On 28 September 2017, US expert David L. Philips addressed students, professors and the wider community on the "Implementation Review of the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue" at RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) auditorium. This community discussion came from Philips’ recently completed report that reviews progress in the Brussels-led dialogue and proposes a road-map for effective mediation on these important bilateral issues that would enable both governments to put the contentious past behind them.
Mr. Philips stated that ”Kosovo and Serbia should continue the dialogue on the normalization of relations between them and this is the best way for Serbia to recognize the state of Kosovo.” Philips stressed that normalization should include recognition as recognition would result in Kosovo's membership to the UN on a fast track.
He “clearly and unambiguously” called the process a “dishonest dialogue” in which the Serbian Government does not view Kosovo as a sovereign state, but as “provisional institutions of self-government in Kosovo.” Mr. Philips concluded that the United States of America did not go to war with NATO to save Kosovo from ethnic cleansing and simply to partition it two decades later, but that recognition of Kosovo within today’s boundaries is an absolute necessity He proposed that the U.S. Government play an enhanced role in a ‘Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue’ that is transparent, closely monitored by the EU and that is completed within 18 to 24 months
Mr. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Right. He has served as Senior Adviser to the U.S. Department of State and as Senior Adviser to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and has been working on Kosovo for well over 25 years.
This presentation is part of the Public Forum Lectures held regularly at RIT Kosovo (A.U.K). RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) believes that debating and deliberation of issues that concern a society is an essential process in building a democratic society. We encourage and educate our students to become active members of the society and participate in public deliberation and debating of issues that concern the society.
Link of Mr. Philips presentation and discussion can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjXM7k7Fw8