BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Regional Conference on Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms of Members of The Armed Forces

Friday, February 18, 2011
Bosnia and Herzegovina
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

A two day regional conference on the theme "Protection of human rights and freedoms of members of the armed forces” is being held in Sarajevo. Conference is organized by the Office of the Parliamentary Military Commissioner of Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina and with the support of the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark. Countries attending the conference are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Slovenia and the Serbia.

The conference was opened yesterday by welcoming speeches of Bosko Siljegovic, the Military Commissioner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dr. Selmo Cikotic, Minister of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by reading the speech of the Danish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Kirsten Geelan.

"The aim of the conference is to exchange experiences on the protection of human rights of armed forces. In these two days every country will have the opportunity to present their model. We've already presented the Law on the Parliamentary Military Commissioner of BiH and religious services in BiH Armed Forces and tomorrow we will accentuate the position of women in the armed forces with regard to UN Resolution 1325 and its implementation "said the Parliamentary Military Commissioner of BiH Bosko Siljegovic.

Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament and Member of Parliament Committee for Defense Zeljka Antunovic said that this is a very important topic for further development of each individual country and regional cooperation, democratization of society, strengthening the economic system and our mutual involvement in the international community.

Member of the Defense Board of the State Parliament of Slovenia Joško Godec and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Security and Defense of Montenegro Obrad Miso Stanisic stressed the importance of these regional meetings and exchange of experience and his confidence that this will contribute to the advancement of human rights and freedoms.

Today, most states in the Western Balkans and the former Soviet republics have established various forms of institutions that have the mandate and responsibility to protect and promote human rights, while in some countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, with existing 'standard' institutions exists a Parliamentary Military Commissioner.

Parliamentary Military Commissioner only has a clear mandate to oversee the security sector, thereby ensuring respect for the principles and practices of good governance. Institution of Parliamentary Military Commissioner addresses the complaints about abuses of power in military institutions, as well as the inadequacies of the existing military procedures, providing recommendations for corrective action.

UNDP together with the Government of Denmark will continue to support the Parliamentary Military Commissioner in his efforts to build independent and responsible institution.