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

Allow the PRC to do its job

Many statements have been made recently with regard the work of the Police
Restructuring Commission – the PRC – but let me clarify the facts.

The High Representative in July gave the PRC until the end of the year to
identify the operational, financial, constitutional and legislative issues that
may at present stand in the way of creating a single effective police structure
and propose solutions to them.

At the end of the year the PRC will report to the BiH Prime Minister and the
High Representative. This report will be considered and forwarded into BiH’s
legislative procedure where Parliamentarians will be able to consider
recommendations and show their support for reform, effective European policing
and the EU association process.

The European Union has highlighted the Justice and Home Affairs agenda in BiH
and Police restructuring is one of the 16 key requirements for BiH to start
negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement. A review of police
functionality in BiH conducted by the European Union and presented in July this
year, found BiH’s police forces to be divided, over staffed, under-resourced,
and unable to operate across the IEBL.

BiH’s law enforcement agencies cannot at the moment effectively tackle crime
within BiH’s own borders. This means that a change of attitude on visa
requirements for BiH passport-holders remains a distant and unlikely

The work of the PRC focuses on proposing structures that will promote
effective policing in BiH. There is agreement in civil society and the public at
large that crime is a problem and that the police need to be better equipped to
tackle crime effectively. The BiH Public and civil society and responsible
parliamentary representatives want better policing. They also want to be a part
of Europe.

The PRC is made up of BiH’s foremost security experts, representatives of all
three constituent peoples and both BiH Entities. The PRC now needs to be allowed
to do its job.


High Representative Addresses Berlin Conference

The High Representative, Paddy Ashdown will tomorrow address a conference
organised by the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin entitled “Beyond Cold Peace:
Strategies for Economic Reconstruction and Post-Conflict Management”. The High
Representative will speak of the lessons to be learned from recent conflict
management concerning the sequencing of democratisation, functional governance,
reconciliation, institution-building, economic development and
community-building efforts.

The Conference will be opened by Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign
Minister. We hope to have details of the High Representative’s statement
available for you tomorrow. However, those of you interested in more details of
this conference should contact the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


HR meets American Bosnia Cultural Foundation

High Representative Paddy Ashdown this morning met with Joan Le Bach, vice
president of the Amreica Bosnia Cultural Foundation. Ms Le Bach is visiting
Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to distribute approximately 250 computers to
schools, womens’ and childrens’ groups. She will be working closely with NGOs
such as the Abrasevic Center in Mostar and Tutto Completo in Kakanj, as well as
NGO’s that help handicapped. The computers will be distributed through the BiH
Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The America Bosnia Cultural Foundation fosters relations between the US and
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and raises money for projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The High Representative is a patron of the organization.