1. I thank Mr. Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) for his briefing.
2. We are also grateful to His Excellency Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and His Excellency Hashim Thaci, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, for their statements.
3. Malaysia joins other countries in welcoming the positive developments in Kosovo following the formation of the new government last December. In particular, Malaysia is pleased with the resumption of the high-level dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, facilitated by the EU.
4. We welcome the new level of cooperation between the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo as evidenced by their first ever meeting on 9 February 2015 in Brussels, since they took office last year. The meeting proved fruitful, as both sides reached an agreement on the integration of the judiciary in northern Kosovo into the Kosovo judicial system. This presents another milestone in implementing the 2013 Brussels Agreement to normalise relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
5. We hope to see continuing dialogue and sustained momentum in implementing the rest of the 15-point Agreement. We welcome the commitment shown by both sides towards this aim, as reflected in their statements today.
6. Malaysia takes note of the overall stable security situation in Kosovo during the reporting period. I join my other colleagues in reaffirming support for UNMIK, which plays a key role in promoting security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo.
7. We also commend the role of the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) to further strengthen the rule of law and the judicial institutions in Kosovo. In this regard, we welcome the steps taken by the Kosovo authorities to establish a specialist court, to try cases arising from the findings of the EU Special Investigative Task Force.
8. We echo the call made by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his report for the Kosovo authorities to redouble their efforts towards this aim. We believe that progress in establishing the Specialist Court to try possible war crimes and crimes against humanity is crucial in bringing about reconciliation and closure among the communities in Kosovo.
9. Malaysia also welcomes the adoption of a law by the Assembly of Kosovo in March 2015 to stem the recruitment of terrorist fighters from Kosovo to conflicts abroad.
10. We have heard from SRSG Zarif today on the political and socio-economic challenges faced by Kosovo. We concur on the need for the new government to embark on comprehensive political and socio-economic reforms to improve the living standards of the people.
11. Malaysia is concerned about the eruptions of violence in Pristina during the reporting period, which reflected the fragility of inter-ethnic relations. We urge all parties to refrain from violence and inflammatory rhetoric, which could further escalate tension between the ethnic groups. We strongly condemn any attempt to spread hate and instigate inter-religious violence including by desecrating cultural and religious sites.
12. As a multi-racial and multi-religious country, Malaysia believes in the creation of a common space for all and in the values of moderation in countering extremism, and ensuring mutual respect, acceptance, compromise, and understanding between various ethnic and religious groups.
13. We urge all parties in Kosovo to intensify their efforts towards reconciliation, inclusive democracy and development, as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law, and creating the institutions for nation-building. We remain committed to support Kosovo towards this end.
I thank you, Madam President.