Inzko in UN Security Council: BiH still face challenges

Inzko in UN Security Council: BiH still face challenges

International community High Representative to BiH, Valentin Inzko, submitted on Thursday evening, by Central European time, to UN Security Council his regular report about developments in BiH in the period since last reporting.

As it was announced from Office of High Representative (OHR) in BiH, Inzko in his report welcomed positive developments over the last six months in the country. These included the fact that the BiH authorities received the EU questionnaire in December 2016, completed the adaptation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement and adopted the so-called Defense Review of military forces.

“At the same time, High Representative Inzko noted that the country still faces challenges to its sustainable stability and advancement”, said OHR in a press release.

Highlighting the fact that some eighteen months remain before the next general elections, Inzko urged the authorities in BiH to make the most of the upcoming period and demonstrate that they can look past divisive issues and deliver meaningful reforms which will improve the economic situation in the entities and throughout the country.

“Foremost on this list should be the economic reforms demanded by the country’s international creditors, as well as the EU-related issues, in order to open the possibility of future early EU candidate status for BiH”, Inzko said.

He also added that this will require continued attention and commitment from the international community. As the “significant challenges” during last six months, Inzko marked the political controversy between Bosniak political representatives and Serb political parties over whether BiH should submit a request for revision of the International Criminal Court’s 2007 judgment in the genocide case of BiH vs. Serbia, then the activities of the RS authorities to implement unconstitutional referendum, including ostentatious celebrations of the 9 January holiday with the participation of some Serb members of the BiH Armed Forces and, as the third challenge, the fact that some Croat politicians have intensified calls for the “federalization” of BiH, which was understood by some to imply the further ethnic division of the country into three to four “federal units,” one of which would have a Croat majority.

“Increasingly, the authorities in BiH appear unable to act even in their own self-interest in a win-win situation, for instance in addressing the commitments made under the International Monetary Fund’s arrangement with BiH. The continued failure to meet the IMF prior actions for the completion of the first quarterly review will hold back significant international assistance to the country’s fiscal stability and economic development. In this regard, I would like to express my praise and support for Francisco Parodi, IMF Resident Representative to BiH, for IMF’s ongoing efforts at encouraging meaningful structural reform in BiH”, Inzko said.

He recalled that May 22nd will mark 25 years since the United Nations admitted BiH as a member state, following the recommendation of the Security Council under the Presidency of the then Austrian Permanent Representative, Ambassador Dr. Peter Hohenfellner.

“We can – and in my view we must – continue to offer institutional support and a vision based on integration and functionality”, Inzko said.

He added that, as international community in BiH enter the third decade of peace implementation, it cannot be assumed that BiH is on a glide path to a “peaceful, viable state irreversibly on course for European integration”.

This, as Inzko stressed, will require continued attention and commitment from the international community. He added that the international community cannot deliver the changes needed to bring greater prosperity to BiH citizens, stability and membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions.

“Only the leaders and institutions can do this. In addition we must be firm in upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH, providing a framework of stability and respect for the Peace Agreement. In these things, our commitment to BiH and its wonderful and talented people remains unwavering”, Inzko concludes./IBNA