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Emergency Session of the UN Security Council on the Situation in Kosovo

On Saturday the 15 December 2007 the future Delegation of the Freie Universität Berlin, which  represented Japan 2008 in New York, met in Dahlem for its first official simulation of the Security Council. The session was organized by the fictive President of the Security Council who in reaction to a fictitious letter from the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon considered recent developments in Kosovo to be a threat to international peace and security.

Two fictitious letters were the central issue during the session and in turn of the letter from Ban Ki-moon. The first, from the President of the Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu announced that he would declare unilaterally the independence of the Kosovo on the 17 December 2007, and the second provided by the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vuk Jeremic, who complained that the case of an unilateral declared independence would violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia. Furthermore, he stated that he would take all necessary measures to prevent the venture of the President of Kosovo.

Both letters were of such importance, that it was imperative to convene an Emergency Security Council Session.

All 15 delegations of the nations currently represented in the Security Council, including the P5’s, met punctually at 10 h a.m. in the plenary hall of the FU.

The principle issue of the provisional agenda, “The situation in the Kosovo” was accepted unanimously and was given priority for the subsequent session. Resolute negotiations followed.

There were fundamental differences on the estimation of the situation in the region of Serbia. In general the western countries were of the opinion that the independence of the Kosovo should be welcomed and supported, but Italy remained more pragmatic, stating that the independence should be accepted implicitly and added that the question of troop reinforcement should be of higher importance. The African countries, in particular Qatar, resolutely demanded that a transition be monitored by the western nations. And last but not least Russia, China and Panama refused independence categorically and any possible transition to that effect.

The aim of the session was to find a consensus based on such a heterogenic starting point. All  delegates of the Security Council agreed on one point: that the situation required a resolution as to how to proceed in order to support the people of the region, distressed by instability and for the protection of all minorities in Kosovo.

During the whole day,  delegates discussed, debated, confederated and attempted to find compromise. They submitted draft resolutions to the chair and made amendments, then, they changed formulations and whole paragraphs, and sometimes withdrew the whole draft. Each delegation tried to achieve the maximum, while accepting only few compromises. The chair was inundated with paper but lost at no time the overview or the control.

The voting procedure with respect to three possible draft resolutions finally started at about 5 p.m. The highest expectations lay in the draft from the delegates of Slovakia, the UK, Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Qatar, France and Italy. The delegates worked hard for this draft and it received the largest consent, and not least because a whole paragraph was divided out. Thirteen delegations voted for the draft resolution, China abstained from voting and Russia vetoed it. It is not hard to understand that the frustration was so overwhelming, that the chair needed to call to order twice.

In this atmosphere there was no question that the other two draft resolutions were doomed to failure.

Nevertheless, every delegate admitted that the result, albeit disappointing, reflected reality. But this was not the only lesson the delegates learned on this day, everybody trained their negotiation skills, the rules of procedure and got a tiny foretaste of what is waiting for us in New York.

In this respect the session can be considered, even without a result, as a complete success.

Uwe Porwollik