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Sarajevo Summit Declaration

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Govt. BiH
Publication date

SARAJEVO SUMMIT DECLARATION of the Heads of State and Government of the participating and facilitating countries of the Stability Pact and the Principals of participating and facilitating International Organisations and Agencies and regional initiatives

1. We have gathered in Sarajevo on 30 July 1999 to endorse the purposes and principles of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, initiated by the European Union, adopted in Cologne on 10 June 1999, and subsequently placed under the auspices of the OSCE. We affirm our collective and individual readiness to give concrete meaning to the Pact by promoting political and economic reforms, development and enhanced security in the region. We confirm our commitment to overcome the tragedies which have afflicted South Eastern Europe during this decade and pledge our continued support to the Dayton/Paris and Kosovo peace processes.

2. Sarajevo is a city which has taken its place in the history of our century. It is a symbol of the will to emerge from the depths of conflict and destruction as well as a symbol of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural respect and tolerance. From Sarajevo, we affirm our determination to work together towards the full achievement of the objectives of democracy, respect for human rights, economic and social development and enhanced security to which we have subscribed by adopting the Stability Pact. We reaffirm our shared responsibility to build a Europe that is at long last undivided, democratic and at peace. We will work together to promote the integration of South Eastern Europe into a continent where borders remain inviolable but no longer denote division and offer the opportunity of contact and cooperation.

3. Those countries in the region who seek integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, alongside a number of other participants of the Sarajevo Summit, strongly believe that the Pact and implementation of its objectives will facilitate this process. We reaffirm that the EU Member States and other participating countries and international organisations and institutions commit themselves to making every effort to assist them to make speedy and measurable progress along this road. We also reaffirm the inherent right of each and every state participating in the Pact to be free to choose or change its security and association arrangements, including treaties of alliance as they evolve.

4. It is our strong wish that all the countries of the region work together in a spirit of cohesion and solidarity through the Stability Pact to build a common, prosperous and secure future. We regret that we were not able to invite the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) to be present today as a full and equal participant in the Stability Pact. All participants must respect the principles and objectives of this pact. We appeal to the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to embrace democratic change and to work actively for regional reconciliation. In order to draw this country closer to this goal, respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity, we will consider ways of making the Republic of Montenegro an early beneficiary of the pact and reaffirm our support to all democratic forces. In this connection, we support the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1244 regarding Kosovo, FRY. We also support UNMIK and KFOR in their efforts to ensure peace, democracy and security for all inhabitants of Kosovo. We reiterate the importance of the preservation of the multi-ethnic character of Kosovo, where the rights of all citizens and the rule of law are respected. We welcome the encouraging results of the 28 July 1999 donor conference for immediate humanitarian and other assistance.

5. The countries of the region are the owners of the stabilisation process and their full efforts in and commitments to this undertaking are critical to its success. We welcome the progress the countries of South Eastern Europe have made in building regional cooperation and the commitments they have undertaken on bilateral and regional levels to promote and implement the objectives of the Stability Pact. Regional initiatives, organisations and cooperative structures will be of particular benefit to this effort.

6. Regional cooperation will serve as a catalyst to the aspirations of the countries in the region to integrate themselves into broader structures. We welcome common proposals and projects of cross-border or regional character by the countries of South Eastern Europe and other countries of the Stability Pact as an important contribution to translating the Pact's objectives into swift and specific actions. These proposals should be referred to the Regional Table and the relevant Working Tables of the Stability Pact.

7. We will work together to accelerate the transition in the region to stable democracies, prosperous market economies and open and pluralistic societies in which human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, are respected, as an important step in their integration into euro-atlantic and global institutions. We welcome the undertakings of countries of the region to continue to promote democracy, reconciliation, economic reform, good governance, security cooperation and confidence-building, which constitute a solid basis for our efforts to stabilize and transform the region. Our shared objective is the development of peaceful and good neighbourly relations. Full implementation by all parties of the Dayton/Paris Accords, as envisaged by the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) in Madrid, is also an integral element of regional stabilisation. The partners undertake fully to support the countries of the region in their effort to achieve these goals.

8. The Stability Pact process will concentrate on the areas of democracy and human rights, economic development and cooperation as well as security.

9. Democracy and Human Rights: Deep-rooted democratic habits and a vibrant civil society constitute the foundation upon which the achievement of the objectives of the Pact can be built. We will work together to encourage cooperation, including among countries of Central and Eastern Europe and of South Eastern Europe that have valuable practical experience to share, on promoting human rights and attitudes and practices of democratic accountability, personal responsibility, freedom of expression and the rule of law. We commit ourselves to continue to cooperate to restructure civil administration and to bolster the freedom of political activity and independent media throughout the region. We affirm that we are accountable to our citizens and responsible to one another for respect for OSCE norms and principles. We emphasise the important role of the Council of Europe in the implementation of the Stability Pact. We also reaffirm the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return freely and safely to their homes. We reconfirm our pledge to cooperate towards preserving the multinational and multiethnic diversity of countries in the region and protecting minorities. Established ethnic, cultural and linguistic identities and rights should be consistently protected in accordance with relevant international mechanisms and conventions. We welcome the initiative by countries of the region to develop a dialogue and consultations on human rights issues.

10. Economic Development and Cooperation: We underline the importance of enhanced economic relations of countries in the region with the European Union and of their integration into the global trading system, including WTO membership. We affirm that economic reform and the creation of a healthy business environment are necessary prerequisites for economic progress, integration and job creation. We commit ourselves to work together to remove policy and administrative obstacles to the free flow of goods and capital, in order to increase economic cooperation, trade and investment in the region and between the region and the rest of Europe and the world, and also to improve basic regional infrastructure. Countries of the region pledge to take concrete action to improve the investment climate. In turn, we will work together with the international financial institutions to develop appropriate vehicles to mobilise private finance and mitigate risk. We recognise the great economic benefit to the region of providing unilateral trade preferences for South Eastern Europe, and we commit to pursue such concrete measures to catalyse development and growth in the region. Countries in the region will continue and where necessary intensify efforts to create a predictable and fair business environment, fight corruption and crime and press on with market-oriented reforms, including privatisation. Partners will work systematically and in a coordinated way to assist them in this endeavour, drawing on their expertise and resources. In that context, we will develop specific means to allow active participation of firms from South Eastern Europe in procurement for reconstruction and development in the region. Subject to this objective, such procurement should be done through fair and transparent competition according to multilaterally agreed principles. The international financial institutions will make best efforts to assist the countries of South Eastern Europe to achieve rapid and effective economic development. We ask that proposals, including from countries in the region, on economic development and cooperation of a regional character be evaluated, as appropriate, in the EC-World Bank donor coordination process and in the Stability Pact Economic Working Table, working in close consultation with one another. Where appropriate, additional financing for regional projects could be sought from donors. Italy has offered to host a conference for this purpose.

11. Security: We pledge to work towards ending tensions and creating peaceful and good neighbourly relations in order to strengthen a climate of security throughout the region. We commit ourselves to full implementation of existing arms control and confidence-building measures and to efforts for their improvement. We will also promote civilian control of the armed forces and effective measures against organised crime, terrorism and problems caused by landmines and small arms proliferation. We will cooperate to promote transparency and accountability in defense and security matters and military spending. In this regard, we welcome the decision of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reduce its military expenditures and personnel. We furthermore welcome the recommitment of signatories present to fulfilling their Dayton arms control obligations.

12. We welcome and support the appointment of Mr. Bodo Hombach as the Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact by the Council of the European Union, as endorsed by the Chairman in Office of the OSCE. We pledge our full cooperation to the Special Coordinator in the achievement of our objectives.

13. We expect the South Eastern Europe Regional Table to establish an effective coordination framework for the Pact's activities. We welcome the intention of the Presidency of the EU to convene the first meeting of the Regional Table in September 1999. We welcome the intention of the Special Coordinator to present a Work Plan in advance of that first meeting, together with proposals on the chairs of the Working Tables to be established at this meeting. We welcome the intention of participants and facilitators and other interested countries to contribute proposals to be included in the Work Plan covering the activities of the Working Tables. We support convening of the meetings of the Working Tables within one month after the Regional Table meeting at dates and locations to be decided at the Regional Table.

14. We welcome the intention expressed by all present to translate the objectives of the Pact into concrete action, tailored to the individual needs of the countries in the region, and taking into account recommendations made by them. Operating on the basis of equality, transparency and efficiency, the Regional Table and the Working Tables will be instrumental in giving further substance to and monitoring the implementation of our commitments.

15. We call on all participants and facilitators and other interested countries to continue to participate generously in this process of transformation, economic development and reconstruction of South Eastern Europe upon which we are embarking with today's solemn gathering. We call on all to align themselves with the objective of extending the area of stability, democracy, peace and prosperity to all the peoples of South Eastern Europe.

=A9 Copyrights Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BIH