Statement in response to the Report of the Head of the OSCE Mission to Kosovo

As delivered by Minister Counsellor Knut-Are Okstad at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 9 May 2024

Madam Chair,

Let me join others in thanking Ambassador Davenport and his team for an excellent report and excellent work.

Norway has aligned itself with the statement that is going to be delivered by Czechia. We would however like to add three points in our national capacity.

Firstly, Norway supports Kosovo and the other Western Balkan countries in their Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Full integration in these structures will however not be possible for neither Kosovo nor Serbia without a comprehensive agreement on full normalization of relations.

There is no alternative to the EU-led process. We call on the parties to implement all agreements reached under the dialogue and to refrain from any unilateral actions that may cause tensions in the area. The Association of Serbian Majority Municipalities in Kosovo should be established as agreed. 

Secondly, Norway is proud to contribute financial support to extra-budgetary projects run by the Mission in Kosovo through a four-year framework agreement, allowing the Mission the necessary flexibility to identify projects where the Norwegian contribution can be of most value.

As donors to the OSCE field operations, it is our responsibility and duty to ensure that they can carry out their work effectively. Avoiding the fragmentation caused by individual participating States’ imposing their national priorities on the work of the field operations would also contribute to their effectiveness.

And thirdly, we would once again underline the importance of reaching consensus for a unified budget. The lack of an approved unified budget represents a severe challenge for any OSCE body. This is not sustainable for the Mission in Kosovo, nor for any other OSCE field mission. 

Thank you.