- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Peace and Security
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
Statement by HE Ms Philippa King, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations
I thank the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Valentin Inzko, for his report and for his continued efforts to secure lasting peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dr Inzko's briefing has underlined the continued challenges facing Bosnia-Herzegovina, including from persistent political paralysis. We remain concerned by the lack of progress on a broad range of economic and governance reforms, which are essential to creating conditions of greater equity, inclusiveness and opportunity for all Bosnians. Bosnia and Herzegovina has not made concrete progress towards its own aim of Euro-Atlantic integration. This is all the more dispiriting when considered against the good progress made by some of its closest neighbours.
Australia reaffirms its strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We remain deeply concerned by the continued use of inflammatory and divisive rhetoric by some leaders of the Republika Srpska, including during recent elections. The Republika Srpska President's public praise for indictees Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and the suggestion that streets and public buildings should be named after them are deeply disturbing examples.
We recognise the challenges that persist in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the unprecedented floods in May, which devastated much of the country–together with parts of Croatia and Serbia. Australia is encouraged by the inter-ethnic and regional solidarity which characterised the local and community response to the floods. We call for the rapid adoption of comprehensive recovery strategies to facilitate reconstruction efforts.
We welcome the peaceful and orderly conduct of the 12 October general elections. It is now vital that all political actors work constructively to ensure the swift formation of government at all levels to promote economic growth and engender a sense of trust in the functioning of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Australia welcomes the fact that the overall security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains calm and stable. We acknowledge the activities of EUFOR ALTHEA in support of peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over the past six months, the mission also assisted with flood recovery efforts and the creation of a safe and calm environment during the elections. Australia welcomes the adoption of resolution 2813 this afternoon, extending EUFOR ALTHEA's mandate for a further twelve months and we acknowledge that this mandate and the presence of EUFOR has the strong support of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The disposal of excess ammunition in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains important. The displacement of mines during the floods and landslides in May has added a new dimension to this problem. Australia welcomes the work done in this regard by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with EUFOR ALTHEA and the OSCE.
To conclude, many of the issues raised during today's debate have been raised at previous Security Council debates on Bosnia-Herzegovina. Political deadlock continues, with some leaders continuing to threaten to roll back the progress achieved since the mid-1990s. The leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina should look beyond the divisions of the past and focus on urgent governance and economic reforms needed to steer the country towards a peaceful and prosperous future.