The International Civilian Office provides international support for a European future for Kosovo.
Our aims are:
* to ensure full implementation of Kosovo’s status settlement.
* to support Kosovo’s European integration.
We do this by advising Kosovo’s government and community leaders.
The International Civilian Office (ICO) assists the International Civilian Representative (ICR) in the fulfillment of his mandate.
Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence on 17 February 2008 expressly invited an international civilian presence, as it was envisaged in the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement, drawn up by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Kosovo.
The ICR was appointed by the International Steering Group (ISG) on 28 February 2008.
The International Steering Group comprises States that support the full implementation of the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement.
The ISG charged the ICR, and through him the ICO, with the specific task of ensuring implementation by the Government of Kosovo of the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement.
The International Civilian Representative and Deputy International Civilian Representative
The International Steering Group mandated Pieter Feith, a former senior official at NATO and of the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, as International Civilian Representative on 28 February 2008 in Vienna.
After a 25 year career in the Dutch Diplomatic Service, Mr Feith served in a wide range of roles in NATO and the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. Most recently he was the Council’s Deputy Director-General for Politico-Military Affairs.
Download Pieter Feith’s CV and high resolution picture
Christopher Rowan took up the post of Deputy International Civilian Representative in August 2010. He is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. Previously, Mr. Rowan was Regional Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and before that, Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1991, Mr. Rowan worked at The Bank of New York in international banking. He has also served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, an affiliation that he subsequently maintained through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a Colonel in 2004.
Download Christopher Rowan’s high resolution picture
The ICO consists of the following Units:
Political Affairs Unit
Community Affairs Unit (including Decentralisation, Community Rights and Religious & Cultural Heritage)
Press & Public Affairs Unit
Administration & General Management Unit
Background to the international community in Kosovo
Kosovo was placed under the transitional administration of the United Nations in 1999. The basis for the deployment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It left Kosovo’s future status unresolved.
In November 2005, negotiations for a final settlement started in Vienna, Austria. Martti Ahtisaari, a former Finnish President, led the team of the United Nations Special Envoy for Kosovo (UNOSEK) in Vienna, Austria, engaging in extensive talks with both main parties – negotiation teams from Belgrade and Pristina – and with international partners.
On 26 March 2007, President Ahtisaari presented his comprehensive package to the United Nations Security Council in New York.
In late April 2007, a fact-finding mission of the United Nations Security Council visited Brussels, Belgrade, Pristina, and Vienna.
On 29 July 2007, in light of remaining differences in the United Nations Security Council on Kosovo and the ensuing agreement in the six-member Contact Group to drive the process forward, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign & Security Policy Javier Solana appointed Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger—a German diplomat— as EU representative in the European Union/ Russia/ United States team charged with facilitating a further period of engagement between Belgrade and Pristina on the future of Kosovo. The U.S. and Russian members of the team were Frank Wisner and Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko, respectively.
On 1 August 2007, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed this initiative by the Contact Group, adding “the international community must find a solution that is timely, addresses the key concerns of all communities living in Kosovo and provides clarity for Kosovo’s status. The status quo is not sustainable.” Ban Ki-Moon added that the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo (UNOSEK) would be associated with the process by standing ready to provide information and clarification on request. He announced that the Contact Group would report back to him by 10 December 2007.
The concluding report of the EU/US/Russia Troika on Kosovo, from 4 December 2007, stated that "... the parties discussed a wide range of options, such as full independence, supervised independence, territorial partition, substantial autonomy, confederal arrangements and even a status-silent ‘agreement to disagree’." It continued saying, "... the parties were unable to reach an agreement on the final status of Kosovo. Neither party was willing to cede its position on the fundamental question of sovereignty over Kosovo. This is regrettable, as a negotiated settlement is in the best interests of both parties."
International Civilian Representative
28 February 2008 – 10 September 2012