On the anniversary of Srebrenica Minister pledges Ireland's support for Bosnia's EU aspirations9/7/12
SARAJEVO, 9 July 2012 - The Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton T.D., continues her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina today as part of Ireland's Chair-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and as incoming Presidency of the EU.
The Minister met this morning with the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia & Hercegovina, Bakir Izetbegović, and Foreign Minister, Zlato Lagumdžija, where she urged the Bosnian authorities to implement vital democratic reforms.
Welcoming the recent opening of the EU High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process and agreement by the political parties to resolve outstanding issues, the Minister said:
“Ireland as OSCE Chair and forthcoming EU Presidency stands ready to assist the country’s EU integration agenda.
Working together with other members of the international community, the OSCE and the EU have the experience and institutional capacities to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in the areas of the rule of law, judicial reform, good governance and combating discrimination. However, the country also needs to show that it can find its own solutions to its own problems."
Yesterday, the Minister visited the historic city of Mostar, which witnessed widespread destruction and serious loss of life as a result of the conflict in Bosnia. The Minister saw at first hand the vital work of the OSCE, the largest civilian mission in the country, which is working with all levels of the government and society to support and strengthen democratic institutions and foster relations between still divided communities.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's commemoration of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, Minister Creighton emphasized the need for both justice and reconciliation:
“On the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide my heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims, especially to those who are still searching for their loved ones. We in Ireland share in their remembrance of this terrible crime and we demand that those responsible be brought to justice. At the same time a way needs to be found to move forward and to create a better European future for new generations."