Concern over rights of Kosovo Serbs

Tomislav Nikolić expressed concern over the rights of the Serb community in Kosovo in a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Source: Tanjug

Serbia is striving to protect the rights of its citizens living in the province in direct talks with the interim administration in Priština, the president said.

"Since this is a part of its territory that Serbia has entrusted to the UN, Serbia wants to see the human rights of all citizens, including Serbs, respected," said Nikolić.

The Serbian president said Serbia's intention to implement the highest human rights standards is genuine, and its Constitutions and laws are already in line with these standards, Nikolić's office said in a release.

In the past year, Serbia has done a lot to achieve stability in the region, which also has a positive effect on inter-ethnic relations, he said.

After Pillay noted that there are still problems concerning the rights of the LGBT community, persons with disability and the Roma, Nikolić said he will personally make sure the state sends a clear message that no violence towards anyone will be tolerated, domestic violence in particular.

"Serbia has done a lot in the previous period, not because someone on the outside asked it to, but because we want to solve problems and build a more humane and modern society where we will live and which we will leave to our children," said the president.

The UN high commissioner commended Serbia's efforts in the promotion of human rights not only in the country, but also in international organizations.

She recalled that Serbia successfully passed the second evaluation of the human rights situation in the country this February.

Pillay also noted that Serbia is a signatory of almost all UN human rights protocols, and expressed hope it will ratify protocols on economic, social and cultural rights, and on the rights of the child.

Security situation in Kosovo still fragile

The security situation in Kosovo andMetohija is still very fragile, more frequent incidents giving a particular cause for concern.

This is what Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić told visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay as they met in Belgrade on Monday.

In the first four months of 2013, 60 ethnically-motivated attacks were recorded, Dačić warned, pointing to a difficult position of 200,000 people who were displaced from Serbia's southern province and have no opportunity for a sustainable return, the Serbian government announced in a release.

In 2013, only 47 individual returnees were registered, the prime minister said, noting that Serbia will have to ask for the EU's additional assistance and thus make sure that the problems of internally displaced people are tackled more efficiently.

Pillay underscored that Serbia made evident progress in ensuring the respect of human rights, and insisted on the promotion of human rights culture that should be espoused by authorities at all levels.

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