Political Directors of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) Steering Board
met in Sarajevo on 18 and 19 November 2009. The Chairman of the Council of
Ministers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the leaders of seven political
parties – HDZ BiH, HDZ 1990, PDP, SBiH, SDA, SDP BiH and SNSD – participated in
parts of the meeting.
The PIC Steering Board welcomed recent significant progress made by BiH
authorities to fulfil the requirements for visa liberalisation, and encouraged
further efforts to achieve this goal. It also underlined the importance of BiH
authorities continuing to implement the European Partnership and the Interim
Agreement and addressing the shortcomings identified in the European Commission
The PIC Steering Board continued its discussion on prospects for transition
from OHR into a reinforced EUSR. It called upon BiH politicians to engage
constructively to achieve that goal and to refrain from maximalist positions
that could hinder BiH’s progress in its Euro-Atlantic integration. EU member
states of the PIC Steering Board reiterated that an EU membership application by
BiH cannot be considered as long as the OHR exists.
The PIC Steering Board expressed its serious concern with the insufficient
progress that BiH authorities have made in delivering the five objectives and
two conditions that remain necessary for the closure of the OHR.
The PIC Steering Board urged the political party leaders and the relevant
authorities to conclude intergovernmental agreements on state and defence
property, respectively, settling ownership rights between the state and other
levels of government. The Steering Board welcomes the fact that the inventory
conducted under the auspices of the OHR is nearing completion and that
negotiations between political leaders on apportionment can now continue on that
basis. The Steering Board urged the BiH Presidency to improve the recently
adopted ammunitions, weapons and explosives disposal plan, by giving priority to
destruction over sale, making full use of existing destruction capability and
keeping strict control of this process. The Steering Board called on the
authorities of the Republika Srpska (RS) to comply with their legal obligation
to publish the 18 September 2009 decisions of the High Representative in the
Official Gazette of the RS, in order to allow the Brcko Supervisor to notify the
Arbitral Tribunal of the completion of the Final Award. The PIC Steering Board
reiterated the need for strengthened fiscal coordination by ensuring the proper
functioning of the Indirect Taxation Authority and the National Fiscal Council.
The Steering Board urged BiH authorities to speed up the implementation of the
National Strategy for Dealing with War Crimes and the National Justice Sector
While reiterating that constitutional reform is not a part of the objectives
and conditions for closure of the OHR, some constitutional amendments remain
essential to ensure compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights
in accordance with the obligations undertaken in the Stabilisation and
Association Agreement, to improve functionality of the country, and to
facilitate BiH’s EU aspirations. The PIC Steering Board welcomed the current
engagement of BiH’s political leaders in discussions on constitutional change,
and encouraged these leaders to remain seriously engaged and to reach lasting
agreements, on the basis of the required political consensus, that will improve
political functionality and better equip BiH’s institutions for future
The PIC Steering Board welcomed the 6 November 2009 agreement of the entity
Prime Ministers on Elektroprenos BiH and looks forward to the restoration of
management structures and operations in line with current legislation.
The PIC Steering Board emphasised the importance of finding an expeditious
solution to the situation in Mostar. It is a case where leaders of political
parties pursued their own interests at the expense of the constitutional rights
of citizens of BiH. The PIC Steering Board supported the High Representative in
the action he has taken to address the political stalemate in Mostar, and
invited him to consider what further steps can be taken to facilitate resolution
of the political stalemate in Mostar.
The PIC Steering Board reiterated its full support to the High
Representative, and reminded all authorities in BiH to respect and ensure full
compliance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace and decisions of the
High Representative in this regard.
The PIC Steering Board welcomed adoption of the UN Security Council
resolution 1895, extending the Chapter VII mandate of EUFOR.
The PIC Steering Board underlined the importance of freedom of expression
including a free and independent media, with special regard to the forthcoming
The PIC Steering Board urged BiH authorities to urgently adopt a law to be
able to conduct a population census in 2011, in line with relevant EU
requirements. The PIC Steering Board reiterated the importance of adopting and
implementing, without further delay, the revised and UNHCR endorsed Strategy for
the Implementation of Annex VII of the General Framework Agreement for Peace
(GFAP). The United Nations Security Council in resolution 1895 of 18 November
2009 also highlights the need to resolve the issue of displaced persons and
The PIC Steering Board repeated its call to BiH authorities to continue to
cooperate fully with the ICTY. The Steering Board of the PIC calls upon the
competent authorities of BiH to fulfil their obligations under international law
to cooperate fully with the ICTY, by facilitating the arrest of all ICTY
indictees, including Ratko Mladic, without further delay, and by dismantling
their support networks. It also expressed serious concern that the failure of
BiH authorities to address the issue of international judges and prosecutors
would have a negative effect on the entire judicial system in BiH, contradict
BiH’s international obligations, and inhibit the UN Security Council’s
completion strategy for ICTY. The PIC Steering Board also urged BiH authorities
to fund the judiciary to allow for the eventual replacement of international
jurists with national judges and prosecutors. The PIC Steering Board encouraged
the High Representative to consider what further steps could be taken to address
In light of the challenging economic situation the Steering Board urge the
authorities to intensify efforts to implement the measures agreed under the
terms of the IMF Standby Arrangement, including reforms to render the system of
social benefits sustainable, more efficient, and more equitable as discussed
with the World Bank.
The PIC Steering Board urged the leaders of BiH to refrain from divisive
rhetoric and behaviour that further polarises the political atmosphere in BiH;
personal attacks and threats of legal action against the High Representative and
his staff are unacceptable.
Finally the PIC Steering Board commend the High Representative and his staff
for their service to peace and stability in BiH.
The next meeting of PIC Steering Board Political Directors will take place in
Sarajevo on 24-25 February 2010.