Bosnia and Herzegovina, which took up the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, will work to intensify co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE, said the country’s foreign minister Igor Crnadak as he addressed the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today.
Crnadak noted that BiH takes over the Chairmanship at a time of crisis in and around Ukraine, the fight against terrorism and foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon, rising Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as well as an increase of human rights violations. These challenges highlight the need for enhanced co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE, he said.
“This is our opportunity to further strengthen the three very important pillars of the Council of Europe, and the OSCE – democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” said Crnadak.
The BiH Chairmanship’s priorities will focus on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence, the European Cultural Convention with special emphasis on European film, the religious dimension of inter-cultural dialogue and the Council of Europe’s policy towards neighbouring regions.
Crnadak said that the Chairmanship will partner with Serbian OSCE Chairmanship on issues such as the social inclusion of youth, the right and access to education, promoting the independence of the judiciary and combatting cybercrimes – hosting a number of joint conferences, including a conference on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence in October this year.
“Strengthening co-operation with neighbouring regions has become a necessity for the security, prosperity and peace, in both Europe and its neighbourhood,” said Crnadak. “The fundamental values are being challenged by the acts of terrorism, civil wars as well as the tragic deaths in the Mediterranean Sea that we are witnessing almost every day. All of these issues must be addressed.”