Remarks by Ambassador Jeffrey F. DeLaurentis, Senior Advisor for Security Council Affairs. at a UN Security Council Debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina

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November 2, 2022

AS DELIVERED

Thank you, Mr. President.

We are pleased the Security Council once again unanimously reauthorized EUFOR Althea and sent a clear message of support for the vitally important mission of maintaining peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina and supporting the Dayton Accords. We also thank the European Union and its member states for your ongoing commitment to this essential mission.

Although he is not here today, we are very appreciative of High Representative Christian Schmidt’s recent report, which the Secretary-General has shared with this Council. The High Representative’s reports, in line with precedent and the requirements of Security Council Resolution 1031, are vital to keeping the international community informed about the ongoing efforts to ensure enduring stability and prosperity in the region.

The United States remains committed to the goal of a democratic, stable, and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina. We fully support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s full integration into the transatlantic community and the country’s eventual path to EU membership. Respect for democratic institutions and election integrity are two vital components of these aspirations. That is why we are deeply concerned by allegations of fraud in the recent election, particularly in the Republika Srpska presidential race, and the lack of accountability for perpetrators of fraud.

We encourage Bosnian institutions to fully address the shortcomings raised by election observers and urge all stakeholders and citizens to pursue any grievances through established channels. Once election results are fully certified, we urge leaders on all sides to make every effort to support speedy government formation. The restoration of functionality to the Federation is the first step toward restoring the internal balance Bosnia and Herzegovina requires to address governance issues, deliver prosperity, and respond to wider geopolitical challenges.

The United States supports the Office of the High Representative and the use of Bonn Powers when the High Representative deems necessary. The Bonn Powers are a key tool to maintain stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. The October 2 imposition was necessary to unblock the functioning of the Federation, prevent the collapse of the Federation Constitutional Court, and address power sharing issues.

The Office of the High Representative plays a central role in ensuring implementation of the civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Accords. Until Bosnia and Herzegovina fulfills the criteria for its graduation from international supervision, the Office of the High Representative must remain.

The United States remains steadfast in our support of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and multiethnic character. We are committed to partnering with the citizens and government of Bosnia and Herzegovina as they work towards the comprehensive electoral, political, social, and economic reforms necessary to secure the future all people of the country deserve.

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

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