Kosovo Independence: Should the United Nations Promote Democracy?

President Atifete Jahjaga  has said in a televised address that Kosovan independence was “irreversible” and that “the republic of Kosovo is an irrefutable reality.”

Speaking on February 17 as Kosovo began marking five years since it broke away from Serbia, she also claimed that Kosovo had become “an important contributor in developing regional relations” and that joining the EU and NATO was now the country’s “clear goal.” “We, the people of Kosovo, have begun a new chapter in our history, the chapter of peace, understanding, cooperation and mutual respect,” she said. Jahjaga was speaking at a military parade by the military parade by the NATO-trained Kosovo Security Force (KSF).

Kosovo security forces get ready for a parade marking the fifth anniversary of the country's independence on February 17.

Kosovo security forces get ready for a parade marking the fifth anniversary of the country’s independence on February 17.

While celebrations of Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence are on their way, the Office for Kosovo of the Serbian Government released a report listing attacks and ill-treatment inflicted  on Serbs since independence. Presumably the most important point that the Serbian authorities wanted to highlight in their release was that “Serbia has never and will never recognize independent Kosovo. Something that was created on injustice cannot be legal and just”.

With some 50% of the international community (i.e. UN members) having recognized the independence of Kosovo, but still no consensus on its way in the UN Security Council, one wonders why territorial independence is perceived as such a threat to state sovereignty? Questioning unilateral state independence is indeed on the international agenda since other territories may follow this precedent in intra-state conflict affected areas. Would there be international recognition in each case?, skeptics wonder.

Kosovo and the UN Recognition

On one hand, should Kosovo work its way following into Palestine’s footsteps in securing a non-member observer status in the United Nations or keep on waiting to build recognition and consensus while strengthening diplomatic ties with the Security Council Permanent 5 such as Russia and China so as to attain full state recognition?

On the other, should the United Nations promote democracy? An interesting point, since this was a top question in the UN Young Professional Programme 2012 Pol-Aff exam last year…

Reminder of the UN Charter Preamble:


  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,


  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
  • to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.

About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
This entry was posted in European Union, International Affairs, International Organizations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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