Regional integration key to national, global progress, leader of Bosnia and Herzegovina says

Zeljko Komšić, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

24 September 2013 – The Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina told the high-level debate of the United Nations General Assembly today that regional cooperation remains the focus of his country as it looks toward furthering its relationship with the European Union and addressing global economic, security and environmental challenges.

“The aspiration of Bosnia and Herzegovina to become EU member is based upon wide political consensus,” Chairman Željko Komšic said on the first day of the Assembly’s annual General Debate, which runs through 1 October. He joins a host of world leaders and high-level officials who will also present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance.

“Based on the direction and foreign policy activities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, our focus remains on furthering our relationship and institutional relationship with the EU, according to the Stabilization and Association Agreement and its full implementation, he said.

In that light, he outlined his country’s efforts on human rights, preventing impunity for war crimes, integration into security structures of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and negotiations for accession to the World Trade Organization.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added, puts strong emphasis on regional and subregional cooperation and dialogue between neighbouring countries whose cultures and traditions have been present in the Balkans for centuries, and who are currently at different stages of transition and democratic reforms.”

The potential for regional economic ties, he said, is especially strong in the areas of industry, tourism, agriculture and energy.

In contributing to the global effort to define the future development framework to face economic, social and environmental challenges, regional cooperation is also critical, “considering that the above-mentioned three aspects of sustainable development cross national borders,” he said.

Stressing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s adherence to EU policy goals on sustainable development, he said that “economic or political interests must not be a hurdle to global consensus as the true beginning of the global fight for preservation of the natural balance of planet Earth.”

Beyond regional cooperation, he said that facing global challenges required a strong multilateral approach, and he urged reform and strengthening the United Nations for that purpose, through consensus action.

“It is up to us to make the world Organization stronger and more efficient, as it is only the UN, the most comprehensive and inclusive Organization, that can help bring progress and well-being to our planet,” he said.


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