OSCE's Hajiyianni ends visit to BiH: International institution's joint effort yielding positive result
- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 06 February 2024 19:22
February 4, 2024
Special Representative of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for Southeast Europe, Vice President Kyriakos Hadjiyianni, has completed a three-day visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he held a series of meetings in the capital with various stakeholders, including parliamentary representatives, government officials, representatives of the international community and civil society organizations (CSOs). The focus of the conversation was domestic and regional events.
Special Representative Hadjiyianni met with Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH; officials of the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees and the director of the BiH Agency for Gender Equality; secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Collegium of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly; representatives of the BiH Presidency; local civil society organizations and High Representative, Christian Schmidt.
Special Representative Hadjiyianni was joined at the meetings by the head of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Brian Aggeler.
“The high-level meetings gave me the opportunity to hear first-hand about the challenges and opportunities for the region, which is extremely important to me in preparing my report, which will be published this July,” said Hadjiyianni. “I invited all interlocutors to engage in meaningful dialogue in order to overcome the challenges in the best interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is ready to facilitate political processes on issues of strategic importance for BiH.”
After visiting the headquarters of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hadjiyianni praised the mission's work. “The OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina is doing very important work for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its institutions, and I commend their efforts,” he said.
At the meetings, Special Representative Hadjiyianni spoke about the latest events in the country and the wider context of the Western Balkans. The key topics of discussion were the functionality of state institutions, the reform of the Electoral Law, regional cooperation, and the process of European integration of the Western Balkans. All parties agreed that the process of integration into the European Union remains the primary goal for BiH and the most effective incentive for advancing the reform process.
Hadjiyianni emphasised the importance of the OSCE's participation in the region, especially through its field operations.
The meetings highlighted the excellent cooperation between the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and local institutions, along with the continuous support provided by the Mission through its programmes and projects. The Special Representative emphasised the importance of a cooperative and focused approach for strengthening regional cooperation and improving democratic processes, stressing that the joint efforts of the OSCE, the EU, the Office of High Representatives and domestic institutions are yielding positive results.
Hadjiyianni's visit to Sarajevo from January 31 to February 2 marked his first field activity as Special Representative for Southeast Europe. His previous meeting with the delegations of the Western Balkan countries in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Yerevan last November prepared the ground for further engagement.
Looking ahead, the Special Representative plans to organise an Interparliamentary Forum with delegations from Southeast Europe at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in one of the capital cities of the region. In addition, he intends to visit other capitals in the Western Balkans, further strengthening his commitment to regional parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation.