Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Confusion in [UNMIK] restructuring

One of the leading front -page stories in today’s Express is an article about the process of UNMIK restructuring. The paper notes that the plan for UNMIK’s restructuring,which dates from 1 July 2005 and has been endorsed by New York, is beingimplemented slowly and partially.

“At the same time, there are talks on how to reorganise the administration. Deep confusion,” the paper elaborates. Express also notes that with the current pace, it will take 10 years for UNMIK to restructure.

The paper says that UNMIK chief Søren Jessen-Petersen will address the UNMIK
staff on Wednesday 18th October. Among other things, he will talk about the
restructuring of the administration, “and, for example, the fact that Pillar
II will be shut within this month.”
“Six and a half years after the war, while there are ongoing preparations for
the start of status talks, the UN still isn’t ready and doesn’t know who will ‘inherit’ its tasks,” the paper says.

“Under such circumstances, there is a risk that after the end of its
mandate UNMIK will leave behind a situation of anarchy and Kosovar
structures unprepared to take on new responsibilities.”
Giving background information, the paper says that in March 2004 former
SRSG Harri Holkeri asked a working group to draft proposals for the
restructuring of the mission. The group led by Julian Hartson, director of
the UN Office in Belgrade, started work on 10th April and a month later came out with the proposals. The proposal was sent to the Department for Peacekeeping Operations in New York for comments.
On 1st July 2005, SRSG Jessen-Petersen sent the final draft to Under-
Secretary General Jean-Marie Guehenno who approved the document.
The plan envisages three phases of restructuring, with specific details for the
restructuring of the Office of the SRSG and the four pillars.

A senior official engaged in the reorganising process told Express that
the plan is being implemented. “There are some things that have moved at
a slower pace due to the focus on crucial political issues. But restructuring
is ongoing,” said the official, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Express says that one week ago, the UNMIK chief meet in Brussels with OSCE
and EU officials to discuss the restructuring process. After the meeting,
OSCE officials started speaking about a proactive mission of the organisation especially in municipalities, and EU officials spoke of a considerable role in police and justice. The paper quotes UNMIK spokesman Neeraj Singh as
saying, “I can say that talks with our partners about the reorganising process
are ongoing.”

Express says that according to the restructuring plan, UNMIK Pillar II should
have been shut down by 30th September, responsibilities would be transferred
to the local ministries and many UNMIK offices in the municipalities would also
be closed. All police regions should be transferred to the Kosovo Police Service (KPS), and a reduced number of international staff would focus on monitoring the local police and maintain control in some areas such as the central criminal investigation unit. The Prosecutorial and Judicial Council of Kosovo would
also be transferred to local authorities.

According to the plan, Pillar III would be called UNMIK-OSCE and would
focus on capacity building in the Kosovo Assembly, the Ministries, the municipalities and the media.
Pillar IV would reportedly turn into UNMIK-EU and would manage and monitor
the Banking and Payment Authority of Kosovo (BPK), UNMIK Customs Services,
the General Auditor’s Office, Civil Aviation, Railways, etc.

In the period 1st October – 31st December 2005, there are plans to shut down
Pillar I and the Office of the DSRSG for Police and Justice would also be closed. UNMIK Police and the Department of Justice would directly answer to the UNMIK
chief.The Ministry of Interior Affairs is supposed to be created in November
and it would take over responsibilities over the KPS and police policies. The Ministry of Justice would also be created in November and it would take
over the competencies for the offices of public prosecutors.

The new Judicial Council of Kosovo, which will be
formed in Nove mber, is expected to be responsible for the administration of
courts.The paper notes that the Department for Civil Administration should be functional and have offices in northern Mitrovica and in Prizren during status talks. During this period, there would be restructuring within UNMIK/OSCE.

The third period was planned to start on 1st January 2006 and end when
the UN Security Council repeals Resolution 1244. During this period,
the Office of the SRSG would be completely rationalised and have only reserved competencies and a clear vision on how and to whom to transfer the authority once the final status is resolved.F.F

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