Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the UN Security Council Debate on the Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tuesday, 05 November 2019

Madam President, allow me to begin by thanking Mr Valentine Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina for his briefing and report on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ms Selma Korjenic, the Head of Program for Bosnia and Herzegovina for Trial International for her statement.

Madam President,

As evidenced by the High Representative’s briefing and report, the continued disagreements by the political parties have negatively impacted the fulfilment of the 5+2 agenda established by the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB).  Additionally, the divisive, provocative and nationalist rhetoric contributes to undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state.

South Africa, therefore calls on all parties to recommit to the formation of an inclusive government without delay and in line with previously agreed commitments. In this regard, we also call on all parties to respect the rule of law and the legal instruments that underpin the political structures in the country. This includes swiftly taking the necessary steps to harmonise the constitutions of some cantons together with the national constitution.

Madam President,

As my delegation has stated before, direct political dialogue between parties is critical in order to resolve outstanding issues. We call for constructive and open dialogue between all the communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to these engagements, continued cooperation and talks between the various Bosnian structures and the High Representative is also of great importance. This is the only way to make progress in finding agreement on matters vital to all communities. 

Madam President,

I would also like to commend High Representative Inzko for his continued dedication and efforts in ensuring that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina retain ownership of the political processes in line with the work of the Peace Implementation Council. 

In conclusion, South Africa encourages all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to recommit themselves to the full implementation of their obligations under the various peace accords and agreements. Political will and national ownership over this process is essential in making progress towards long-term peace, stability and reconciliation for all people and communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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