UNDP Kosovo Hosts a Conference on Transitional Justice

Oct 10, 2013

Opening remarks by Steliana Nedera Deputy Resident Representative

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Advancing Gender Justice (AGJ) project is holding a two-day Conference on Transitional Justice on 10 and 11 October. The conference is seen as a crucial element to increase knowledge, dialogue, access to information for public, and literacy of the legal community in the area of transitional justice.

Although Kosovo has undergone a period of political change and economic progress during the past 14 years, it still faces significant hurdles in its efforts to engage with the past. While Kosovans work hard to overcome past barriers and build a new future towards European perspectives, they also need to conduct a comprehensive process of dealing with the past and build reconciliation between all communities. One of the challenging tasks set before Kosovo’s integration process into the European Union is certainly the establishment of peace through a process of transitional justice.

The conference brings together relevant actors of transitional justice from Kosovo as well as experienced international experts and practitioners. The purpose is to offer a comprehensive discussion on transitional justice, which will increase and improve knowledge and information for the public and legal community, as well as relevant agencies and civil society organisations dealing with transitional justice.

The discussions of this two-day conference include topics on gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law in the past in Kosovo. Also regional and international approaches on the elements of transitional justice, such as: truth, justice, reparations, and preventing a re-occurrence of violence will be discussed.

Participants include Mr. Abdyl Ymeri, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Justice, Dr. Pajazit Nushi, Institute for War Crimes, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Prenk Gjetaj, Government Commission on Missing Person, H.E. Robert Bosch, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Kosovo,  Dean Makau Mutua, from SUNY Buffalo Law School, New York,  Dr. Nora Refaeil, former Special Adviser on Dealing with the Past for the ICO in Kosovo, University of Basel, Switzerland.

Following the conference, UNDP/OHCHR joint project „Support to Transitional Justice in Kosovo‟ will support and facilitate the process of transitional justice in Kosovo, support the process of drafting a National Transitional Justice Strategy, and provide logistical and substantive support to the Secretariat serving Inter-Ministerial Working Group (IMWG) on Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation.

Background information

Speech of the guest speaker Dean Makau Mutua, SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar at SUNY Buffalo Law School, New York