Friday, 10 October 2008

Ahtisaari's work in Kosovo deserves no prizes

I wouldn’t usually post twice on Kosovo in one day but I was surprised to learn (and yes it did involve me scanning one of Brian Walker’s posts on Slugger) that Martti Ahtisaari is to receive this year’s Nobel peace prize. I can only assume he is being recognised for work in Indonesia and Namibia, although I know nothing of his contribution in these places, because he certainly should not be receiving plaudits for his involvement in Kosovo.

As UN Special Envoy to Kosovo, Ahtisaari eschewed mediating between the Serbs and Albanians, instead choosing to underpin Nato’s early decision that the province would become a nominally independent protectorate. The Ahtisaari Plan put these ambitions into action, making largely symbolic allusions toward protecting minorities, which have not in the event been adhered to.

Serbia, supported by the Russians, would not support Ahtisaari’s plan for independence preferring the compromise of an autonomous Kosovo, within the sovereign state of Serbia. The US and EU insisted that his formulation was the only viable solution and refused even to countenance the notion of autonomous Serb areas within an independent Kosovo.

Ahtisaari’s influence in Kosovo did not promote compromise. He was not a mediator, as much as a means for Nato to enforce its preferred solution. If this prize rests in any degree on his work in Serbia, then it should not be awarded.

1 comment:

Karl Haudbourg said...

I totally agree with you.