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Monday, September 10, 2012 marked the end of supervised independence of the Republic of Kosovo, a European country with a population of 2 million, and the beginning of its status as a fully sovereign state. The ceremonies featured a keynote address by a former UN Envoy for Kosovo, President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, an architect of the March 26, 2007 Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement which now came to its completion. In his speech at Monday’s special session of the Kosovo Parliament, President Ahtisaari stated: “Five years ago I offered to the Secretary-General of the United Nations a blueprint for a sovereign, multi-ethnic democracy called Kosovo. Today we celebrate the full and final adoption of the principles and structures of that blueprint into the institutions, the processes, and the legal framework of an independent, functioning state.” Pursuant to the Settlement Proposal, an International Steering Group (ISG) – consisting of twenty-five countries – was formed to oversee and guide the development of good governance, multi-ethnicity and rule of law in Kosovo. The ISG has now completed its duties, allowing Kosovo to continue with full sovereignty and the management of its own affairs as a member of the world community. This is now the overall state of affairs regarding of Kosovo’s formal status, which enables the country to pursue its chosen course independently into the future. Kosovo is now an independent country, which must be honored as such. As of today, a total of 91 countries, including most of the industrialized world, such as USA, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France along with the Benelux and Nordic countries, have recognized the Republic of Kosovo. These powers have endorsed the final settlement, the fulfilment of which is now celebrated in Kosovo’s capital Prishtina. An Amateur Radio working group headed by IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T and including IARU Region 1 Executive Committee Member Nikola Percin, 9A5W and Mission Goodwill Kosovo Coordinator Martti Laine, OH2BH together with their associates are in the final stages of assisting Kosovo’s Telecom Authorities in drafting regulations governing Amateur Radio in Kosovo, to bring the original Kosovar operators and their re-vitalized Amateur Radio Association back to the international community. http://www.voanews.com/content/supervised-independence-ends-in-kosovo/1505339.html