Senior United Nations and local officials today launched a set of standards designed to prepare UN-administered Kosovo for final status, including free, fair and regular elections, free media and a sound and impartial legal system.“A Kosovo where all – regardless of ethnic background, race or religion – are free to live, work and travel without fear, hostility or danger and where there is tolerance, justice and peace for everyone,” the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said in a news release on the document, Standards for Kosovo, of the land that was torn by fighting between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in 1998-99.The concept of the Standards was agreed upon by the UN, the local institutions and the international community. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Harri Holkeri joined Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi at today’s launching ceremony in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital. Representatives of Kosovo’s Serbs did not attend.“Here, in 10 pages is described in detail a society where people of all communities are respected, whatever their ethnic background, where they are free to travel, work and use their own languages, where the institutions of government serve all the people, in all of Kosovo, without discrimination, and where there is fair justice and security for everybody,” Mr. Holkeri declared.“Kosovo has made enormous progress over the last four years,” he added. “It is a more peaceful place; there is less violence. The government, led by Bajram Rexhepi, comprises all communities and is tackling the problems that Kosovo faces. But the standards are not yet achieved. To achieve them means change.”The Standards cover eight sections: Functioning Democratic Institutions; Rule of Law; Freedom of Movement; Sustainable Returns and the Rights of Communities and their members; Economy; Property Rights; Dialogue; Kosovo Protection Corps.The UN mission in Kosovo was created on 10 June 1999 when the Security Council in resolution 1244 authorized the Secretary-General to establish in the war-ravaged province an interim civilian administration led by the UN under which its people could progressively enjoy substantial autonomy.

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