Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti
Permanent Representative of
Brazil to the United Nations
Debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina
New York, 24 May 2010
It is an honour to welcome H. E. Mr. Haris Silajdžic, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I thank him for his statement.
I also thank the High Representative, Mr. Valentin Inzko, for his informative briefing.
As we mark the 18th anniversary of the admission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations, we find many more reasons for celebration.
There remains a safe and secure environment in the country.
Progress was made on many other fronts, such as the efforts towards Euro-Atlantic integration, the accession to the NATO's Membership Action Plan, and important developments in the economic situation, despite enormous challenges.
Also encouraging is the fact that the regional situation has improved and Bosnia and Herzegovina's relations with its neighbours are developing constructively.
The positive role the country is playing in the international community, illustrated by its active and constructive membership in the Security Council, is also commendable.
These developments show that unity and a sense of common purpose among leaders can bear fruit not only in key strategic spheres, but also in the form of benefits of direct and immediate interest to the ordinary citizen.
We join others in expressing concern at statements and decisions made by political leaders in the entities, especially the Republika Srpska, inconsistent with the Dayton Peace Agreement. Challenges to the authority of the Security Council, the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board and the High Representative must cease.
Protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is indispensable. The Security Council must continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground.
As the country prepares for the next general elections in October, nationalist and divisive rhetoric are particularly worrisome. We urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint in this regard.
At the same time, efforts to strengthen the state at national level should preserve the rights and prerogatives of all communal entities. This is an important issue that has to be addressed carefully.
We therefore support initiatives that seek to engage the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this discussion, such as the "Butmir process". We hope efforts in this regard can be sustained so that they bear fruit soon.
The strong message of unity, cooperation and peaceful coexistence that we all send today to Bosnia and Herzegovina's leaders is also valid for the Western Balkans as a whole.
We congratulate the Serbian Parliament for the resolution adopted in March regarding the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. Although some might have preferred a different wording for it, the historic apology made by the Serbs represents a significant step towards reconciliation in the sub-region.
Also encouraging was the address delivered in Sarajevo by President Ivo Josipovic on Croatia's policies during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The international community should continue to help Bosnia and Herzegovina to find ways to overcome political difficulties and strike the appropriate balance between centralization and de-centralization.
We are certain that the country, with our continued support, will succeed in consolidating a fully functional and self-sustaining State. This is the only way to the future of peace and prosperity that all in Bosnia and Herzegovina wish for and rightfully deserve.