Marek Antoni Nowicki, the Ombudsperson of the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), has a very interesting essay in Transitions Online (a translation of his regular column in Koha Ditore) articulating some of the limitations of his position. In particular he notes the paradoxical role of the UN, which is obligated to protect to protect human rights but subject to no authority which assures that it does. As a result, Mr Nowicki writes:
"The people of Kosovo exist in an almost Kafkaesque paradox: the presence of the UN in the province (UNMIK) is very much based on humanitarian and human rights grounds. However, precisely owing to the UN presence, Kosovo is a black hole, so to speak -- a place exempt from any international human rights protection."
Strip off the shiny UN rhetoric (Mr Nowicki is honest enough not to shine it up too much anyway) and there is a deeper problem: nobody assures that the UN regulates the behavior of what he calls the "surrogate state" in Kosovo, which is very much based on ethnic exclusivity.