Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, during Security Council Debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (14 May 2013)

Thank you Mr. President,

I join other speakers in thanking Mr. Velentin Inzko for his briefing today and for his good work as the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have taken note of his report to the Security Council.

We welcome in our midst the Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina Her Excellency Mirsada Colokovic.

Pakistan is fully committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We support all efforts to strengthen the State at the national level, while preserving the rights and prerogatives of all communal entities.

Let me start with the positive feedback given by Mr. Inzko. We are glad to know that the state-level Council of Ministers has met regularly and the budget for 2013 was adopted. The European Union and NATO military missions continue to ensure safety and security of citizens.

The negative feedback, however, surpasses the good news. Progress on the political track is unfortunately stalled. Worsening fiscal situation, poor growth and high unemployment are compounding social problems. There is no movement towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The lack of progress on the implementation of the five objectives and two conditions necessary for the closure of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) is an indication of the lack of commitment towards the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We commend the High Representative for offering his good offices and engaging political stakeholders for breaking the impasse.

Pakistan is deeply concerned by the increasing challenges to the Dayton Peace Agreement and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Republika Srpska and its leadership have taken several actions during this period that violate the General Framework Agreement. These include the adoption of a decree to unilaterally regulate citizen identification, non-implementation of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and intensified rhetoric by its leadership, in particular its President, against the General Framework Agreement. His assertions for “self determination” for the Serbs and his calls for dissolution of the State of Bosnia should be a matter of serious concern for the entire Council.

We believe that statements like these would not serve the interest of any community, as this would vitiate the atmosphere and undermine the prospects of long-term peaceful co-existence. Challenges to the Dayton Peace Agreement as well as divisive rhetoric, should, therefore, be avoided.

The RS President has also continued to target the key state institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is undermining their effectiveness. The institutions that were established to exercise responsibilities of the State under the Constitution are a cornerstone for safeguarding the rule of law, sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Efforts to undermine them would have an adverse impact on the long-term stability of the State.

We condemn statements by senior RS officials denying the genocide committed in Srebrenica in 1995, which has been confirmed by rulings of the ICJ, ICTY and other courts. Such statements will do serious damage to the reconciliation process inside Bosnia and Herzegovina and regionally.

In this regard, we welcome the courageous and historic statement of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic offering apology for the genocide committed in Srebrenica.

It is vitally important for all parties to recognize the international and legal frameworks for the division of power in the country.

Pakistan supports all efforts to ensure a safe and secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We urge the leadership of the country to resolve their differences through dialogue.

The Office of the High Representative should continue to play its role in this regard. We wish him success.

Thank you.