Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Bosnia and Herzegovina is and will remain a single sovereign and multi-ethnic country – UK statement at the UN Security Council [November 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 2 November 2023.

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Thank you, President. Let me join others in congratulating China on assuming the Presidency for the month of November and wishing you the best. I also thank Brazil for its excellent stewardship during October. We welcome the unanimous adoption today of the resolution renewing the mandate of EUFOR Operation Althea, and I join others in thanking Switzerland for its efforts as penholder on the text. EUFOR’s presence remains crucial for peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly with rising political tensions across the region.

I would also like to thank High Representative Schmidt for his latest report, which informs our discussion today.

President, the High Representative’s latest report paints a very grave picture. It outlines the divisive rhetoric and actions of the Republika Srpska leadership and documents the unprecedented rise in attacks against the Dayton Peace Agreement, Rule of Law, and the High Representative himself. In recent months, we have seen attempts to undo the very fabric and structures of the state, including efforts to undermine state and judicial institutions and calls for the separation of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Faced with this threat, the Security Council must make clear its full support for the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and its structures. The UK takes its obligations under the Dayton seriously and we remain an active member of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board.

There can be no room for doubt: Bosnia and Herzegovina is, and will remain a single sovereign and multi-ethnic country. And we support the High Representative’s use of his executive powers where the situation requires it.

We also recognise the positive developments outlined in the latest report, including steps towards greater institutional functionality. We urge all parties to build on the positive momentum from the elections last year by working together and redoubling their efforts to deliver important reforms to enable progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic path. This will help to arrest the economic stagnation and democratic decline that threatens the country’s progress. We hope all parties will show the political will and courage to continue Bosnia and Herzegovina’s journey towards a democratic, stable and prosperous future to the benefit of all its citizens

I thank you.