31 May 2000
International Postal Service Resumes to and from Kosovo
UNMIK today restored international mail service to and from Kosovo, following authorization from the Universal Postal Union granting the UNMIK postal service permission to exchange mail with all postal administrations.
SRSG Bernard Kouchner marked the occasion by sending a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, which said inter alia:
"...As we near the completion of a year since the establishment of the mission in Kosovo, I am glad we have been able to build bridges with the rest of the world. Many Kosovo families who are dispersed all over the world will now be brought closer by letters".The road to this achievement was not devoid of hurdles. But step by step, with diligence and care, each problem has been resolved and we have laid yet another milestone in the establishment of peace."
UNMIK restored limited internal mail service inside Kosovo in January, when it issued a series of five UNMIK postage stamps in denominations of from 20 fennings to 2 deutsche mark.
International mail has begun with postcards and letter mail up to 500 grams. Minimum charge for a 20 gram airmail letter to Europe is 1 DM; 2 DM for the rest of the world.
Mail to Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be taken by land. Mail elsewhere will be flown from Pristina to Switzerland, where it will be routed to other countries.
The Kosovo postal system has been restored by a 412,000 Euro donation from the European Agency for Reconstruction, mostly for vehicles and equipment. Once the international mail service becomes fully operational, the postal system should be self-sustaining, with 700 employees.
Currently 90 post offices are opened, out of a total of 130 which existed before the conflict of 1999.