Statement by Minister Dacic regarding the UN Security Council meeting and following his meeting with Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

“It is important to us to keep the international community focused on all problems existing in Kosovo and Metohija; it is for this reason that this meeting, though a very stormy one, proved hugely significant for us, because we reiterated, for who knows how many times, that Pristina fulfils neither its tasks defined under Resolution 1244 nor those required by the Brussels dialogue, and that it does not implement the Brussels dialogue agreements.

I cited the data that must not be ignored, for despite all Vlora Çitaku’s tirades and attacks in the meetings of the Security Council, Serbs are the largest victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing, having in mind that there are more than 200 000 expelled Serbs, out of whom only 1.9% returned to their homes, and that dozens of thousands of Serbs used to live in Pristina, Urosevac, Pec, Podujevo, while today their population not only falls short of 1,000, but is in some places fewer than 100.

This is all illustrative of the ordeal undergone by the Serbian people. We want a compromise solution, we want dialogue, and President Vucic’s initiative is all about that, too; we will continue to pursue such a policy. We will not allow someone to say that the problem of Kosovo and Metohija has been resolved, for that is not true, because a unilateral act equals no solution. A solution can only be reached by agreement, i.e. a solution in the mutual interest of both the Serbs and the Albanians.

Keeping the issue of Kosovo and Metohija on the agenda of the United Nations and its Security Council is essential to Serbia. You were able to see at this meeting of the Security Council that several major powers, and not only Pristina, requested that this topic be removed from the agenda, that the Council meetings on the subject be less frequent, i.e. to be biannual and not quarterly, but what is yet more interesting is that this has been the first time that some great powers have made a request to put an end to the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. However, as we have pointed out ourselves, in accordance with Resolution 1244, the Council should remain seized of the matter. Putting it simply, other major powers, primarily Russia and China, do not agree with the idea of taking the matter off the agenda and of terminating the UN Mission in Kosovo and Metohija, thus rescinding Resolution 1244.

It was in this context that my conversation with the new UN Secretary-General Guterres evolved. We also discussed Kosovo and Metohija. The Secretary-General announced that he would come to Belgrade on the occasion of our project – inauguration of the UN House, which means that the entire UN team will be under one roof, following a decision adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Moreover, we mentioned that Serbian military and police personnel would continue to participate in the UN peacekeeping missions across the world. A new subject that emerged had to do with our request to have the prisoners sentenced before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, who are Serbian nationals, serve their sentences in Serbia, taking into consideration the inhumane conditions they are exposed to, and Estonia particularly stands out in this regard – not only is a custodial sentence in that country a sentence in itself, but the conditions of serving one’s sentence are such that we must request, and we did request, an end to the practice that only Serbia is not allowed to have the prisoners who are its nationals serve custodial sentence in Serbia. If the Democratic Republic of the Congo was granted this right, why would Serbia be denied it?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that he would have a telephone conversation with President Vucic the following week. They will talk about regional stability, which is yet another confirmation of the great importance that the United Nations, and Serbia too, attach to our mutual relations.”