01.11.2006 OHR Mostar

OHR’s Statement at the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference in Mostar

OHR Comment Police Reform Progress

Given reports in various media outlets today it is worth restating that the IC is clear on what is expected with regards Police Reform.

On 20 October the Steering Board calls on political leaders to achieve progress on police restructuring now, without waiting for the formation of parliaments and governments, through constructive talks on police reform to facilitate the work of the Directorate and subsequent adoption of the Directorate’s proposal by State and Entity governments and parliaments.

Just days before, on the 17 October, the EU’s General Affairs Council “expressed particular concern over the lack of progress towards the implementation of the October 2005 agreement on police restructuring, and looked forward to fast removal of this obstacle”.

Clearly the EC principles must underpin this reform and clearly both the PIC and the EU are following progress in this reform closely. This issue draws their special attention given the importance of police reform for concluding the SAA negotiations.

The pessimism expressed in certain reports is misplaced. There are indications that after months of efforts this process will conclude successfully: the Police Reform Directorate is making solid progress towards completing its report. Political discussions to help finalise this reform have begun. If they facilitate the work of the Directorate, they are most welcome.