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U.S. Statement to OSCE Permanent Council on Kosovo Elections

U.S. Statement to OSCE Permanent Council on Kosovo Elections

The United States believes it is now more important than ever for all Kosovo residents, including Kosovo Serbs, to participate in the November 17 assembly elections, even though they might not be optimistic about the results. Statement on Kosovo, delivered by Ambassador David T. Johnson to the Permanent Council, Vienna, September 20, 2001. Ambassador Johnson calls on all residents to exercise their right to vote. Source: Washington File (EUR521), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., September 21, 2001.

"Voting guarantees a voice, not an outcome," said David T. Johnson, head of the U.S. mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"It is unquestionably in the interest of all Kosovo Serbs to participate in these elections. Only through voting will they be able to make their voices heard throughout the larger community, gain authority over their own affairs, and engage in the dialogue that is part of governing oneself."

Johnson spoke in Vienna September 20 at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council.

Following is a transcript of his remarks: (begin transcript)

United States Mission to the OSCE

Statement on Kosovo, delivered by Ambassador David T. Johnson to the Permanent Council, Vienna , September 20, 2001.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We all are rightfully preoccupied with issues related to the aftermath of September 11, as well as the questions related to our need to enhance our Mission in Macedonia, but we also know that our Mission in Kosovo will be conducting elections in only a few weeks.

We believe it is now more than ever important for all Kosovo residents to participate in this process, even though they may not be optimistic that the results will be to their liking. Voting guarantees a voice, not an outcome. But, the recent elections in the United States demonstrate clearly the importance of each and every vote.

It is unquestionably in the interest of all Kosovo Serbs to participate in these elections. Only through voting will they be able to make their voices heard throughout the larger community, gain authority over their own affairs, and engage in the dialogue that is part of governing oneself.

Many Kosovo Serb political leaders, as well as ordinary citizens, strongly desire this participation. Kosovo Serbs must know that their participation is a matter of utmost importance for their future. Given the surge in Serb voter registration it can, in fact, assure them a powerful voice in the future of Kosovo.

The United States calls on all Kosovo residents to exercise their right to vote and to take the important step in having a say in their future.

Mr. Chairman, I also wish to reiterate, as I have mentioned here before on, I believe two previous occasions, that the United States will provide no funding to political parties named in the June 27 presidential declaration and would urge other countries to follow this action. We believe that none of the individuals identified now or in the future in the US Executive Order should be allowed to contest this election. Thank you.

(end transcript)

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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