Proceeding from the fact that the whole world has been touched by the process of globalization which is structurally changing international relations and calling to settling the urgent problems at global and regional levels, for the purpose of all-inclusive protection of human rights, poverty reduction, promotion of global partnership for development, strong commitment to integration and transition processes in the region of Southeast Europe in political, economic and security sense, well aware of the need of accelerating the European integration process of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina hereby defines the principles, directions and priorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina foreign policy in the forthcoming period.

I - Principles of Bosnia and Herzegovina foreign policy
Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH Presidency has been authorized to conduct Bosnia and Herzegovina foreign policy.
Promotion, representation of interests and, on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina, acting within international relations have been based on the provisions of the Constitution of BiH, legislation, decisions and viewpoints of BiH Presidency, BiH Parliament, Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On the grounds of the principles contained in the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act and other documents of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as well as on the generally accepted principles of international law, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a sovereign and internationally recognized country, will act within international, in other words, within bilateral, regional and global frameworks, and will govern the agreed relations as well as the relations of different nature with all the countries and international organizations.
In its relations with international partners, foreign policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been based on the principles of openness and equal rights, on mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as on the principle of peaceful co-operation, with respect of mutual interests. At the same time, while conducting the foreign policy activities, Bosnia and Herzegovina will act in accordance with the obligations arising from the concluded and accepted agreements and other international instruments and membership in international organizations and associations.
Bosnia and Herzegovina underlines its commitment to peaceful settling interstate misunderstandings, with respect paid to the principles, which represent an integral part of international law. In addition, while seeking solutions for all open issues Bosnia and Herzegovina supports constructive dialogue.
Pursuant to UN resolutions, Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided to continue fighting against terrorism and organized crime within the framework of UN Counter-Terrorism Committee and through strengthening global cooperation in this field.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the five legitimate successor countries, will actively participate in the succession of former SFRY respecting the rights and obligations arising from such a status.

II - Priorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina foreign policy
Bosnia and Herzegovina foreign policy has been aimed at promoting and preserving the lasting peace, security and stable democratic and the entire development in the country, in other words, at the accession into contemporary European, political, economic and security integration flows. For the purpose of promoting its strategic interests, Bosnia and Herzegovina will conduct transparent foreign policy, in line with the following priorities:

  • Preservation and protection of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina within its internationally recognized borders;
  • Full and consistent implementation of the General Peace Agreement (GPA);
  • BIH inclusion into European integration processes;
  • Participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in multilateral activities, in particular, as part of the system of the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), etc. and
  • Promotion of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a partner in international economic relations, and promotion of the activities aiming at the admission of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the World Trade Organization (WTO);

III - Basic directions and activities of BiH foreign policy

(a) Bilateral character

  • Promotion of cooperation with neighboring countries - Republic Croatia (RC) and Serbia and Montenegro, on the basis of common interest and principles of equality, mutual respect and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, represent the permanent priority of Bosnia and Herzegovina foreign policy;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina will develop bilateral relations, in particular with the member countries of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board, with the USA, Russian Federation, Great Britain, France, China other member countries of the UN Security Council, member countries of the European Union, countries in the region, member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference and with other countries which significantly contribute to reconstruction and development of BiH.
  • In accordance with interests and its real possibilities, BiH will support establishment of diplomatic relations with the countries with which this has not been achieved yet, and it will intensify bilateral activities towards the countries in the region with which such relations have not been established yet;
  • It is necessary to further promote regulation of bilateral relations through interstate agreements of mutual interest, especially in the field of economy and foreign investments;
  • Promotion of interests and development possibilities of BiH economy, on the basis of the established development strategy, is an important goal of Bosnia and Herzegovina diplomacy;
  • At the bilateral level, Bosnia and Herzegovina will develop cooperation in the field of science and technology, culture, education and sports, as significant presumptions for BiH inclusion into contemporary world flows.

(b) Multilateral character

  • Geo-strategic position of Bosnia and Herzegovina restricts the priorities of its foreign policy activities, especially those of multilateral character. Strong and systematic step forward towards European and Trans-Atlantic integration, aiming at the improvement and institutionalization of mutual cooperation represents the strategic priority of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Further approaching and institutionalization of the relations with the European Union, in accordance with the Stabilization and Accession Process, are very important for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Coming to an agreement on stabilization and accession to EU, then its full implementation should significantly contribute to BiH inclusion into European integration flows;
  • UN programs intended to Bosnia and Herzegovina will be induced through BiH activities within the United Nations system and its specialized agencies;
  • It is necessary to intensify the activities leading to the admission of BiH to the World Trade Organization (WTO), that would open the door for inclusion into global trade flows;
  • Co-operation with the OSCE in realisation of fundamental program principles of that organization will be further continued. Necessity of realizing obligations under the Agreement on Regional Co-operation (Art. II and V of Annex 1-B of the Framework Peace Agreement - FPA) would be especially emphasized, as well as further active participation of BiH representatives in negotiations on regional control of armament (Art. V of Annex 1-B FPA);
  • Activities relating to the Euro-Atlantic security structures, with the utmost aim of institutionalizing the relations with North- Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be, first of all, directed to BiH inclusion into the program of Partnership for Peace;
  • With the aim of further development of good relations, achieving of lasting stability, security and economic development, special attention would be paid to the activities concerning the regional and sub-regional co-operation. Having in mind the vital interests of BiH, we would in particular insist on concrete programs of cooperation within the Central-European Initiative (CEI), Southeast Europe Co-operation Process (SEECP) – especially during the period of BiH chair-in-office (2003/2004), in the framework of the initiative and arrangement of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe, the Southeast Europe Cooperation Initiative (SECI), in Adriatic-Ionic Initiative, Danube Cooperation Process (DCP), and in other regional and sub-regional groupings;
  • We would further co-operate with the countries, members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), with the particular emphasis on economic relations;
  • Relations and co-operation with the Movement of Non-aligned Countries would be continued aiming at acquiring the status of an observer for Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • In accordance with the interests and needs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we would co-operate with the Organization of American States (OAS), Organization of African Unity (OAU), Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and others;
  • On the basis of expressed interests, Bosnia and Herzegovina will participate in implementation of existing agreements and conclusion of new interstate ones aiming at creation of favorable environment for economic cooperation. Participation will also be ensured in the work of multinational forums dealing with economic development and improvement of economic exchange with foreign countries;

(c) Protection of interests of BiH citizens in foreign countries

  • Special segment of BiH foreign policy activities, particularly of the bilateral ones, would be protection of interests and assistance to many BiH citizens in foreign countries in exercising their rights, and assistance to economic subjects operating at the markets of other countries. For such a purpose, conclusion of bilateral agreements would be continued in the field of consular, labor-legal and property protection of BiH citizens in foreign countries. Furthermore, we would participate in preparation and acceptance of conventions and other international documents;
  • Necessary activities would be initialized in relation to liberalization of visa regime for BiH citizens.

Sarajevo, March 26, 2003

Chairman of BiH Presidency:
Borislav Paravac