A Civil Society Review of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation in Kosovo
At the beginning of 2017, the process of developing a National Strategy on Transitional Justice for Kosovo reached a critical juncture. Donor support to the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Dealing With the Past and Reconciliation (IMWG) concluded and President Hashim Thaçi launched a proposal for a new Commission on Truth and Reconciliation. This new Commission seemed in principle to challenge the primacy of the IMWG in setting the agenda for dealing with Kosovo’s wartime past.
This juncture presented a unique opportunity for independent, systematic, and objective reflection on the process of developing the National Strategy, and Kosovo’s framework for dealing with the past more broadly. With that opportunity in mind, Impunity Watch and three partners (Centre for Peace and Tolerance, Integra, and PAX) initiated and supported a civil society review of the work of the IMWG. The review was a collective enterprise, enabling civil society to better understand the implications of the IMWG process for the credibility and legitimacy of the National Strategy it will produce, and providing practical recommendations that will strengthen the prospect of that Strategy contributing to societal transformation.
The review was conducted in January by two established experts: Nora Ahmetaj, Co-Founder and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research, Documentation, and Publication in Kosovo; and Thomas Unger, a lecturer at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland and advisor to IW.