OSCE marks 20th Anniversary of Sub-Regional Arms Control Agreement, essential for building peace and stability in Western Balkans

The twentieth anniversary of the Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control Agreement, which served as a framework for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia to engage with each other in order to promote peace and stability in the region, was marked yesterday, June 15, in Vienna.

Almir Sahovic, Assistant Minister for Multilateral Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressed that today was a good opportunity to reflect on the path the region went through in the last 20 years. “Our region was a synonym for problems and a source of instability. Our friends from the OSCE family and international community used to send military and police forces to help us sustain peace and stability. Today, we are the ones contributing with military and diplomatic missions to peace and stability around the world.”

The Agreement remains highly relevant for stability in the region as well as for the entire OSCE area and serves as a model for other OSCE regions.

“We see that the four State parties show mutual understanding, professionalism and confidence in their joint treaty activities,” said Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Germany to the OSCE Eberhard Pohl. “The Agreement continues to play a useful role in maintaining military stability in South Eastern Europe by promoting co-operation, transparency and predictability. Key to this is upholding the common political will for good development in the future. The members of the contact group stand ready to further support these activities.”

The Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre Marcel Pesko highlighted how the commitments from the Article IV of Dayton Peace Agreement became actions. “The four countries of the region proved they can establish a stable military balance, reducing the risk of a new escalation of the conflict. This would not be possible without courage and political will to move the process forward.”

The ceremony included a photo-exhibition dedicated to the process of implementation of the Agreement. Distinguished individuals and organizations from the region received special recognition for their contribution to the process.

Bosnia and Hercegovina is currently a Chair of Sub-Regional Consultative Commission in accordance with Article IV, Annex 1-B to the Dayton Agreement.