2008 Kosovo declaration of independence

declaration of independence for Kosovo

The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence was an act of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government Assembly of Kosovo. It was adopted on 17 February 2008 by all of the 109 members that were present, which was the minimum number needed for it to pass. It declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia.

Kosovo from 1946 to 1992 (Source: CIA)

It was the second declaration of independence by Kosovo's Albanian-majority political institutions. The first was proclaimed on 7 September 1990.[1]

The government of Serbia said that the declaration was illegal. It took the case to the International Court of Justice. The ICJ said that the declaration did not violate international law.[2][3]

United Nations


Following a request from Russia, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency session in the afternoon of 17 February.[4] The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a statement that avoided taking sides and urged all parties "to refrain from any actions of statements that could endanger peace, incite violence or jeopardize security in Kosovo or the region."[5] Speaking on behalf of six western countries—Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and the United States—the Belgian ambassador expressed regret "that the Security Council cannot agree on the way forward, but this impasse has been clear for many months. Today's events... represent the conclusion of a status process that has exhausted all avenues in pursuit of a negotiated outcome."[6]

ICJ ruling


On July 22, 2010 the International Court of Justice ruled that the declaration did not violate international law. Prior to the announcement Hashim Thaçi said there would be no "winners or losers" and that "I expect this to be a correct decision, according to the will of Kosovo's citizens. Kosovo will respect the advisory opinion." For his part, Boris Tadić, the Serbian president, warned that "If the International Court of Justice sets a new principle, it would trigger a process that would create several new countries and destabilise numerous regions in the world."[7]


  1. Howard Clark, Civil Resistance in Kosovo, p. 73. Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0745315690
  2. "Serbian president visits Kosovo". BBC News. 2009-04-17. Archived from the original on 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  3. "World court says Kosovo's independence is legal - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-07-24.[permanent dead link]
  4. "UN Security Council to meet on Kosovo - diplomat UPDATE". Forbes. AFX News Limited. 2008-02-17. Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  5. Bilefsky, Dan (2008-02-18). "Kosovo Declares Its Independence From Serbia – New York Times". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  6. Borger, Julian (2008-02-18). "Albanian celebrations leave Serbs defiant | World news | The Guardian". London. Archived from the original on 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  7. "ICJ rules on Kosovo statehood - Europe". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-24.