03/15/1998 PIC SB Sarajevo

Statement by the Steering Board of the PIC on the Brcko Arbitral Decision

The Steering Board governments, through the High Representative, strongly endorse and support the decision on Brcko announced today by the Brcko Arbitral Tribunal. The decision is in the best interest of the people of Brcko and of Dayton Agreement implementation. The Tribunal carried out its work in an open and impartial manner, giving all parties the opportunity to present their views before coming to its decision.

The Steering Board governments urge all parties to accept the decision and to devote their energies to making Brcko a peaceful, multiethnic community. It is particularly important that displaced persons and refugees have the opportunity to return to Brcko as rapidly as possible, and that displaced persons in Brcko may return to their homes of origin in the Federation as soon as possible.

As a result of the decision, the city remains under international supervision. The Steering Board governments offer their continued, complete support to the High Representative and his Deputy, the Brcko Supervisor in their work.

It is now up to the parties to fulfill their obligations to the people of Brcko. The Steering Board governments note that the Arbitral Tribunal will take into account the actions of the parties from now until the final arbitration phase at the end of 1998.