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Manual for Sustainable Return

Part I - Context - Main Actors

Donor Community
The Donor Community plays a fundamental role in realising the return and integration of minority communities in Kosovo. Based on needs identified by returns structures described in the manual, together with its major partners, donors are presented with prioritised projects relating to the return and integration of the displaced to their places of origin in Kosovo. In addition to receiving requests to fund multi-sectoral projects for funding, donors may play an active role in the process by attending the regional working groups in order to increase their familiarity with the environment which they are seeking to support.

Provisional Institutions of Self-Government
The PISG plays a fundamental role in every stage of the returns and integration process for minority communities. The future of a multi-ethnic Kosovo depends largely on the ability of local government officials to engage potential returnees in dialogue, promote tolerance and acceptance of their right to return and encourage their participation in the provisional governmental structures.

Successful and sustainable returns depend on the ability of the PISG to ensure minority and returnee access to public and social services and to encourage the acceptance of returnees in their home communities. The Office of the Prime Minister, Ministries and
Municipal authorities are responsible for ensuring that minority rights are respected and that all legislation, programmes and initiatives fully respect minority communities' rights.

Office of Returns and Communities
UNMIK established an Office of Returns and Communities (ORC) in late 2001 to respond to the growing focus on and opportunities for minority returns in Kosovo. ORC plays an active role in providing strategic guidance to and coordination of returns. It also supports efforts across UNMIK to improve living conditions and provide an environment sustainable for both returnees and communities remaining in Kosovo.

Non-Governmental Organisations
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are key implementing partners in return and integration projects. NGOs are also key in engaging with the displaced communities across Kosovo's administrative boundary. They play a significant role in the Municipal Working Groups including defining responses to identified needs. A variety of organisations with different operational mandates engage with the returns coordination structures and the displaced communities to design and implement projects.
These may focus on a range of activities: interethnic dialogue and confidence building; housing reconstruction, income generation, agricultural development, infrastructure rehabilitation; support to improving public and community services.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNHCR's general mandate is to protect refugees and to find durable solutions to refugee situations. In addition, the UN General Assembly has mandated UNHCR to deal with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Former Yugoslavia. Under United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244, Annex 2, safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons should be conducted under the supervision of UNHCR. With UNMIK, UNHCR plays a central role in both making and implementing returns policy, and is an active player throughout all levels of the returns process.


PILLAR I Police and Justice
UNMIK Police is the law enforcement authority in Kosovo. Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1244, UNMIK has provided temporary law enforcement by maintaining an international police presence and establishing a professional, independent, and multi-ethnic local police force, the Kosovo Police Service (KPS). UNMIK Police focus on maintaining public order, crime prevention, border and immigration controls. UNMIK's Department of Justice administers the local courts and with the assistance of UNMIK Police, ensures unfettered and fair access to the justice system for minorities, including returnees. To ensure impartiality and independence, UNMIK has employed international judges and prosecutors to handle sensitive cases involving inter-ethnic crimes or cases in which there is a serious risk of bias.

PILLAR II UNMIK Civil Administration Municipal
Administrations are a key organisational actor in the returns process. They play a significant role in ensuring that the process adheres to the "bottom-up" approach.

International UNMIK officials working within the Municipalities are responsible for managing the Municipal Working Groups and ensuring that these bodies are inclusive, including representatives of the IDP/Refugee communities and municipal officials. In facilitating the work of the MWGs, the municipalities ensure the involvement of their departments where relevant. Municipal offices with specialised mandates, such as urban planning, cadastral, or agricultural departments are of particular relevance to returns projects and can aid their successful implementation. UNMIK Regional administrations supervise the entire returns process, provide a link between the Municipalities and the central coordination mechanisms, and provide oversight, coordination and guidance to the Municipalities.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) works actively to promote an environment in which sustainable returns can occur. As UNMIK's Institution-Building Pillar, OSCE plays a key role in the returns and integration process in Kosovo. Primarily, both the OSCE Human Rights/Rule of Law and Democratisation Departments act to ensure that the existing governmental, judicial, and democratic structures operate according to international human rights standards and legislation in place in Kosovo, allow access to services without discrimination, and promote the ability of returnees to remain in Kosovo.

PILLAR IV European Union
The fourth UNMIK pillar, under European Union (EU) leadership, the European Union Pillar is working towards regenerating and modernising the economic structure of Kosovo. By overseeing and co-coordinating the rebuilding of the physical infrastructure and by leading the process of management change, the European Union Pillar is creating a market based economy to give Kosovo the possibility of further integration among its neighbours and within Europe.

Kosovo Force (KFOR)
KFOR is the NATO-led international force responsible for establishing and maintaining a "secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return home in afety" as per UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Article 9 (c). Under this mandate, KFOR has primary responsibility for all security matters which arise in the returns process. It also plays an active role within each level of the planning and coordination mechanism.


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