The UN Security Council adopted a Resolution extending EUFOR's mandate on Wednesday, but without mentioning the Office of the High Representative and the High Representative himself.
The UN Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the EUFOR mission (Althea) in Bosnia and Herzegovina for another 12 months with 15 votes in favour of the decision.
After the adoption of the resolution, the French ambassador addressed the Security Council, expressing support for the OHR, but also satisfaction with the extension of EUFOR’s mandate.
“On behalf of the European Union and in accordance with the Dayton Peace Agreement, as well as the decisions of the Security Council, we are glad that this resolution has been adopted,” the French representative at the UN said.
Although it was previously expected that the High Representative in BiH, Christian Schmidt, would address the Council and present his regular report on the situation in BiH, this did not happen.
Nevertheless, the report was submitted to all foreign missions to the UN. Addressing the audience, French representative Nicolas de Rivière said that BiH has made great strides since the end of the 1990s conflict. He called for the implementation of electoral reform and expressed support for the work of the High Representative, and condemned all forms of endangering the territorial integrity and existence of BiH as a state.
He also expressed regret for blocking the work of state institutions and condemned the glorification of war criminals.
The United Kingdom representative also welcomed the adoption of the resolution and thanked the High Representative for submitting the report on the situation in BiH. She expressed concern about the rhetoric of divisions coming from the representatives of the Republika Srpska entity and warned that not only peace and stability in BiH but in the entire region were threatened.
She asked the Security Council to express its full support for the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the work of the Office of the High Representative.
The US representative said the High Representative’s reports were crucial in keeping the international community informed of the current situation and efforts to ensure stability and progress. She thanked for the report and expressed hope that the Council would join them in the next sessions.
She pointed out that BiH is currently at a critical point in post-war history warning of the dangerous rhetoric through which Milorad Dodik calls for the withdrawal from state institutions, as well as for the complete withdrawal from BiH. She agreed with the High Representative’s assessment that this is a dangerous path for both BiH and the rest of the region.
The US representative called for calming of tensions and de-escalation, and for leaders to return to the job for which they were elected. She said that this means that state institutions must return to full functioning and that the constituent peoples fully participate in that work.
She emphasized that the role of the High Representative must be protected and that his office is the basis of stability in the country, noting that it can be closed only when the conditions for that are created, ie the ‘5 plus 2’ agenda is fulfilled.
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