Banja Luka, June 9, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
The Peace Implementation Council Steering Board held a session in Sarajevo and issued a Communique with remarks on the current political situation in BiH, but these remarks caused negative reaction from RS political leaders, PM Zeljka Cvijanovic, and entity president, Milorad Dodik.
In the communique, PIC emphasized the significance of BiH’s EU aspirations as expressed in the membership application for the EU. PIC countries representatives called upon the leadership of BiH to proceed with the required reforms – socioeconomic, rule of law, justice and public administration.
“These should be carried out in accordance with citizens’ demands, in cooperation with institutions and civil society. These reforms would, inter alia, allow BiH to maintain momentum and to advance on its EU path, in line with the BiH leadership’s Written Commitment to EU Integration”, said the communique.
The PIC Steering Board also concluded that it is important to publish the census results and stressed that education is of the utmost importance for reconciliation, sustainable peace and economic development. It called upon the authorities in BiH, as it was quoted, to advance decisively with education reform aimed at improving education standards to meet the demands of 21st century labour markets, based on principles of non-politicization, non-discrimination, non-segregation and inclusiveness.
“This should include both the Republika Srpska and the Federation BiH providing appropriate classes for the National Group of Subjects and for the preparation of teachers for inclusive education in the context of social and cultural diversity. The PIC SB acknowledged the decision of the BiH Constitutional Court according to which the constituent peoples and Others have the constitutional right to name their own language and the RS Constitution does not interfere with that right”, stressed PIC SB.
The ambassadors also called the political, social and religious leaders in BiH to advance reconciliation, mutual understanding and tolerance and to refrain from negative and divisive policies, actions and rhetoric which can have a radicalising effect on individuals and communities, and which only divert energy from the urgent reforms needed to create economic opportunities for all, and provide young people hope for a future in BiH. In particular, it is wholly inappropriate for anyone, particularly leaders, to praise or celebrate war criminals.
“The PIC SB voiced its concern over the threats of radicalism and terrorism in BiH. Welcoming both the BiH authorities’ efforts to counter radicalism and terrorism and the positive initiatives launched by the Islamic Community of BiH to this end, the PIC SB encouraged the relevant authorities in BiH at all levels to continue efforts to tackle these threats through improved coordination and full cooperation, both internally and with the international community”, said PIC SB in its communique.
Some parts of the communique were not in accordance with Dodik’s political taste and he commented the PIC SB session to media saying that the PIC is a striking example of the foreign factors’ interference in the country’s affairs.
“Making decisions about Bosnia and Herzegovina without the country’s most important factors is a fantasy. BiH cannot succeed if it does not become the ownership of its people, without foreigners meddling in that”, Dodik said.
Dodik webt on to say that it was clear that BiH could not function having a foreign administration, one of the results of that foreign administration definitely being occasional PIC meetings. He added that the PIC has never criticised the work of the international administration in BiH which made astonishing mistakes and made decisions that were not in compliance with the BiH Constitution and Dayton Peace Agreement.
A similar opinion expressed RS PM, Zeljka Cvijanovic, saying that PIC communique is an irrelevant document and that she hasn’t been read it in last several years, because there is no sense in them.
“It is just an opportunity for High Representative, Valentin Inzko, to give certain statements after the meeting. But I really do not see any sense in these statements and communique”, Cvijanovic said.
She emphasized that it is important that leaders in the country cooperate and make decisions based on agreements and consensus.