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

The view ahead is clearer than it has been for
a decade

The High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, is travelling to

Tomorrow and Friday he will take part in a conference – the first in a series
marking the tenth anniversary of


– that will look at what has
been achieved in
Bosnia and Herzegovina

in the last decade and what still
has to be done.

The High Representative will draw attention to the opportunities that have
been opened up now that a police reform agreement in line with the EC’s three
principles has been reached. The view ahead is clearer than it has been for a

The High Representative will emphasise that the governing structures that
have now been set in place to create “a light-level state governing a highly
decentralized country” must be made to work. These structures – the Council of
Ministers, the State Court, the ITA and other agencies – must be given the staff
and resources that they need in order to take BiH beyond peace implementation
and into full economic and political transition.

The High Representative will note that few observers “surveying the condition

Bosnia and Herzegovina

on the eve of


ten years ago would have
imagined that the country would be preparing in 2005 (albeit at the very start
of the process) for EU membership. No one doubts that there is still a long way
to go. But the road behind BiH is more difficult than the road ahead. The worst
of this journey is over.”

The High Representative’s speech to the conference is on Friday morning.