Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha, Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina

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10 May 2023

Merci Madame la présidente,


I thank the High Representative, Mr. Christian Schmidt, for his insightful briefing. We appreciate and fully support his efforts and active engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We welcome the presence of the Chairperson of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Željka Cvijanović.

We also take note of the letter of the member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Denis Becirovic, addressed to the Security Council regarding the participation of the country in this meeting.


As we heard from the High Representative, the reporting period has been dominated by intensive political developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

We welcome the establishment of executive institutions, at all levels, following the general elections in October last year. This is an important step towards a normal functionality of the administration at all levels.

The decision taken by the European Council last December to grant EU candidate status to Bosnia-Herzegovina is a historic milestone for the European perspective of the country with positive impact for the region. This is a clear and bold message by the European Union in favour of more commitment and strong support for transformative reforms. It is the only one way forward for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

All stakeholders should come together to work and fulfill the 14 key priorities identified by the EU Commission – a roadmap for the opening of EU accession negotiations. In this respect, more substantial work is needed for the full implementation of the 5+2 Agenda.

Making progress towards EU integration would be by far the best and most meaningful investment for the future of the country since Dayton agreement. This will require resolute steps to strengthen the rule of law, democratic governance, fundamental freedoms, and ensure equal rights for all. This also represents an opportunity for an increased participation of women, and a wider involvement of the youth in a process that will define their future.


Last week, on May 5th, Bosnia-Hercegovina commemorated the 1.601 children killed during the Siege of Sarajevo, between 1992 and 1996. Many of them were slaughtered while being selectively and intentionally targeted by snipers, just one of the barbaric acts perpetrated under the men convicted as genocidal war criminals, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

We highly appreciate the amendment brought by the HR to the Law on the Center for the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Genocide. Any attempts to rewrite history must be dismissed. They do not serve justice and reconciliation as they lead to a distorted narrative. History cannot be undone. It can only help to understand the collective past and serve as a lesson for better decisions in the future.

We remain deeply concerned by developments in the Republika Srbska that are a blatant and intentional violation of the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Attempts to establish RS’s ownership on select properties that fall under the jurisdiction of the Bosnian are unacceptable. Furthermore, the celebration of the unconstitutional RS Day on 9 January, the calls upon the judges representing the Serbs in the BiH Constitutional Court to resign, and attempts to put the judiciary under political influence are just the latest moves and part of a continued policy of provocative actions with clear intentions to break up the country.

It has become a pattern, almost a ritual: the leader of the Republika Srpska never misses an opportunity to use his own country as a punching bag, attacking unity, undermining the statehood of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its normal functioning.

While his duty and responsibility are to participate in the common institutions, his policies and actions provide for the contrary.

Let’s not forget, Milorad Dodik has been put under sanctions, precisely because he is in syntony with those, inside and outside the country, who work night and day against the unity of Bosnia Herzegovina, against justice, cooperation, understanding and reconciliation in the country and the Western Balkans, against the confirmed and paced-up euro-Atlantic path of the entire region.

We commend the active engagement of the HR to stop these dangerous dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and urge him to continue in this path. We also recognize and fully support the stabilizing role of the EU/Althea Mission.


Any push for more assertive, aggressive and unconstitutional policies in Bosnia are a stab in the back to the unity and functionality of the country and to its future. The persistent actions and policies of Republika Srpska today are the recipe of how to make a country dysfunctional.

This was not agreed in Dayton; this is not inscribed in the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina; it has not been condoned by anyone in Europe and this is not what the country and the entire region needs nowadays.

Leaders and the politicians of the RS seem to have forgotten the consequences of fomenting ethnic division; they seem to ignore the price the country and the region has paid in the past although many wounds are still open. They are wrong and must wake up, because, disintegration is the past; cooperation in good faith is the future.

No one will ever be able to build a viable and sustainable future in Europe by glorifying war criminals, by denying genocide, by questioning the sovereignty and unity of the country and by investing in hate speech and discrimination. To the contrary, Europe of the last eight decades has been built by investing in reconciliation, by coming and working together in shared benefits, where there are no losers, only winners.

This is why we think, Mme President, that the current Republica Srpska is not, cannot and will not be the model of politics in the Western Balkans. It should not be allowed to break the backbone of the country not the spirit of cooperation and understanding that is prevailing in the region.

30 years ago, a terrible bloody war nearly tore Bosnia and Herzegovina into pieces. Dayton agreement put an end to it. Peace has prevailed since, but it has not completely delivered. The impatience of the youth is the alarm bell signaling that politicians are late, are slow.

It is therefore time for everyone there to come together for the common good and work under only one agenda, meet the aspirations of the people for a common and better future.

Whoever stands in this way should be put apart.

Thank you!

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