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24 May 2010 - Security Council - The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I thank the High Representative for the statement that he has just given and assure him of France’s support. I welcome the presence of Mr. Silajdžić, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and congratulate him on his country’s presence in the Security Council.

France associates itself with the statement to be made by the representative of the European Union.

We welcome the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina on two important matters. First, on the matter of the road map for lifting the visa obligations, the report transmitted on 26 April by the European Commission to the Council of Europe and the European Parliament stresses the progress made on securitizing documents in the fight against illegal immigration and for readmission. This represents a step forward that brings Bosnia closer to the liberalization anticipated by Europeans and Bosnians alike. Secondly, on the matter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a month ago the allies offered Bosnia and Herzegovina the Membership Action Plan on the condition that the property of the Bosnian Ministry of Defence be duly registered.

Unfortunately, much remains to be done. Month after month, year after year, we have called on the Bosnian authorities to resolve the internal conflicts that are hindering their country from progressing towards the prospects we offer. Unfortunately, judging from the Secretary-General’s report (S/2010/235) and the tone and substance of the briefing we have just heard, we are still far from that point. In 10 days, a Western Balkan summit will take place in Sarajevo, 10 years after the Zagreb summit, which enshrined the prospects of European membership for all the countries of the region.

However, the international community has had a massive presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 10 years and helped to rebuild its institutions. Objectives and conditions have been set to seek a transition that would allow the Bosnian authorities themselves to decide the fate of their country. The European Union and the United States have made a commitment to a process to facilitate negotiations among the Bosnian leaders and to help them to meet the conditions set and to implement limited constitutional reform. To our regret, the country’s political leaders, in particular those of Republika Srpska, have not seized this opportunity. On the contrary, they have stepped up their attacks on the international community which is trying to stabilize the country. Such attacks are intolerable on the part of the leaders seeking to get their country into the European Union and NATO.

We call on all leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt an attitude worthy of the larger interests of their country, especially in the run-up to the October elections. It is high time that the interests of their citizens be taken into account and that the latter no longer be held hostage to an outdated political game.

We welcome the gestures made in the region in recent months, showing that dialogue and reconciliation have a place in the Balkans and that the regional cooperation sought by the European Union is not a pipedream. Once again, we call on the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement such initiatives at the national level and to finally engage in a positive process that will confirm Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European perspective.

The international community cannot resolve the problems of Bosnia and Herzegovina on behalf of its leaders and people. The fate of their country depends on them alone. It is up to them to understand that an honest compromise is better than outmoded rhetoric or sterile intransigence. It is up to them to exhibit the courage to resolve their problems.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU