OSCE will continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina with focus on building the trust, reconciliation and reform, OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid said following the meeting with Bosnia's senior officials in Sarajevo on Tuesday. She also urged the leaders to decrease tensions and cease the use of divisive rhetoric.
Among others, she met the members of the tripartite Presidency, whom she said it was urgent to “decrease tensions, cease the use of divisive rhetoric and to restore the full functionality of State-level institutions.”
Schmid said her meetings with Bosnia's officials confirmed that the visit took place at a “particularly complex and challenging period” for the country and that the difference in the outlook on key challenges and their resolutions was visible.
“I urged political leaders to focus on implementing reforms and dealing with the real problems citizens face, for instance unemployment, corruption, and the need for quality, inclusive education. The ongoing crisis is negatively affecting the economy and discouraging investment. The aggregate result of these factors is the continued outflow of citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially young people,” Schmid said in a statement.
Held meetings with #BiH Presidency Members Željko Komšić, Šefik Džaferović and Milorad Dodik yesterday. Urged for return to full functionality of state-level institutions.
Read my statement here:https://t.co/K2huqW00wB pic.twitter.com/r0q2TDvXm8
— Helga Maria Schmid (@HelgaSchmid_SG) November 24, 2021
She also emphasised the necessity to conduct electoral reform, as the citizens are losing faith in elections.
“Constructive engagement is needed to amend the BiH Election Law in line with international standards. I underlined that the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), together with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, stand ready to provide expertise and facilitation in support of this critical effort.”
She reaffirmed the support of the OSCE and its mission in Bosnia in “keeping with the mandate provided under the Dayton Peace Accords,” the deal which ended the 1992-95 conflict.
“We will continue to focus on building trust, reconciliation and reform. Ultimately, responsibility rests with the country’s leaders to make the right decisions and to move forward. The many positive success stories at the local level across the country serve as an inspiration in this regard, and as proof that positive change is possible,” she said.