Remarks by Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, at a UN Security Council Briefing on Bosnia and Herzegovina

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November 2, 2023

Thank you, Mr. President. And let me first congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency. I also wish to congratulate the delegation of Brazil for its successful presidency. I also want to thank Chair of the Presidency Komsic for participating in this meeting today.

The United States welcomes the Security Council’s unanimous reauthorization of EUFOR’s Operation Althea. We thank the European Union and its Member States for their ongoing commitment to maintaining peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We are alarmed by recent developments, including rhetoric and actions from officials undermining the Dayton Peace Agreement and the country’s constitutional structure, rule of law, stability, and territorial integrity.

The international community must meet this challenge.

We must work together to counter the destabilizing and dangerous efforts of the Republika Srpska National Assembly and Republika Srpska President Dodik to weaken fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, and the constitutional foundations of the country’s institutions.

The goal of the High Representative and of the international community is to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and multiethnic character. In particular, we are focused on advancing rule of law reforms, supporting good governance, and rooting out corruption. Work that will bring security and prosperity to all citizens, of all ethnicities, in both entities and in Brcko District.

High Representative Christian Schmidt and his Office have the full support of the United States and merit the full support of the international community in their work.

We are very appreciative of the High Representative’s recent report, which the Secretary-General has shared with this Council. The High Representative’s report, 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.

In light of recent attacks on the High Representative, led by Republika Srpska President Dodik, we must underscore that the UN Security Council has no role in choosing or appointing the High Representative, which is the responsibility of the Peace Implementation Council.

The United States remains committed to the goal of a democratic, stable, and prosperous country. We fully support its full integration into the transatlantic community and the country’s path to EU membership.

We are committed to partnering with its citizens and government as they work towards the comprehensive electoral, political, social, and economic reforms necessary to secure the future all people of the country deserve.

I want to close by reaffirming our steadfast support of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy, and multiethnic character.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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