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No Democracy – No Solution

Dr. Denis Zvizdic member of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Courtesy photo - Cazin.net, BiH, for education only)

Dr. Denis Zvizdic member of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Courtesy photo – Cazin.net, BiH, for education only)

By Dr. Denis Zvizdić * – The today’s world is a global community more than ever before. We are connected in various ways, we live in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, in the age of the Internet. The information is the greatest value today and that information travels from one end of the world to the other within a few seconds. This has great advantages, but it also brings with it a certain challenges. The current coronavirus pandemic teaches us that there are no longer isolated communities which can be exempted from global flows. Here we have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, with the common intention of enhancing cooperation in various intelligence and security aspects with a focus on parliamentary cooperation. It is a very strong message that differences unite us, and in no way separate us. I congratulate to the organizers of this Forum for that.

This is especially true for national parliaments. As we know, from the Magna Carta in Great Britain to the American and French revolutions, the parliaments represent the highest level of sovereignty of one state and the direct representation of the will of the people. Without strong parliaments, there are no strong democracies. And without strong democracies, there is no successful solution to the challenges and problems of the 21stcentury. Some of these challenges are the topics of some panels of this Forum. These are all challenges that can be overcome, provided that parliaments play an active role in quality legislative regulation. However, the national parliaments alone are not enough. Some of these challenges require the inter-parliamentary cooperation. For example, the regulation of cryptocurrencies and threats to Internet security are not issues of interest for just one country, but an issue for the global community. It is the same with human trafficking and money laundering, which have always been a multilateral problem. That is why we need stronger cooperation between parliaments.

In that sense, the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina which I currently preside, is available to exchange experiences with other parliaments and to act together on various issues in the future.

Let me to use this opportunity to inform you briefly on the security situation in my country Bosnia and Herzegovina, because, in my opinion, current situation in B&H is par excellence security issues in my region – Western Balkans – as well as South-East Europe. At the same time, it is security issues for United States of America, as well.

In BiH, people of different religions and nations live together and building together a society of equal peoples and citizens based on solidarity and mutual respect.

Multiethnicity is a true code of BiH. It is exactly this – the greatest value of my homeland – and that is living together with each other, building a state in which different cultures, religions and policies can be together and represent richness – has often been attacked in the long and turbulent history of BiH. The most difficult and with the hardest consequences it was in the period 1992-1995, including Genocide in Srebrenica. As you know, this bloody aggression against the internationally recognized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina was followed by the Dayton Peace Agreement, which brought peace and stability, with a key role of the United States, and it is, therefore, the greatest diplomatic success of the international community in Europe since the end of the Cold War.  Unfortunately, the Dayton Peace Agreement and its key annex – the BiH Constitution – are these days seriously threatened by the blockage of BiH institutions and the continuous and secessionist threats coming from the officials from the BiH Entity Republic of Srpska. The functioning of the BiH Presidency, Government and Parliament is blocked. The activities are currently ongoing with one goal – the destruction of Bosnian state.

One entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina called Republika Srpska wants to abolish the state army and form its own, wants to abolish the intelligence service of Bosnia and Herzegovina and form its own, and wants to abolish the state court and the state prosecutor’s office and form its own. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of the destruction of the constitutional and legal system of the state of BiH.

Imagine that in your country, some region, canton or province decides to form its own army, its own intelligence service, to issue its own passports and so on. Of course, you cannot imagine that in any democratic country, and that is exactly what is happening in BiH. Dissolution and destruction of B&H, and denied Dayton Peace Agreement because that mean opening a Pandora’s box, not only in BiH but in the entire Balkans, and even in Europe. Because, any “peaceful dissolution” is not possible – everyone who seriously deals with the issue of BiH and the Western Balkans knows that.

Believe me, peace and prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Western Balkans means peace and stability throughout Europe, because it is at no one’s interest to have instability on its borders – and the border between BiH and the European Union, for example, is 1,000 kilometers long. Therefore, complete domestic and international law is on the side of the state of BiH, on the side of preserving its territorial integrity, sovereignty, political independence and international subjectivity.

That is why I urge you to act in sense to preserve peace and stability in BiH. It is necessary to protect the Dayton Agreement and the Constitution, not in the short term and ad hoc, but it is necessary to act preventively and in the long term. It is necessary to recognize the evil in time and to oppose it – not with compromise but with clear and determined resistance. In the BH entity Republic of Srpska, the rule and adventurism of only one politician is currently on the scene, instead of democracy and the rule of law. I am a man of peace and dialogue and I consider dialogue as the best instrument for reaching a solution, but how can I or anyone else explain to BiH citizens that someone can make moves with aim to divide and to destruct the constitutional order and that he will not have any political or legal consequences.

Distinguished participants, BiH must be in the focus of an offensive policy that will promote democratic values, Euro-Atlantic integration and the rule of law. The current anti-constitutional activities must stop immediately, as, in a few months, it may be too late. I think that this Forum is the right place for the democratic world to get acquainted with secessionist activities that lead to the destruction of the state of BiH and a possible new conflict.

International community has to prevent escalation and slipping back to conflict.

In the end, I would like to emphasize that all people in B&H want to live in peace and secure environment, and want to see B&H in future as a full member of EU and NATO.

I hope that USA once again, together with partners from EU, will have a leading role in these processes.

* Dr. Denis Zvizdić is a Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina; he delivered this speech in Washington DC – at the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum on Panel  (6 December 2021).




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