As current Chair of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), and in partnership with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 22 March in Vienna, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) organized a side event Strengthening Regional Co-operation on Parliamentary Oversight of Defence and Security in Southeast Europe.
Building on OSCE’s record of engagement on good governance and parliamentary oversight of the security and defence sectors in OSCE participating States, the high-level event helped chart the course toward revitalizing regional co-operation and exchange among parliamentary bodies overseeing the work of military, police, paramilitary and the intelligence services.
Ambassador Siniša Bencun, Permanent Representative of BiH to the UN, OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna highlighted that “in South-Eastern Europe (SEE), despite tensions, we maintain both political and technical dialogue”, adding “the turbulent past is still remembered, but we recognize that dialogue is the only right way forward. This is why we predominantly dedicated our chairing of the OSCE FSC to SEE, by selecting topic of relevance for the region, including the Sub-regional Arms Control Agreement and parliamentary oversight of the defence and security sector”.
In outlining the foremost results of regional co-operation in the field of parliamentary oversight of security and defence, Željko Grubešić, Expert Advisor of the Joint Committee on Defence and Security of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina noted that such co-operation has “developed professional relationships, established networks, and enabled familiarization with diverse practices and experiences”.
“An accountable security system is one that upholds human rights and the rule of law, underpins the legitimacy of political authority, and ensures societal stability. While parliamentary oversight and democratic control anchors state security, it ultimately enables human security and wellbeing.” said Dr. Susan Penksa, Head of Department of Security Co-operation of the OSCE Mission to BiH. “I would like to thank the FSC Chair for valuable support and commend the strong commitment of Bosnia and Herzegovina to regional trust-building and security cooperation.” she added.