Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Serbia v. the International Community

To return to a topic that we have discussed on this blog on numerous occasions (see, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, amongst others), Serbia has sent a fairly clear signal to the international community that it is not prepared to contemplate what many are simply assuming will be the final outcome of the Kosovo status negotiations, an independent Kosovar state, by endorsing nothing less than a new Constitution which declares Kosovo to be part of Serbian territory for eternity; and this only a few short weeks before the Security Council is expected to rule on the issue.

The EU and the US have dismissed the move as "irrelevant" - an incredible suggestion when one considers that it is the territorial integrity, involving long-recognised borders, of an independent state that is concerned. Whatever the outcome, it seems clear that any enforced separation of Kosovo from Serbia will be vigorously (we can only hope peacefully) by the latter; and this turns it into a significant problem for international law, as there seems to be no chance of Serbia simply acquiescing to the Security Council's expected attempt to force the independence option. We will thus, it seems, have a precedent ("exceptional" or otherwise) where the international community will act to divide up an existing (and democratic) state, where no current threat to international peace and security currently exists. A bold move, indeed; but one that could, if handled without huge sensitivity, backfire spectacularly in this historically most volatile region of Europe.

1 comment:

Wolfgang said...

Oh, dear...