Osnat Lubrani Resident Representative:Key Notes for KHDR 2012, Launch

14 May 2012

Dear Ministers Kusari-Lila, Rasic, dear Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Partners

Kosovo is entering the second decade after the conflict with public debate still focused on the many unresolved political issues. However, for Kosovo inhabitants the economic and social challenges are the ones that preoccupy their everyday lives.

This report addresses the heart of economic and social challenges, the capacity of the economy to provide jobs and growth.

Decent work is the most basic of all human needs. Decent work means more nutritious food on the table, a better house to live in, better health and more freedom.

Beyond these it also means dignity and empowerment, opportunity to build and share knowledge, to become more capable and pass those capabilities on to others – particularly children.

More people in decent work means more income within communities, more expenditures on essential services, less poverty and resentment and more optimism for brighter, safer tomorrow.

Private sector is essential for employment and it is also critical to human development. However private sector is a tool for human advancement only when it brings benefits other than income. And when no one is left behind.

It contributes to the following pillars of human development: 

1.         To Equity: it creates income opportunities for the poorest

2.         To Productivity: it promotes  innovation and exploration

3.         To Sustainability: it contributes to wise usage of resources

4.         To Empowerment : it promotes the power of the individual

Needless to say, each human life has equal value and is entitled to an equal degree of freedom, opportunity and security. Nations become successful not through wealth or might, but by giving all their citizens an equal opportunity to thrive and prosper.

This report argues that a pro-people economic strategy can and will help Kosovo create sustainable, private sector-led growth.

 It calls for growth to be restructured to include more of Kosovo’s men and women, unleashing a wealth of potential.

It also suggests how private enterprise can play a stronger role in Kosovo’s much-needed social development.

There are two central messages of this report:

First, it argues that private wealth creation strategies require active management and broad participation to translate into more decent jobs and better standards of living.

Private sector can spark an extraordinary chain reaction, spreading income and empowerment to the excluded and vulnerable, however this can be achieved only through inclusion and participation of all.

Second, it states that Kosovo’s institutions should play a critical role in setting the environment for a flourishing and inclusive private sector. This means tough choices, fair enforcement of laws and willingness to set a long-term vision over quick fix solutions.

In the end, individual choices will ultimately define how businesses grow and what benefits they bring to their communities.

           Will laws be respected?

           Will women be hired as well as men?

           Will competition be fair?

           Will those unable to find decent work still get out of bed every day and try?

Only Kosovan people thinking for themselves and for their common good can answer those questions.

Years of research document that:  

           Power imbalances in governance, within societies and between public and private interests erode many of the benefits of booming economies.

           Only growth rooted in fairness - seeking to liberate human potential while striking a healthier balance between economic growth and preservation of the environment for future generations - lasts.

United Nations Kosovo Team (UNKT) is deeply committed to a future in which all Kosovans have the chance to explore their possibilities and entrepreneurship.

Our efforts are focused to address the key challenges that hold back the potential – lack of accountability, poverty and disempowerment and the environment degradation.

Fairness, growth and opportunity go hand in hand. I know that Kosovans understand this to be true. And that they have the energy and the goodwill to take a road towards a more inclusive form of prosperity.