On June 8, the International Centre for Defence Studies held a seminar on Bosnia and Herzegovina with High Representative Dr Valentin Inzko as guest speaker.
Dr Inzko is an Austrian diplomat with extensive experience in the Balkan countries. He served for four years as Ambassador to Slovenia before taking up his appointment as High Representative and EU Special Representative (HR/EUSR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2009. The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) and the position of a High Representative (who heads the Office of the High Representative, OHR) subordinated to the PIC were established under the Dayton Peace Agreement ending the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from a multitude of specific problems that stem from its constitutional basis largely provided by the Dayton Peace Agreement, from complex domestic administrative divisions and from the continuing inability of its key political forces to cooperate. The OHR should exercise supervision over the country and oversee the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. The HR has the mandate to change and adopt legislation, to issue decrees and to remove public officials from office (the so-called Bonn Powers).
Dr Inzko grew up in a Slovene-speaking household, was educated at a bi-lingual (Slovene and German) primary school and has studied Law and Languages at university, specialising in Russian and what was then Serbo-Croat.