Organized by the Centre for Security Studies and
the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me begin by conveying the apologies of the High Representative, Paddy
Ashdown, who is unable to be with us today. On both his and my own behalf,
I would like to thank the organizers, the Geneva Institute for Democratic
Control of Armed Forces and Sarajevo’s own Centre for Security Studies, for
inviting me to speak to you. In particular, I should like to express my
appreciation to Ambassador Turkovic for her continuing engagement in promoting
an understanding of the need for – and the ramifications of – intelligence and
My purpose today is to provide you with a brief introduction, from the OHR
perspective, to the process of intelligence reform and to the draft Law on the
Intelligence and Security Agency that has emerged from it.
In late May this year, the High Representative issued a Decision establishing
the Expert Commission on Intelligence Reform with the aim of drafting
legislation for a single intelligence agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Six representatives of the Entities’ security and intelligence services
joined Ambassador Kalman Kocis, who was named as the commission’s chairman.
The High Representative outlined in his Decision the crucial principles that
were to guide the work of the commission. The new state-level agency
- have jurisdiction throughout the entire territory of
- gather intelligence to provide security from threats
to the wellbeing and constitutional order of BiH
- be apolitical in its orientation and thoroughly
professional in its operation
- work under the executive authority of the Council of
- be subject to effective oversight by a parliamentary
- cooperate with other agencies in both BiH and abroad;
and, lastly, but very importantly
- co-operate with the Hague Tribunal (ICTY)
Together, these principles form the basis for a real, effective and
democratically accountable state-level Agency. You will see them shining
through the draft law.
Ambassador Kocis and his team performed an amazing feat. Benefiting
from their collective experience (Kalman Kocsis had led Hungary’s reform of its
intelligence and security sector), they were able to translate these vital
principles into practical legislation in just under three months.
After putting the result of their labours out to more expert scrutiny, they were
able to hand over the finished draft law to the Chairman of the Council of
Ministers in September.
That this was possible was a tribute to the seriousness and professionalism
with which the representatives of both FOSS and the OBS engaged in the work of
The draft law has been hailed by many of those who were asked to comment on
it as providing a model for a modern European intelligence and security
agency. It combines sound operational principles and clear lines of
command with extensive democratic oversight by parliament and a rigorous system
of internal controls.
In this context it is appropriate that I should also extend my thanks to
those representatives of the Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces who
worked with the commission and contributed so many helpful comments and
For those of you who are not yet familiar with the provisions of the draft
law, their many advantages will become apparent as this seminar proceeds.
As you will learn, the draft law provides the necessary tools for combating the
threats that confront us today in Europe, ranging from terrorism (so terribly
illustrated by last week’s bombings in Istanbul) to organized crime (which
erodes the foundations of any state by undermining confidence in the rule of
Here, I would like to recall one more aspect of the High Representative’s
original Decision. This was that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s new Intelligence
and Security Service should become operational by 1 January 2004.
This date is rapidly approaching, yet the Council of Ministers has still to
adopt and put the law into parliamentary procedure. Their dilatory
approach is not helping Bosnia and Herzegovina move forward, especially in light
of the new challenges that now confront us following last week’s publication of
the European Commission’s Feasibility Study.
That report makes it crystal clear that reform of the intelligence sector is
one of those essential conditions that must be fulfilled by next summer if
Bosnia and Herzegovina is to earn the right to proceed towards the negotiation
of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU.
If the Agency does not start operating by the beginning of 2004, it will be
very difficult to convince the European Commission that the intelligence sector
has been truly reformed.
In short, the commission has done its job admirably. Now the
politicians need to do their job – and to move the draft law into and through
parliamentary procedure as quickly as possible.
This seminar will serve to underline the point. I wish you an
enlightening and rewarding time.