Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the Security Council meeting on Bosnia-Hercegovina

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2 November 2023

Thank you, Mr. President,

Let me first congratulate you for assuming the presidency of the Council for the month of November and assure you of our support.

We warmly congratulate Brazil and its team for a remarkable presidency during last month, and their outstanding efforts in steering our work in a most challenging time.

We welcome the presence of the Chairperson of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Željko Komŝić, to this meeting.

I thank the High Representative, Mr. Christian Schmidt, for the report shared with the Council. We highly appreciate and support his continued efforts and active engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We welcome the mandate’s renewal of Operation EUFOR Althea. The mission has an important and crucial role for the stability and security of Bosnia-Hercegovina and the region.


Despite difficulties and challenges, Bosnia and Herzegovina has made important progress.

Thanks to continued efforts, including the contribution of High Representative, Schmidt, the post-elections governments and parliaments are established.

The central government and the Parliamentary Assembly have accelerated the pace of adoption of legislation relevant to the fulfillment of the 14 key priorities required for EU integration. These include indispensable reforms for economic growth, creation of jobs, achievement of developments goals and fight against corruption.

Only a few days ago, the President of the European Commission reiterated the key message that Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future is in the European Union and the work carried out during first year as candidate country in a testimony of the the country’s capacity to deliver. Also, the Berlin Process Summit held in Tirana on 16 October reconfirmed the accelerated path of the entire region towards the European Union.

Mr. President,

Despite this positive trend, it utterly troubling to notice that the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, has continued to stok ethnic tensions and promote his secessionist agenda. His destabilizing rhetoric and irresponsible actions continue to undermine the country’s constitutional order.

Mr. Dodik has visibly resolved to never lose an occasion to drag the country into artificially generated political crisis, by blocking the institutional functionality of the state and be the champion of abnormality in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

His recent reckless statements calling to create a unified Serb state, the latest of his ludicrous ideas – which, by the way, means undermine four existing states –  are not only destabilizing for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they also threaten the region’s security and stability.

If Dodik weren’t a promoter of autocracy and the well-known seatbacks that come with it;

if he weren’t the promoter of a dangerous game of escalation and lies for its constituents;

if he weren’t the zealous gravedigger of the future of Bosnia-Hercegovina with very dubious outside support –  he would certainly win the prize of the comic-in-chief of the region.

But he should not be taken lightly because, bit by bit, he is turning away from Europe; he is undermining the proven benefits of the regional cooperation, and is refusing and wasting the prosperity and the security that the Euro-Atlantic path offers to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to all Western Balkan States.

Instead of engaging in good faith for the reforms required to bring citizens closer to the European Union, to build a stable and prosperous future inside Euro-Atlantic institutions, he is day dreaming of changing the map of Europe with a silly stroke of his silly pen.

The truth is that Mr. Dodik has spectacularly failed to bring to the people of the Republika Srpska the real economic benefits promised; instead he is fanning the nationalistic flames, feeding its voters with complot theories and conspiracies.

By continuously attacking the High Representative and the Constitutional Court of his country, he is openly, continuously and seriously undermining the Dayton Peace Agreement.

By introducing legislation in defiance of the opinions of the Venice Commission and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Mr. Dodik is revealing the poor and fading democratic and European credentials of the entity he leads.

Because he seeks advice and counsel elsewhere, at places where democracy is dyeing and where freedoms are becoming a thing of the past.

We strongly condemn these actions and call on our European and Euro-Atlantic partners to do the same, vigorously.

The people of Republika Srpska should know that actions have consequences and they will be the first to pay the price of wrong choices and adventurous decisions.

One part cannot and should not decide for all. One part cannot highjack the ensemble, even less so with retrograde choices.

The people of B-H have the right to build their future through commonly agreed efforts in working for their prosperity and that of future generations.

As President Von Der Leyen highlighted in Sarajevo, two days ago, the progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina depends largely on dialogue, mutual respect, respect for the constitutional structure and constitutional powers.

Mr. President,

This is the last meeting on this issue during our Council mandate.

We firmly and profoundly believe that B-H deserves continued attention by the Council and by its partners to maintain stability, unity and achieve progress in building its future, the one its people have chosen, one that leads it forward, not backwards.

Bosnia and Herzegovina will need continued efforts, creativity, open mindedness and inclusivity. It will need its youth to be more involved and integrated to provide fresh energy and direction.

It will need to invest in all areas of importance, but more than anything in education, to strengthen an open and cohesive society, forge tolerance and understanding, especially to fight discrimination, glorification of criminals, genocide denials and revisionists who want to drag it down.

It will need to be forward-thinking and while it heals the wounds of the past, fully embrace the fantastic opportunities for regional cooperation, of Euro-Atlantic integration by strengthening its democratic institutions and social cohesion, as the best guarantee of a future in peace and prosperity.

Albania will continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its multiethnic character, which is so essential to peace, stability and progress in the Wester Balkans and the wider Europe.

Thank you!


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