Kosovo - A Territory with a Right to Self-Determination?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: Kosovo, the world’s 193rd country, will be the sixth state carved from the former Serbian-dominated Yugoslav federation since 1991, after Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Montenegro, which became the world’s newest state in 2006. Kosovo’s statehood is, however, still disputed. The question if Kosovo is a subject that has a right to external self-determination and therby hold international status and de jure independence is still not answered. The disputed status of Kosovo contributes to an uncertain political future and the status quo is unacceptable. Although the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia now is challenged by Kosovo’s declaration of independence, political actors work towards a peaceful, stable and secure environment, which is essential for the stability in the region. In order to solve the crisis in Kosovo there has to be a balance between the respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity on the one hand and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for national minorities on the other. The Kosovar Albanians’ claim for independence, as manifested in the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008, is subject to the legal rules of self-determination. When Kosovo proclaimed independence from the Republic of Serbia, Serbian representatives reiterated that the solution for Kosovo must fall within the legal frameworks of the republic of Serbia. This implied that all State and public services in the province, including the organs of law and order, should function according to the Constitutions and laws of the Serbian Republic. International actors involved in the quest for a solution to the crisis in Kosovo, reiterates that there should be a consistent implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) in order to build a multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo. This also includes self-government and substantial autonomy with full respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia. Even though the declaration of independence of Kosovo was expected by the international community, the question wether or not to recognize Kosovo has splitt the world in two; the countries that recognizes or plan to recognize Kosovo as a sovereign State, and those who do not plan to do so. Since the question does not only concern Kosovo but also the international public law and world order, this crisis has been shown to be a hard nut to crack.

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