4 February 2000


Jacques Paul Klein, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Addresses the Permanent Council of the OSCE

Urges the International Community to not Fall Prey to Political Fatigue,
Compassion Fatigue and Donor Fatigue

(Reissued as received)

SARAJEVO, 4 February (UN Mission) -- Yesterday in Vienna the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jacques Paul Klein, addressed the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to review the activities of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and to build upon the close cooperation between the two organizations in support of the peace process. In his speech, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SRSG) Klein expressed the need for the international community to not fail prey to political fatigue, compassion fatigue or donor fatigue and to demonstrate a clear agenda to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who look to it for support.

While giving an analysis of the current situation taking into account the progress now possible after the recent Croatian elections and the decreasing influence of extremist parties in Republika Srpska, Mr. Klein stated that "there is a realistic opportunity for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to begin to take control of their own destiny. But they need continued international support. They cannot complete the task alone. Now is the time for assertive measures by the international community, for inclusion into European structures, and for increased assistance for job creations and housing reconstruction."

Mr. Klein further stated that "recent positive development show that there is a growing divergence between the self-interested manipulation of extremist political elites and the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary people" and added that "the results of the forthcoming elections will determine whether Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the fast track to recovery or whether it will continue to languish under the failed policies of ethnic chauvinism and politico-criminal exploitation."

Mr. Klein stressed that although UNMIBH and its international collaborators, including the OSCE, have achieved a great deal over the past four years, much more needs to be done before peace implementation is self-sustaining. He further stated his belief "that there is a growing consensus that real progress now depends on robust measures to isolate and eliminate entrenched political opposition which is sustained by crime, corruption and external interference and manipulation. Unless these issues are addressed, everything the international community has done becomes superficial and incomplete."

In conclusion, Mr. Klein reiterated the sentiments expressed in his recent speech to the Council of Europe and opined that Bosnia and Herzegovina "needs to be inside a welcoming European home to support them in asserting democracy and practicing European values..Left outside, they are unsure of your commitment, unsure of their future and they risk continuing to be the victims of nationalist leaders with extremist agendas thus perpetuating the cycle of national instability, regional insecurity and necessary international intervention."

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