Healing a city divided: the reform and reunification process in Mostar

Monday, 10 May, 2004: Valery Perry
Valery Perry has been living in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1999 where she has worked for a variety of organizations,including SFOR, the OSCE, the European Centre for Minority Issues, and several NGOs. She served on the Commission for Reforming the City of Mostar in 2003 as Senior Report Writer to the Chairman, and is involved in a project to start a network of NGOs in Mostar to strengthen the civil society component of the reform process.

Healing a City Divided:
The Reform and Reunification Process in Mostar

The city of Mostar has been a deeply divided city since the 1992-95 war, with parallel governments, schools, municipal services, etc. After several half-hearted or failed attempts to develop and implement a plan for normalization and reform of the divided city, High Representative Ashdown established a Commission for Reforming the City of Mostar in autumn 2003. When, despite reaching agreement on some issues, the Commission proved unable to overcome the key stumbling blocks of municipal organization and electoral system, the HR imposed a solution in January 2004, the first steps of whose implementation are now under way.

Valerie Perry's presentation explored the elements of division and the plans for reform, providing an overview of the reform goals and implementation to date. On the basis of first-hand experience it described a wide variety of opinions of people involved in the reform process - international officials, local politicians, community leaders and citizens - and sought to identify the challenges that remain, and citizens' hopes for the future.
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