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


HR Speaks At CampMcGovern

The High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, will be in Brcko tomorrow to attend
the handover of



by SFOR to the Brcko
authorities. This handover, as the High Representative will point out, reflects
the overall process of right-sizing the International Community’s activities in
BiH as the BiH authorities resume authority and shoulder corresponding

As BiH moves decisively onto the Euro-integration path, the High
Representative in his speech will highlight the six key implementation
priorities, namely consolidating the institutional structures and operating
capacities of SIPA, the War Crimes Chamber in the Court of BiH, the Indirect
Taxation Authority, the Intelligence-Security Service, and the Defence and
Security Ministries.

PDHR on Transformation of BiH

The Principal Deputy High Representative, Donald Hays, will call for a change
in the overall approach of BiH politicians when he addresses a conference at the
Holiday Inn today organised by the Bled School of Management. The topic of the
conference is the “Transformation of BiH” and the role of “agents of change” in
making that transformation happen.

Successful agents of change, Ambassador Hays will argue, know where
they want to go, how to get there, and how to persuade other
people to go along with them. To date, BiH’s political leaders have routinely
failed on all three counts.

Often, political leaders who know where they want to go and how to get there
recoil from the losses in their own popularity which will inevitably arise from
forging ahead with painful reforms. In other transition countries, such
successful reformers have been voted out of office, only to have their incoming
critics benefit when the reforms start to deliver positive results.

But in practically every case, as Ambassador Hays points out, “the incoming
governments, though they may have discontinued some reforms and slowed the pace
of others, did not undo the reforms that had already been set in place.
They accepted these reforms because the arguments in favour of them were

If we see an influx of new faces and new ideas following the 2 October
elections, the incoming leaders will need a clear vision of where they want BiH
to be a decade from now. The destination is

Europe – a
goal that can motivate citizens to make the sacrifices necessary to transform
their society, their economy, and their political system in a way that endures.

Europe means stability, visa-free travel, the very real
prospect of prosperity, and the best guarantee for their future – BiH needs
successful agents of change in order to reach that destination.

I’ve brought along copies of the speech, which you can collect