Bosnia and Herzegovina

Partnership and co-operation take Bosnia and Herzegovina forward on its reform path, says OSCE Secretary General Zannier

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SARAJEVO, 16 April 2015 - OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier concluded yesterday a three-day visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he met with high-level state officials, Srebenica municipal and religious leaders, and senior representatives of the international community.

Zanier commended the BiH authorities for their commitment to implement the socio-economic reforms necessary for the country’s development. “Addressing the economic and social needs are of key importance if the country is to move forward,” said Zannier in a meeting with BiH Council of Ministers Chairman Denis Zvizdic.

“The Government’s priorities in increasing integration in education, strengthening the rule of law, promoting human rights, and combatting corruption match those of the OSCE,” said Zannier. “The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina looks forward to continuing its good co-operation and partnership with both citizens and authorities.”

Zannier noted that promoting regional co-operation is one of the key priorities of the Serbian OSCE Chairmanship and highlighted the key role that BiH can play in furthering reconciliation. Given that BiH will soon assume the Council of Europe presidency, Zannier welcomed the opportunity to promote joint initiatives with the Council of Europe in the area of combatting extremism and youth radicalization.

At the Potocari Memorial Centre, the OSCE Secretary General paid his respects to the victims of the genocide. During his visit to Srebrenica, Zannier underlined the importance of promoting inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue to achieving reconciliation and he praised the joint efforts of the mayor and deputy mayor to do so.

Promoting education reform to eliminate discrimination and segregation was one of the key topics that the Secretary General addressed. “Bosnia and Herzegovina needs more integrated education. It is clear that there is no single solution. But it is also clear that there are positive examples now that can be replicated elsewhere in the country,” said Zannier in a meeting with the BiH Presidency Chairman Mladen Ivanic. “Education reform is essential for reconciliation and long-term stability.”