During his visit, the Chair met with its political leadership, including all three members of the Presidency, Milorad Dodik, Šefik Džaferović, and Željko Komšić; the BiH Parliamentary Assembly House of Peoples (BiH PA HoP) Speaker, President of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and former member of the BiH Presidency, Bakir Izetbegović;and the BiH PA HoP Deputy Speaker, leader of the Croatian Democratic Union of BiH (HDZ-BiH) and former member of the Presidency, Dragan Čović.
The Chairperson also met with the President of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Branko Petrić, and a member of CEC, Irena Hadžiabdić, as well as with the President of Our Party (NS), Predrag Kojović; the President of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Vukota Govedarica; and with Nenad Vuković, member of the Presidency of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP). During the meetings, the Chair sought to learn more about current developments – and also stressed the need to re-engage in dialogue so as to allow the country to break through the impasse which has hampered progress and exacerbated social divisions.
Chairperson Lajčák urged his interlocutors to form a functioning government at the federal and state level without any delay and to intensify efforts to advance the reform agenda.
“It is a reality that differences exist, but parties should look to the future, from increasing employment, improving healthcare, ensuring quality education without discrimination and enacting environmental policies, to fighting corruption and organized crime, increasing transparency and professionalism of the judiciary, and promoting reconciliation and protection of human rights.”.
However, the Chairperson emphasized that to make progress, political commitment, coherent and comprehensive strategies and uncompromised long term dedication are key. He also called on national partners to take steps towards creating a positive political climate and moving away from divisive rhetoric.
“What we need now, more than ever, is real leadership, a strong vision, and commitment without compromise to the future of this country and its people,” he stressed.
The Chairperson emphasised the OSCE’s readiness to continue to assist the country in its reform efforts through its Mission on the ground. The OSCE Mission to BiH works as a reliable and impartial partner, to support the country in building a stable, prosperous and democratic state that serves the interests of all its citizens.
During his time in Sarajevo, the Chairperson engaged with civil society and members of the international community to hear their perspectives on how they see the country’s development. He also had the opportunity to meet with the staff of the OSCE Mission to BiH and take stock of the Mission’s activities in the country.
Chairperson Lajčák participated in the presentation of the BiH report of the OSCE Survey on the Well-being and Safety of Women – the first of its kind undertaken in South-Eastern and Eastern Europe. The report provides a detailed picture of the physical, sexual and psychological violence suffered by women and girls in South-Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe. Stressing that Violence against Women is still far too prevalent in BiH and the wider region, the OSCE Chair noted that, with better data, advocacy, training and institutional reform, there is a higher chance of stamping it out.