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Agence France Presse, August 19, 1999

Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse

August 19, 1999 11:52 GMT

A planned meeting in Pristina between the head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN administrator Bernard Kouchner has been postponed, the UN announced here Thursday. Klaus Toepfer, who is also acting head of Habitat, has had to reschedule his trip because Kouchner is due to travel to Kosovska Mitrovica, Toepfer's office said, without giving detail of Kouchner's visit. The meeting, originally scheduled for Friday, will probably be held next month and will focus on discussing "ways of ensuring security of tenure for returning refugees, capacity building for better urban governance and a proposed independent Commission on Housing and Property Rights", UNEP announced here Wednesday. Kosovska Mitrovica has been the scene of protests by hundreds of Kosovar Albanians who are demanding access to their homes in the Serb-occupied part divided northern city. The resolution of property-rights disputes is key issue in Kosovo, where for decades Albanians have been prevented from owning their own homes, according to UNEP and Habitat, the UN Centre for Human Settlements.

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