Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful for the opportunity to address the 57th Session of the General
Assembly. Allow me at the outset to extend my warmest congratulations to you
Mr. President on your well-deserved election.
Tragic events of September 11t" have made us reconsider our achievements, real values, and the links between poverty, development, sustainability, respect for human rights and real progress.
Yet, goals imagined by the perpetrators of those crimes certainly have not been fulfilled - World has become more united and determined to fight terrorism as a global threat to the values of civilization. It resulted in an increased cooperation between specialized services and bodies of different states, as well as international organizations. However, we must be prepared for a long and exhaustive confrontation with this evil of our times.
Last year we were all rightly focused on Afghanistan as well as today we are concerned about future steps regarding Iraq as a great threat to world stability and shelter for terrorism.
Fortunately, after decade of being in focus as a crisis area the time has come that southeast Europe and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a heart of the region is no more CNN-able because of its today's growing stability.
The time has come to salute the new image of my country and to start rebranding perception of the region which is no more "Balkan ghosts stereotype area". But, at the same time great concerns like Iraq, Middle East, and Kashmir should.not let us to forget that Balkan is good news as much as we all invest additional efforts to finish the job of fully integrating the region in European democratic structures and values.
Enormous efforts and results are behind us, but we have to be careful and patient
until the stability becomes self-sustainable through building jobs, justice
and functioning institutions, which will hold together new democracy.
In the light of last year terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, our
fragile and only European state with Moslems as a relative majority religious
group was confronted with heavy pressure of prejudices about " the clash
But as you may know I am coming from the State, which represented crossroad of different cultures and religions, where different civilizations lived for centuries in tolerance and mutual respect.
Today we are even more convinced that all problems can only be solved through
a dialogue based on good political will. From those positions we joined the
fight against all kinds of terrorism and organized crime. we reinforced struggle
against corruption by upgrading and strengthening our state institutions.
We have placed the rule of law on the top of the agenda. Good work has been
done, results have been achieved and we have therefore proved that Bosnia and
:Herzegovina is not "No Man's land''.
By energizing and encouraging the dialogue to overcome the barriers of mutual
ignorance we shall open a new hope for our societies.
Building of democratic institutions. economic development and protection and
promotion of human rights are more than ever at the top of our priorities.
After the recent tragic events and all the turbulent chany`es that Bosnia and
Herzegovina has experienced, we strongly believe in paradigm of democracy, development
and peace. as the pillar of the progress and stability for inv country but also
for the immediate neighbourhood and region as well. Only responsible and accountable
governing can bring about necessary changes and progress for all. Unfortunately,
we are still confronted with the heavy legacy of the past, especially with the
fact that the main culprits for the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Radovan Karadzié and Ratko Mladié are at lame. The moment they
are brought to justice it will be easier to reach our goals.
This is why I would like at this juncture to emphasize the importance of cooperation
of all sides concerned with the ICTY in The Hague.
At the same time we are aware of the fact that the democratization is sometimes
a long process, post conflict peace building is even more complex. But. we have
set the vision of developing a safe. peaceful. stable and self - sustainable
country and we shall not stop half way.
I am proud to say, we have come a long way, from those devastating times when we needed comfort because children. women. innocent civilians were being killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Today we are full member of the Council of Europe. More refugees and displaced
persons have returned in recent times than compared to any other post war, period.
In other words. in last 18 months almost three times more properties, homes
and apartments were given back to the refugees and displaced persons all over
Bosnia and Herzegovina than in previous five years. Many roads. many villages.
many roofs have been built and repaired. many mosques and churches have also
been built and repaired.
The contribution of UNMIBH. SFOR, High Representative. Peace Implementation
Council. UNHCR, OSCE. and others in the family of international community present
in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been substantial in achieving actual level of
stability and reconstruction.
We particularly recognise and value the role of the UNMIBH which is completing its mandate at the end of this year. The police reform and restructuring, in order to meet international standards of organizational capacity and institutional integrity represent a clear success. The UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina was certainly one of the key players also in establishing the foundations for effective, democratic and sustainable law enforcement agencies, a fundamental element for further development of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a multi-ethnic, tolerant and democratic State. We welcome the transfer of the remaining tasks in this area to the EU Police Mission, and especially the extention of the EU responsibility in the area of juridicial reform as one of the basic pillars of self-sustainability of future democratization and reform processes.
There should be no doubt that the United Nations has a potential to fulfil its new tasks and thus respond to the ever increasing challenges of the fast changing world. It should provide leadership in building prosperous world, founded no longer on force and threats, but on the rules of international law and respect of all rights for all.
In that context I would like to underline that Bosnia and Herzegovina supports
further democratisation and modernization of the United Nations. New tasks and
challenges call for increasing of efficiency, cost rationalization, equal geographic
participation of states and peoples in the UN system. Bosnia and Herzegovina
also supports the continuation of work on reform of the Security Council, adjusting
of its membership in accordance with carefully designed criteria, taking into
account equal geographic representation, but not jeopardizing the efficiency
of this UN body.
Allow me to briefly mention some of the priorities of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has in the past two years proved its determination to move from the position of passive aid recipient from international community to the position of contributor to the international efforts. The fact that we are in a position to consider the need or even the imperative of taking a more active and creative role and thus bigger share of responsibility, testify the trend of normalisation of the situation in the country.
Reconstruction is taking place and results are visible in economy, social reforms,
education, health care etc. Economic reforms are directed towards establishment
of a single economic space and also with the view of setting up conditions for
upgraded educations and thus offering the choice for our young generations to
remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina and become the frontrunners of its development
We have almost fully completed the conditions set out in the EU Road Map which we hope will soon open the process of Feasibility study for Bosnia and Herzegovina's signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU.
We have gone through the process of being the object of the international community
efforts and now we are the partner in the process of making economically and
institutionally self-sustainable state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is only
one phase in a process of becoming finally the owner of changes in our country.
In partnership with the international community we are streamlining common
strategy for political stability, institutions building and economic recovery
program as the precondition of the overall sustainable development.
The entire region as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina is entering the new stage
of stability and European integration process. But we still have to be on alert.
The ghosts of the past, segregation and wars are loosing their ground.
By following trials to war criminals before the ICTY in The Hague. we are witnessing
the hope that justice and future will finally bury the projects based on genocide.
That is the reason why we have to act on a daily basis against those who are
trying to open the box of drawing new maps or calling for new wars.
So much energy and efforts of local and international community have been invested
so far that we are not even allowed to have anything else than success strategy.
Any type of hypothetical exit strategy of international community can be based
only on success strategy in building one multiethnic, democratic and European
State of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Once again I would like to express gratitude of my government to the international
community for its devoted support towards the long-lasting stability and development
in the region.
If four million people: Moslems, Orthodox, Catholics. Jews and others who historically
lived in tolerance, even in non democratic environment, if they cannot live
now in democratic and open society in the middle of Europe. than the logical
question after September 11 is how we can be consolidated and organized among
six billion people on our planet.
Coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina I am driven by force of optimism and strength - of the vision shared by the overall majority of those who don't want to repeat the past but who are ready to fight for the future.
We are determined to put these words into our deeds.
Thank you for your attention.