The international peace implementation body in Bosnia and Herzegovina said on Tuesday that the International Community will continue working with institutions to provide the country with assistance for fighting the COVID-19 crisis “which should be managed transparently and responsibly, and with consideration to the greatest need.”
The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), a body composed of foreign ambassadors overseeing the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, made the statement following a briefing by the UN Resident Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the country.
The statement was joined by the Council of Europe, EUFOR, IMF, NATO HQ in Sarajevo, OSCE, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the World Bank.
It praised “positive political statements” by politicians advocating cooperation in efforts to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
“The PIC SB fully supports proportional and coordinated measures taken by all levels of authority to address the pandemic and ensure the health and well-being of BIH citizens. It also underlines the need for a more coordinated and forward-looking approach in BiH, also aiming to minimize the socio-economic impact of the crisis,” it said.
The ongoing health crisis in the country can be effectively addressed “if the authorities show unity and good governance, based on respect for the constitutional and legal framework of BiH at all levels, demonstrating respect for the rule of law, transparency and accountability, in the interest of all citizens,” it said.
Local authorities should ensure that all emergency measures are balanced and appropriate with the actual demands, the statement said.
The PIC SB urged authorities to commit to measures aimed at enhancing economic recovery and longer-term fiscal stability, adding that “at the same time, it is important that budgets at all levels of authority in BiH are rebalanced to reflect the current priorities.”
It also urged citizens to “fully respect the temporary measures taken by the authorities to halt the spread of COVID-19, which is key to success in this joint struggle.”