Monday, October 15, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 15,2007) - Bosnia’s top politicians have failed to reach a compromise on police reform at last-ditch talks designed to pave the way for closer ties with the EU.

After missing an earlier deadline on September 30, Thursday’s talks among the main political parties of Bosnia were seen as the last opportunity to agree on police reform ,a precondition for concluding a treaty with Brussels,ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers today.

“We were hoping for a miracle, but a miracle didn’t happen”, the top international official in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, told media.

He warned that he would be informing the EU of the failure when the new deadline runs out today,October 15.

“We don't have an agreement, we don't have a chance, a hope for an agreement, and we don't have a chance that this country is going towards the EU”, Lajcak told media after the meeting.

“This is a decision by political leaders who think it is better to reject agreement, and this is the message that Bosnia is sending today to the EU.”

Representatives of countries and international institutions engaged in Bosnia’s post-war reconstruction, the so-called Peace Implementation Council ( PIC), will meet by the end of this month to discuss progress in the reform agenda and what measures to take, in case no agreement is reached on police reform in Bosnia.

“We did the worst thing for you, that is for the people of Bosnia”, Dragan Covic, leader of the HDZ Party, told media after the meeting.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 15,2007) - The Bosnian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Alkalaj will arrive in Israel today (Monday, 15th October) as a guest of Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni.

The purpose of the visit is to promote the relationship between the two countries, including economic and agricultural cooperation. During the visit, Alkalaj and Livni will sign a consultation agreement in a ceremony that will be held at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

The Bosnian Foreign Minister will also meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Minister of Agriculture Shalom Simchon, M.K. Benny Alon , Chairman of the Israel-Bosnia Friendship Association and with Mr. Hilik Assia, Director General of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute. The guest will also visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research.

The Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj's first visit to Israel in his current position marks a decade of diplomatic relations between Israel and Bosnia, which were established in 1997.

His previous visit to Israel was in 1995, to attend the funeral of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. At the time, he was serving as Bosnian Ambassador to the United States, and was instrumental in formulating the peace agreement that brought an end to the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Ministar Sven Alkalaj served as the Bosnian Ambassador to the United States from 2000 to 2004, and as the Bosnian Ambassador to the European Union between 2004 and 2007.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 15,2007) – The Bosnian House of Representatives considered the second reading of the Proposal of the Law on Sport in Bosnia, but did not vote on it.

Since a number of amendments have been submitted to this law, the House of Representatives established a three-member working group, which should reach an agreement in the coming days on the proposed amendments with the delegates who tabled these amendments and the representatives of the Bosnian Government.

The Bosnian Civil Affairs Minister Sredoje Nović said that one should not think that the propose law on sport will be able to resolve all problems in this field. He thinks that a special law on preventing sport violence should be adopted.

“We have tried to develop a law on sport which can satisfy the interests of Bosnia and athletes, but also one that would respect the constitutional structure of Bosnia. I shall be sorry if the law on sport is not adopted, not because of me, or the Bosnian Council of Ministers, but because of thousands of athletes in Bosnia who are waiting for this law to be adopted”, Minister Nović said.

The Bosnian House of Representatives adopted the Proposal of the Law amending and changing the Law on Police Officials in Bosnia and the Proposal of the Law on the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) in the first reading.

The proposed laws changing and amending the Law on Ministries and other Bosnian state Institutions, the Law on the Bosnian Council of Ministers and the Law on Bosnian Excises have been also adopted.

The Proposal of the Law on the establishment of the Bureau for the implementation of criminal sanctions, detention and other measures was considered in the first reading, but did not get the required entity majority support.

The House of Representatives also adopted in urgent procedure the Proposal of the Law changing and amending the Bosnian Law on the Implementation of Criminal Sanctions, Detention and Other Measures and the Proposal of the Law changing and amending the Law on Travel Documents. These laws were endorsed earlier by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia.

The House of Representatives also adopted reports of the joint commission of both houses on the agreed texts of the Law on the Agency for Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Education, the Framework Law on Preschool Education and the Law on Radiation and Nuclear Security in Bosnia.

It also adopted the report on the Bosnian State Commission for reviewing decision on granting citizenship to foreign nationals between January 31 and July 31 2007, the report of the Bosnian Audit Office on audits carried out in BiH institutions in 2006 and the proposal of conclusions by the Bosnian Joint Commission for Defence and Security for resolving the issue of surplus small arms and light weapons and ammunition in Bosnia, as well as for resolving problems in the work of the Bosnian Border Police.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 15,2007) – The Bosnian Government determined Bill Changing and Amending the Law on Participation of Bosnian Armed Forces’ Members and Police and State Officials and Other Employees in Peace supporting Missions and Other Activities Abroad at its 25th session.

The Bosnian Ministry of Defense, will submit the Bill to the Bosnian Parliament for discussion.According to the Bill, The Bosnian Defense Ministry and the Bosnian Armed Forces’ Command will realize the acts in accordance with its jurisdiction that they have.

At the same time, the Bill enables the Bosnian Armed Forces’ Reserve members to be sent abroad voluntarily to participate at the peace support missions.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also determined the Bill Changing and Amending the Law on the Bosnian Medals. The Bill will be sent to the parliamentary procedure for discussion.

The Bosnian Government also adopted the Bill for Negotiations for Concluding the Agreement Changing the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between Bosnia and China.

Bill on Basis of Negotiations for Agreement on Status of Peace Support Missions Training Headquarters between Bosnia and the UK and the Northern Ireland has also been adopted.

The Bosnian Government also determined the Bill on the Basis of Negotiations for the purpose of signing the European Agreement on the Main Inner Water Routes that are of international significance.

This agreement will enable Bosnia to harmonize the legal, technical and security demands of the EU in the water routes sector.

The Bosnian government passed a Decision on Formation of the Workgroup for development of Bill Changing and Amending the Law on Bosnian Witness Protection Program, proposed by the Bosnian Ministry of Security.

There are 12 members in the Workgroup which is to develop the Bill in accordance with the Bosnian Constitution and international standards within 90 days.

The Bosnian Government also adopted the Information of the European Integrations Direction related to the implementation of certain temporary measures aimed to efficiently implement the ICTY mandate and other international restrictive measures.

Council of Ministers adopted the Information on formation of the Central System of Vehicle registration.

The concept of vehicle registration adopted April 15 2004 has been put out of force.

The Bosnian Ministry of Communications and Traffic is to define a new concept of vehicle registration within 30 days in accordance with the Law on Traffic safety Basis.

The new vehicle registration document should be put in use by April 1 2008.

The Bosnian Government also accepted the Protocol from the First Session of the Interstate Bosnian – Russian Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation, proposed by the Bosnian Ministry of Trade and Economic Relations.

The Bosnian Government nominated Dragan Skrbic of the Bosnian Civil Affairs Ministry and Bakir Dautbasic of the the Bosnian Ministry of Security to the positions of the Bosnian State Attorney and the Bosnian Deputy State Attorney.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 15,2007) – The Bosnian State Directorate for Economic Planning, the Entity's Ministries of Health and the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) organised in Sarajevo the presentation of the results of the Study on Living Conditions of Children and Women in Bosnia.

The study is based on a research of multiple indicators and its objective was to assess the state of the health of children, food education, care, living conditions and the situation concerning the registration of the birth of children, violence and the issue of children without parental care. The study covered 6.000 families.

The results of the research, which was conducted in 2005 and 2006, cover issues concerning the reproductive health of women and knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

“The results of this comprehensive research will define the health policy in Bosnia. Information we have received highlight several problems that need to be urgently addressed, including the problem of broad inoculation of children”, the FBiH Entity Health Minister Safet Omerovic said.

He also mentioned the problem of nutrition of children and mothers, ensuring quality supply with fresh water and the issue of adequate social care for pregnant women.

The research shows a worrying increase in violence against children and women. Approximately five percent of women in Bosnia agree that their husbands/partners have the right to physically punish their wives/partners.

The research also shows that 98.9 pregnant women in Bosnia received prenatal care, while 99,7 deliveries in Bosnia were carried out in hospitals.

The situation concerning violence against children is also alarming. 35.6 children between the ages of 2 and 4 have been subjected to psychological or physical punishment.

“Initial results show that the situation concerning the status of child health, education and protection is similar to what it was in the past. It staying at the same level can be considered an achievement, but work is still needed on ensuring principles and standards stated in the Convention on the Rights of Children”, UNICEF representative June Kunugi said.

Information on the education of children shows that despite the high enrolment rate, the graduation rate has dropped.

According to relevant Bosnian officials this study will be used in the planning of the economic strategy for the development and improvement of social and health care of children and women.