More than 26 years after the signing of the Joint Framework Agreement for Peace – known as the Dayton Accords – people are once again talking about the possibility of another conflict, causing another conflict, said Senior Representative Christian Schmidt. risk of an outbreak.
“The conflict in Ukraine, which is not far away, is a sobering reminder that even in the 21st century, another war on European soil is not an impossibility.” he emphasizes.
Undermining national law
Outlining the main challenges, Mr. Schmidt said that the government in Serb-dominated Republika Srpska – one of two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – is increasingly accepting words and actions. could undermine the constitutional framework.
These include efforts to render national legislation inapplicable, which could mean Republika’s withdrawal from the country’s unifying forces.
Stressing that such constitutional changes cannot be made unilaterally, they would threaten the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he stressed the international community has a responsibility to protect the Treaty of Dayton and the rights of Three ethnic groups make up the country.
The High Representative praised international support for the unification of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the adoption of targeted sanctions by multiple Governments.
We will not sit idly by while others seek to destroy 26 years of peace, stability and progress.
Moving to the country’s potential membership in the European Union (EU) – a path that could help resolve grievances and promote peace and stability – he called for the bloc to open its doors to Bosnia and Herzegovina. and the rest of the Western Balkan countries.
Meanwhile, complete Agenda 5 + 2 and the recommendations of the Council of Europe before membership can be considered, will help resolve grievances and promote lasting peace and stability, thus improving the lives of all Bosnian citizens and Herzegovina.
It will also help stem the growing influx of young people out of the country and offer hope for a brighter future, he said.
‘The threat of separatism’
Šefik Džaferović, President of the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, participated in the Council meeting on behalf of his country.
Describing the High Representative’s report on the situation as an objective account, he agreed that for more than 10 months his country had been plunged into a deep political crisis due to threats of secession, blockade the institutions and other actions of Republika Srpska.
Noting that Bosnia and Herzegovina lacks a fully developed mechanism to prevent such separatist activities, he called for the full support of the international community.
Considering the current geopolitical situation – “we feel the strong consequences of aggression against Ukraine” – he reiterated his call for the EU to respond positively to the country’s request for its membership status. candidate.
Challenges for high reps
From the very beginning of the meeting, some delegates expressed reservations about hearing Mr. Schmidt’s brief introduction as the High Representative.
Anna M. Evstigneeva, the Russian delegate, said that Mr. Schmidt was a German citizen whose appointment had never been authorized by the Council.
China’s representative Dai Bing said that while the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was at a deep stalemate, all members of society – including Republika Srpska – were committed to upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
Describing the High Representative system as a relic from another time, he stated: “Choosing sides by outside forces will not help resolve differences between ethnic groups.”
He also warned against imposing unilateral sanctions, highlighting the severe humanitarian impact the conflict in Ukraine is having on food security as well as the lingering challenges posed by the pandemic. caused by COVID.
Click this to see the full debate.