Bosnia and Herzegovina

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Survey of OSCE Long-Term Missions and Other OSCE Field Activities
1. Basic Decisions


  • 5th meeting of the Ministerial Council, Budapest, 8 December 1995 (MC(5).DEC/1)

Terms of Ref.:

  • ibid.
  • General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Proximity Peace Talks. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. November 1-21, 1995 (REF.PC/716/95/Rev.1)) (hereinafter: the Peace Agreement).
  • PC Journal No. 93, Agenda item 6: Decision no. 145.

2. Tasks

The tasks of the Mission are outlined in the Budapest Ministerial Council Decision MC (5). Dec/1, either directly or through reference to the Peace Agreement (see para 9 of that Decision: Establish a Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina [...] to carry out its tasks as requested by the Parties to the Agreement), in the OSCE Lisbon Summit Declaration, the Conclusions of the Paris Ministerial Steering Board Meeting, the London, Bonn and Madrid Peace Implementation Conferences as well as in the PC Decision No. 145. According to this decision, they consist of the following elements:

  • taking into consideration the role of the High Representative as defined in the Peace Agreement and in the conclusions of the Paris Meeting as well as the need to co-operate with other international actors, the Mission concentrated on providing assistance for the preparation and conduct of municipal elections in 1997 and on providing assistance in the establishment of a permanent election commission, in accordance with Annex 3 of the Peace Agreement, with respect to the elections scheduled to close the consolidation period.
  • to assist in democracy building and be active in human rights promotion and monitoring, in particular in support of the Ombudspersons throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • to continue assisting the Parties in implementation of regional stabilization measures;
  • the Head of Mission will co-ordinate closely with the Chairman-in-Office and report to the Permanent Council regularly, at least every two months.

3. Deployment

The Head of Mission started to work in Sarajevo on 29 December 1995, relying initially on the infrastructure of the existing OSCE Mission in Sarajevo.

The Mission has its Head Office in Sarajevo, and it has currently four Regional Centres in Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo and Tuzla. In addition, the Mission has 24 Field Offices in the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, the Mission has an additional office in Brcko, the so-called Brcko Center.

The OSCE and its Mission have closely co-operated with the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) in order to ensure the efficient, timely and cost-effective operation of the OSCE Mission. It has established a very close cooperation with the Office of the High Representative, SFOR, IPTF, UNMiBH, UNHCR, the Council of Europe and local NGOs among others.

4. Duration

After the Budapest Ministerial Council, the Mission mandate has been prolonged three times:

  • 93rd Permanent Council (PC), PC.DEC/145, 21 November 1996:until 31 December 1997;
  • 143rd PC meeting, PC.DEC/,203, 11 December 1997: until 31 December 1998;
  • 199th PC meeting, PC.DEC/270, 19 November 1998:until 31 December 1999;
  • 260th PC meeting, PC.DEC/319, 2 December 1999until 31 December 2000.

5. Composition

The composition of the Mission at present is 180 internationally seconded members.

The Head of Mission (since 17 January 1998) is Ambassador Robert L. Barry of the United States. He is assisted by a Senior Deputy Head of Mission, four Deputies for Elections, Democratisation, Human Rights and Regional Stabilization as well as by a Political Director, a Director of Mission Resources and a Spokesperson.

6. Financial implications

The Budget for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the financial year 2000, adopted at the 262nd Plenary Meeting of the Permanent Council on 15 December 1999, PC.DEC/331, totals EUR 37,855,300. The total for the OSCE Tasks in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 41,670,800.

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