Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

Tuesday, 1 March at 11.30

OHR, Vedran Persic

OSCE, Mersiha Causevic

EUPM, Alun Roberts

EUFOR, Lt Cdr Chris Percival

NATO HQ, Maj Dwight
Mood

ICTY, Matias Hellman

 


OHR


HR to Visit Banja
Luka


The High Representative will visit
Banja Luka

tomorrow where he will meet senior RS political
leaders. One of the main topics of discussion will be Police restructuring.

The remaininglegislative and administrative taskwhich must be implemented
before BiH can move forward along the path to
Europe
– is
police reform. 

Police reform is about making the police more effective. It’s about giving
the police the organisational and operational structures that will help them
catch criminals. It will remove the barriers to policing that are currently
posed by the IEBL and cantonal boundaries.

The removal of cantonal and entity boundaries will help remove political
interference in the work of the police. It will hence make police more
responsible to citizens, not politicians.

The Police Restructuring Commission Report issued in January launched a
public debate. This is a crucial debate, because its outcome will have a direct
bearing on the security of the citizens of this country and will determine BiH’s
progress towards Europe.

The High Representative is currently taking part in a series of live phone-in
radio discussion programmes with the object of clarifying the debate about
police reform: to makes sure that the real issues — of citizens’ security and
the broader European integration agenda — are to the fore.

The EU has made it clear that if BiH wants to begin negotiations on a
Stabilisation and Association Agreement, police restructuring must go forward on
the basis of three principles:



  • All legislative and budgetary
    competencies must be vested at the state level.


  • Police reform must proceed on the
    basis of geographical regions that have been drawn up to ensure maximum
    efficiency.


  • Political interference in
    policing must be eliminated.

It will offer policemen and policewomen an equal salary structure and more
career opportunities. And it will also help pave the way towards a softening of
the visa regime for  BiH citizens travelling to the EU.        


This morning the High Representative participated in a call-in programme on
Radio East Sarajevo. 

We’ll be issuing a media advisory with more details about the visit later
today.


OHR comment on Delic transfer to the
ICTY

The OHR welcomes the decision of Rasim Delic to place himself voluntarily at
the disposal of the ICTY. Regardless of the judicial outcome, Mr. Delic’s
decision to hand himself over to the Tribunal shows respect for the rule of law
and of BiH’s international obligations under the DPA.

It is not in the interest of any citizen, of whichever background or
political outlook, to see criminal indictments go untried. Those who are
indicted must defend themselves in court. This is the only way that justice can
be served.

The RS authorities, by contrast, have still not demonstrated that they
are genuinely ready to fulfill their obligations in this regard — The transfer
of Savo Todovic was“ a significant step forward” – but only as long as this was
the “beginning of a process, which will see the other indictees transferred to
the ICTY”. Since Mr. Todovic’s transfer no activity has taken place. Radovan
Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, who have been on the run for ten years, are still on
the run and are preventing every BiH citizen, including BiH Serbs, from enjoying
the benefits of Euro-Atlantic integration.

Unless the RS authorities demonstrate that they are fully cooperating with
the ICTY, the RS institutions and their lack of ICTY cooperation will remain the
greatest obstacle blocking this country’s progress towards the EU and NATO


 


OSCE

OSCE to launch the UGOVOR
project

The OSCE Mission to BiH is launching UGOVOR project tomorrow, on 2 March, at
11:00 at UNITIC auditorium.

Ambassador Douglas Davidson, Head of the OSCE Mission to

Bosnia and Herzegovina

, will deliver opening remarks and
will be followed by presentations by the Mayor of Tomislavgrad and the
Information Officer from Zvornik. 

There will be two press opportunities:




  • 11:00   Ambassador Davidson will
    deliver remarks


  • 12:15   Conclusions;
    opportunity for questions   

Mayors and speakers throughout

Bosnia and
Herzegovina

have been invited to participate in
this launch, which aims to improve communication and co-operation between
municipalities and citizens, which is essential for any fully functioning
democracy. 

Following the launch, selected municipalities will work in co-operation with
the

Mission

, to complete the
project’s five modules: implementation of the Freedom of Access to Information
Act, implementation of a Code of Ethics for Elected Officials, establishment of
a Municipal Development Planning Committee, reform of the Regulatory Framework
and the development of Municipal Citizen partnerships. 

Municipalities can work on modules consecutively or simultaneously, depending
on their capacity, but by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the OSCE,
municipalities commit to implement all five. The timescale for this will be
worked out with the Mission


We welcome all journalists to cover this event. Journalist will be
allowed to attend the duration of the presentation, but depending on their
convenience also have the option of attending either press opportunity.

 

EUPM

No statement

EUFOR


EUFOR Vehicle Check Point Operations

EUFOR Forces are continuing their programme of focussed Vehicle Check Point
(VCP) operations across

Bosnia and Herzegovina

.  These operations are being
conducted under the authority of the EUFOR mandate, in support of the BiH
authorities, to bear down on all illegal activities.  They have been
planned in close collaboration with a number of BiH law enforcement authorities,
in particular the Indirect taxation Authority (ITA). 

These operations aim to disrupt the activities of the criminal networks in
this country.  Organised crime and corruption is endemic throughout
Bosnia and Herzegovina .  Criminal networks and their
parallel structures undermine the institutions of BiH, are highly de-stabilising
and jeopardise this country’s progress towards
Europe

I have some unedited footage of recent EUFOR VCP operations available today,
for any interested journalists.  I would also draw your attention to a
recently launched EUFOR public information campaign, which aims to complement
EUPM initiatives to raise public awareness of the consequences of organised
crime and encourage the reporting of illegal activities.

Operation Free Entrance (
Sarajevo


Harvest)

Operation Free Entrance, the recent door-to-door joint harvest operation in
Sarajevo and East Sarajevo, will end tomorrow.  During the operation, which has
been undertaken in close partnership with FBiH and RS interior authorities and
police forces, a large number of illegal weapons and munitions have been
collected.  EUFOR would like to thank the citizens of
Sarajevo for their cooperation and
support, which have made the operation a significant success and
Sarajevo a safer place.

Grenadier Guards Band Concerts

The band of the Grenadier Guards, from the

United Kingdom

,
will give three public performances to the citizens of

Sarajevo

on Thursday
3 March 2005
, as part of their visit to

Bosnia and Herzegovina

and EUFOR.  Timings and venues
are as follows:

1400 – 1500Bascarsija
(Pigeon) Square (Weather Permitting)


1600 – 1730UNITIC
Building (Inside Main Entrance Lobby)


1830 – 2000Mercator
Shopping Centre (Inside Shopping Centre)

Members of the public are invited to view the concerts, which will include a
wide range of music.


 


NATO HQ


I would first like to advise the press that we have copies of the Press
Release from the 2nd DRC Meeting held this past Friday.

I am pleased to introduce today our newly hired NATO Spokesperson, Mr. Derek
Chappell. It’s worth noting that I will be the last military person to occupy
the post as spokesperson; military tours tend to be short, and hiring an
International Civilian, as your NATO Spokesperson will provide much more
continuity between NATO HQ and the press corps. A NATO Spokesperson that
potentially will be here for years instead of months. I will retain my position
as Chief Public Information Officer for NATO HQ Sarajevo.


As this is my last official press conference, I would like to thank the
members of the media for your support over the past several months.


Derek Chappell, NATO 

With effect from 4 March I will be the new Spokesman for NATO HQ
Sarajevo.


My name is Derek Chappell. I come to BiH from Kosovo where I have been the
United Nations Police Spokesman since 2000.

I have been to

Bosnia

and to

Sarajevo

before and I feel
privileged to be in this city, this country and to be representing NATO.

I will be working closely with EUFOR, especially Lieutenant Colonel Rose and
the EUFOR Public Information Office.


Despite the change of names, contact information will remain the same for
you to reach this office.

I look forward to working with you in the future.


 


ICTY

Firstly, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY yesterday rendered its judgement in
the case against Kvočka. Radić, Žigić and Prcać. The case dealt with crimes
committed in the Omarska and Keraterm camps in the Prijedor area, including
murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and confinement in inhumane conditions.

The Appeals Chamber allowed one of the several grounds of appeal by Žigić,
and allowed in part two of the grounds of appeal by Kvočka. The Appeals Chamber
dismissed all other grounds of appeal, and confirmed the first-instance
sentences against all four accused. Therefore, the following sentences have now
become final: Miroslav Kvočka – 7 years, Mlađo Radić – 20 years, Zoran Žigić –
25 years, and Dragoljub Prcać – 5 years of imprisonment. I have with me copies
in Bosnian of the summary of the judgement, read out in court yesterday by the
Presiding Judge.

I would note that the case against Kvočka and others, in which a final
judgement has now been pronounced, was initially linked to and deals largely
with the same matters as the case of Mejakić and others, which is currently
under consideration for possible referral to the judiciary of
Bosnia
and Herzegovina
.

And with regard to the Rule 11 bis proceedings dealing with the possible
referral of cases to

Bosnia and Herzegovina

, I have with me today copies of
some recent submissions by the Prosecution, Defence, as well as the governments
of

Bosnia and Herzegovina

and

Serbia

and

Montenegro

.
Those interested can ask me for copies after the briefing. I am sure you are
also aware of the upcoming hearing of 3 and 4 March in the cases of Mejakić and
others and Radovan Stanković.

Finally, as you already know, two indictees, Rasim Delić and Radivoje
Miletić, arrived yesterday in the UN Detention Unit in Scheveningen. The dates
of initial appearances have not been set yet, but we are expecting them to take
place within a few days. According to the Rules, an accused can enter his plea
at the initial appearance, or he can choose to do it later, within 30 days. For
those interested, I have a few copies of the indictments against Delić and
Miletić.

—-

No journalist’s questions