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Building Bridges: Diplomacy Talks @Swiss Residence in BiH

The Swiss residence in Sarajevo has become a vibrant hub for gatherings, conversations, and discussions. Over the last months, we had the pleasure of welcoming several notable guests and hosting interesting events. We will mention just a few of them.
Building Bridges: Diplomacy Talks @Swiss Residence in BiH

We recently hosted a welcome reception for a senior Swiss diplomat Mirko Zambelli. As the Deputy High Representative and Head of the Political and Fiscal Department at the Office of the High Representative (OHR), Mr. Zambelli’s mandate is very important for the implementation of OHR’s mandate. In its 2023-2024 role as a UN Security Council member, Switzerland has demonstrated its political commitment to peace, security, and prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina by advocating for the EUFOR mandate extension and supporting the OHR’s efforts. Our commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and multi-ethnic character remains unwavering. We wish Mr. Zambelli success in his mission.



Representatives of the BiH Office of the Swiss-based NGO TRIAL International enlightened us on the critical issue of war crimes victims' rights. Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović and Selma Korjenić from TRIAL International introduced the audience to a series of pressing issues and obstacles that victims face even after almost 30 years since the end of the war. The participants engaged in a discussion on stocktaking and the possible role of the international community in enhancing the legal and social position and rights of war victims. 
They emphasized the necessity of comprehensive reforms to ensure justice and support for war crimes victims and their families. This objective is also entailed in the “Key Priority 5” set on the EU path for BiH, calling to „take concrete steps to promote an environment conducive to reconciliation, in order to overcome the legacy of war”. Switzerland remains unwavering in its support for Bosnia and Herzegovina, steadfastly promoting human rights, peace, and democratic reforms. 



In light of Bosnia and Herzegovina's recent EU accession negotiations, the Swiss Embassy organized a panel discussion on how non-EU countries can support BiH’s EU accession efforts. Panellists included Aurélie Valtat from the EU Delegation, Neil Kavanagh from the British Embassy, and Siroco Messerli, director of Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy. Since 1996, Switzerland has invested 1.2 billion BAM in Bosnia and Herzegovina, contributing to its progress towards European integration with effective institutions and public services. 
As the third-largest bilateral donor, Switzerland prioritizes the rule of law, good governance, and transparency in all its projects. Our efforts include fostering economic and social development, improving migration management, and combating corruption. Switzerland advocates for equal access to services and harmonized policies to ensure fair treatment for all citizens. 


We thank our guests for initiating these important discussions, as well as the representatives of the domestic and international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina who participated in these events.

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