Integrating Kosovo into the United Nations System

May 12, 2018


This Policy Report considers Kosovo’s options for entering the UN and its affiliate organizations. The first section discusses why Kosovo will not accede to the UN soon, as the forces aligned against its membership are currently impossible to overcome. The next section will then consider other entries into the UN system, namely the autonomous UN specialized agencies. These organizations do not offer Kosovo near the same legitimacy that UN membership would—no organization could—but joining them would normalize Kosovo’s presence and lessen its isolation. They could also help Kosovo address internal problems. The third section tries to give context to the push for membership in these specialized agencies, noting costs, potential models for Kosovo to follow and realistic expectations for the path forward. The final section draws upon a set of policy recommendations.

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