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Speech: ‘Now is the Moment for All Parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Show Courage and Leadership’

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

Thank you, Madam President.

Let me start by welcoming the participation of the High Representative in this meeting.

Mr Schmidt and his office continue to play a crucial role in contributing to a stable and secure Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is therefore important for the Security Council to have an informed and open dialogue with Mr Schmidt on the situation on the ground.

Madam President, the UK wants to see Bosnia and Herzegovina move forward as a democratic, stable and prosperous European country.

We welcome the formation of a new Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 28 April.

A functional and effective government is vital to help counter hostile actors, make progress on Euro-Atlantic integration and implement reform.

While it was regrettable that the High Representative had to take executive actions, Mr Schmidt, along with the international community, had repeatedly encouraged domestic politicians to come to an agreement and form a government. His executive powers remain a necessary tool when the situation requires it.

We urge all actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina to set aside narrow interests, and to promote collaborative and constructive politics in the coming period.

This includes halting attempts to frustrate governance and working together to agree an alternative to the permanent amendment to the Federation Constitution before May 2024.

We welcome the proactive approach taken by the new Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and hope to see such activity continue.

We remain concerned by the dangerous, divisive and secessionist rhetoric and actions from the Republika Srpska leadership.

As the High Representative makes clear, Republika Srpska authorities continue to undermine state institutions in an attempt to damage the integrity of the state.

Recent authoritarian legislative moves threaten peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region.

Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever that the Security Council maintains its support for the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the High Representative.

The UK remains firmly committed to the Dayton Peace Agreement, and its associated international structures.

We welcome all efforts towards meeting the conditions set out for their closure, including the 5+2 criteria. We remain a committed member of the Peace Implementation Council in support of the territorial integrity and fundamental structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single, sovereign state, comprising two entities.

We also recognise EUFOR ALTHEA’s effective work to maintain peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It continues to play a vital role in regional security.

President, now is the moment for all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to show courage and leadership – rejecting the politics of division and hatred in favour of cooperation and constructive engagement.

This is essential to deliver stability and prosperity for all its citizens.

Thank you.


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