OHCHR’s work in Kosovo over the past two years has contributed to increased awareness and consideration of human rights-related matters by UNMIK and the PISG. The capacities of the UN agencies in Kosovo to implement a human rights-based approach have been increased. In the last biennium, OHCHR Pristina concentrated its efforts on strengthening government human rights capacities and providing advice and political support to the Ombudsperson localization process. The Office promoted the conclusion of UNMIK’s dialogue with UN treaty bodies, and fulfilment of UNMIK’s other human rights obligations. The Office worked with the UN Kosovo Team to integrate OHCHR’s planned activities, including training of staff and partners, with those of other agencies. It also advocated for the consideration of human rights in the Ahtisaari Proposals, and encouraged the implementation of transitional justice initiatives in the Kosovo status process.
OHCHR’s intervention in these areas has led to several tangible results, including the revision of a number of draft laws to ensure greater compatibility with human rights standards (two were related to the establishment and role of the Ombudsman). With support from the Office, the PISG developed and started to implement a human rights strategy.Working with the OSCE, OHCHR also helped ensure greater awareness among senior PISG officials of the need to create properly staffed and qualified human rights units within key ministries.
As part of the development of the Ahtisaari Proposals and the UNMIK transition plan, OHCHR’s dialogue with UNMIK resulted in several concrete policy decisions. By the end of 2007, UNMIK agreed to establish a focal point for human rights issues, to regularly convene a task force to address these issues, and started preparations for convening the much-delayed Human Rights Advisory Panel. OHCHR intends to build upon these achievements in the next biennium to ensure that it is regularly consulted by UNMIK, and any successor international actors, in policy discussions affecting human rights.
OHCHR also worked with the UN Kosovo Team on a number of advocacy initiatives that resulted in policy changes, such as the relocation of a number of internally displaced persons affected by lead poisoning. The Office assisted the Secretary and members of the Human Rights Committee in considering the report of Kosovo under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and helped facilitate dialogue between Committee members and the UN mission.