2008 Kosovo declaration of independence

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Kosovo from 1946 to 1992 (Source: CIA)

The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence was an act of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government Assembly of Kosovo, adopted on 17 February 2008 by unanimous quorum (109 members present), which declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia.

It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo's Albanian-majority political institutions, the first having been proclaimed on 7 September 1990.[1]

The government of Serbia said that the declaration was illegal. It took the case to the International Court of Justice. The ICJ said that the declaration did not violate international law.[2][3]

United Nations[change | change source]

Following a request from Russia, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency session in the afternoon of 17 February.[4] The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a statement that avoided taking sides and urged all parties "to refrain from any actions of statements that could endanger peace, incite violence or jeopardize security in Kosovo or the region."[5] Speaking on behalf of six western countries—Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and the United States—the Belgian ambassador expressed regret "that the Security Council cannot agree on the way forward, but this impasse has been clear for many months. Today's events... represent the conclusion of a status process that has exhausted all avenues in pursuit of a negotiated outcome." [6]

ICJ ruling[change | change source]

On July 22, 2010 the International Court of Justice ruled that the declaration did not violate international law. Prior to the announcement Hashim Thaçi said there would be no "winners or losers" and that "I expect this to be a correct decision, according to the will of Kosovo's citizens. Kosovo will respect the advisory opinion." For his part, Boris Tadić, the Serbian president, warned that "If the International Court of Justice sets a new principle, it would trigger a process that would create several new countries and destabilise numerous regions in the world."[7]

References[change | change source]