Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Oleg Milisic

OSCE, Aida Basic

ICTY, Matias Hellman

EUFOR, Lt Cdr Niel Mathiesen




Schwarz-Schilling Speech to Returnees in Drvar

The High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, is today addressing an audience of returnees in the Drvar Municipal Assembly, almost ten years to the day that he first visited the municipality.

In his speech, the High Representative and EU Special Representative will be assessing progress in the field of returns since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement; highlighting the initiative he is making in relation to improving conditions in Srebrenica; and contrasting the conditions in Drvar today to those when he first visited the municipality.

A copy of the speech will be made available to media as soon as it is delivered.

SDHR Addresses Civil Society Conference

OHR’s Senior Deputy High Representative, Peter Bas Backer, is this morning addressing the 1st Balkan Mosaic Conference in BiH. The Conference, titled ‘Building a Stronger Civil Society in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, is organised by the UNDP.

In his address the SDHR will welcome the Draft Agreement on Cooperation Between the BiH Council of Ministers and the NGO Sector in BiH, which the BiH Council of Ministers is expected to adopt soon. This Agreement will provide a framework for partnership between the NGO and Governmental sectors.

The SDHR will note that BiH still lacks “a general consensus about why and how the constituent peoples and the others should share this land”.

“It is here that civil society can help restore trust [and] promote tolerance,” the SDHR will say. “Given the challenges…including the adoption of a functional and affordable constitutional structure with which all of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s citizens and peoples can identify, this country’s nascent civil society has an enormous task ahead”.

A strong NGO sector can help overcome the challenges this country faces but “no such complex and fundamental endeavour can be mounted, let alone succeed, unless it is the common will of BiH’s citizens,” the SDHR will conclude.

A copy of the SDHR’s address will be posted on the OHR web site this afternoon.

PDHR Meets SIPA Acting Director

Principal Deputy High Representative Raffi Gregorian will this afternoon meet with Acting SIPA Director Sead Lisak.

The PDHR will enquire about SIPA’s Srebrenica-related investigations, co-operation with the BiH Prosecutors Office, SIPA’s presence on the ground in Srebrenica and how the agency can meet the challenge of ensuring that those who committed genocide in Srebrenica face justice.

The OHR will meet this week with senior government officials from both entities and BiH authorities to prepare for the High Representative’s meeting next week of all the relevant agencies involved in improving the situation in Srebrenica.



Digital Sound Recording System Installed in BiH Parliament

In an effort to raise public awareness and participation in the legislative process, the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina has provided the BiH Parliamentary Assembly with a modern digital sound recording system. The system has been installed in the Parliamentary Assembly’s White Hall in order to improve parliamentary outreach through live audio streaming of plenary sessions and making the recordings available on-line. 

The OSCE Mission to BiH believes that such modern equipment will strengthen the links between the BiH Parliament and citizens. This system will increase the transparency of parliamentary proceedings and possibly the participation of members of the public in the legislative process. It will also allow BiH citizens living abroad to stay better informed about the work of the BiH PA and its elected officials.

The plenary session, scheduled for Thursday, 26 April, is expected to be the first session to be broadcast live. This donation is a part of the Legislative Strengthening Programme, implemented by the OSCE Mission to BiH and funded by USAID.




Good morning on behalf of the ICTY.

As you know, on 5 April the Tribunal’s Referral Bench granted the Prosecution Motion to refer the case against Milan and Sredoje Lukić to Bosnia and Herzegovina , to be tried at the Court of BiH.

On 18 April, Milan Lukić filed a notice of appeal against the Referral Bench decision. Citing fourteen separate grounds of appeal, Milan Lukić seeks that the case be tried before the Tribunal, or that the case be transferred to Serbia , or that the matter be returned to the Referral Bench for further consideration.

On 19 April, Sredoje Lukić notified the Referral Bench that he would not appeal the 5 April Decision.

Also in the Lukić case, on 16 April the Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber dismissed Milan Lukić’s appeal against a 13 December decision denying Milan Lukić’s request for provisional release to Višegrad pending the commencement of his trial. The Appeals Chamber said in the specific circumstances of this case it was reasonable for the Trial Chamber to conclude that the guarantees provided by Republika Srpska and Milan Lukić were insufficient for demonstrating that Milan Lukić would appear for trial if released.

I refer you to our press release of 5 April for a summary of the charges against Milan and Sredoje Lukić. I have a few copies here for you.

I have also brought a few copies of the latest ICTY Info Sheet which outlines the status of all requests for the referral of cases to national jurisdictions under Rule 11bis.

That is all from me, thank you for your attention.



Multi-national Battalion Exercise

The Sarajevo based EUFOR multi-national battalion will be conducting its Full Operating Capability Exercise over three days this week, 24th to 26th April.  The multi-national battalion under Spanish command is a key asset of EUFOR’s new force structure that was announced at previous press conferences. This exercise marks the culmination of several weeks of training that the battalion’s troops from Hungary , Poland , Spain and Turkey have been undertaking since their arrival in Sarajevo .

This is a significant exercise. It serves as the means by which EUFOR commander Rear Admiral Hans-Jochen Witthauer can assess and approve the battalion’s full operating capability. The battalion will demonstrate their ability to act in support of the safe and secure environment in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The exercises include crowd and riot control, operations against Persons Indicted For War Crimes and their support networks and also medical evacuation. 

The media have been invited to view a section of the military exercise that is being held at Pazaric Barracks tomorrow morning, 25th April.