British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Matthew Field dedicated his new blogpost to some major events that lie ahead in 2020.
“At the end of this month the UK will leave the EU. Just as Brexit was a democratic decision, so we respect the decision of Bosnia and Herzegovina to work towards joining the EU. As I have explained many times, this does not mean less of us and our support. Quite the opposite. We are increasing our cooperation, our programs, our staffing, and our visibility. And we will continue to do that in partnership with other friends of BiH, including the US, EU, OSCE and many more”, Field wrote.
“Our education work is one of my favorite areas of support, teaching coding and critical thinking in every primary school across this country. January sees the Education World Forum in London, gathering education and skills ministers from across the world, including Bosnia and Herzegovina. Best of all, students from ‘Aleksa Santic’ primary school in Ugljevik, after winning a regional coding competition, will represent all of the Western Balkans”, the UK Ambassador noted.
Field underlined that Bosnia’s physical and digital infrastructure showed the lack of investment over many years, hindering growth and business. “February sees an EBRD Investment Forum in London at which all of the Western Balkans will have the chance to meet with international finance and business to turn around that situation, and improve connectivity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region”, he wrote.
The UK Ambassador mentioned several other events - from the BiH national football team’s clash with Northern Ireland for a chance to qualify for this summer’s European Championships, a new James Bond film coming out in April, and apparently marking the end of the Daniel Craig run as 007, to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“This year sees many important and poignant commemorations, none more so than the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in July”, noted Field, adding that “properly and respectfully marking this occasion can also help us to remember those other tragedies that have afflicted the people of this country”.
Field reminded that 2020 is an election year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in October the country will choose its local leaders for the period ahead. “Surely we cannot have another election without the citizens of Mostar being allowed to express their will - though that depends on politicians and parliamentarians doing their job. Just as importantly, the UK Embassy will stand behind all efforts to improve the process itself, making it more transparent and fairer, so everyone can have confidence in the results”.
“November will mark 25 years of the Dayton Peace Accord. 25 years of peace is no small achievement. But I doubt those present at its birth would have expected this framework to remain largely in place, and for its limitations and omissions - evident in the ‘Sejdic-Finci’ and other judgements - to go unrecognized. Perhaps this will be a year in which the achievement of 25 years ago will be used as a base upon which to build a country that includes all of its people”, the UK Ambassador concluded.