Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Fourth Report


316.  NATO took the unprecedented action of bombing an internationally recognised European state in defence of the rights of a large minority within that state. As a result these rights have been restored.

317.  However, the objective of establishing a multi-ethnic Kosovo society within a democratic Yugoslavia remains unachieved. Milosevic remains in power.

318.  In the meantime, as a result of NATO action, the UN has been compelled to assume virtually unprecedented responsibility for the governance of a province. It has to establish all the basic requirements of a civilised society, an economy and a currency, institutions to uphold law and order and to deliver the whole range of services necessary to society.

319.  This is a formidable challenge which deserves the full support and attention of the international community. We are concerned that the attention span of the international community is short. There is a tendency to act immediately and then move on, leaving the UN to bear the longer-term consequences.

320.  This should not happen in Kosovo. NATO, with the support of the European Union, authorised the action taken in Kosovo outside the terms of the UN Security Council. NATO and EU states, therefore, more than the UN, have a very specific and heavy responsibility to establish long term stability and peace in Kosovo and in the region.

321.  We have made a commitment to Kosovo. Unless we fulfil that commitment, and build peace in Kosovo and the region, our efforts to date will have been in vain.

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