Vienna, 30 November 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "The people in Kosovo have the right to security"


Foreign Minister organizes Kosovo Security Conference

Vienna, 30 November 2007 - "Security for all the people of Kosovo, this remains an inalterable objective of the international community, regardless of how the status problem is solved", said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik at the beginning of today’s Kosovo Security Conference in Vienna, which will be attended by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the UN Secretary General Special Envoy for Kosovo Joachim Rücker, and Deputy Director General of the EU’s European Security and Defence Policy Pieter Feith.

"There can only be effective security and sustainable stability for the people in Kosovo if the security of each individual is guaranteed, regardless of their language, ethnic group, or religion. This is not an abstract concept, but a realistic and legitimate desire of the people in Kosovo", said Foreign Minister Plassnik at the opening of the conference.

"Security also means the possibility to move around the country safely and without fear, or to have free access to essential necessities like water and energy. Isolating parts of the population of Kosovo or failing to guarantee these fundamental rights for them are simply unacceptable", stated the Foreign Minister, adding that "the international community can only make a contribution toward a secure environment. The main responsibility, however, lies with the government of Kosovo - regardless of its name or composition - and the Kosovars themselves, who must create a climate of acceptance for others and ensure the undisturbed continuation of their own identity".

At the sidelines of the conference, the Foreign Minister met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer for an exchange of opinions. Plassnik also addressed the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 aiming at a greater involvement of women in peace operations: "I am very keen on a quick and comprehensive implementation of resolution 1325. Therefore, Austria has initiated a discussion process in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council for this resolution to be considered and implemented accordingly in NATO peacekeeping missions. Austria will continue to actively promote this process and the implementation of the UN resolution", said Plassnik.

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