OSCE Ambassador Melanie Verveer visits BiH

OSCE Ambassador Melanie Verveer visits BiH

Sarajevo, July 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

BiH Deputy Minister of Security, Mijo Kresic, and Special Representative of the OSCE for gender equality, Melanie Verveer, discussed on Monday the possibility that the OSCE Mission assists the Ministry in programs of gender equality and the inclusion of women’s NGOs in the activities on preventing and combating violent extremism and terrorism.

The participants of the meeting in Sarajevo pointed out that a joint project, which is already in the process of implementation, has the aim to raise awareness about the threats of violent extremism. According to the participants, this project already achieved very good results, and there is need to continue taking preventive measures to prevent the radicalization of society. During the meeting it was concluded that it is essential to start cooperation with women’s non-governmental organizations that shall be included in the work on prevention, as they have many years of experience working with women and are recognizable in local communities.

“It has been estimated that their experience will be of great benefit to establish contacts with women and young people, as well as for the acquisition of their trust in the security sector institutions”, announced the BiH Ministry of Security.

Ambassador Verveer also met with the BiH deputy Minister of Defence, Marina pandes, to talk about gender equality in the BiH Armed Forces and the implementation of UN resolutions in this area. Vermeer earlier stated that Gender equality remains high on the agenda of Germany’s 2016 OSCE Chairmanship.

“I am pleased that the OSCE Mission to BiH already has extensive co-operation with the governmental and non-governmental sector in BiH on promoting gender equality. I am very hopeful that we will get concrete proposals on how the OSCE can further assist BiH officials in achieving full respect for human rights and by that, women’s rights in BiH”, emphasized Verveer.

During the four days visit, Verveer met  with a large number of representatives of NGOs and individuals, who dedicated their work to pressuring authorities in the country to meet the international standards in area of gender equality.

Ambassador Verveer spent four years working with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to coordinate foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women. In 2009, the President of the United States Barack Obama nominated Verveer to be the first ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State, and appointed her to serve as U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.