“For places such as Kosovo, still suffering the consequences of past conflict, cooperation, unity of political voice and vision, dialogue and preventing extreme polarization should be the highest order priorities” Zahir Tanin #UN #World

Channel 1 Los Angeles

10/22/2020 NY, UN

Kosovo, which has an ethnic-Albanian majority, broke away from Serbia in a bloody conflict which began in 1998, with the Security Council authorizing temporary administrative powers to the UN, in 1999.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence a decade later, backed by the United States and United Kingdom, among others. But Serbia, backed diplomatically by Russia, has never accepted the split, and Kosovo has not achieved full member status at the United Nations.

Different stages

Mr. Tanin, discussing the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNMIK,  said that the COVID-19 crisis in Kosovo has gone through different phases, from stringent measures and lockdowns towards a more relaxed approach aimed at economy recovery, as a new government led by Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti took the reins in June.

Despite insufficient capacity to deal with a pandemic, Kosovo’s healthcare system – and frontline health workers in particular – worked heroically to make the best use of limited resources.  The socio-economic consequences have been severe, however, with the psychological fallout also widely felt across society, he said.

For the UN presence in Kosovo, the focus on directly helping people, institutions and communities in the framework of the Mission’s strategic support for dialogue and trust-building, amid reports of a growing number of security incidents against vulnerable and non-majority communities as well as significant increases in domestic violence and violence against children, he said.

News reports in Kosovo, citing local health authorities, on Wednesday put the number of active COVID-19 cases at 1,944, with the highest number of new cases in Pristina municipality.

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