Osnat Lubrani: Agencies and Regulatory bodies, their functioning and strengthening

Nov 30, 2011

Talking points for the United Nations Development Coordinator,
Ms. Osnat Lubrani at the Round table:
Agencies and Regulatory bodies, their functioning and strengthening

30 November 2011, 10:30 – 13:00

Thank you Chairman Pajaziti,

Dear Members of the Parliament, Minister of finance, representatives of independent agencies and regulatory bodies, international development agencies, civil society, and other distinguished guests…

I thank you for inviting me here today to participate in this event as a follow up on the July Conference where we discussed the impact of legislation in economic and social development of Kosovo and in response to the Challenges portrayed for you in the EC progress report.

With the new budget for 2012 approved and the new “Economic Vision for Kosovo 2011-2014” underway being implemented, it is a chance for you to work for ensuring the so much needed economic growth, but also its international competitiveness.
This competitiveness concept comprises elements of business climate, legal framework, contract enforcement, labor force qualifications, and the quality of public institutions and infrastructure.
This seems highly ambitions agenda, but the challenge, in Kosovo’s case, appears more daunting on first glance than it actually is. As my colleague Peter Jolters from the IMF has presented, Kosovo would need to exploit the so-called ―latecomer advantage.
Generally speaking, in the cases where economic growth has coupled with increasing inequality and disparity, political leaders haven’t put much emphasis on human development.  Same applies for Kosovo as well.

Economic growth alone is not enough- it needs to be inclusive and equitable. Moreover, inclusive and equitable growth will only be sustained if it respects the planet’s natural limits. This is where we will need to embrace economic innovation to be able to limit depletion of natural resources for a healthy growth.

On this topic I would like to quote SG Ban Ki Moon: "We need a revolution. Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete." The current economic model is a recipe for "national disaster" and said: "We are running out of time. Time to tackle climate change, time to ensure sustainable … growth."

The momentum has been built up, and I am glad that the Kosovo institutions, the Assembly in this case, have decided to actively tackle the economic sector as one of the most important for real human growth. The new government has prepared a new “Economic Vision for Kosovo 2011-2014”, the first development plan for the future projected vision for Kosovo

The Parliament plays a significant role in paving the way for development, in terms of shaping appropriate and pro-poor legislation as well as instilling political will in the minds of Kosovars. It also plays the main role in monitoring the implementation of legislation for a functional society.

The government’s role is to implement and monitor the legislation which was put in place, to provide access to quality services available to all without any exclusion. These services should be designed to improve quality of life to all Kosovo citizens, being a functional and democratic society.

The Regulatory bodies and Agencies as Independent institutions are for all of us a cornerstone of democracy.  You serve as a key component of the separation of powers, ensuring checks and balances and respect for the Rule of Law. 

When I say “Independence” I do not mean “unaccountability or un-transparency”, but rather the need to be “independent in terms of their financing, independence from political interference and independence of tenure and appointment which is based on merits.
In Europe, independent agencies emerged in response to citizens’ needs. The role and functions of these independent agencies are not static. In some countries new offices or institutions continue to be added as needs arise.

But most importantly, independent institutions are, just like the Government, accountable to the people of Kosovo through the people’s representatives in the Assembly of Kosovo or other institutions.

This is where we will support you as I speak on behalf of all 21 UN agencies in Kosovo. I also see the involvement of civil society as crucial in becoming a stepping stone towards true social inclusion in Kosovo from institutional and legislative perspective. This is a moment when I extend my call to all of you discuss the areas where your objectives and those of the CDP match, to increase policy creation and implementation in a transparent and accountable manner, both at the central and local level.