UNMIK History and Status Extracted from Background Notes : Kosovo (12/09), US Department of State
Kosovo Under UN Administration
The UN established the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), under the control of a Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG). In 2001, UNMIK promulgated a constitutional framework that provided for the establishment of Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG).
Under UNMIK's guidance, Kosovo established new institutions (both at the municipal and central levels), held free elections, and established a multi-ethnic Kosovo Police Service (KPS). ... UNMIK gradually turned over more governing competencies to local authorities.
Kosovo under UNMIK administration held its first parliamentary elections in November 2001. After significant political wrangling, politicians agreed to establish a coalition government in March 2002, with Bajram Rexhepi (PDK) as Prime Minister and Ibrahim Rugova (LDK) as President. In the same year, the Kosovo Assembly began to function and pass its first laws. Beginning in 2003, UNMIK began transferring governing competencies to these ministries.
Kosovo's Status Process
After six years of international administration, Kosovo Albanian authorities continued to press the international community to begin a process to define Kosovo's future status.
In 2005, a UN envoy, Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide, was appointed to review progress in Kosovo. Eide reported that there was no advantage to be gained by further delaying a future status process.
In November 2005, the Contact Group (France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) produced a set of "Guiding Principles" for the resolution of Kosovo's future status. Some key principles included: no return to the situation prior to 1999, no changes in Kosovo's borders, and no partition or union of Kosovo with a neighboring state. ...
The Ahtisaari Process
In November 2005, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland, to lead a future status process. Ahtisaari ... recommended that Kosovo become independent, subject to a period of international supervision. He proposed that a new International Civilian Office (ICO) be established to supervise Kosovo's implementation of its obligations under the Ahtisaari Plan. A European Union (EU)-led rule of law mission (subsequently named EULEX) would also be deployed to focus on the police and justice sector, while a NATO-led stabilization force would continue to provide for a safe and secure environment. Pristina accepted the Ahtisaari recommendations, but Belgrade rejected them.
On April 3, 2007, Ahtisaari presented his plan to the UN Security Council. Due to Russian opposition, the Security Council could not reach agreement on a new Security Council resolution...
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. ... The United States formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state on February 18. To date, Kosovo has been recognized by a robust majority of European states, all of its neighbors (except Serbia), and other states from the Americas, Africa, and Asia. ...
In June 2008, UN Secretary General Ban decided to "reconfigure" UNMIK and reduce the size of the UN presence in Kosovo, effectively ending the UN's role as administrator of Kosovo and welcoming EU deployment of its Rule of Law Mission (EULEX). As Ban stated in his report to the Security Council, "UNMIK will no longer be able to perform effectively the vast majority of its tasks as an international administration." The EU has gradually assumed increasing responsibility in the areas of policing, justice, and customs throughout Kosovo.
On December 9, 2008, the EU rule of law mission, EULEX, reached initial operating capability by deploying over 1,000 police, judges, prosecutors, and customs officers throughout Kosovo. As EULEX ramped up, UNMIK ended its police role in Kosovo and scaled back its presence drastically, as directed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. EULEX reached full operational capability in April 2009. On June 15, 2008, Kosovo's constitution came into force. ...
As of December 2009, 64 countries had recognized the independence of Kosovo. In June 2009, Kosovo joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.