Contact Group (Balkans)

Contact Group (Balkans)

The Contact Group is the name for an informal grouping of influential countries that have a significant interest in policy developments in the Balkans. The Contact Group is composed of United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia. It was first created in response to the war and the crisis in Bosnia in the early 1990s. The Contact Group includes four of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and the countries that contribute the most in troops and assistance to peacebuilding efforts in the Balkans. Representatives of the EU Council, EU Presidency, European Commission and NATO generally attend Contact Group meetings.

The Contact Group has taken a major interest in the UN-led process to determine the future political status of Kosovo (i.e., whether it should be independent or remain a part of Serbia). The Contact Group meets regularly with UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari, who has been charged with running the future status process.

The Contact Group has no Secretariat or permanent staff—it is simply an informal grouping of countries that meets regularly at various levels to coordinate international policy initiatives in southeast Europe. Contact Group public statements, often negotiated to painstaking detail within the group, are considered to be significant statements of the international community's policy and intentions in the region. The Contact Group usually meets at the level of Balkans director (i.e., the highest-ranking diplomats in charge of the Balkans in each foreign ministry). Occasionally, however, the Contact Group meets at the level of Political Director or even Foreign Minister.

Read more about Contact Group (Balkans):  2006 Activity

Other articles related to "contact":

Contact Group (Balkans) - 2006 Activity
... On July 24, 2006, ContactGroup representatives observed the first high-level meeting between the prime ministers and presidents of Kosovo and ... A ContactGroup statement issued after the meeting praised Kosovo for demonstrating flexibility in the technical talks underway in the Kosovo future status process, but urged Serbia to demonstrate more ... ContactGroup foreign ministers met in New York City on September 20, 2006, in New York City on the margins of the UN General Assembly ...

Famous quotes containing the words contact and/or group:

    Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Caprice, independence and rebellion, which are opposed to the social order, are essential to the good health of an ethnic group. We shall measure the good health of this group by the number of its delinquents. Nothing is more immobilizing than the spirit of deference.
    Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985)