Updated: 06-Nov-2002 October 2002

31 Oct. 2002


High representative for Bosnia
addresses NATO-EU meeting

The international community’s top representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina called on NATO and the EU to be firm in demanding that Bosnian authorities step up the pace of reform.

Lord Paddy Ashdown, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, was speaking at a joint meeting of NATO and European Union officials in Brussels on 31 October. The outgoing commander of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lt. Gen. John Sylvester, also briefed the participants.

Jobs and justice

The High Representative spoke about the election results in Bosnia and Herzegovina and explained the need for stepping up economic reform and strengthening the rule of law. He pointed out that the recent scandal involving the sale of military equipment by a Bosnian Serb company to Iraq clearly demonstrated that civilian control over the military had to be strengthened. “Those standards are not negotiable. They weren't negotiable for the new members of NATO. They haven't been for the candidate countries. If they were, neither NATO nor the European Union would be worth belonging to,” he said.

Mr. Ashdown emphasised that reforms could only be carried out against the backdrop of the stable and secure environment that NATO peacekeepers provide. “Without NATO, and without SFOR, there would be no peace to keep, no future to build,” he said.

In his briefing, General Sylvester stressed the theme of ‘jobs and justice’. He underscored in particular the need for creating judicial and security structures that could root out organised crime and corruption.

More information:

  • Speech by High Representative to NATO-EU
  • Webmodule of the Stabilisation Force (SFOR)
  • NATO Handbook: The Alliance's Operational Role in Peacekeeping