Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic addressed the UN Security Council during Tuesday’s discussion on the appointment of the new High Representative in the country, calling on all UN SC member states to support his appointment.
In her opening remarks, she assured the ambassadors that Bosnia and Herzegovina is looking forward to the day when the Office of the High Representative (OHR) will be closed.
“Unfortunately, that day has not arrived yet,” she said.
“As you know, the 5+2 Agenda has been agreed upon in 2008, setting out the requirements that need to be met by the BiH authorities prior to the closure of the OHR. And while progress has been made in some areas, there is still much work to be done, before we can consider the requirements fulfilled,” Turkovic said.
She noted that one cannot stress enough the importance of the High Representative’s role in the implementation of the Dayton peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The process of transferring responsibility to BiH’ elected officials is an important one, but it must be done at the right time when all agreed preconditions have been met. The political situation in the country, particularly over the past six months, (through some deplorable actions and statements by certain political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina,) illustrates the necessity and significance for the OHR to continue its work,” she said.
She warned that some politicians have found it quite beneficial to resist and to protest either the High Representative himself or the work of his Office, and that is unfortunate.
Turkovic also recalled that on May 27, the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council formally appointed the new High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The newly appointed High Representative is to take up his duties on August 1.
“It is of the utmost importance that the OHR and the High Representative continue their work, with the people and institutions of BiH, as well as with the international community, to ensure BiH’s continued progress toward becoming a prosperous and effective democracy, firmly on its path towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
Allow me to conclude my statement by using medical terminology we have been accustomed to in the past 18 months: the collective immunization of the Bosnian political and legal system has not been completed yet. If we interrupt or suspend the procedures we have diligently been following for the past 25 years, we expose ourselves to high risks of reinfection and potentially dangerous surges, which we will not be able to contain alone, and all our efforts to stop the spread of the virus will go to complete waste,” Turkovic concluded.