that Serbia believes "that recourse to the Court would strengthen the rule of law in international relations, and make the proposed course of action a symbol of the world community's resolve to take the UN Charter as its guide".

"Supporting this resolution would also serve to reaffirm a fundamental principle: the right of any member State of the United Nations to pose a simple, basic question-on a matter it considers vitally important-to the international court," Jeremi? set out, noting that to vote against would be in effect a vote to deny the right of any country – now or in the future – to seek judicial recourse through the UN system.

Jeremi? underscored that "to vote against would also mean accepting that nothing could be done when secessionists in whichever part of the globe assert the uniqueness of their cause, and claim exception to the universal scope of the international legal order".

The foreign minister continued to say that the question posed is "amply clear and refrains from taking political positions on the Kosovo issue".

"The answer to come, in the form of an advisory opinion, will be based on international law, in accordance with the ICJ's Statute and Rules of Procedure."

Jeremi? expressed belief that "the draft resolution in its present form is entirely non-controversial. It represents the lowest common denominator of the positions of the member States on this question, and hence there is no need for any changes or additions."

"Let us adopt it and allow the Court to act freely and impartially within the framework of its competencies. We are confident that the ICJ will know what to do, and that it will take into account the opinions of all interested member States and international organizations," Jeremi? concluded his address, noting also that "the most prudent way to proceed today is to adopt our resolution without opposition, as was the decision on the inclusion of this item in the agenda at the General Committee."


Earlier in the day, reports indicated that Belgrade is optimistic and expects that following intensive efforts to galvanize support, the UN General Assembly could adopt the motion.

Jeremi? said he expected the debate that will follow his address to be "heated". Nonetheless, he was hopeful of a positive outcome.

“We will endeavor, as we did at the General Committee, to make a sweep at the start of the session—in other words, get as many countries as we can from all continents, from different parts of the world, to take part in the debate, to support Serbia’s position, and for the whole debate to assume a course that will later be favorable for pushing through our resolution,“ said the minister.

President Boris Tadi? is also hoping for a good result.

“We need to stay calm until the voting is over. I’m not a good tipster, I’m a better worker—my job is to work and I’m working here, seeking backing for our resolution from all our colleagues here that I have the chance to meet,“ Tadi? said.

“I’m looking forward to the day with the feeling that we’ve done everything we could—60 meetings at the General Assembly, the Foreign Ministry with hitherto unprecedented international activity,” the president said.

He added that a “good thing about the whole Serbian initiative is that it will remain a positive result in the international political domain.”

Nevertheless, one of the chief obstacles to adopting the resolution is the possibility that certain smaller countries who intend to support the document decide, under pressure, to abstain or not attend the vote at the last moment.

Another clear unfavorable possibility is that one or more countries submit a joint amendment i (http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=10&dd=07&nav_id=54053)n a bid to reformulate or change the document.

Such an amendment would also be put to the vote and be adopted or rejected on the basis of a simple majority.

However, Jeremi? claimed that Serbia was ready for all eventualities.

“The UK has circulated a paper on the basis of which one can expect someone to introduce an amendment that would change the meaning and significance of our resolution,“ said the minister.

“Obviously, we’ll fight to the last to prevent any changes to the text of our resolution. We’ll warn those on our side and who we see today that there is the possibility of an amendment,” he said. span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000 (javascript:void(0)); text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }