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Kosovo Now a Member of the UIAA

Submitted By: Rianne Dueñas

Kosovo's mountaineers have managed to climb a new peak. Only this time, it's not Mount Blanc or Kiliminjaro, but the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation where Kosovo was officially sworn in as a member country despite stark opposition from Serbia.

During the annual meeting held on October 8, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Kosovo's representatives Arben Lila and Teuta Bicaj were pleasantly surprised with UIAA's decision to accept Kosovo's federation amongst its international structures.

Following a failed attempt to join two years ago, Kosovo's delegation was hoping to obtain observer status. However, in an unexpected turn of events, with 23 votes in favor, three against and five abstanations, the UIAA welcomed Kosovo, offering full membership.

Switzerland was the first country to lobby for Kosovo's admission, while England and Italy followed suit, paving the way for other members to reconsider their stance. This is a landmark achievement as most sports federations can not participate or compete in international events due to membership problems. Kosovo's Mountaineering and Climbing Federation is one of the most active sports institutions in the country, hosting weekly expeditions and sightseeing visits despite lack of funding and institutional support.

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