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

Registry Agreement To Be Signed Tomorrow

President Tihic and the High Representative will
tomorrow at 15.00 in the


sign an agreement setting up
the Registry within the Court of BiH.

The importance of trials held in the Court of BiH is clear. The Court of BiH
and the BiH Prosecutors Office are responsible for BiH’s most serious crimes;
including War Crimes and Organized Crime Cases.

These trials must be independent and effective and are an essential element
of the Rule of Law reforms in BiH. The Registry system supports this by
providing independent administrative support to the Court. This means that the
Registry will ensure that judges are selected for particular cases at random and
will assist the Court to select qualified defence lawyers who will be available
for defendants and appropriately compensated. The Registry also ensures that
judicial resources are utilised as efficiently as possible – so avoiding
unnecessary backlogs. Essentially the BiH Courts Registry will ensure that the
Court of BiH has the capacity to meet the requirements place on the court.


BiH Court

‘s Registry
system has been developed in coordination with the President of the Court and is
fully supported by BiH’s most senior Judicial Institutions including the BiH
Chief Prosecutor and the BiH Ministry of Justice. The BiH Presidency adopted the
Registry agreement on October 27th 2004 and both House of BiH’s Parliament have
adopted amendments enabling the Registry to be set up [the BiH House of Peoples
on October 21st 2004 and the House of Representatives on September 23rd 2004 –
though in different versions which now need to be harmonised at the session of
the harmonisation commission on Dec. 2].

More details on the ceremony should be available from the Presidency’s press
service later today.


State Veterinary Office Takes over Border

Deputy High Representative and Head of the OHR Economics Department Patrice
Dreiski is speaking at a ceremony, round about now, at Sarajevo Airport to mark
the State Veterinary Office’s assumption of responsibility for inspecting animal
products at BiH border posts. Till now, these inspections have been the
responsibility of the Entity Agriculture Ministries. The result of two border
inspection systems rather than one has been a level of unnecessary
disorganisation and inefficiency that has made the transmission of disease from
animals to humans in BiH scandalously high.

From today, BiH will start developing a unified animal inspection system that
can effectively protect consumers and prevent or help eradicate disease. This
kind of system is standard in most other countries.

Mr Dreiski will note that, and I quote: “today’s event may come to be seen as
a turning point. Food safety is a basic requirement that citizens are entitled
to expect their government to provide. Until now the authorities in BiH have
been unable to guarantee food safety. From now on, they will have the basic
mechanisms in place to start addressing this issue. Today is a beginning. A
great deal still has to be done, but it’s a promising beginning and the
authorities are to be congratulated, despite long and avoidable delays, for
getting to this point. We encourage them to move further and faster in the


PDHR Hays Highlights Importance of Civil Society

PDHR Donald Hays is speaking today at the George C. Marshall Centre in



. He will be drawing
lessons from the experience of BiH in post-conflict reconstruction. Ambassador
Hays will argue that post-war recovery benefits donor countries as much as it
benefits countries receiving aid, and that “the five billion-dollar post-war
international aid programme for BiH has been equally good value for money, for
the people of BiH and for the International Community” because a prosperous and
stable Southeast Europe offers obvious benefits, in terms of trade and security,
to the rest of the continent.

Ambassador Hays will also argue that money and military intervention are only
part of the recovery equation. Expanding and strengthening the role of civil
society in nation building and transition means going to work on the very fabric
of a country. This is not an undertaking that can be encompassed in a six-month
action plan or a one-year commitment of funds and personnel. You need to
approach such efforts with a more sustained commitment. In other words – we need
“an end state, not an end date mentality.”

You will find copies of Ambassador Hay’s speech on the OHR Web