In 2016, the Swiss Cooperation celebrates its 20th anniversary in BiH. This anniversary provides an opportunity to celebrate the past achievements and to present future cooperation goals in accordance with the upcoming Cooperation Strategy 2017-2020
20 Years of Swiss Cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 years of Swiss cooperation programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina – media briefing
The Embassy of Switzerland invited on 1 June media representatives to a briefing on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Swiss cooperation programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The event took place in Art Gallery of BiHs in Sarajevo, which Switzerland helped to reconstruct after the war.
The Swiss Ambassador to BiH Heinrich Maurer informed that around 600 million CHF – 1 billion KM – have been invested in the last two decades in various Swiss cooperation projects in BiH and that a long haul is needed as well as a lot of patience and perseverance to achieve tangible and sustainable results. “Therefore we closely monitor the projects what we owe to the people of BiH and to the Swiss taxpayers”, Ambassador Maurer explained.
Joseph Guntern, Director for Cooperation of the Embassy of Switzerland in BiH mentioned the main objectives of the Swiss Cooperation Programme which are the establishment of a social market economy, the building of decentralized, democratic systems which allow all citizens the access to main mechanisms of a rule of law state. They are also the basic requirements of the European integration path of BiH, Guntern said.
Elisabeth von Capeller, Ambassador and Head of the Department for Cooperation with Eastern Europe of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, said that the progress of the Western Balkans countries is important for Switzerland, particularly to three reasons: "Solidarity: Switzerland is committed to each and every person living free of poverty, in dignity and in security; Responsibility: Switzerland is committed to doing its share to meet the challenges of the World; Dependence: Switzerland’s own prosperity and security depend to a large degree on the international environment in which it operates". Ambassador von Capeller stated that Switzerland is in the final stage of defining a new cooperation strategy for BiH for the next four years.
Martin Saladin, Director of Global Cooperation State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research said: “From own experience, the Swiss people and government know that a thriving economy is the backbone of a country. At SECO, we believe that every woman and every man, especially when they are young and wherever they are, should have the opportunity to develop and employ their professional potential. This is what gives people perspectives to build a future for themselves, for their families, their children, their communities, and eventually their countries.”
Joint concert infront of the History Museum of BiH
20th anniversary of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Embassy of Switzerland invited the citizens of BiH to join to the main celebration event of the 20th anniversary of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday, 2 June, in Dom mladih Skenderija from 13h00.
The audience enjoyed the screening of the documentary film about main activities and projects during the 20 years of Swiss Cooperation Programme in BiH, followed by the panel discussion “Switzerland, a partner for BiH in building bridges between people, societies and cultures” and a photo exhibition “20 Years – 20 stories and faces”.
Please find enclosed the details of the programme: Invitation to the 20th anniversary of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Charity Concert by Mario Batkovic and Divanhana
A charity concert by Bosnian-Herzegovinian/Swiss musician Mario Batkovic and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Sevdah band Divanhana was held on Thursday, June 2nd 2016 at Dom mladih Skenderija in Sarajevo.
The contributions from the audence are donated to the charity organisation Pomozi.ba.