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Gerald Kosovo

Ottoman Dilemma

July 2002

The most controversial report by ESI-LLA was probably The Ottoman Dilemma.

Based on an exhaustive study of the state of social property across Kosovo, the report concluded that UNMIK had failed in a critical area of public policy:

"The United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has made itself responsible as trustee and administrator for a vast amount of state and socially owned property across Kosovo…"
"However, over the past three years, it has lacked the institutional resources to establish an effective property regime. As a result, control over some of Kosovo's most valuable economic assets is being determined outside the legal system, in countless individual power struggles across Kosovo. The results have been harmful both to economic development, social and political stability and the establishment of the rule of law."

The report triggered a series of public and internal discussions. ESI staff made numerous presentations. The report was serialised and appeared in both Koha Ditore and Danas leading daily papers in Kosovo and Serbia.

But while the Ottoman Dilemma led to some soul-searching within UNMIK, it failed to change the trajectory of UN policy.

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