‘Ottawa’ Diplomatica: Kosovo Ambassador Designate Has Big Plans
Kosovo’s first head of mission has an ambitious plan for his posting in Canada.
Chargé d’Affaires Lulzim Hiseni, who will become ambassador as soon as the Canadian government approves his appointment, has been busy establishing Kosovo’s first embassy in Canada, a move his country made because it wanted to enhance relations with a government that has always been very supportive.
“Canada intervened to stop the policy of ethnic cleansing of the Milosevic regime in the name of universal humanitarian values,” he said.
Kosovo is seeking Canada’s support in continuing its bid for international acceptance as a nation independent from Serbia. “We are now recognized by 111 UN member states,” Hiseni said.
Kosovo is now a member of the World Bank, IMF and La Francophonie, and is looking for NATO, UN and, eventually, EU membership. He said its relations with Serbia are improving all the time, though Russian support remains elusive.
Hiseni said Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion has been a great supporter, dating back to the time when he was Liberal leader. “His party was in power when Canada decided to intervene in Kosovo,” he said, adding that Canada has admitted more than 7,000 Kosovar refugees since 1999, with the diaspora population now topping 10,000.
In addition to seeking political support, he’s hopes to seal a foreign investment protection agreement with Canada.
FUNDING MIGRATION POLICY
Funding migration through European bonds is a proposal being forwarded to the EU by the Italian government, and last month a high-level politician from Italy was in town to speak to the idea.
“One option is to have European bonds to fund migration policies, because it’s an investment in the future of the EU,” said Benedetto Della Vedova, undersecretary of state at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who spoke at an event co-organized by the CIGI and IDRC. “The approach we suggested was to have a bond commission at the EU level. In my view, it responds to the issue that migration, in the short term, is, or appears to be, a security issue.”
He said European citizens fear non-regulated migration. “We need to find money, even borrow it, to invest in the future,” he said. “It’s a controversial issue, because not everyone in the EU is ready to discuss having European votes, but the discussion has gained attention and the European Commission has sent a letter to our prime minister recognizing that our proposal is a very good basis for discussion, and the European migration bonds are on the papers.”
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
In an increasingly globalized world, what matters are the “power of knowledge” and ideas. So said Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, a one-time assistant secretary general at the United Nations. The minister spoke at an event hosted by Canada 2020.
“Ideas are a scarce resource in the world economy,” Munoz said. “Ideas and the lack thereof will create winners and losers.”
That, he said, creates a challenge for Latin American countries, which have traditionally been commodities producers.
Instagram exemplifies a winner in the global economy. It was, he said, created by just 14 people in California and required very little capital. Three years later, it was sold for $750 million. At the same time, a loser emerged when Kodak went broke.
“That’s how the global economy is working,” he said. “Some say a smaller number of individuals will take larger benefits, which will create inequalities.”
Munoz said copper, Chile’s main export, has seen price declines totalling 17.8 per cent over the past 10 years.
“The same thing is happening with a lot of natural resources and commodities,” he said. “This is big issue. The rate of growth in Latin America is being revised downwards. Several countries are in recession. It’s a reality we’re facing.”
Jennifer Campbell is editor of Diplomat magazine. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org