United Nations Security Council Meeting: The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
I thank the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Christian Schmidt, for his briefing on the implementation of the Peace Agreements on Bosnia and Herzegovina for the period 16th October, 2021 to 15th April, 2022. Ghana is concerned by recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The political crisis risks undermining the further implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. More worryingly, it threatens the stability that has held Bosnia and Herzegovina together over the past two and a half decades.
We therefore appeal to all political actors and stakeholders to forge a collaborative working arrangement for the fulfilment of the commitments and obligations made under the provisions of the Peace Agreement. This requires the fostering of an environment for equal opportunities for all and commitment to peaceful co-existence in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this regard, we call for the avoidance of potentially divisive rhetoric as well as zero tolerance for hate speech, which fuel strife among the people.
The political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina have a responsibility to maintain the unity of the country and to ensure the effective functioning of state institutions at all levels. In this respect, we hope that the encouraging signs of cooperation in the Brčka District would serve as an inspiration for representatives of both entities. Overcoming the deep mistrust in the society is essential to any enduring effort to address the fiscal needs of state institutions and to meet their obligations towards all the people of the country.
We also encourage further efforts to address all aspects of the 5+2 agenda, including the acceptable and sustainable resolution of the issue of apportionment of property between the State and other levels of government as well as of Defence Property; and the entrenchment of the rule of law. We believe that the chosen path of Bosnia and Herzegovina towards a peaceful and viable state, integrated with Europe, is one that needs the broad support of the international community through concrete steps, as defined by the Brussels requirements of February 2008.
In this regard, we also urge the Office of the High Representative to adopt a posture that enables it to deepen engagement with the officials of the entities in order to help them to overcome their internal challenges and work constructively towards the objectives. We further urge the Presidency of the country to unify their public messaging, enhance the coherence of their actions, and serve as the fulcrum of stability and hope that the institutions and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina require to overcome this challenging period. This is especially necessary as previously settled areas of competence between the State and entities are being positively interpreted in order to adapt to the effective functioning of a progressive state structure.
We note the economic situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and call for the necessary assistance and support and in a manner that overcomes the present challenges in the decisionmaking processes, for the benefit of the people. We also call on the authorities throughout the country to fulfil their obligation in providing enabling conditions for the safe
return and re-integration of refugees and displaced persons without discrimination, in accordance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace Agreement.
In closing, we entreat Council members to adopt a common approach in responding to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, irrespective of our differing views on the continuing relevance of the Office of the High Representative. We must in this context sustain our unified support for the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, mindful of the need to avoid any situation in the Balkan region that would worsen the precarious security conditions prevailing in Europe.
I thank you for your kind attention.