TRIP REPORT 2003-3 - 16-23 JUNE 2003

In June 2003 the Mediator announced that he will be concluding international mediation at the local level by the end of 2004. While there is much work to be done in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BaH), there is a developing opinion that the time has come for local actors to take on more responsibilities and active leadership in the various components of the peace process. At the same time, resources are reducing greatly and local leaders are being asked to do more as the international community (IC) begins to downsize. Therefore, it is appropriate to rethink the current mediation process and begin a process of handing over the responsibility of mediating local conflicts to local institutions. The Mediator has developed a "Concluding Strategy" that will guide his work until the end of 2004 and will be evolving depending on developments in BaH. He has also been working on various proposals to encourage a culture of problem-solving negotiations and the availability of mediation in civil society. The Mediator visited Banja Luka, Modrica, Prijedor (together with Sanski Most) and Teslic. In light of the new strategy, the mediation format has also changed. In each municipality, the Mediator held a series of meetings and one final closing session to discuss with long-term conclusions.

Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling was accompanied by his mediation team: Amela Curkovic, Juan Diaz and Dieter Wolkewitz. He met with Lord Paddy Ashdown (High Representative), H.E. Peter Bas Backer (Deputy High Representative RRTF), Marc Bogdahn (German Consul in Banja Luka), the Ombudspersons of the Federation (Ms. Vera Jovanovic, Mr. Esad Muhibic, and Ms. Branka Raguz), the Ombudspersons of Republika Srpska (Ms. Branka Kolar-Mijatovic, Mr. Zlatko Kulenovic and Mr. Franjo Crnjac), Mr. Dragan Mikerevic (Prime Minister of Republika Srpska), and Mr. Jasmin Samardzic (RS Minister for Refugees and DPs).

During his visit, the Mediator was accompanied by Mrs. Sabira Jahic (Representative of the Office of the Federation Ministry for Refugees, DPs and Social Policy) and the Office of the Republika Srpska Ministry for Refugees and DPs (RS MRDP). He is grateful for the contribution by the entity ombuspersons during the briefings and mediations. The delegation would like to express its special gratitude to OSCE Operations in BaH, OHR/RRTF (BaH) and the German Embassy in Sarajevo for their logistical support. Special appreciation also goes to the OHR, OSCE, RRTF, SFOR, EUPM and UNHCR officers in Banja Luka, Prijedor, Modrica and Teslic for providing briefings, additional translation, input and organisational support and for participating in the meetings with the local authorities.

Trip Report 2003-3 - 16-23 June 2003
(WORD, 240KB)