The political landscape in Kosovo was marked by substantial changes with long-term implications and uncertain environment over the last two years.
A new chapter begins
A new phase of Kosovo political status has emerged. Everyone in Kosovo - young and elderly - are in anticipation of the changes to come along with the status. It is exactly nine years after the end of the conflict in 1999, a process which brought peace and established the international presence.
Peace was restored, houses and schools were reconstructed and most of the people were able to start a new life. However, the new reality created in 1999 opened a new chapter in Kosovo's history, and this reality has always been fragile. Weak government capacities and lack of resources to be able to deal with the overwhelming challenges in the social and economic sectors, security constraints related to some minority groups, and lack of accountability over human rights violations required continuous attention by the international community.
Nine years after, in Kosovo, not all children can survive, not all children are in school, not all children receive adequate services when they are abused or exploited, some children feel insecure in their neighbourhood, while may children live in extreme poverty.
Turning the page
Kosovo is now again at the beginning of a new chapter, and it will inevitably create a new reality for all. No matter what will happen at the administrative and political level, I sincerely hope that it will be a peaceful process and that it will bring prosperity for all people living in Kosovo. I also hope that the next phase for Kosovo will open up a new window of opportunity for a long term dialogue between communities on issues such as the well being of all children, regardless of their ethnic background.
UNICEF has been present in Kosovo over the last decade, always ready to support basic services for children in need of immediate assistance. UNICEF is ready to mobilise resources and react in case any groups of children are affected by a man made or natural disaster at any time. And last but not least Kosovo will stay in Kosovo and help facilitate the dialogue between the local government, donor community and civil society in order to make sure children are part of the development agenda for Kosovo.