Back

Miroslav Lajčák Visits Bosnia and Hercegovina in his capacity as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

Miroslav Lajčák Visits Bosnia and Hercegovina in his capacity as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

20.6.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Predsedníctvo Slovenska v OBSE

The four-day working trip of Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, to the countries of the Western Balkans continued today (20 June 2019) with a visit to Bosnia and Hercegovina. Lajčák paid a visit to Sarajevo not only as the chief of Slovak diplomacy but also as the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which Slovakia has been chairing since January and will continue to chair until the end of the year.

 

Minister Lajčák engaged in talks with the members of the collective presidium of the country, in particular with Milorad Dodik, Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović, also with the leaders of political parties Dragan Čović (HDZ-BiH) and Bakir Izetbegović (SDA), and with the President of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina Branko Petrić. He also talked with the opposition leaders Nermin Nikšić, Predrag Kojović and Branislav Borenović, and with the representatives of the international community and ambassadors from the most relevant partner countries present in the country. Miroslav Lajčák also met with the representatives of the local NGOs and, on this occasion, acknowledged their contribution to the implementation of the OSCE’s projects.

 

At the beginning of the event at which the OSCE mission presented a study on the social position and security of women in the countries of the Western Balkans, Minister Lajčák delivered his remarks. At the same time, the Red Cross office in the city of Bihač, received the third humanitarian package from the Slovak Republic, consisting of the most needed items, mainly for the families of migrants with children in the Una-Sana Canton.

 

The visit of Miroslav Lajčák is taking place at the time of a complicated internal political situation. As the OSCE’s Chairperson-in-Office, he called upon the leaders of the political parties to restart the integration and reform endeavours, particularly in relation to the implementation of the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations related to the reform of the election legislation. As one of the signatories of the initiative, he encouraged the leaders of the country to take the first joint step toward ethnic reconciliation, such as an act to honour the reverent memory of all the civilian victims of the conflict which the country went through in the first half of the ’90s of the last century. Minister Lajčák stated, inter alia: “Today,  Bosnia and Hercegovina stands on a crossroad -- one leading to progress and prosperity and the other exactly the opposite way. It is necessary to work on building mutual trust, and to double the effort in the area of reforms which are key in terms of the integration ambitions of the country. The OSCE is ready to remain a partner organisation in the process,” stated the Slovak minister.

 

The OSCE has been present in Bosnia and Hercegovina for almost 25 years -- since 1995. The organisation has been supporting stability and reconciliation and providing technical and consultative assistance in the process of building the rule of law and establishing legislative processes. It has also helped implement projects focussing on the protection of human rights and freedoms, and the preparations and realisation of elections.

 

Minister Lajčák will finish his visit to the Western Balkans region tomorrow (21 June 2019).