On May 12, Group for Legal and Political Studies held a Press Conference to present the findings from the Policy Report entitled: “Integration Kosovo into the United Nations System”, held in Prishtina. This Policy Report discusses Kosovo’s real opportunities to join the UN Specialized Agencies. In addition, the report also analyses the costs and benefits of such memberships, while prioritizing Kosovo’s membership in some of these agencies. “Kosovo has lagged behind in its membership in the United Nations Specialized Agencies. Among the total of 15 agencies that UN includes, Kosovo is a member of just two of them, namely, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. While it is important to mention that even in the above-mentioned agencies, Kosovo became a member in 2009 and since then there was no progress towards other potential memberships”, stated Albana Rexha, a co-author of the paper. In addition, several strategic recommendations were provided for the government, as following:
The Kosovo Government should target the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Health Organization for membership by a vote of their members. Both organizations provide a low enough bar for accession and would provide an important enough service to Kosovo to merit the use of political capital to join.
The Kosovo Government should accede to the Berne and Paris Conventions and deposit a signature with intent to ratify to join the World Intellectual Property Organization. While Kosovo may deposit a signature with intent to ratify now, it should show its commitment to the goals of WIPO by ratifying the Berne and Paris Conventions.
The Kosovo Government should table any attempts to join the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the World Tourism Organization. They are difficult, if not impossible for Kosovo to join and they would provide such little return for a high investment of political capital that Kosovo should not bother until accession is a formality.
The Kosovo Government should table accession to the International Labor Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Universal Postal Union and the World Meteorological Organization, but keep accession in mind as bilateral recognitions continue. These are important organizations with high thresholds for membership, which can both benefit Kosovo’s legitimacy and improve its functions. As Kosovo comes closer to the thresholds required by each organization, it should use any diplomatic capability it has to press non-recognizing states to abstain from any vote, save in those organizations where shares of all member states are required.
The Kosovo Government should continue seeking bilateral recognitions. Frequent Security Council members such as Argentina and Brazil should be prioritized, as well as those members of the Arab League that have still not recognized Kosovo, given the existence of the Arab Swing Seat on the Security Council. While China remains unlikely to recognize Kosovo, it should also receive considerable attention as the more isolated Russia is on the Security Council, the more likely a final settlement could cause it to relent.
The Policy Report can be found here.
Venue: Group for Legal and Political Studies Office.
February 12, 2019
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