Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR,Kevin Sullivan

EUPM, Zinaida Delic

OSCE, Mersiha Causevic

EUFOR, Lt. Cdr. Frank Cockburn

NATO HQ, Derek Chappell



World Journalists’ Day

The High Representative would like to extend his best wishes to all of you
and to all of your colleagues in the BiH media, on the occasion of World
Journalists’ Day. This is a day on which we reflect upon the difficulties
journalists face – from risking their lives all the way through to contending
with unhelpful public officials who are reluctant to provide information that
ought, by rights, to be in the public domain. Some people may fail, consistently
or obtusely, to understand the importance of the job you do (none of these
people, by the way, will think twice about reading the newspapers or watching
the TV news that they habitually belittle); probably the main thing is that
you understand it. “The BiH media must continue to play a robust role in
scrutinizing and criticizing the work of the authorities – that is their job and
it is a job that is essential in a democracy,” the High Representative said
today. “Following a clear, principled path, independent of interest groups
(except for the only interest worth favouring, and that is the citizen’s
interest) is a difficult thing to do. Most BiH reporters and presenters manage
to do it, and I salute them for it. They are performing a function which
underpins normal democratic life. However others fall short of this, and by
doing so bring their profession into disrepute.”

High Representative, Chancellor Schroeder to Discuss PBS

The High Representative will meet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder this
afternoon at the BiH Presidency. Discussion will focus, among other things, on
the parliamentary effort now underway to provide BiH with a European-standard
Public Broadcasting Service that meets the needs of all its citizens.

The Feasibility Study requirements are based on the belief that politically
directed or mono-ethnic channels will not contribute to the democratic
development that will carry BiH into the European Union. The EC has therefore
requested the establishment of one single and economically viable Public
Broadcasting Service that will equally represent all people of BiH. It is
therefore crucially important that the BiH Public Broadcasting System Law, which
has been stalled in parliamentary procedure due to amendments tabled by the HDZ,
is enacted in its original form, meeting a major EC Feasibility Study
requirement and opening the way for planned EC assistance for PBS.

There will be a photo opportunity at the start of the meeting, which is
scheduled to begin at 13.30. However, camera crews are advised to arrive early
as the schedule may be brought forward by ten or fifteen minutes.

PDHR Larry Butler Calls on BiH Authorities to Implement Laws They
Have Enacted

The Principal Deputy High Representative, Larry Butler, is speaking today to
officers of the BiH armed forces who are participating in a Peace
Support Operation course at Butmir. Among the
points Ambassador Butler will be making is that – and I quote – “Reform is not
just about enacting laws and ticking off boxes covering the requirements
of NATO or the European Commission; it is about implementing laws and
securing real benefits for citizens. It’s not, for example, a matter of changing
the organisation of the tax office just for the sake of change; it’s about
reorganising the fiscal system so that it works better for the people of this
country. It’s not about tinkering with chains of command in the armed forces,
but about giving the armed forces a modern, responsive and efficient chain of
command that will allow them to discharge their primary duty – to protect the
citizens of BiH.”

Ambassador Butler will point out that “the development of BiH’s Peace

Support Operations capacity is a sign that BiH
is beginning to acquire a military posture appropriate to a modern

I have brought along copies of the speech. We will be distributing a
local-language version this afternoon.

Ambassador Butler, by the way, will give a press conference at 11.00 on
Friday morning, here at the OHR, at which he will talk about his priorities for
promoting economic reform in BiH.

OHR Monthly Economic Report

Finally, I have brought along copies of this month’s OHR Economic Report,
which brings together key data from the Statistics Offices, the Central Bank and
the Stock Exchanges to offer a snapshot of the BiH economy. Notable in this
month’s report is the continuing robust performance of the two stock exchanges,
which are emerging as authentic – because market-driven – barometers of the BiH
economy, and whose positive performance can therefore be taken cautiously as
evidence that BiH is beginning to register some of the economic benefits – as
well as the economic trials – of transition.


No statement.


Statement not available.



Tarik Lazović:

Tarik Lazović, VIP.  A question for theNATO spokesperson.  How does
he comment the fact that the government of Republika Srpska is working on the
construction of a building for the Ministry of Defense of Republika Srpska,
setting this against the fact that according to the defense reforms this
ministry should be closed down by the end of the year?  

Derek Chappell, NATO:

Well my comment to that is that I think you are talking about two separate
processes.  How the RS ministry of defense chooses to spend its funds is a
matter for it and for the citizens of the RS to decide upon.  We are
involved in a process of defense reform and it is very clear that the way ahead

Bosnia and Herzegovina

is for the entity MOD’s to be
merged into a state level MOD.  Now that has not yet happened.  We
hope that it will happen very soon, but until it does the entity defense
ministries are certainly free to spend their funds, which are raised from their
taxpayers, in a way that they see fit.


I think you didn’t say, so after the meeting with Mr. Schroeder will there be
a press release or will there be statements?

Kevin Sullivan, OHR:

The meeting is organized, or Chancellor Schroeder’s meetings are organized
principally through the BiH authorities, so statements emanating from any of his
meetings will be mediated by them.  What we anticipate with the High
Representative is a photo opportunity, although there may be an opportunity to
have one or two remarks immediately after that.

Zana Filipovic, Radio Slobodna Evropa (Radio Free

May I ask Mr. Sullivan a short question?  Radio Free

Europe .  When you said, concerning this law on PBS,
that the High Representative shall propose that it should be adopted in the form
of the draft as adopted by the Council of Ministers.  In the last few days,
it is already quite certain that certain corrections shall be proposed and as a
compromise solution the request made by the HDZ has been introduced, for three
regional centers:


, Mostar,

Banja Luka

, which leads to a
national concept.  However it seems that this will be the nearest to a
final solution.  What is OHR’s position on this issue?

Kevin Sullivan, OHR:

In the sense of the original draft, I mean with the original intent, it will
be up to parliamentarians to ensure that the original intent is met and that
European standards and European criteria are fulfilled.

Thank you very much.