PAM visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed at a crucial moment

A high level PAM delegation concluded a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a series of official meetings with institutional and political leaders in Sarajevo. Members of the PAM Bureau and from parliamentary delegations of Western Balkan countries, members of PAM, formed part of the mission co-organised by the PAM Secretariat in collaboration with the Bosnian Parliament, on 23 June 2010.
Meetings were held with Mr. Stefan Simosas, Head of the Office of the High Representative, European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Discussions took place with the Presidency collegium of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely Ms Dusanka Kajkic, Deputy Speaker of the House of Peoples, Mr Beriz Belkic, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Branca Tadorovic, Secretary General of the House of Peoples, Mr Marin Vukoja, Secretary General of the House of Peoples, Mr Goran Spiric, Advisor to Ms. Majkic, and Mr. Sefik Dzaferovic, Chairman of the Constitutional-Law Committee of the House of Representatives.

Mr Simosas briefed the PAM delegation on the work of his office, whose mandate stems from the Dayton Agreement of 1995, and which also holds today the responsibilities of European Union Special Representative in BiH. He said that the PAM visits was particularly welcomed at such a crucial moment when only three months are left for the general elections in Bosnia Herzegovina. Mr Simosas said that today, the positive developments in the country do not need to refer frequently to the BBonn Powers and the Office of the High Representative can concentrate on supporting institutional reforms towards EU and NATO integration.

Mr Simosas said that internally there are some points of convergence but the major issue regarding constitutional changes and reforms need further negotiations and good will from all actors involved. He concluded that in recent years there has been a climate of relative indifference from the international community and this led the parties to adopt, sometimes, more radical positions in their interactions.

PAM Secretary General, Dr. Sergio Piazzi, said the visit took place following a request from the United Nations, during the visit of PAM Bureau to the UN Secretary General in New York, during which the UN urged PAM to support national and international initiatives to ensure political stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Subsequently the PAM Bureau decided to take this opportunity to meet the Speakers of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina and political leaders in Sarajevo.

“PAM, in line with its ambition to create an area of peace and stability in the Mediterranean region, supports the work of the OHR, until the complete stabilisation of the situation will be achieved”, stated Dr. Piazzi.

During the meeting with the Parliament’s representatives it was agreed that the PAM 1st Standing Committee would propose the setting up of an Ad hoc Group on the Western Balkans, which could work on initiatives in support of the efforts of Bosnia Herzegovina parliamentarians for the institutional stability of the country. Furthermore a meeting in 2011 of all parties, including Russian, EU and American members of Parliaments and diplomats, could be hosted by PAM to assist in the constitutional reforms discussions.

Also Mr Dzaferovic, thanked PAM for bringing international attention from the Mediterranean region, after years of neglect from the international community. He said that such a meeting under the auspices of PAM would certainly help to foster the necessary dialogue and trust among the newly elected MPs.

Commenting on the importance of the visit, PAM Secretary General, Dr. Sergio Piazzi said: “The visit achieved the principal objective of listening to the different views on the present status of discussions about the different projects and processes of the constitutional reform, and most importantly, to seek advice on how our regional Assembly can support the efforts being undertaken to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina for all its inhabitants”.

ISSUED ON: 25.06.2010

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