Establishing the Rule of Law: the U.N. Challenge in Kosovo

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Series Details Number 34 bis
Publication Date June 2012
ISBN 978-2-36567-035-7
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Created on the 10th July 1999 by Security Council Resolution 1244, UNMIK was responsible for restructuring the institutions of a country devastated by war and establishing democratic governance. The security of people and goods and the existence of a legal system trusted by the population were two crucial prerequisites to the state-building process.

The international community, however, only partially achieved these aims. Local difficulties, related to the hatred between ethnic communities and the resulting insecurity, as well as the international institutions' inherent weaknesses, have represented major obstacles to the implementation of a local police and a legal system abiding to the United Nations" norms.

Today, international actors' support remains essential to the functioning of Kosovo, thereby confirming the fragility of its independence. This assessment of UNMIK's activities demonstrates that peacekeeping operations can diminish the intensity of conflicts without necessarily eliminating its causes.

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