November 2004 - With the October 23 parliamentary elections in Kosovo, the U.N. proclaims that another "key" threshold has been crossed – but the province's status remains unresolved, its majority population stills seeks independence, its legal sovereigns in Belgrade still oppose independence, and 18,000 NATO-led soldiers, including 1,800 from the U.S., maintain a very tenuous peace in the heart of southeastern Europe.
Exploring the wider relevance of US policy in Bosnia was hard enough when I first addressed it in the early 1990s. Then, the fate of all Southeastern Europe was in the balance—whether these countries would be connected to a Europe whole and free or detached as the dangerous, dysfunctional Balkans. Today, our continuing commitments in Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are inviting comparison and contrast to the much larger and more daunting American commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
February 2000 - The year 1999 was a very traumatic year for the six million Albanians in the Balkans. Thanks to NATO's intervention and after long years of bad luck, national tragedy, and economic misery, the future looks relatively bright. Despite daunting challenges, Albanians in Kosova are finally free of Serbian repression and can now begin building a new, more stable future. In Albania, there are some signs of recovery from the 1997 economically-induced government crash, although politically, it is still pervaded by a lack of cohesion and direction.
May 1998 - Kosovo is often seen as the most recent example of the clash between two established principles of international politics: self-determination and the inviolability of borders. However, it is better seen as a clash between a principle and reality.
"UNEP seeks to ensure that countries rebuilding from conflict identify the sustainable use of natural resources as a fundamental prerequisite and guiding principle of their reconstruction and recovery," says David Jensen, of the UN Environment Programme.
June 2006 - It is an article of faith that an independent, diverse and reasonably professional media is an essential fixture of democracy. As irritating as it can sometimes be, fact-based journalism practiced by public-spirited people really does help make the machinery of democracy work. Over the past 15 years, the U.S. and European governments along with private donors, including George Soros, have backed this premise with substantial funds. Since 1990, international donors have spent at least $600 million and probably much more on media training and development in emerging democracies, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and more recently in Afghanistan and the Middle East. While in the overall context of international aid $600 million is not a great sum, it is a very substantial resource to be focused on the care and feeding of one particular professional endeavor, in this case journalism, especially one whose normal relationship with government is adversarial.
November 2000- The undeclared war between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, initiated by NATO on March 24, 1999, was formally ended on June 9, 1999, with the signing of a military technical agreement under which the Kosovo International Security Force (KFOR) obtained a legal foundation.
October 1999 - The century's main principles responsible for the redefinition of empires and nation-states in Europe and the launching of an era of democracy - self-determination and liberalism - have one overarching flaw, Aleksa Djilas states: there are no formal guidelines for application or instruction. Had there been a more clear definition of applicability of these two pillars of democracy, and had the West chosen a more uniform pattern of across-the-board action, perhaps the Yugoslav disaster might have been prevented. As an example, Djilas pointed out that the political option of pressure for multi-ethnic integration and cooperation was unfortunately not even explored prior to 1991 at the outset of the Yugoslav crisis. Another example: had the West exerted pressure on the Albanians to vote and participate in the political process in Serbia as early as 1992, Slobodan Milosevic would have lost the presidency of Serbia to Milan Panic and the war in Kosovo could have been averted.
This paper analyzes the prospects for peace and stability in Kosovo, including recent developments as well as possible future steps. The author asserts that to ensure an independent Kosovo will not be a source of instability, Albanians, who constitute over ninety percent of Kosovo’s population, must demonstrate their determination to govern democratically with full respect for the rights of other peoples in Kosovo, and in friendly relationships with all neighboring states. An independent Kosovo must also be embedded in a regional network of economic, political, and security cooperation intended to make the borders in the region transparent and to allow the people of the region to cooperate peacefully as they move together toward a closer relationship with Europe.
January 2004 - Over the past decade, international organizations and development NGOs have broadened their efforts to nurture democratic governance from the centers of power in capital cities to local government. Local government is the first tier of public authority that people confront in their everyday lives. Good local governance provides services to diverse populations, facilitates the development of political institutions and cross cutting social networks and fosters economic development. At the same time, effective local government has the capacity to resolve conflicts at an early stage, preventing them from escalating into violence. In this light, the circumstances enhancing the sustainability of post-conflict local democracy command great interest.