Kosovo UN envoy says Balkan border security needed to boost economy

“We all need more jobs,” the head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Michael Steiner, told the Regional Conference on Border Security and Management in Ohrid, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “You may ask whether this is connected to border security. It definitely is: jobs need investment; investment needs confidence; confidence needs security; and security needs safe borders and boundaries.”The UNMIK chief added that without secure borders, it would not be possible to stamp out smuggling and the trafficking of arms and drugs. “Extremist and criminal gangs co-operate across the region and beyond. If we are to defeat them, so must we,” he added.The two-day conference brought together leaders of the western Balkans and the international community in an effort to strengthen regional cooperation in order to combat smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism. It was hosted by the Government of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and co-organized with the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO).

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