models for a
Solution Series # 9
TFF Associate & Jan
ways of making peace
By way of starting, some words of
caution. What's the egg and what's the hen in the
question about the future status of Kosovo? What is form
and what content, the means and the goals? People who
strongly want independence tend to see that as both a
means and the goal: "if only we become an independent
state, everything will be fine." There have been enough
post-independence and post-colonial conflicts and wars in
the world for anyone to see that this is not necessarily
With the decision-making on the
future status - form - moving to the top of the
international agenda, it is likely to tilt the general
attention away from issues of substance, i.e. what
kind of Kosovo - internally and as a unit in the
region - will be granted a certain status?
In substantive terms, the
general, basic issues are still: language, education,
access to government civil services (including police and
security), social services, land, ownership, control over
natural resources, forms of representations in local and
regional power structures, prospects of economic
development, high-level respect for human and minority
rights, and a political culture of democratic tolerance:
respect for majorities and more respect for minorities
because they could be run over by a majoritarian
And the specific post-war, basic
issues are still: reconciliation, trust-building,
good neighbourly relations, peaceful community, practical
ways to remember what happened but seeking no revenge
(e.g. memorials, war/peace museums, churchyards, decent
teaching of history, and general cultural therapy such as
theatre, poetry, music and art to deal constructively
with the past). It is peace education in the entire
school system, teachings of non-violence as an option in
human affairs, teaching negotiations and dialogue, it is
the empowerment of citizens (women and youth in
particular) to participate effectively on all levels and
without a grain of fear.
To put it pointedly, the future
status of Kosovo and the region around it is about
democracy, peace and human civilisation in one. It
won't be achieved by any number of delegations making
decisions with each other and with the international
community alone. True, it will require some top-down
elite, high-level negotiations, but sooner or later they
will turn out to be null and void without citizens'
So there is the shallow formal
peace of status, legal issues and treaties being
signed. And there is the deep sustainable
peace of citizens going for reconciliation, building
a new peace culture through their hearts being
changed. Combine this with elite peacemaking and
broader social peacemaking and we get four roads to peace
for Kosovo and the region:
1. Shallow peace made by elites
from the top - the most typical in former Yugoslavia,
often coupled with threats and bombings, i.e. forced, not
voluntary peace agreements.
2. Shallow peace made by
citizens from below - having been seduced to believe
that independent Kosova would be the solution to
everything and that peace (including EU and NATO
membership) is handed down to them by elites.
3. Deep peace made by elites
- quite unusual but many individuals in UN and other
missions around the world see this need every day on the
ground and support it on the fringe of their official
mandates. Ignored in diplomatic academies and
4. Deep peace made by
citizens - there has been "peace pockets" and "peace
lords" in several places in former Yugoslavia. See more
examples in the section Peoples' peace-making
below. Likewise largely ignored by diplomats and media.
and models - high level and legally based
Every conflict has some unique
features and shares some features with about every other
conflict. Kosovo is special but no more so than there
exist precedents and models around the world and in the
literature that could inspire the work towards a final
settlement. Let's mention some, at random to illustrate
the diversity of existing models.
As mentioned above, there are the
(only) three mentioned cases of peaceful secession,
Norway, Singapore and Slovakia. There are catchwords for
solutions to minority and related problems such as the
Åland Islands between Sweden and Finland (1917-51),
Trieste (1945-54), South Tyrol (Bolzano)-Trento
(1960-71), Schleswig-Holstein (Germany and Denmark);
there is Denmark/Greenland and Denmark/the Faeroe
Islands. There are the Saami (Lapp) people of Norway,
Sweden and Finland. Hong-Kong (although not an
ethnic-based conflict) is a secessionist conflict that
has been solved by the formula of
one-country-two-systems. There are the Azores and Madeira
as (very) autonomous provinces of Portugal.
Or, somewhat differently, take
Burundi and its present peace process. The Hutu majority
and Tutsi minority in Burundi are itching their way into
power-sharing, a new constitution, demobilisation and
disarmament, re-socialisation of child soldiers and the
establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission;
they do so on the background of several decades of
violence having killed at least 300.000. And Burundi is
one of the world's five poorest countries. In passing
it's worth observing that Burundi, given this extremely
difficult background and very little international
attention and assistance, has moved much more
impressively in the direction of peace during the last 2
years than Kosovo has during the last 6 years. You find
no one who argues for splitting the country in a Tutsi
and Hutu part; what you find is a genuine war fatigue and
a new remarkable will to peace among the far
Below follow some thinkable models
at random, no priorities made. They do not exhaust the
possibilities - many more are found in the recommended
literature at the end. They serve to stimulate the debate
and bring inspiration for those who are not stuck in the
rigid thinking of "only one solution: ours" (whether
Serbs/Albanians/international community) and thus seek to
find the optimal, the creative, the viable and the right
balance between general historical experiences and the
specificity of this conflict.
status models for Kosovo in the larger
- Confederation of
states (Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo).
- Confederation of
autonomies - or of ethnic minorities - in the
wider region, the latter two with no right to
secession but to influence governments in the whole
- Self-government -
making all decisions pertaining to internal Kosovo
affairs, close to a Serbia-Kosovo confederation,
depending on modalities. Close to:
- Substantial autonomy
- Substantial autonomy within
Serbia + various kinds of double affirmative
action such as higher proportion of seats and
ministerial posts for minorities in Serbia's
Parliament than their proportion of population and the
same for Serbs in Kosovo.
- Complete independence
with special provisions such as de-militarisation,
high minority protection, non-alignment, open borders,
no unification with others, protection of Serb
Orthodox churches, etc.
- Independence as a process
in phases - with clearly stipulated obligations of
Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and the
- Division/Partition -
with double substantial autonomy and high minority
protection for both Serbs in Northern Kosovo and for
Albanians in Southern Serbia.
- "Guarantor states"
arrangement - whatever high-level autonomy or even
independence Kosovo's development is overseen by a
number of states with the right to mediate and
arbitrate. Used in Cyprus 1960 and in the Rio Protocol
for Peru and Equador. (1)
- Condominium - the idea
that Albania and Serbia, perhaps Montenegro and
Macedonia too, share the responsibility for Kosovo
with its people and build solid co-operative
- Kosovo as a European
region - Kosovo and possibly other units in the
region together granted a special status associated
with the EU.
- A Balkan Council -
modelled upon the Nordic Council in Scandinavia with
representatives from all regional governments but also
from NGOs and minorities.
- An OSCE-like process -
Kosovo as a unit in a broader Balkan co-operative
structure, ranging from a formal con-federation to
close trade relations and economic co-development,
something that could be arranged as part of an
OSCE-process over some years along the lines of the
old one for all of Europe.
- Trusteeship - Kosovo as
a trusteeship area of the UN or of the EU, or
- The Hong Kong model -
one state-two systems.
- Observer status
internationally - multi-ethnic teams representing
Kosovo are granted observer status in relevant
- Combinations of one or more
of these alternatives...
models for Kosovo itself
- A citizens'
Kosovo where the democratic political
culture is based first and foremost on the concept
of citizens and not on ethnic identities, a truly
democratic and tolerant political culture.
- Affirmative action
inside - higher proportional seats and ministerial
posts for minorities in Parliament than their
proportion of population, the same for government
employees, police, teacher and media
- Rotational collective
presidency/leadership allowing for all ethnic
groups to be leaders from time to time.
- Open but internationally
protected areas for minorities' culture,
history and religion.
- Consociation or
consociational democracy - a system of
power-sharing that seeks to resolve differences
through techniques of consensus rather than majority
rule; meaning a civic equilibrium that guarantees a
share of governmental power to the political elites of
all major parties, incorporating the mass of their
popular support into a system of proportional
representation and coalition governments
- Cantonisation - each
with more municipalities in it and with its own
constitution, legislature, government and courts.
- Serb-dominated cantons
could be co-operating directly with Belgrade if
they so wish about civil affairs; Belgrade having no
influence in Kosovo outside these (depending on status
decided for the province of course).
- Division/Partition -
the north becoming an autonomous province of Serbia,
the rest being independent. Border drawn after
- Combinations of one or more
of these alternatives...
Then there can be various
combinations of internal and external models and
principles. Simply put, there are so many possibilities -
and many more than these - between going back to pre-1999
and making Kosovo an completely independent state. To
argue that there is only one solution is perhaps
psycho-politically understandable but intellectually it
does leave a lot to be desired.
How do we get to the final
status, then? Through dialogues, fair listening,
consultations, research inputs, gathering ideas and
models from around the world, exploration. Then talks and
On the latter, some inspiration on
how to set up a professional negotiation mechanism can be
found in TFF original 1996 proposal for just such a
mechanism, Memorandum for Understanding between the UN
and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia concerning a UN
Temporary Authority for a Negotiated Settlement (UNTANS)
in Kosovo. If their mandate would be changed and
re-directed towards a negotiated solution, UNMIK and
other international presence - and supplemented with NGOs
- could form a solid negotiation facility needed to
arrive at a sustainable and for all satisfactory status
for the province. The publication is available
By this we are coming back to the
fundamental point raised throughout this series: no
settlement will work well if the will to reconciliation,
tolerance and peace has not taken root throughout the
citizenry. Structures and status that just hold hate and
revenge at bay - making everybody look good, say and do
the right things until the day after a status agreement
is signed - won't qualify as a solution.
More often than not, governments
and their non-professional conflict-managers usually
simply don't think in these terms. They are neither
educated nor trained to see such broader options. They
act as if they believed that legal approaches coupled
with money and some carrots or sticks will make people
peaceful in their hearts and minds. Truth is, as seen
elsewhere, such an approach prove, sooner or later, to be
a recipe for future violence.
So the qualities of the society
and the will to peace of the people are much more
important than formal status and legal structures. It all
hinges upon a new orientation by the citizens of Kosovo
and surroundings, a will to acknowledge on all sides what
happened and move on towards a better, more rewarding
future for all.
takes time and the international community must be
What will that require? First of
all, it takes patience on all sides and time. To heal
societies and souls in a deep sense after war takes a lot
of time. It's one of the main rules of thumbs in the
trade. Negotiations too may well take years. It clashes
with the wish of politicians to force through solutions
while they are in charge; four-year terms are not exactly
conducive to peace-making in complex conflicts. Thus, the
many quick-fix settlements here and there, Bosnia for
instance: shallow peace meaning no war but also no real,
sustainable peace. Quite a few diplomats in the
international community must be assumed to know this very
well but some still try to circumvent the substantial
dilemma that faces them in Kosovo.
Quite remarkably, the Danish
foreign minister Per Stig Møller wrote in the
Danish Politiken on April 2, 2005:
"It cannot be expected
that all the standards will be met before late summer.
That is the reason why the international community
should pay attention to the will to meet these
requirements rather than to whether they have been
fulfilled." (Our italics and translation from Danish).
This is pure slippery slope and
contravenes the logical meaning of "standards before
status" as well as formulations like these in UNMIK's
Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan (KSIP) of March
"The 'Standards for
Kosovo' remains the target for Kosovo. Progress
against this target will be the basis for any review
in mid-2005 to begin consideration of Kosovo's final
status." And, a little later with reference to safe
returns and freedom of movement of people driven away
from Kosovo: "to ensure that planned actions can
effectively fulfil these essential standards."
This document is clearly about
actual progress and fulfilment and not about the mere
will to fulfil them.
SRSG Søren Jessen-Petersen
has stated that status talks will start in a few months -
so he seems to know already that the review will be
positive. He also maintains that they won't take years,
only months. One is inevitably reminded that those who
drew up the Dayton Peace Plan for Bosnia-Hercegovina in
1995 thought that it would be implemented on the ground
in about a years' time.
peacemaking - basic and informal
Let's mention at random some of the
things that will be needed for any status and structures
to function well and solidify peace in the region:
- Offer people a
positive vision. Carrots work much better than
- A truth and reconciliation
- Encourage forgiveness
by talking about it, not forcing it.
- Invest in education,
including internationalised education. Include
that and peace and conflict education
throughout the school system and higher
- Peace and non-violence
training in the rest of society - as important as
courses on human rights and on how to start up small
business. Use NGOs, churches and media.
- Give the young chances
so that they come back if they have gone
- Use the media for public
education, including telling good stories and
stories of how people have created peace
- Open up the mental horizons
that have been smashed by militarism and
nationalism, undo the macho-militarist mentality
that exist in certain circles. Offer trauma healing
and other socio-psychological support to those who
were in the war (often young low-educated boys) and to
the victims (women, children and youth).
- Trust-building and
tolerance education for all.
- Expand "democracy" to mean
not only some kind of elections but an entire
political culture of tolerance and respect for all
kinds of minorities.
- Active use of the elements of
peace culture - sports, theatre, poetry, music,
arts etc - for peaceful development rather than to
worship the culture of killing.
- Help develop institutions
and mechanisms for future violence prevention and
crisis management, build indigenous capacities.
- Memorials for all, all
the names in one marble wall, not separate walls;
common places of worship and remembrance - not "their"
and "our" memorial park. After all Albanians and Serbs
share the sorrow, the mourning and their fundamental
humanity. They share the pain of having lost their
lost loved ones.
- Peace museums - giving
people a sense of their own struggles as part of a
worldwide history of peace. Learning from others and
not feeling that one is alone increases the
- Create local peace
zones, from village halls to clusters of
- Offer stimuli for
multiethnic co-operation into development aid -
you get more assistance, loans and credits from abroad
if you employ all ethnic categories in your project.
- Institute peace and
reconciliation awards to local citizens who have
taken constructive initiatives, built bridges for
peaceful co-existence, locally, in the province and
between Serbia and Kosovo.
- Invite citizens to use the
Internet, e-mails etc to participate in country-wide
brainstorms on how to solve problems and move
forward towards a good Serbia and a good Kosovo. Give
people an opportunity to share their experiences, help
good ideas to spread fast throughout society.
- Encourage positive vision
and new ideas in general. Every human being has
the capacity, but nationalism, militarism and other
fundamentalism have taught them that they were
traitors if their expressed them.
- Encourage thinking beyond
your own little place and your own lifetime (space
In the book War Prevention
Works, Dylan Mathews lists the following ten lessons
to be learnt from 50 cases of people making
1. To meet and talk about
peace, when others can see only violence as a
solution, is no wimpish activity.
2. The support of outsiders is
often critical to ensure the survival of peace
3. Nearly half of all
interventions for peace were done with some spiritual
4. Slow trust-building among
people is often necessary before formal
5. Business has a powerful role
6. Traditional processes of
mediation and conflict-resolution can be
7. Women frequently offer key
ingredients, including the expression of feelings, for
8. Far more evaluation of
experiences ought to be done.
9. NGOs have become more
effective but cannot replace government
10. Peaceful intervention can be
extraordinarily cost-effective compared with military
intervention. But, sadly, many peace initiatives have
failed for lack of funds or resources when they could
have made a difference.
These are lessons that will have to
learnt by international government and near-government
conflict-managers. It would be wise to recognise a few of
them in the future work for peace and stability in Kosovo
and the Balkan region.
The conflict about Kosovo is a
"hard" conflict, but it requires creative soft means to
solve it. If it is solved in a good way - means and goals
being one - it would inspire and serve as a model case,
for many other conflicts around the world. It would offer
hope to a wider world in which so many long for peace,
justice, welfare, development and security.
Millions of people who have
suffered from war know better what peace means than a few
leaders who have benefited from war. They have more
honest incentives to want peace! And the peace they
choose will take longer time but be deeper and democratic
and thus much more sustainable.
1. The Rio
Protocol represents a
special method of third-party dispute settlement. The
treaty's provisions were overseen by four "Guarantor"
states (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the United States -
four of the most powerful countries in the region). The
Guarantors are legally obligated to mediate - and
possibly arbitrate, which they eventually did for two
major remaining impasses - all aspects of the
Ecuador-Peru border dispute. As such, the Rio Protocol
exemplifies not only the variety of international
dispute-settlement mechanisms, but the power of
international law through the observance of treaty
2) Kat Gilbreath has defined
consociation in this manner in The
Yale Political Quarterly
"Consociation is based on the premise that deeply divided
societies can be brought into manageable civic
equilibrium by guaranteeing a share of governmental power
to the political elites of all major parties, and then
incorporating the mass of their popular support into a
system of proportional representation and coalition
governments. The primary distinguishing feature of
consociation is cooperation among such
3) Kenneth D. McRae in his
Theories of Power-Sharing and Conflict Management
in Joseph Montville's anthology (see recommended
literature) sees the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland
and Austria as the four classical European cases of
consociational democracies. The distinguishing feature is
"the ability of the leaders of the contending subcultures
to avoid the dangers of intergroup conflict through
cooperation." Consociation is about accommodating
competing, different constituencies into a system of
consensus-making at the elite level; he also uses the
metaphor of "a delicately but securely balanced
Gabriel Partos, BBC,
Peter Harry and Ben Reilly (eds.),
Democracy and Deep-Rooted Conflict. Options for
Negotiators, IDEA Handbook, Stockholm
Joseph V. Montville, editor,
Conflict and Peacemaking in Multiethnic Societies,
Lexington Books 1991.
Johan Galtung and Carl G. Jacobsen,
Searching for Peace. The Road to Transcend, Pluto
Press, London 2000.
Hurst Hannum, Autonomy,
Sovereignty, and Self-Determination. The Accommodation of
Conflicting Rights, University of Pennsylvania Press,
Preventing War in Kosovo,
Lund, Sweden 1992
Conflict Mitigation for Kosovo,
Lund, Sweden 1996.
Hugh Miall, The Peacemakers.
Peaceful Settlement of disputes since 1945. Macmillan
and Oxford Research Group, 1992.
Dylan Mathews, War Prevention
Works. 50 stories of people resolving conflict,
Oxford Research Group, Oxford 2002.
European Centre for Conflict
Prevention, People Building Peace. 35 inspiring
stories from around the world, Utrecht 1999.
Paul van Tongeren, Hans van de
Veen, Juliette Verhoeven (eds), Searching for Peace in
Europe and Eurasia. An overview of conflict prevention
and peacebuilding activities, Lynne Rienner, Boulder,
The TFF Kosovo
the solution in Kosovo matters to the
media - strategic considerations
main preconditions for a sustainable solution to the
situation as seen from Serbia
arguments for quick and total independence are not
must be Belgrade's minimum conditions and its media
and states, sovereignty and
scenarios: Turn to the future, look at the broader
thinkable models for future Kosovo
From "Only one solution" towards democracy and
background links for this series.
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