UN / BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

11-May-2022 00:04:27
The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Christian Schmidt, told the Security Council that “more than 26 years” since the signing of the Dayton Accord, Bosnia and Herzegovina “remains a country traumatized by war,” and added that “the desire to keep peace is present amongst Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and others.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
TRT: 04:33
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / BOSNIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 11 MAY 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

11 MAY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, Council President
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Schmidt, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Nations:
“More than 26 years since the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace, Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a country traumatized by war. Every single person who lived through it is still in one way or another wounded. And I see that the desire to keep peace is present amongst Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and others.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Schmidt, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Nations:
“We will always pursue dialogue as the first option. I have strenuously advocated and continue to advocate reaching solutions in the competent institutions, whether on state property, genocide denial, reconciliation, and any other issue facing the country. If constitutional orders to a mandate to improve, this must be done by elected representatives working to find a legal solution. Unilateral use of competences without establishing a common legal ground goes against Dayton. We will not sit still as parties seek to dismantle 26 years of peace, stability and progress.”
6. Med shot, Security Council dais
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Schmidt, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Nations:
“The conflict in Ukraine, not so far away, is a sobering reminder that even in the 21st century, another war on European soil is not an impossibility.”
8. Wide shot, Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, United States:
“27 years ago, the United States helped forge the Dayton Peace Accord. The accords remain vital to the maintenance of international peace and security. Because what was true when Dayton was signed in 1995 remains true today. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is paramount and unquestionable.
10. Wide shot, Council dais
11. SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Sefik Dzaferovic, Chairman of the Presidency, Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“Our country for over 10 years has been in a deep political crisis. The crisis was caused by the secessionist threats, blockade of the institutions, and the moves of the Republic of Srpska authorities against the B and H constitution, the Dayton peace agreements, and 27 years of its implementation.”
12. Med shot, Schmidt
13. SOUNDBITE (Bosnian) Sefik Dzaferovic, Chairman of the Presidency, Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“In order to completely stabilize the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is necessary to annul all anti-constitutional laws, as well as the conclusions of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska of December 10, 2022, and all other acts that are contrary to the Dayton Peace Accords. Furthermore, it is also necessary to unblock the work of institutions. Since the summer of last year, the state institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, and the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, have not worked at all due to the absence of the representatives from the Republic of Srpska and a lack of quorum.”
14. Wide shot, Council
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Nemanja Stevanovic, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Serbia:
“The Republic of Serbia takes this opportunity to once again confirm its respect for the territorial integrity of both Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the territorial integrity of Republic of Srpska within Bosnia Herzegovina. As guarantor of Dayton peace agreement, Serbia wishes to point out 27 years after signing of the Accord, it is important to reaffirm the validity and full respect for the agreement, which put an end to the civil war and provided the basis for stability both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and our entire region.”
16. Wide shot, Council
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Hrvoje Ćurić Hrvatinić, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Croatia:
“Internal political and institutional crisis in Bosnia Herzegovina is cause for big concern. State institution paralysis, political tensions among constituent peoples, and general mistrust are mirrored in the growing centralist and separatist tendencies, endangering the regular and democratic functioning of the State. Lack of any substantive progress, coupled with the prevailing dysfunctionality and the decrease in democratic standards are matched by a complete absence of political will to finalize the electoral reform. All this makes for an unsustainable and unfavourable political environment.”
18, Zoom out, end of Council meeting
STORYLINE
The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Christian Schmidt, today (11 May) told the Security Council that “more than 26 years” since the signing of the Dayton Accord, Bosnia and Herzegovina “remains a country traumatized by war,” and added that “the desire to keep peace is present amongst Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and others.”



Briefing on the latest report of the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which covers the period from 16 October 2021 to 15 April 2022, Schmidt said, “we will always pursue dialogue as the first option” and stressed that “we will not sit still as parties seek to dismantle 26 years of peace, stability and progress.”



Today’s debate took place amid growing nationalist rhetoric and separatist actions in BiH, including the recent announcement by the Bosnian Serb leader of the predominantly Serb Republika Srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, that the RS would withdraw from key national institutions, including BiH’s judicial system, the taxation authority and the armed forces



The conflict in Ukraine, Schmidt said, is a sobering reminder that even in the 21st century, another war on European soil is not an impossibility.”



United States Ambassdador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Council that “27 years ago, the United States helped forge the Dayton Peace Accord” which she said remains “vital to the maintenance of international peace and security.”



She said, “what was true when Dayton was signed in 1995 remains true today” and “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is paramount and unquestionable.



In his address to the Council, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chairman of the Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic said, “our country for over 10 years has been in a deep political crisis. The crisis was caused by the secessionist threats, blockade of the institutions, and the moves of the Republic of Srpska authorities against the B and H constitution, the Dayton peace agreements, and 27 years of its implementation.”



Dzaferovic said, “in order to completely stabilize the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is necessary to annul all anti-constitutional laws, as well as the conclusions of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska of December 10, 2022, and all other acts that are contrary to the Dayton Peace Accords. Furthermore, it is also necessary to unblock the work of institutions. Since the summer of last year, the state institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, and the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, have not worked at all due to the absence of the representatives from the Republic of Srpska and a lack of quorum.”



Also addressing the Council, Serbian Ambassador Nemanja Stevanovic called for “respect for the territorial integrity of both Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the territorial integrity of Republic of Srpska within Bosnia Herzegovina.”



As a guarantor of the Dayton Accord, Stevanovic said, “Serbia wishes to point out 27 years after signing of the Accord, it is important to reaffirm the validity and full respect for the agreement, which put an end to the civil war and provided the basis for stability both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and our entire region.”



For his part, Croatian Ambassador Hrvoje Ćurić Hrvatinić said, “internal political and institutional crisis in Bosnia Herzegovina is cause for big concern. State institution paralysis, political tensions among constituent peoples, and general mistrust are mirrored in the growing centralist and separatist tendencies, endangering the regular and democratic functioning of the State. Lack of any substantive progress, coupled with the prevailing dysfunctionality and the decrease in democratic standards are matched by a complete absence of political will to finalize the electoral reform. All this makes for an unsustainable and unfavourable political environment.”



The latest High Representative’s report welcomes sanctions imposed by the UK and the US on Dodik for attempting to “undermine the legitimacy and functionality of the State” and for his “destabilizing and corrupt activities”, respectively.



China and Russia questioned Schmidt’s appointment process and have not recognised his authority as High Representative for BiH.
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