Statement by Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations during, the Security Council Debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 08 May 2019

Mr President,

We would like to thank you for convening this debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We want to express our appreciation for the informative briefing by the High-Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Valentin Inzko, on the latest report of his Office on the political, security and humanitarian situation in the country.

Mr President,

We wish to welcome the progress made between the Parties in discussions on the state-level government as well as the international community’s support to the Parties. South Africa concurs with the views expressed by the High-Representative, as we look forward to the formation of a new Council of Ministers, as soon as possible. 

We, however, remain concerned by the continued disagreement between the political parties which has the potential to undermine the fulfilment of the 5+2 agenda established by the Peace Implementation Steering Board (PICSB). We encourage all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from provocative, divisive and nationalistic rhetoric which could weaken the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State.

Mr President,

This Council, in its support to the Parties concerned, should promote an environment that is conducive to dialogue and cooperation and that would ease the challenges and hardships faced by the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We wish to reiterate that a new coalition Government should be formed soon, so as to allow the country and its people, to implement, in its entirety, the 5+2 agenda which will enable the assumption of full sovereign responsibility and authority over its domestic and international affairs. 

Recent human rights developments are of concern and have the potential to exacerbate the tensions between the Parties. Such developments can have negative implications on local communities and the broader region. Any country wishing to find a lasting, durable solution to sustainable peace must respect international human rights law and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. In this regard, South Africa calls on the Parties to respect the rule of law and the legal instruments that underpin the political structures in the country, guided by international norms and standards.

Mr President,

The political impasse is not sustainable. Political dialogue is critical in resolving outstanding issues. In this regard, we call for inclusive, consultative and constructive dialogue between all stakeholders including the different ethnic groups and entities, youth and women, as well as between the various Bosnian structures through the Office of the High Representative, the European Union and the UN.

In the spirit of finding a long-term, peaceful solution for all, we encourage all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to recommit themselves to the full implementation of their obligations under the Dayton Agreement.  Political will and national ownership is essential in moving the process towards long-term peace, stability and reconciliation.

Finally, the support of the international community to the government and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina is critical in achieving security, stability and an inclusive democracy in the country and in the region.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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