SARAJEVO, 9 July 2012 - The Representative of the Irish Chair-in-Office of the OSCE, Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton, visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina today urged the authorities to implement vital democratic reforms.
Welcoming the recent opening of the EU High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process and agreement by the political parties to resolve outstanding issues, the Minister said: “Ireland as the OSCE Chairmanship and forthcoming Presidency of the EU is in a position to support the country’s own EU integration agenda.”
“We are ready to help. The OSCE and the EU working together with other institutions and members of the international community have the experience and institutional capacities to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in the areas of the rule of law, judicial reform, good governance combating discrimination and education, but the country also needs to show that it can find its own solutions to its own problems.”
In meetings with member of the BiH Presidency Bakir Izetbegović, Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdžija and Minister of Finance and Treasury Nikola Špirić, Creighton also discussed the work of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest civilian mission in the country, which is working with all levels of the government and society in supporting and strengthening democratic institutions.
She stressed the need to address discrimination in the Constitution and make it compliant with the Sejdić/Finci ruling of the European Court of Human Rights: “There is no excuse to discriminate against anyone, especially minorities. This is especially important in a post conflict society – we in Ireland know very well how difficult it is to build trust between communities but we have also seen the tangible economic and social benefits that overcoming those divisions can bring.
Speaking ahead of the commemoration of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, Minister Creighton emphasized the need for both justice and reconciliation:
“As we approach another sad anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide my heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims, especially to those who are still searching for their loved ones. No one should ever forget this terrible crime and those responsible must be brought to justice. At the same time there needs to be a way to move forward and to create a better future for new generations,” she said.