Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina

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May 15, 2024

Mr. President,

Today we will hear a report by the Head of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Denis Bećirović. However we ought to perceive it in the context of the letter by the Serb member of the Presidency, Ms. Željka Cvijanović, that was circulated among Security Council members on May 14 and informed that statement to be delivered by Mr. Bećirović was not even discussed by the Presidency and therefore it does not reflect the opinion of all constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I regret to say that this is not an unfortunate incident, but a consistent policy of some Bosnian elites, who act at the instigation and with the patronage of Western countries. This policy is aimed at undermining the role of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the supreme voice of the consensus position of the multi-ethnic BiH society on major issues. This formed a parallel, extra-constitutional, unlawful and anti-democratic scheme, whereby decisions are adopted and implemented by representatives of only one of the entities on behalf of the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I underscore that the system (based on the role and procedures of the Presidency) of balanced interests of the three constituent peoples and distribution of powers among various tiers of government lies at the heart of the General Framework (Dayton) Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, approved by United Nations Security Council resolution 1031 in 1995.

It was the Dayton Agreement that put an end to the brutal inter-ethnic conflict and it remains a fundamental document for maintaining peace and stability in the region. Now contrary to the Dayton Accords, Western states try to impose on the BiH society the aspirations to centralize and unitarize the country – in line with the sly “civil society” formula.

The disregard for the interests of Serbs living in BiH, whose autonomy hinders the achievement of Western interests, manifests itself not only in circumventing the authority of the BiH Presidency. Legally elected Serb representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their families are subjected to illegal sanctions, threats and blackmail, politically motivated criminal prosecutions. Humanitarian projects are being shut down for political reasons, and pressure is exerted on the financial system in order to create socio-economic difficulties, provoke a crisis and pass it off as public discontent. Republika Srpska and the Serb population of BiH are made outcasts in their own country, they are assumed to have separatist goals and are stigmatized in many ways, that includes being labeled as a “genocidal people”. When it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the principles of democracy and inclusiveness of political processes, that are very well known in the United Nations, become completely discarded.

No one should be misled by the Serbophobic fabrications of Western so-called experts, for Banja Luka has repeatedly and at the highest level reaffirmed its principled position in defense of the Dayton-based Bosnia and Herzegovina, in favor of the constitutional distribution of powers, the equality of the three peoples and the two entities. We suggest that UNSC members carefully read the report of the Government of Republika Srpska on the developments in BiH. It contains an objective account of the state of affairs.


We are witnessing consistent efforts by a number of Western countries to destroy all the achievements of the post-conflict years, create an atmosphere of mutual distrust among the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina and deepen inter-ethnic contradictions. There is a wish to turn the country into a colonial entity that can be easily manipulated from Washington, London, Berlin, and Brussels.

We are convinced that Mr. Schmidt is an important instrument of this colonial policy. This German citizen has no right to speak in the Security Council. He does not have the support of all constituent peoples of BiH, he has not gone through the consensus approval procedure of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council and, most importantly, does not have a mandate from the United Nations Security Council.

Besides, his illegal actions cause irreparable damage to inter-ethnic relations in BiH and are dangerous for the situation in the region. His participation in Security Council meetings discredits this body. With the help of his so-called reports, which actually represent his personal opinions that are rather detached from reality, he is misleading the entire international community.

We are convinced that it would contribute immensely to stabilization in BiH if the Office of the so-called High Representative was shut down as soon as possible, without additional conditions, for it is a mechanism for external management of a sovereign European state, which does not and cannot have place in the modern world.

We are also disappointed with the 57th report of the EUFOR operation ALTHEA on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, contrary to its mandate, includes a biased political aspect that is not reflective of the real situation. As we have said on many occasions, expansion of the operation on the ground is counterproductive too.


Today another flagrant violation of the Dayton Accords is taking place, with Germany standing behind it. This violation was the subject matter of our discussion in the Security Council on 30 April. I mean the draft resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on an international day of remembrance of the tragic events in Srebrenica in July 1995, which was put forward in circumvention of the BiH Presidency.

Submitting this draft resolution without the agreement of all entities directly contradicts the Constitution of BiH, and therefore constitutes a grave violation of Dayton and relevant UNSC resolutions. The fact that this draft lacks the consensus support of the BiH Presidency was confirmed during the meeting of the Security Council on April 30 by Ms. Željka Cvijanovic, the Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest governing body. The draft resolution has already worsened the situation on the ground. People have taken to the streets to protest against it, whilst Germany and the co-sponsors claim to be caring about reconciliation. It is not surprising that the draft not only fails to call for the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, but does not even mention it. This provocative text bears a threat to peace and security in the country and the region as a whole.

A question begs itself why it is Germany who stands behind this draft resolution. The advocate of the rights of the victims of the “genocide” in Srebrenica is the country that twice fueled world wars in the XX century, having organized not just a “genocide” that killed tens of millions of people, but a real “hell on earth”, including on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, not to mention its participation in the bombing of Yugoslavia and Sarajevo. What are Berlin’s goals? Apparently, it is not satisfied with having just one instrument to stir up discord in the BiH, namely Mr. Schmidt. It also wants to reopen old wounds of the civil war, and encourage a part of the Bosnian elites to act in violation of Dayton.

Against this backdrop, the attempts by NATO members to erase from the pages of history the shameful evidence of their bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1995 and 1999, shifting all the blame to the Serbs, look quite logical and therefore even more immoral. Here in the Security Council, our Western colleagues refuse to discuss their crimes committed 25 years ago, saying they are “just a page in history”. At the same time, Western states praise in every way possible the initiative on Srebrenica, which is fraught with escalation and also concerns historical events.


We are strongly opposed to the gross interference of external forces in the internal affairs of sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. The behavior of the Western community, which abuses its diplomatic presence in Sarajevo and multilateral mechanisms (such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe) with a view to imposing its selfish agenda on the peoples of BiH is frankly unacceptable and contrary to the Charter of the United Nations.

The starting and the final point of this journey can only be the Dayton Peace Agreement, its principles of the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the equality of the three constituent peoples and the two entities with broad constitutional powers, which are embodied in the role and powers of the Presidency of BiH. It is only in the framework of this consensus-based system, which ended the deadly civil war, that the peoples of BiH can make independent decisions about the future of their multi-ethnic country.

We have before us many examples of the gross and irresponsible destruction of international treaties and agreements, the crisis of respect for them and for Security Council resolutions. That can lead to nothing else but recurrence of conflicts. We suggest that Security Council members take a responsible approach to assessing the situation in BiH and thus prevent a negative scenario.

Thank you.

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