Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr. President,

Ukraine aligns itself with the statement to be delivered later today on behalf of the European Union.

I thank High Representative Valentin Inzko for his briefing and his report which is as objective as usual. I also reiterate Ukraine’s full and continuous support of his efforts to assist authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in overcoming the challenges they face, including in implementation of the General Framework Agreement.

The role of the High Representative, while always pivotal, will be particularly important next year in view of upcoming 2018 General Elections. Taking this opportunity Ukraine calls on the Government of Republika Srpska to resume cooperation with the High Representative and to refrain from any intimidations of his team.

Mr. President,

Ukraine welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2384 (2017) today. The united position of the Council is a strong message of support to the people and leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to the activities of EUFOR ALTHEA.

But this resolution is also a call. This is a united call to step up the completion of the 5+2 Agenda, to refrain from polarizing policies and rhetoric and to continue efforts in implementation of comprehensive reforms. Along with further actions aimed at European and Euro-Atlantic integration, these steps, in our view, will contribute to stable and prosperous country to the benefit of all its citizens.

Ukraine looks forward to the day when Bosnia and Herzegovina becomes fully fledged member of the European Union. We welcome the progress achieved in this direction by signing a Transport Community Treaty with the EU and five other Western Balkans countries in September this year, as well as continued work on compiling answers to the European Commission’s Questionnaire.

Given the existing support by Bosnia and Herzegovina people of the European integration we sincerely believe that this foreign policy objective could unite both entities.

Mr. President,

We echo the concern of the High Representative with regard to certain irresponsible decisions by the Republika Srpska National Assembly (RSNA), even if some of them have been recently reversed.

On a positive note we are glad that the threat of holding a referendum on the status of the Republika Srpska was reportedly taken off the table for the time being. Taking this opportunity I would like to reiterate Ukraine’s full support of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to underscore that its entities have no right to secede.

Ukraine strongly supports the position of the High Representative on the Resolution on the Protection of the Constitutional Order and Assuring the Military Neutrality adopted by the RSNA in October. We are also concerned that the aforementioned Resolution would in effect favour the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we cannot support attempts to undermine General Framework Agreement and the constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mr. President,

Next year will be a very challenging one for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Preparations for the upcoming 2018 General Elections already started a full year ahead with very divisive actions and rhetoric.

Despite the existing problems with the issue of indirect elections, the parties in the state parliament have not yet begun a serious political dialogue to discuss potential amendments to the Election Law addressing this issue.

Other potential or existing problems include the rejection of the authority of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its prosecutor’s office in the Republika Srpska, continuous attempts of its authorities to make decisions on foreign policy and many others.

If these challenges are not addressed in a comprehensive and consensual way, with the participation of all sides, the political achievements made since the conclusion of the Dayton Agreement will be undermined.

I therefore call on political leaders of all sides to refrain from divisive rhetoric and to concentrate on the real issues, where progress is so desperately needed. In particular, it is vital to continue the efforts in implementing the reform agenda that includes socio-economic, rule of law and public administration reforms. It is also important to demonstrate progress in the functioning of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organized crime, as well as countering radicalization and terrorism.

As we entered the third decade of the peace process, the Council has an obligation to provide all necessary political support to ensure Bosnia and Herzegovina further peaceful development. It is of utmost importance that any attempts of encroaching on Bosnia and Herzegovina independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity are resolutely addressed and prevented.