Thank you, Mr. President.
Mr. President, the United States welcomes this resolution, which responds to the Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice on Kosovo’s declaration of independence. We fully support this resolution and therefore have joined consensus.
The Court has answered the question posed by the General Assembly. The Court’s answer was clear: Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general international law and did not violate Security Council Resolution 1244. Our consistent position has been that the situation in Kosovo is a special case and not a precedent for other conflicts. Indeed, the Court’s opinion is quite specific that Kosovo’s declaration of independence had to be considered within the factual context that led to its adoption. This included, as the opinion described, the framework established by Security Council resolution 1244 to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo, the establishment of a transitional administration, and the United Nations-facilitated future status process, which concluded that the negotiations on Kosovo’s status were exhausted and that further talks on status would not produce a mutually amenable outcome.
Mr. President, this resolution is consistent with the United States’ strong support for Kosovo’s’ independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Now is the time for the region to move forward and for Serbia and Kosovo to open a new phase in their relations, focused on their shared future within the European Union. We therefore welcome the European Union’s offer to facilitate a dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to promote cooperation, achieve progress on their respective European integration paths, and improve the lives of people in the region, thereby enhancing peace, security and stability in the Balkans. The United States is prepared to lend its support to a constructive, forward-looking dialogue. More broadly, we remain fully engaged and committed to assisting Kosovo, Serbia, and all the countries of the region to realize their aspirations for full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.
Thank you Mr. President.
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