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Third Kosovo Independence Anniversary day

Remarks by Ambassador Muhamet Hamiti - Institute of Directors - London, 17 February 2011

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

It gives me pleasure to welcome you all tonight to the celebrations for the third anniversary of Kosovo’s independence.

Last year has seen Kosovo’s independence being validated by the top UN judicial body, the Hague –based International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ruled in July 2010 that Kosovo’s declaration of independence by the representatives of the people of Kosovo on 17 February 2008 was in full compliance with international law. The onus is now on scores of countries which had said they were awaiting the ICJ ruling for them to be able to go ahead with recognition of Kosovo to do so.

The United Kingdom was among the first seven nations that recognized Kosovo within the first 24 hours of our existence as an independent country. We have indeed seen a steady recognition process.75 nations have recognized Kosovo to this day – which amount to an aggregate of over 70 percent of the GDP of the world.

We thank all of them deeply for having embraced Kosovo into their fold. We look forward to other countries recognizing the internationally-sanctioned statehood of Kosovo.

We have just concluded our first national election in the Republic of Kosovo, with an increased overall turn-out and very good participation from the Serbian and other minorities. The Parliament will meet on Monday. We might well have a new Government and a President next week. This is also a sign of our vibrant democracy, and a functioning state and a multi-ethnic society. Kosovo will have 95 ethnic Albanian parliamentarians and 25 MPs from minority communities in a 120-strong legislature.

The priority of the new Government of Kosovo will be to tackle the pressing economic and social problems our country faces, including high unemployment, although we have seen a 4% plus GDP growth last year.
Kosovo has proven itself a resilient nation, which has arisen out of the ashes of the 1999 war, and stood firmly on its feet three years ago to declare itself an independent, sovereign and democratic country.

Kosovo has a cause to celebrate today, as we confront the future with renewed stamina and strive towards integration into the EU, NATO, and, last but not least, membership of the UN.

With your support, with the unfaltering support of your Governments, Your Excellencies and friends of Kosovo, we will succeed.

Let me at the conclusion thank our Political Director in the Foreign Ministry of Kosovo, Mr. Lulzim Mjeku, for having made the trip to London to celebrate our independence day with us.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,

Thank you very much for your attention. Enjoy the evening tonight.