In the course of my unrelated-to-Disney-movies-from-the-‘90s duties, it sometimes happens that I attend media events – such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Pristina International Airport earlier this afternoon. Here’s how, loyal reader, it went down.
First rule of power is you make ‘em wait, and so there we waited, shuffling and tripping over camera wires as incremental delay after incremental delay was announced. A mixed crowd of local and regional journalists (plus yours truly), we buzzed around in a collective, multilingual “nic fit” until the UN turboprop taxied in, depositing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon into a crowd of flower-bearing courtiers whose hands were shaken in (presumable) order of seniority as he made his way to the dais.
The speech itself was fairly pro forma, and archetypically late-globalist in its repeated calls for “dialogue” and “mutual respect” between parties who don’t really wish to speak and who have no respect for one another. What else can you really say? It’s the only thing that doesn’t bring the guns out.
Today’s visit marked the first time that a United Nations Secretary-General has visited Kosovo since the 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia was issued by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leadership. As such, the (non-Albanian) minority-protecting aspects of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 were emphasized early in Secretary-General Ban’s speech, which closed on a conciliatory note by commemorating the recent death of (Kosovo-born) Albanian poet Ali Podrimja.
As there were no questions permitted, the five-minute address concluded with us journalists disassembling our gear and filing down toward the free bottled water in the Arrivals lounge.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon exited toward a phalanx of UNMIK Land Cruisers, past a display of international flags in which the emblem of the Kosovar republic and that of Albania flew at equal height.