11/06/2018 OHR

High Representative Addresses UN Security Council

High Representative Valentin Inzko presented his six-monthly report to the United Nations Security Council today in New York, where he thanked the members of the Council for their continued attention to peace and stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“Following a long period of slow reform, Bosnia and Herzegovina simply cannot afford another period of political bickering and obstruction,” the High Representative said. “With the election results now published, the country needs the authorities to be formed as smoothly and as quickly as possible.”

Briefing the Council on the conduct and outcome of the October elections, he reported on the divisive pre-election campaign period and complaints against alleged irregularities, noting that, “public trust in the integrity of the electoral system seems to be at an all-time low, and restoring this trust through meaningful improvements and transparency must be addressed by the new authorities as an urgent priority.”

The High Representative also noted that a rare piece of good news in the rule of law sector came in September, when the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, after several months of disagreement and with the assistance of the wider international community, finally adopted the amendments to the BiH Criminal Procedure Code.

In his address to the UN Security Council, the High Representative further outlined that, despite the difficult political environment over the last six months, the EU integration process has remained firmly on the political agenda and EU integration enjoys widespread popular support.

The High Representative emphasized the continued need for reconciliation and dialogue in BiH, and noted that the reporting period has continued to see a tendency of denial or relativization of war crimes, and even the unacceptable glorification of war criminals.

Having in mind the fact that two international tribunals have confirmed that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, the High Representative considers the repeal of its 2004 report by the RS government a significant step backwards for reconciliation efforts in BiH. This also stands in contrast with neighboring Serbia, whose parliament adopted an historical declaration condemning the crimes committed in Srebrenica in 2010 – a declaration which has remained in force.

Click here for the full text of the High Representative’s remarks.