AFP, November 20, 2002
UN chief urges a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo
PRISTINA - UN chief Kofi Annan yesterday appealed to the people of the ethnically divided province of Kosovo to "overcome the legacy of the past" and build a more tolerant society.
"Though Kosovo has already covered a lot of ground, it is now that the really hard part begins..," Annan said in a speech to local leaders and members of the international community on the first day of a two-day visit to the UN-administered Yugoslav province.
"The part that is about overcoming the legacy of the past and building a society anchored firmly in the rule of law and democratic institutions, mutual respect and trust," Annan said at an art gallery where both ethnic Serb and Albanians exhibited their work.
"The United Nations will continue to walk with Kosovo on this journey. But only Kosovo's people can ensure it reaches its destination," the UN secretary general said.
Annan met local leaders including President Ibrahim Rugova, Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi, parliament speaker Nexhat Daci and ethnic Serb parliamentarian Rada Trajkovic.
Today he is scheduled to visit Kosovska Mitrovica, a tense northern town divided between ethnic Serb and ethnic Albanian halves with UN police and NATO-led peacekeepers caught in the middle.
The UN chief is also due in Belgrade later today.