More Information about Special Envoys Offices

Note: In consultation with the Steering Board Political Directors at their session in Sarajevo on 30-31 July 2002, it was agreed that the Special Envoys’ Operation is successfully completed and the Special Envoys Offices are transformed into the OHR Field Offices under the auspices of the relevant OHR Regional Offices.

The Steering Board in its Luxemburg declaration of June 9, 1998 requested the High Representative to establish a system to evaluate the implementation process in individual cantons and municipalities and to indicate to Steering Board what steps need to be taken. The Steering Board suggested that options could include the appointment of a Special Envoy to coordinate local and international activity in non-compliant municipalities. The Steering Board committed itself to provide the necessary staffing and funding together with the acknowledgment of the need for the provision of adequate security (articles 74 and 76).

In Madrid PIC Declaration of December 16, 1998 the council endorsed the High Representative’s wish to speed up implementation of the Peace Agreement at the local level. It also noted that the High Representative’s decision to send a Special Envoy to Drvar (following violence against minority returnees) proved helpful. The council also supported the High Representative’s decision to expand this initiative by deploying Special Envoys more widely on the basis of an urgent local requirement (article 12).

At the moment we have 8 Special Envoys in the field, of whom the majority are seconded by governments and International Organizations’s. They are posted in the areas where International Community has faced the most acute problems with refugee return and implementation of election results (Bugojno, Doboj, Bijeljina, Livno, Bihac, Foca, Trebinje). The offices of Special Envoys’s operate in most of the cases together with the RRTF offices.

Final direction to the Special Envoy’s is given by the High Representative. The territorial and substantive areas of responsibility are individually defined by the High Representative on the basis of need and feasibility. Example: Special Envoy in Bugojno was also assigned on February 14, 2001 to promote integration process in Gornji Vakuf Municipality. In some instances Special Envoy’s Area of Responsibility (AoR) covers the whole Canton (in the FBiH): Bihac and Livno offices. Alongside with day-to-day, on-the-ground supervision of the peace implementation and identification of (and as appropriate, undertaking) necessary measures, Special Envoy’s are responsible for coordination of peace implementation activities of International Agencies within the AoR.

Special Enovy’s maintain close cooperation with the regional OHR office where their AoR is situated. Special Envoy consults the Head of Regional Office when issues of principle importance are under consideration.

Special Enovy’s operation is managed by the Special Envoys Coordinator, at the rank of Deputy High Representative. At present this duty is performed by Ambassador Alexander Zotov.