Options for Kosovo’s Final Status:
18 January 2022
The eight commissioned papers and the discussions that ensued ranged from the political constraints on choices for the territory’s final status to the spectrum of imaginable constitutional arrangements; from the relevance of economic viability to the institution- building needed to enhance public security. [...] Most of the discussion highlighted the unique nature of the mission, in which UNMIK has effectively taken over the administration of the province and begun carrying out various sovereign prerogatives under a mandate that continues to recognize a lingering sovereignty of the remnant Yugoslav federation—a political link manifestly distasteful to many of the territory’s inhabitants. [...] In international law the right of self-determination connotes the right to political participation and the free exercise of the will of the people to exercise sovereignty in a state of their choosing—a right very rarely enshrined explicitly in domestic law. [...] Self- determination has internal and external components: the former is the degree to which the populace determines the composition of the government, while the latter refers to the place of a state as a sovereign subject in international law. [...] It is this conception of self-governance that was enshrined in the Rambouillet accords and was one of the sections to which both the Serbs and the Kosovar Albanians agreed (in the case of the latter, for an interim period only).