Statement on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 16 December 2021.

Madame Chair,

Norway is concerned about the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which remains difficult. Although the security situation seems to have calmed down somewhat lately, there is still potential for renewed tension and escalation. We find it worrying that the parliament in Republika Srpska on December 10th voted in favor of returning certain state competencies to the entity level.

Norway supports the Office of the High Representative. It continues to have an important role in overseeing the implementation of the civilian aspects of the peace agreement. EUFOR Althea’s contribution to maintaining stability and ensuring sustainable peace is still necessary. The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina must take the required steps to fulfil the conditions under the 5+2 agenda. It is time for all parties to play a constructive role in ending the impasse, and - through dialogue - resolve the current crisis and help build a better tomorrow for their citizens.

More than 25 years after the war it is in everyone’s interest to pursue a peaceful and constructive path that leads to lasting reconciliation. This is a prerequisite to reach the objective of development and prosperity. Efforts must be made to enhance implementation of reforms, including on the rule of law. We encourage further cooperation with ODIHR to improve legislative processes. Election reforms are vital to ensure that next year’s general elections can be held in a transparent and efficient manner. The OSCE Mission’s continued support to the Central Election Commission is important.

Norway fully supports the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and fundamental structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a single sovereign state, comprising of two entities. We will remain a constructive partner in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Thank you