Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, Sarajevo

4-5 May 1998

Peace and stability were high on the agenda of the meeting of the SI Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, which was organised by our International in Sarajevo on 4-5 May. Many member parties and guests from the region participated in the meeting. The Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, SDP BiH, and the Social Democrats of Bosnia and Herzegovina, SD BiH, both SI member parties, and the Independent Social Democrats of Republika Srpska were at the centre of discussions on the peace process in their country and the prospects for a social democratic advance in the elections scheduled for September 1998.

In the meeting, which was chaired by Co-Chair Piero Fassino of the Italian Democratic Party of the Left, PDS, Zlatko Lagumdzija, leader of the SDP BiH, and Selim Beslagic, leader of the SD BiH, acknowledged the opportunities afforded by greater stability within the area. The Committee heard from Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, who reported on the remarkable work of his newly-formed government. SICEE recognised the new phase which had opened and called for the full application of the Dayton Accords in its Declaration, which was subsequently presented to the Oslo Council meeting where it was adopted.

The Committee also focused on the very serious situation in Kosovo and other developments in the Balkans. It emphasised that it was vital for dialogue without preconditions to be initiated and agreed to send a mission to the region to help reduce tensions and contribute to the search for political solutions. The next meeting of the Committee will be held in Bucharest, with the cooperation of our Romanian member parties.