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BOSNIA AND
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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 6,963 5,249 4,800 104
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,540 1,270 1,240 123
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 125 - (26/10/07)

Croatia joins the UN Security Council; Slovenia to assume EU presidency
The fact that Croatia has joined the UN Security Council, effective as of January, and that from then Slovenia will hold the EU presidency, are both favourable developments for Bosnia. 

Croatian officials began planning their agenda in New York. Some issues are of direct national concern -- for example, the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague will be a regular topic on the Security Council's agenda for the next two years. An exit strategy for wrapping up the court's work must be finalised.

Croatia is strongly against closing down the tribunal before the two top war crime fugitives, -- Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic -- are brought to justice. "We shall seek justice for all the victims," Sanader said. 

Meanwhile, he stressed that Croatia will not use its position to put pressure on Slovenia over the two countries' rival territorial claims in the Adriatic. The prime minister said the main mission of Council membership for Croatia will be to promote political stability in Southeast Europe -- with a focus on Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Slovenia is similarly well-disposed and keen to promote stability on its southern flank.

The Serbs threaten walk-out
There is no doubt what the main source of instability is in Bosnia. The main governing party in Bosnia's Serb entity, RS has warned that its representatives will walk out of state institutions, unless planned changes to the government and parliament are withdrawn.

The threat from the Party of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, came on October 21 in response to an announcement from the international community's High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajcak, to reform the procedures affecting the functioning of the country's central government and parliament.

According to the Nezavisne Novine daily, senior SNSD officials, including ministers in the Bosnian government, have already written their letters of resignation.

Lajcak versus the Bosnian Serbs
The new High Representative is determined to impose his authority. Lajcak announced on October 19 that he was imposing changes to the law on the central government, the council of ministers, and requesting Bosnian lawmakers to adopt by December 1 reforms on the functioning of the parliament - both with a view to making these institutions operate more efficiently.

Lajcak's changes mean that Bosnia's council of ministers can hold sessions whenever a majority of its members are present, and that decisions on certain matters can be made by a majority of those attending.

In future decisions can be passed by the government, as long as the majority includes at least one representative from each of the three constituent peoples - Bosniaks (Muslims), Serbs and Croats - instead of the two currently required.

The second measure, not imposed so far but proposed, stipulates that laws can be passed in Bosnia's parliament, as long as the majority voting for them includes at least one-third of the deputies from each of Bosnia's two entities, the RS and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which brings together mostly Bosniaks and Croats.

Under the current interpretation of the Rules of Procedure, a successful majority requires the support of one-third of the total number of MPs from each entity -
Politicians in the Federation have welcomed Lajcak's move which followed the failure of Bosnia's leaders to agree on police reforms - thereby halting their country's process of integration with the EU.

By contrast, RS politicians are opposed to the changes, and media reported that there was even an initiative under way to take Lajcak to the constitutional court. Lajcak's office declined to comment on the SNSD's announcement, saying they needed more time to familiarize themselves with that decision.

Other parties in the RS have reacted in a similar way to the SNSD, calling for unity among all Serb parties in the country.

The Party of Democratic Progress has announced that it will ask for Lajcak's dismissal. President of the Serb Democratic Party, Mladen Bosic, has called for an emergency session of the RS national assembly.

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