Sarajevo – MARRI Regional Ministerial Forum marked the end of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency-in-Office (June 2018 – June 2019) and the beginning of Kosovo* yearlong chairmanship over the Initiative (June 2019 – June 2020). The event was attended by delegations of MARRI Participants, representatives of international organizations, MARRI’s partners, donors and representatives of civil society organizations.
In his opening remarks, the Assistant Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Samir Rizvo stressed that the issues of migration, especially the irregular migration, had been serious challenge for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the past two years, not only in terms of security but also from humanitarian point of view. Advocating for regional approach in the migration management, he acknowledged the support of EC and the international organizations to Western Balkans and thanked MARRI Participants for the fruitful cooperation in implementing the planned activities in accordance to the priorities of the Presidency.
Informing that MARRI had celebrated its 15th Anniversary on 5 April 2019, MARRI RC Director Sashko Kocev briefed the participants of the Forum about MARRI’s past achievements, project activities and the new opportunities from the partners and donors. Among other results achieved during the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency-in-Office, he highlighted the finalization of MARRI Regional Interpretation Service (RRIS) platform and the launch of the “Regional platform for the exchange on non-personal migration data”, both developed in the framework of the IPA II project.
MARRI Participants assessed that Bosnia and Herzegovina had successfully completed the Presidency-in-Office over MARRI with high level of efficiency in implementation of the priorities set in the Annual Program of Activities. They unanimously supported further strengthening of the cooperation and continuous implementation of joint activities in order to improve functioning of MARRI and its Secretariat. Appreciation and support to MARRI also offered EC, ICMPD, GIZ, RCC and IISG.
Following the recommendations of the Committee, the Forum adopted the MARRI Annual Report for the period June 2018-June 2019, Financial Report for 2018 and Kosovo* Priorities with the Annual Program of Action (June 2019 – June 2020). The documents had been discussed and finalized on the regular session of MARRI Regional Committee Meeting, held on 13 June 2019 in Sarajevo.
At the end of the meeting, the Forum of Ministers of Interior/Security of MARRI Participants adopted the Sarajevo Declaration which reflects the political commitments and achievements of MARRI Participants during the Presidency-in-Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence