OHR’s Statement at the International Agency’s Joint Press Conference

HR in Brussels

The High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, will be in Brussels
today where he’ll meet with Javier Solana Secretary-General of the Council of
the EU and the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy. The
High Representative will also hold a series of other meetings with senior EU and
NATO officials.

The High Representative will discuss BiH’s progress in the
Stabilization and Association process, membership in NATO’s Partnership for
Peace program, preparations for the SFOR-EUFOR hand over and BiH’s cooperation
with the ICTY.

We hope to be able to give you more details of the discussions
following the HR’s meeting with Javier Solana late this

PDHR and USAID Mission Director to visit Sarajevo
Municipal Court Commercial Division

Principal Deputy High Representative Donald Hays and USAID
Mission Director Howard Sumka will visit the newly established Commercial
Division of the Sarajevo Municipal Court on Wednesday. Ambassador Hays and Mr
Sumka will be briefed by President of the Court Aida Salcinovic-Kuljunain and by
judges of the Commercial Division.

There will be a media opportunity immediately after this
meeting, at which Ambassador Hays, Mr Sumka and Judge Salcinovic Kuljanin will
take questions. I’ve brought along a media advisory with the details.

Commercial Divisions
have been set up through the reallocation of resources and
personnel so that commercial cases can be heard on a dedicated basis by judges
who are specialists in business law. The object is to clear the backlog of
commercial litigation in BiH and to reduce the average time of commercial court
cases from years to months.

This is crucial for securing more investment and creating
conditions for economic takeoff. A cumbersome commercial litigation system
drives away prospective investors. They will not put their money in BiH if they
are afraid of being bogged down in the courts in the event of a dispute. In
addition, a slow legal process sends a signal that the authorities are not
serious about creating a competitive business environment. The establishment of
the Commercial Divisions sends the opposite signal – BiH is very much open for
business and is serious about attracting the investment that can create jobs and
raise living standards.

FBiH Veterinary Chamber

Yesterday (Monday) representatives of the BiH Association of
Veterinarians and the Herzeg Bosna Association of Veterinarians agreed on the
final text of the statute governing the new FBiH Veterinary Chamber.

The OHR commends the respective veterinary authorities for
resolving outstanding issues and thus removing remaining obstacles to the
delivery of competitive modern veterinary services – which are crucial for food
safety, for the fostering of a recovery in the agricultural sector and for BiH’s
integration in Europe.

The new Chamber will contribute to the quality of veterinary
medicine in BiH and will play a significant role in promoting reforms in the
veterinary sector that will be required if BiH is to make progress in the
Stabilization and Association Process. Establishing this
Chamber also fulfills a Phase II
Bulldozer recommendation.