13 November 2012 – Security Council – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
I thank Mr. Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and
Herzegovina, for his presentation. I endorse the
statement to be made by the observer of the European
I would like to take stock of developments in Bosnia
and Herzegovina over the past year.
The security situation on the ground has remained
calm and stable, as it has consistently for several years.
Furthermore, as stated by the Foreign Ministers of the
European Union (EU) and the Force Commander, the
country’s authorities have thus far proven capable of
confronting any threat to the security climate.
Positive political developments have taken place
over the past six months. Important laws on the census
and State aid, required by the European Union, have
been enacted; the State budget was adopted, as was
an agreement on the distribution of defence and State
property between the central State and the entities.
Municipal elections organized by the Bosnians took
place in peaceful conditions, in particular in Srebrenica.
A new phase of political instability began this
summer. Nationalist rhetoric continues to stoke
tensions and suspicions and to hamper the authorities’
efforts to conduct necessary reforms. We regret that
development, and condemn those verbal excesses. Yet
we do not share the fears expressed in the report of the
High Representative (see S/2012/813), which to us seem
excessive, especially as political tensions have at no
point jeopardized the security climate.
We all know that the political challenges remain
numerous. More than ever, the response to those
challenges lies in giving substance to the European
perspective offered to the country.
Union has reaffirmed, including during the recent visit
of High Representative Cathy Ashton, its support for
the prospect of seeing the country join the European
Union as a united, sovereign country that enjoys full
That perspective is also refl ected by the signifi cant
and dynamic political, human and fi nancial engagement
of the European Union on the ground. The Office of
the European Union Special Representative has been
substantially strengthened, including in its regional
presence and with respect to the rule of law. Mr. Peter
Sørensen, the European Union Special Representative
and Head of the European Union Delegation, has our
We would like the current Government to resume
the course of reforms and, in particular, to truly strive
to bring the Constitution into line with the European
Convention on Human Rights.
We will be renewing the mandate of the European
Union Force-Operation Althea (EUFOR ALTHEA).
The reconfiguration of the mission has allowed us to
scale down the forces deployed and to refocus them
on capacity-building and training. EUFOR ALTHEA
retains a residual executive mandate to support the
capacities of the country’s authorities to maintain the
security environment if the situation requires it, which
thus far has never been the case.
The reconfiguration of the international presence
in Bosnia and Herzegovina is under way, as evidenced
by the end of the international supervision over the
district of Brcko and the completion of the European
Union Police Mission, of which some key residual tasks
have been assumed by the EU Special Representative.
An analysis of the reconfiguration of the Office of
the High Representative, requested by the European
Union Foreign Ministers, has also been launched. That
has led to initial steps taken in parallel with increased
engagement of the European Union. Those efforts
must continue because the reconfiguration is aimed at
achieving greater effectiveness based on the key role of
the European Union. We must continue to refocus the
action of the Office of the High Representative, ensuring
its complementarity with the action of the European
Union and continuing to identify and eliminate any
duplication with the European Union Office.
High Representative Inzko, the guarantor of the
peace accords on behalf of the international community,
has our support. But the current Governmental crisis
reminds us that it is high time for the Bosnian political
class to assume its responsibilities and restore its
unity with a view to the main priority, namely, the
European perspective offered to the country. Therefore,
the functions of High Representative must evolve
Learn more on Bosnia and Herzegovina.