Swiss Cooperation Programme in BiH presented

June 2, 2016 3:00 PM

switzerlandThe Swiss Confederation is celebrating 20th anniversary of successful cooperation with BiH. During that period, this country invested around 600 Million CHF, i.e. one billion BAM, in different programs oriented towards prosperity and the opening of a better perspective for BiH citizens.

This was pointed out yesterday at a gathering with representatives of BiH media, organized by the Swiss Embassy in BiH prior to today’s official celebration of this significant occasion.

Attendees were addressed by the Ambassador of Switzerland in BiH Heinrich Maurer, who pointed out that such a long partnership of two countries testifies to the longtime commitment of Switzerland to BiH, a country which was “stricken with a violent conflict more than 20 years ago”.

Maurer stated that BiH belongs to the region of the Western Balkans from where 400.000 people emigrated to Switzerland and that those personal connections are a bridge and a stronghold for development and improvement of cooperation programs in various sectors, including the improvement of administration, infrastructure on local communities level, primary health protection, judiciary, economy, and employment.

Maurer pointed to the determination of his country to keep contributing to the strengthening of peace, stability and development of the Western Balkans region and BiH, by sharing European values, perspective, and significant technical knowledge and achievements.

The partnership of the two countries was also discussed by Director for Cooperation within the Swiss Embassy in BiH Joseph Guntern, Director of the Department for Cooperation with Eastern Europe of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency within the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Elisabeth von Capeller, and Director of the Department of Global Cooperation of the State Secretariat for Economic Relations within the Swiss Federal Ministry for Economic Relations, Education and Research Martin Saladin.

Among other things, also pointed out was the fact that in BiH there is a good will for positive changes and cooperation on local level, but that the “bottleneck” is the lack of political will on higher levels. In this regard, the responsibility of BiH political leadership was highlighted.

Moreover, priorities in the development of strategic partnership between Switzerland and BiH for the period from 2013 until 2016 and from 2017 until 2020 were also presented.

Ceremony on the occasion of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in BiH will be held today at the Youth House in Skenderija Centre. The ceremony will feature a screening of the short documentary “20 Years of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in BiH: Retrospective and Future”, as well as a panel discussion on the topic “Switzerland, Partner of BiH in the Building of Bridges between People, Societies and Cultures” with guests from Switzerland and BiH. Moreover, the exhibition of photographs “20 Years – 20 Faces and Stories” will also be displayed.



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