Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Kevin Sullivan

OSCE, Elmira
Bayrasli

EUPM, Kilian Wahl

EUFOR, Chris Percival

NATO HQ, Derek Chappell

 


OHR


High Representative Agrees to Extend RS Srebrenica Working Group
Deadline


The High Representative, at the request of RS Prime Minister Pero Bukejlovic,
agreed yesterday to extend the deadline for the Srebrenica Commission to present
its report to the end of March.


At a meeting held yesterday in

Sarajevo

the RS Prime Minister
explained to the High Representative that initial delays in setting up the
working group and the sheer volume of work required meant that the working group
was not in a position to report by the end of February.


The RS Prime Minister yesterday gave his personal undertaking that the
working group would report by the end of this month. The High Representative
said [I quote] “I expect you to keep track of the progress of this group and
ensure that your ministries cooperate in full…they should be obeying the spirit,
as well as the letter of the law”. If the March deadline is not met the High
Representative said that he would have to consider what action he will take that
is appropriate.


On December 16 last year the High Representative required the RS Prime
Minister to set up a group to analyse the documentation produced by the
Srebrenica Commission, and to identify all officials, with emphasis on those
still in the employment of the RS authorities, whose names appear in these
confidential annexes. The working group’s report is to be delivered both to the
State Prosecutor and to the High Representative. The RS Government Working group
was established on 13 January 2005.


OHR Monthly Economic Report


I have brought along copies of the latest OHR monthly Economic Report. The
trend identified in this report is positive. The trade figures are encouraging.
The currency remains strong, and, despite a falling off in trading volume in one
of the stock markets, equity trading is robust. One problem, though, is that the
latest consolidated figures we have are for January. These statistics are not
obscure – they are the principal data used by economic planners and – equally
important – prospective investors. The fact that the latest we have are more
than two months old only points up the absolute urgency that should be attached
to the current effort to provide BiH with a functioning statistics capacity.


High Representative in Banja Luka to Discuss Police Restructuring


As you know, the High Representative is in Banja
Luka

today. As we speak he’s addressing professors and
cadets at the Banja
Luka

Police

Academy

.
Later he’ll be meeting RS officials, including Dragan Cavic and members of the
RSNA committees in charge of Defence and Internal Affairs. The High
Representative will then hold a short press conference at the IPC in
Banja
Luka

at 15.40 this
afternoon.


The media advisory we issued yesterday on this visit is available afterward
for those of you who may not have seen it.


 


OSCE


Ambassador Davidson to visit Vitez and Banja Luka


Ambassador Douglas Davidson, Head of the OSCE Mission to

Bosnia and
Herzegovina

, is visiting “Srednja skola Vitez
/Mjesovita srednja skola Vitez” – a “two schools under one roof” today in
Vitez.  He will be accompanied by Cantonal Minister of Education
Lovrinovic, with whom he will have a separate bilateral meeting following the
school visit.  Ambassador Davidson will use that opportunity to discuss the
Minister’s plans to comply with the laws on primary and secondary education
which call for administrative and legal unification of 2/1 schools.  The
Ambassador looks forward to lending his support to the Minister, as Minister
Lovrinovic carries out his obligations as a lawful official as well as those
commitments made by BiH officials on education
reform.    


Ambassador Douglas Davidson, the Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, will visit

Banja
Luka

tomorrow,
Wednesday, 16 March
2005
. During his
visit Ambassador Davidson will meet with officials from the Republika Srpska. He
will meet with Milovan Pecelj, Minister of Education of RS, Jasmin Samardzic,
Minsiter of Refugees and DPs, and conclude the visit with the meeting with Nada
Grahovac, the RS Ombudsman. There will a press conference with Ambassador
Davidson on 16 March, at 1215 hrs. at the International Press Centre in

Banja
Luka

. The host institutions
will be informing about the detail timing and locations of the photo and press
opportunities. 


 


EUPM


Police Restructuring Explained


EUPM and OHR continue public information road
show on police restructuring


The European Union Police Mission (EUPM) and the Office of the High
Representative (OHR) will continue a series of public meetings being held
throughout BiH on police restructuring. This weeks events will be held in Bihac,
Prijedor and Prnjavor. The purpose of these meetings is to present the Police
Restructuring Commission’s (PRC) proposal to citizens, police, civil society
representatives, and other interested stakeholders, and to open a broad dialogue
on the ongoing process of police reform.


Police restructuring will: make it harder for criminals to operate and easier
for the police to catch them; give police officers better access to modern crime
fighting technology; increase the salaries of police officers and improve their
working conditions; allow for significant savings in administration; money that
can be spent on schools and hospitals;


This weeks meetings will be held in the Bihac Assembly Hall at
18:00
on 16 March, in the City Theater in
Prijedor at
18:00
on 17 March, and at
the Dom Kulture in Prnjavor at
18:00

on 18 March.


The meetings will deconstruct the myths linked to police restructuring.
Police restructuring is not about abolishing the entities, or the Entity
Ministry of Interiors – it’s solely about creating an professional police
service, accountable to the citizens and effective in fighting crime.


Each public meeting will focus on answering questions from members of the
public.


 


EUFOR


No formal statement.


 


NATO HQ


I have two points for you today.


NATO Headquarters Sarajevo (NHQSa) welcomes the surrender by ICTY indictee
Gojko Jankovic.


We are also very pleased with the reported statement of the Serbian
government that it is co operating ‘intensively’ with the government of
Republika Srpska in meeting their commitments to the Hague tribunal.


We hope and expect that this co operation will result in further handovers
that we have all been awaiting.


NATO welcomes the comments of RS Prime Minister Bukejlovic that the RS will
fully participate in the process of Defence Reform. At the current meting in
Mostar two representatives of the RS are present and involved. Concerning this
issue, Dr Gregorian will address the Assembly of the RS on Friday. 



Q&A:


OHR:


We have some questions.  Yes?


Darija Šito-Sučić, Reuters:


Derek, you already mentioned that today apparently Drago
Popović, also publicly indicted by the Hague Tribunal, surrendered in

Belgrade

.  So I would
like a comment on this because it shows a further sign of something by the
government and also the comment by OHR on these surrenders in two days, three
days.  Darija Šito-Sučić, Reuters.


Derek Chappell, NATO:


Well firstly thank you for informing me of that.  It’s not the first
time that the press have information before I have it.  But thank
you.  I think that these surrenders are very good news.  Certainly for

Bosnia

and for
the Balkans in a wider term.  It shows that the pressure, the conservative
pressure of the international community is paying dividends and that pressure is
on many fronts.  It’s economic, it’s diplomatic, it’s political, and I
think it shows that the tide is turning against the past and in favor of the
future.


Kevin Sullivan, OHR:


I wouldn’t have anything particular to add to that, other than to say that
these are clearly steps, this is a process, which will be completed when all of
the indictees are in

the Hague

and
cooperation with the ICTY is paramount in taking

Bosnia and Herzegovina

forward in the Euro-Atlantic
accession process.  So I would say that these are steps in the
process.  Are there some more questions?


Bernard Milošević, SRNA News Agency:


I just wish to check one information.  Allegedly NATO has created a list
of seven hundred people, naturalized citizens from some states and submitted it
to the Office of Prosecution of B&H, so I just wish to check whether such
information are true.  And one thing was also that NATO requested the
Office of the Prosecution to repatriate those people, allegedly.


Derek Chappell, NATO:


I’m glad you raised that question because it allows me to categorically deny
it.  This is a story that has come up in the past, I believe it originates
from

Zagreb

, from a newspaper in

Zagreb

.  There’s no truth to
that, we do not have a list of 700 hundred people.  The story is
false.  I can’t be anymore plain than that.


Žana Filipović, Radio Free
Europe:


Will OHR exert greater pressure on the high officials of

Bosnia and Herzegovina

, indicted or against who
investigations are being led for corruption, criminal activities, taking
bribes.  Just now the news was announced that Hasan Čengić, a
representative to the House of People of the State Parliament, has received
instructions from the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to submit his traveling
documents, that he cannot leave the country.


Kevin Sullivan, OHR:


Well there is a process by which problems such as corruption can be
addressed.  That process is a judicial one and the thrust of efforts to
ensure that

Bosnia
and Herzegovina

has a society that’s as corruption
free as possible, has been on ensuring that judicial institutions and the police
operate in the best possible way.  It’s also clear that elected individuals
have a particular role and the integrity of the office that they hold and the
manner in which they represent

Bosnia
and Herzegovina

has to be taken into
consideration.  So the judicial process has to move forward, judicial
institutions are the appropriate bodies to ensure that that happens and likewise
politicians have to consider the position that they hold and act in an
appropriate way and the High Representative has made that very clear in the last
few days.


Žana Filipović, Radio Free
Europe:


So there is no pressure from the OHR as there has been in these last few
years.  Mr.Šarović was dismissed due to the «Orao» (“Eagle”) affair.


Kevin Sullivan, OHR:


Well, there’s pressure from the international community to ensure that the
judicial institutions of

Bosnia and Herzegovina

are able to create a society in
which corruption is no longer strangling the democracy here, and the
institutions must be allowed to do so.  In addition to that it’s equally
clear that elected officials have to bear in mind the particular responsibility
that they hold.


OHR:


Do we have another question?