Friday, March 28, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) – The Bosnian Council of Ministers passed yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo decision on nomination of commission for election of the text of the new Bosnian anthem, proposed by the Bosnian Justice Ministry.

11 members have been nominated to the commission; including per three representatives from each of the Bosnian Parliament's Houses.

The Commission will announce a public competition for election of the text of the new Bosnian anthem; the reward is 30.000 Bosnian Marks. The Commission will submit the Report on Work by December 31 the latest.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also adopted yesterday the Bosnian Ministry of Security Information on Juvenile Delinquency in Bosnia. The number of registered juvenile delinquents has increased in comparison to 2007 per 48 juveniles, that is, 1,7 per cent. With regard to this data, the institutions concerned have been ordered to take all the measures and activities necessary for implementation of the action plan aimed to realize the main and specific goals of Strategy against Juvenile delinquency in Bosnia.

However, the degree of social danger has increased; juvenile offenders have been registered committing the heaviest of crimes starting from difficult robberies to murder.

Social situation, lack of good family relations and social tolerance towards the juvenile delinquents have been named the main reasons of juvenile delinquency; passive relationship of the witnesses to crimes committed by juveniles has been marked especially concerning.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also passed Decision changing and Amending the Decision on Measures of Efficient Implementation of the ICTY, proposed by the Bosnian Ministry of Security. This Decision aligns personal data with the Citizen Identification Protection System (CIPS) data, for the persons who are under restrictive measures of ban of entrance and transfer through Bosnia's territory.

At the proposal of the Bosnian Ministry of Finance and Vault, the Council of Ministers passed Decision on Approval of Allocation of 20.000 Bosnian Marks from the Budget to the Trebinje Municipality for the construction of a monument to a war time hero Srdjan Aleksic.

The Council also passed Decision on Formation of the Second Loan Rating for Bosnia, proposed by the Ministry of Finance and Vault. The Decision authorizes the Bosnian Central Bank to implement the procedures of election of a good-rated international company which will, within six months, develop the second loan rating for Bosnia.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also passed Decision an Approving the Allocation of 600.000 Bosnian Marks from the Budget for Reconstruction of the Mostar Orthodox Church and the Plehan Church near Derventa, as well as for the Reconstruction of the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka. Each of the reconstruction projects willl be financed with 200.000 Bosnian Marks.

It has also been concluded that in the years of 2009 and 2010, 600.000 Bosnian Marks will be annually provided from the Budget for the reconstruction of those three sacral objects.

The Bosnian Council of Ministers also adopted the Ministry of Security Information on Implementation of Action Plan for Prevention and Punishing the Criminal Acts Related to Motor Vehicles, with proposal of initiating procedure of association to the European System of Information on Vehicles and Driver’s Licenses (EUCARIS).

The Bosnian Ministry of Civil Affairs has been ordered to, in coordination with the Ministry of Security, start the EUCARIS association procedure.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) – “Switzerland and Bosnia have extraordinary political relations, followed with a quality dialogue at a high level. Switzerland holds perseverance of integrity and territorial sovereignty of Bosnia extremely important”, the Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj stated yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo at a press conference, after a meeting with Swiss foreign Affairs Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.

Switzerland has so far helped Bosnia with over 330 million Swiss Franks, which is the biggest contribution this country has ever provided for a country in transition, Alkalaj said and added that the multiethnic and multicultural character of Bosnia is one think which makes Bosnia close to Switzerland.

However, economic cooperation falls significantly behind the political relations. Alkalaj stated that the issue will be solved by forums and presentations of the Bosnian economy to Swiss entrepreneurs. Level of trade exchange will also be improved.

The Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Calmy-Rey also stated that relations between the two countries are excellent and that the Bosnian community (about 40.00 people) living in Switzerland greatly contributes improvement of the relations.

She emphasized that cooperation between the two countries’ civic societies is good, especially in the period of overcoming the war consequences.

Calmy-Rey confirmed to her Bosnian colleague that Bosnia will remain one of the priorities of the Swiss cooperation programs and added that her country is dedicated to long-term stability of Bosnia and that it will keep supporting the EUFOR and EUPM. She added that Switzerland will also provide help in constitutional reforms, EOD activities, ecology, etc.

Switzerland will keep supporting the judiciary reform in Bosnia and that it wants to see war criminals face justice, so that peace and stability are insured.

Calmy-Rey stated that Switzerland is of the opinion that regional cooperation is very important for development of the southeastern European region and in that context, Switzerland holds the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) very important, as well as the fact that the Bosnian capital Sarajevo has been elected the RCC HQs.

Switzerland is one of the countries which have recognized Kosovo. Calmy-Rey stated that Kosovo is a unique case and that no parallels can be made between Kosovo and any other part of the region or the world.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) – The Secretary General of the European Association of Archeologists (EAA) and Archeology professor at the University of Ljubljana,Slovenia,Predrag Novakovic visited the University of Sarajevo within cooperation of the two universities.

He used this visit to talk with colleagues from expert institutions such as the Bosnian National Museum, Sarajevo City Museum and the Bosnian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Asides from lecture held from students from history department of Faculty of Philosophy, Professor Novakovic handed a donation of some hundred books in order to help archeology studies at this faculty which is most likely to start in the next academic year.

Professor Novakovic stated that funds designated for this purpose already exist in the EU funds for higher education for countries which are in accession phase.

One of the goals of his visit was to help set up a stabile system of archeology in Bosnia even though this will be very complicated.

Attitude of the bosnian authorities towards archeological heritage, Novakovic called problematic mostly because Bosnia did not sign the Maltese Convention of the Council of Europe on protection of archeological heritage.

He explained that EAA is obliged to work under existing principles of management in certain state and the Convention creates legal basis for state legislative in order to create a modern system for protection of archeological heritage.

In Bosnia, however, problems are not only of this nature since it will be necessary to further educate Bosnian experts in all areas of archeological heritage protection”, stated Novakovic.

He also met with head of a Bosnian team of archaeologists in Hutovo Blato, Professor Snjezana Vasilj and commented her results as “magnificent” especially since in Europe in the last ten years there has been a heightened focus on underwater archeology.

In March 2007,professor at the History Department of the Philosophical Faculty in Sarajevo and Archaeology Studies of the University in Mostar ,Snjezana Vasilj,and her team,found what they believed were the Illyrian ships in the Desilo location, more than 20 feet under the water level of the Hutovo Blato swamp, near Capljina in southern Bosnia.

The Illyrian ships are believed to have sailed from the Adriatic Sea up the Neretva River carrying merchandise to the inland Balkans.

The Illyrian ships, suspected dating back to the 2nd century B.C., are known to historians only through Greek and Roman legends as their physical existence had never been established until now.

Vasilj informed Novakovic that until now about 800 artifacts were dug out, including objects not found in the Adriatic (prehistoric ceramics).

He added that underwater archeology is the best way to learn about trade and communication which existed in the antique period and that it usually gives best preserved artifacts and findings of better quality.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) - The Bosnian State Court has confirmed the Indictment against Croatian war criminal Ante Kovać.He is charged with war crimes against Bosnian civilians committed during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990's.

As alleged in the Indictment, during the period from April to end-August 1993, in the territory of the Vitez Municipality, in his capacity as a member of the fascist Croatian aggressor's formations, Croatian war criminal Ante Kovac issued orders to the Croatian aggressor's military police officers and together with them took part in the unlawful arrest and detention of Bosnian civilians.

Around 250 Bosniancivilians were detained in a small space, in inhumane conditions on the premises of the Radnicki University and the Cinema Theater in Vitez.

The Croatian aggressor's military police officers would take the detained Bosnian civilians for interrogation and forced labor at the separation line between the Croatian aggressor and the Bosnian Army, exposing them to life-threatening condition, which is when a number of Bosnian civilians were killed.

The Indictment goes on to say that on 18 April 1993 Croatian war criminal ante Kovac took a Bosnian woman from the SDK premises and forced her into the so-called Crnogorka building in Vitez, where he raped her.

The Indictment further alleges that on 30 August 1993 Croatian war criminal Ante Kovac raped another Bosnian woman on the premises of the Dom Kulture (Culture Center) in Vitez.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) - The Bosnian Advisory Council for Ethical and Professional Development has been founded in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Council's basic goals are support for protection and improvement of ethical and professional standards in the Bosnian judiciary , according to international standards and strengthening cooperation and transparency in professional and public segment in this field of expertise.

Based on memorandum o understanding, this body was supported by the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and signed by numerous representatives of judicial institutions and organizations, the Bosnian Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary Committee of Brcko District and entity judges associations.

Some of the signatories shall give their confirmations later in the process, as it was announced.

Advisory Council is fist initiative of this kind in Bosnia and a first serious step towards ensuring organized multi-institutional approach to issues of common interest.

Agreement was signed under the sponsorship of “Canada – Bosnia Judicial Reform Process” (JRP).

JRP is a three year project implemented in Bosnia since 2006. It is financed by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The main goal of the project is to contribute the creation of responsible and competent state judicial institutions which guarantee the safety of citizens and create positive environment for social, economic and political development.

Other goals of the project are support to sustainable and effective judiciary system which is accessible, transparent, neutral, independent, and efficient and strengthens the promotion and protection of gender equality.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) - Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric met with Russia’s Ambassador to Bosnia Konstantin Shuvalov.They discussed the issue of the so-called clearing debt.

Prime Minister Spiric informed the Russian Ambassador that on March 13 the Bosnian Council of Ministers which he chairs adopted a platform for starting negotiations about a bilateral agreement with Russia concerning the debts remaining from the period of trade exchange between former Yugoslavia and the USSR.

The issue of Bosnia’s debt to the Russian Federation for delivered natural gas was also discussed.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 28,2008) - The Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Slobodan Puhalac announced that his ministry is ready to assume its role under the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), as well as its responsibilities for singing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the European Union that concern agricultural production.

Minister Puhalac had a meeting on Wednesday with the representatives of 10 out of total 22 relevant institutions in the area of agriculture in Bosnia.

Participants of the meeting discussed, among other topics, the list of 151 regulations and 190 directives that are part of conditions for signing the SAA.