Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2247 (2015), Renews Authorization for European Union-Led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina

SC/12114
10 November 2015
7555th Meeting (AM)

Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2247 (2015), Renews Authorization for European Union-Led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Security Council today renewed authorization of the European Union-led multinational stabilization force (EUFOR ALTHEA) in Bosnia and Herzegovina for another year, a decision taken ahead of its semi-annual debate on the situation there in the 20 years since the historic Dayton Accords had ended the Bosnian war.

Through the adoption of Chapter VII resolution 2247 (2015), the Council also renewed, for one year, the authorization contained in paragraph 11 of resolution 2183 (2014), which outlined the maintenance of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Headquarters.  States acting under those provisions were authorized to take “all necessary measures” to ensure compliance with annexes 1-A and 2 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to ensure compliance with the rules governing command and control of airspace over the country.

More broadly, the Council authorized States to take all necessary measures, at the request of EUFOR ALTHEA or the NATO Headquarters, in their defence and to assist in carrying out their missions.  It called on all authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and its residual mechanism to facilitate the Tribunal’s closure.

Presenting his six-month report (document S/2015/841), Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said 21 November would mark the twentieth anniversary of the Peace Agreement, signed in Dayton, Ohio, that had ended Europe’s most brutal fighting since the Second World War.  “The peace that Dayton brought was hard won,” he said, “and it must never be taken for granted.” 

In the first decade after the war, Bosnia had been the “shining star” of peacebuilding and reintegration, he said.  But in the second decade, it had not moved in the right direction.  Political will to deliver reforms and an “unwavering” commitment to the Peace Agreement were required.  Problems were systemic, reflecting the complex bureaucracy and vested interests of some political leaders and state-run enterprises in a dysfunctional status quo. 

The immediate challenge, he said, was Republika Srpska’s decision to hold an independence referendum in 2018 and its July decision to hold another on whether their authorities must respect the country’s central judicial bodies or the High Representative.  The country’s future was the European Union, a choice made by its people, he said, urging authorities to seize “with both hands” the European offer that was on the table.  “We must stand up together to the real challenges of the Peace Agreement,” he said.  Division and secession were strategies that had failed 20 years ago.

In the ensuing debate, the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina said the 1 June signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union was among the most significant steps taken.  In 2016, the country would apply for European Union membership in hopes of acquiring candidate status by 2017.  It continued to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the fight against impunity, a “prerequisite” for national reconciliation.

The European Union representative welcomed the continued presence of EUFOR ALTHEA, which would support the country’s deterrence capacity, while focusing on capacity building and training.  The bloc had agreed to keep EUFOR ALTHEA under regular review and looked forward to discussions on its reconfiguration.  He called on Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to meet the criteria for closing the Office of the High Representative.

While supporting the EUFOR ALTHEA presence, Croatia’s representative said the mission should not be seen as an obstacle to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European integration, but rather, an important part of the bloc’s future.  Its advancement to NATO was also critical and he urged political leaders to intensify the implementation of the political agreement on registering immovable defence properties.

The representative of Serbia said the referendum in Republika Srpska on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s judiciary was an internal question to be resolved through dialogue among political actors within the existing legal system.  Bosnia and Herzegovina was a key partner for Serbia.  Political dialogue was at its peak, as the joint session in Sarajevo last week had shown, he said.

The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 12:10 p.m.

Briefing

VALENTIN INZKO, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that in the first decade after the war, when Bosnia was the “shining star” of peacebuilding and reintegration, freedom of movement had been established, one million refugees had reclaimed their homes, the Government had been reinforced, the economy had stabilized and the State judiciary had been established.  Three armies that had fought each other had been brought together under State control and a single Ministry of Defence and a single intelligence service had been created to the highest European standards.

In 2005, the country was perhaps the best example of what the international community could achieve when it was united in its commitment to a peace effort, he said, one worth remembering, as the country today had not been moving in the right direction.  In entering the third decade of the peace process, “we need to raise our expectations”, he said, and again see concrete resolutions and positive momentum.

Progress would be possible in the coming decade with political will to deliver substantial reforms and an “unwavering” commitment to respect the peace agreement.  “This will not be easy, but it is absolutely necessary,” he said, as the problems were systemic, reflecting the complex bureaucracy, weakness in the economy and the vested interests some political leaders and State-run enterprises had in a dysfunctional status quo.  A programme of serious political, social and economic reforms that improved functionality, attracted investment and created jobs was needed.

Since his last address, Mr. INZKO said a commitment with the European Union had been signed and adopted by Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities in February, paving the way for the Stabilization and Association Agreement to enter into force on 1 June.  State and entity authorities had adopted ambitious reforms in the social and economic spheres.  Under the guidance of the European Union Special Representative, a new labour law had been adopted by Federation authorities.  A border treaty had been signed with Montenegro and, just last week, the long-awaited joint session of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had taken place.

Against that backdrop, he said it was difficult to understand how, in parallel, politicians had challenged the Peace Agreement, an accord which did not grant entities the right to secede.  Any attempt to change it required the consent of all parties.  The more immediate and official challenge was the July decision by the Republika Srpska Parliament to organize a referendum on whether those authorities must respect decisions of the country’s central judicial institutions or those by the High Representative to implement the accord.

Recalling that the European Council had concluded on 12 October that such a referendum would challenge the cohesion, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said any decision by the Republika Srpska National Assembly had yet to enter into force and thus, there was still an opportunity to rectify that breach of the peace accord.  “I expect the Republika Srpska authorities to step back from the brink,” he said.

The coming months would reveal whether authorities were committed to delivering on reforms, he said.  The country had too often suffered from division and it “desperately” needed to work for a common purpose.  He commended some of the “gesture” politics by the state presidency and Council of Ministers, and unprecedented moves by the Serbian Prime Minister in pursuit of regional and ethnic reconciliation.

The future for Bosnia and Herzegovina was the European Union, he said, as the democratically elected authorities had consistently set out as their primary objective.  That had been a choice its people had made.  To the authorities, he said a genuine offer was on the table from the European Union, which offered a chance for a secure, prosperous and dignified life.

“This offer must be seized with both hands,” he said.  To succeed, the country needed assistance to accelerate positive momentum.  “We must stand up together to the real challenges of the Peace Agreement” such as the referendum, he said.  The drawing of borders was in the past.  “Division and secession are failed strategies that were defeated 20 years ago,” he said in conclusion.

Statements

GOMBO TCHOULI (Chad) said he was alarmed to see the historic peace agreement jeopardized continuously.  As the Republika Srpska had decided to organize a referendum for possible independence, he underlined that “the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina can in no way be questioned”.  Insufficient efforts had been made to achieve the “Five plus Two” agenda for the closing of the office of the High Representative and any withdrawal of international organizations could therefore not be considered.  Isolated attacks in April and the ethnically based incidents on the anniversary of the Srebenica incident were also a matter of concern.  The massacre in Srebenica had been qualified as genocide, he said, condemning the denial of the genocide by leaders of Republika Srpska.  He was also concerned about the efforts of those who backed the Republika with regard to the refusal of access to archives.  He urged all to cooperate with the International Tribunal and to cooperate with the High Representative by granting him access to documents needed to discharge his mandate.  The reduction of the budget of the Office of the High Representative affected his ability to discharge his mission, he said, calling on all parties to lend their support to the Office.

LIU JIEYI (China) said Bosnia and Herzegovina had maintained stability and achieved progress in economic development and the rule of law.  Maintaining peace and promoting development while recognizing all ethnic groups were in the common interest of the countries in the region and the international community.  Ethnic groups must continue to cooperate in nation building and implement the peace accord in order for the peace dividend to be enjoyed by all.  Bosnia and Herzegovina should chose its own path and the international community should respect the decisions of the people and promote unity of the country.  He hoped EUFOR would continue to play a constructive role for peace and security in the country.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) expressed concern about challenges to the framework for peace.  As threats of secession contradicted the spirit of the peace accord, she urged leaders to refrain from such rhetoric.  All entities in the country must pursue their interests within the framework of an indivisible Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The decision of Republika Srpska to hold a referendum had been a major challenge to the country’s rule of law and should be set aside.  The signing of agreements between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia had been a significant development that had signalled the commitment of parties to improve their bilateral relationship.  Limited progress had been achieved in the “Five plus Two” agenda.  She urged authorities in Republika Srpska to give the High Representative access to the information necessary to fulfil his mandate.  Noting an increase of interethnic tensions, she said that trend must be curbed by efforts of local leaders.  The international community’s support to the country remained crucial and there was a need for the reconstruction of civil society, economic development and return of refugees, she said, noting her delegation’s support for adequate funding for the staffing of the High Representative’s Office.

CAROLYN SCHWALGER (New Zealand) said that reconciliation remained a work in progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina, noting with concern the episodes of violence over the past year, including some with an ethnic overtone.  She welcomed the steps taken by the leaders in the region to address these developments and said New Zealand supported the presence of the European Union-led stabilization mission as a means of contributing to a stable security environment.  In addition to EUFOR presence, the Office of the High Representative retained responsibility for the civilian aspects of the Dayton Accords, and progress on “Five plus Two” agenda remained prerequisites for the Office’s closure.  Referenda in the region that had been recently proposed challenged the judicial authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its territorial integrity and sovereignty.  Those referenda undermined reconciliation efforts and distracted from progressing on the reform agenda.  New Zealand hoped, she said, such proposals “can be left behind as Bosnia and Herzegovina moves forward in a greater spirit of unity and inclusiveness”.

JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) said the initial momentum in Bosnia and Herzegovina was waning and challenges appeared enormous.  He reaffirmed support for the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, voicing concern about the National Assembly’s decision to hold referendum on jurisdiction and the High Representative’s authority.  Such acts undermined the country’s multi-ethnic society.  Political leaders must refrain from divisive rhetoric and work towards national reconciliation and the integration of all ethnic communities.  He regretted the limited progress on meeting benchmarks to close the High Representative’s Office.  Leaders, especially of the Republika Srpska, must cooperate with the Office and abide by its authority.  He welcomed the Stabilization and Association Agreement, noting that the presence of the country’s armed forces in international peace operations had shown its determination to fully integrate into the international community.

ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain) said that meeting the “Five plus Two” agenda would be the best way to commemorate the Dayton Accords’ anniversary.  The last six months had seen a positive political phase, with progress made on the country’s integration into Europe and the reform agenda.  Such commitments must be put in to practice, he said, expressing concern about divisive rhetoric, especially by the Republika Srpska.  Spain supported the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rule of law.

DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) said the High Representative was the final authority for the civilian implementation of the Peace Agreement, expressing support for the EUFOR ALTHEA mission.  Many people depended on the Dayton Accords to ensure that their rights were protected.  The United States looked forward to the country meeting the criteria for the closure of the High Representative’s Office.  “That day has not come,” he said, encouraging leaders to support reforms needed to reach that milestone.  He supported European Union efforts to advance economic reforms and Euro-Atlantic integration. The perpetrators of genocide in the past must be held accountable.  The divisive rhetoric of Republika Srpska threatened the Dayton Accords and the country’s stability.  If held, the referendum could be the most serious challenge to the Peace Agreement in the last 20 years.  It must not go forward, he said, expressing hope that dialogue would prevail.  Peace must be nurtured by all those participating in the democratic sphere.  There were two paths for Bosnia and Herzegovina:  one of division and another of prosperity and integration.  The international community must support the country as it pursued the reforms necessary for a stable, prosperous future.

VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina independently were tackling complex issues successfully and would continue to do so when it was not interfered with.  The priority task now was implementation of the “Five plus Two” agenda.  Pending problems must be solved by Bosnians themselves.  The task of the High Representative was to prompt dialogue. Turning to the High Representative’s report, he said any detailed account of what had been done had not been included in the document, which was not marked by innovation and did not speak to the quality of the work being carried out.  It created the impression that the leadership of the Republika Srpska did nothing but try to undermine the Dayton-Paris Agreement.  The Social Democrats had decided at the party level to hold a referendum if the violations of the Republika Srpska’s ethnic rights continued.  There was no reference of the problems caused by the other side.  The arguments for holding a referendum were specified carefully in a letter of the President of the Republika Srpska to the Secretary-General.

Recalling that the High Representative acted on behalf of the international community with a mandate from the Council, he said the primary duty was to dispassionately approach his assessment of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on strengthening genuine national reconciliation.  He underscored the lack of any alternative to a further reduction of the budget of the Office.  Arguments that the High Representative could not dispatch his mandate did not stand up to criticism.  His work was delaying the work to make Bosnia and Herzegovina a European State.  Discussions of the possible use of emergency tools against the Republika Srpska by the High Representative were unacceptable, he said.

ALEXIS LAMEK (France), associating himself with the European Union, said the Council had shown unity in supporting the mandate of EUFOR and in expressing respect for the choice and commitment of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina for a European perspective and for recognizing the need to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.  Choices should be made within the framework of the Dayton Accords and international law.  Calls for a referendum by the Republika Srpska ran counter to the Agreement.  As the Republika Srpska must comply with the Constitution, any viable solution must involve dialogue between various entities in the country.  Leaders should abandon outdated and divisive rhetoric.  He supported the European integration of the country, as such an approach could meet the socioeconomic aspirations of the people, emphasizing that Bosnians themselves had decided for such integration by undertaking the necessary reforms.  Despite some fragility, the situation seemed to have taken a path of normalization, but the presence of the international community remained necessary within the framework of the Dayton Accords.  That international presence must be tailored to the needs of the moment.

RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia) said secessionist and nationalistic rhetoric by Republika Srpska politicians had been increasing in the past few years.  However, the new decisions adopted by the Republika’s authorities had taken the matter to a disturbing new level.  Those decisions constituted the gravest violations of the Dayton Accords thus far and raised serious doubts about the future of the region.  The Republika Srpska must respect the country’s Constitution, relevant Security Council resolutions and the Dayton Accords by ceasing action on the 15 November referendum and renouncing its secessionist agenda to avoid further destabilizing the region.  Malaysia welcomed the renewal of for EUFOR ALTHEA, he said, but regretted that several key elements of the previous resolutions had been removed or watered down from resolution 2247 (2015).  The Security Council needed to fully implement the “Five plus Two” agenda as a condition for the closure of the Office of the High Representative.  Until then, Malaysia reaffirmed its support for the Office, as detailed in the Dayton Accords and upheld in various Council resolutions.

MAHMOUD DAIFALLAH MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan) expressed concern at challenges to the Dayton Accords, regretting questions raised by some parties, such as the Republika Srpska.  Those calling for a secessionist referendum must abide by national rules.  All actors should engage with those parties to contain those “worrying” developments.  The peace framework was the only path to peace.  Stability would be achieved if all States established good neighbourly relations and bolstered cooperation.  He welcomed improved relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, which had led to bilateral agreements in several fields, as well as measures by Bosnian authorities to implement commitments in the Association and Stabilization Agreement.  Welcoming reforms taken, he urged Bosnian authorities to intensify efforts to speed those relating to the rule of law and fighting corruption.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) said integration and national reconciliation called for a shared vision of the country.  Welcoming the 17 September adoption of a reform agenda, he urged leaders to refrain from rhetoric that undermined cohesion, reconciliation and progress.  Expressing support for the country’s efforts to overcome its past and for progress made by the supervisory board for the prosecution of war crimes, he said efforts must be made to support the return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as restitution of the remains of those who had disappeared, which was necessary to achieve national reconciliation.  Chile was committed to a stable Bosnia and Herzegovina, with institutions that were at the service of its people.  EUFOR ALTHEA and the NATO Headquarters continued to be guarantors for stability, he said, stressing that the High Representative required logistical and financial support.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania) said that through its positive agenda and a membership perspective, the European Union offered an incentive for reforms to be carried out.  Bosnia and Herzegovina’s choice had been confirmed and should not be questioned.  She welcomed progress in the registration of defence property and looked forward to remaining steps that would activate the NATO Membership Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The country’s authorities had reiterated their commitment to European integration as a strategic goal and the Stabilization and Association Agreement had entered into force.  A crucial moment had come for all authorities to improve the social and economic situation, strengthen the rule of law and enhance administrative capacities.  Divisive rhetoric and Republika Srpska’s intention to hold a referendum threatened sovereignty and contravened the commitment to progress.  It also could harm accession to the European Union.  She urged all authorities to cooperate with the High Representative and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said 20 years after the Dayton Accords, Bosnia and Herzegovina had continued to build peace and stability despite challenges to national reconciliation.  Venezuela supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said, stressing that the international community should continue to support the country in implementing the Peace Agreement.  It was up to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to direct their country’s course.  Ethnic groups had to work decisively through dialogue in the search for peace, human rights and economic development within the European framework.  EUFOR had done its work to provide security for all ethnic communities.  He expressed concern at the violent events of the past year, in particular, attacks fuelled by ethnic motives, and welcomed the efforts of the authorities to prevent the repetition of those events.  It was positive that the border treaty between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro had been adopted, underlining the fact that dialogue was the only way to solve disputes peacefully.  He supported the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to bring to justice those responsible for atrocities.

Council President MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom), speaking in his national capacity, supported the role of the High Representative.  The deterrence and security the Office provided were vital, he said, noting that divisive ethnic rhetoric had sadly persisted.  Through the unanimous adoption of the resolution, the Council had sent a clear message that it was committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  His country was firmly committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future membership in the European Union and NATO. Noting challenges to stability in the country, he strongly condemned the threat of a referendum called for by the Republika Srpska.  Such threats were divisive and ran counter to Constitution and the Dayton Accords, but also underlined the need to improve the justice system.  The United Kingdom was fully committed to the continuation of the work of the Office of the High Representative until the completion of the “Five plus Two” agenda.  The Dayton Accords had brought peace.  The country had come far over the past 20 years, but more progress was needed before all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina would enjoy all benefits.  Leaders must therefore look beyond short-sighted actions.  Significant work lay ahead, requiring strong leadership, he concluded.

MILOŠ VUKAŠINOVIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) welcomed today’s resolution, stressing the focus of the EUFOR ALTHEA mission had shifted from deterrence to capacity building and training, as had been reflected in the Council of Europe’s 12 October outcome.  Bosnia and Herzegovina had “good” cooperation with the mission, which had shown that the country had come a long way from being a “security consumer” to a troop contributor and security provider.  Today, military and police from his country had participated in operations, including in Afghanistan, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Mali.

Describing progress, he said a positive atmosphere had fostered economic and social reforms and advanced efforts toward European integration, with the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, among the most significant steps taken in recent years.  The next step was to submit an application for European Union membership at the start of 2016, in order to acquire candidate status by 2017.  In that context, he noted that from 19 May to 10 November, Bosnia and Herzegovina had chaired the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, during which it had focused on the promotion and protection of human rights, especially for vulnerable groups.  On 22 October, it had signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention for the Prevention of Terrorism.

More broadly, he said the country continued cooperate with International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, whose closure did not mean the end of the fight against impunity.  On the contrary, that fight was a prerequisite for national reconciliation and the implementation of the national strategy for prosecuting war crimes was crucial in that regard.  Bosnia and Herzegovina was committed to bolstering regional cooperation, especially on infrastructure projects.  Several meetings had been held with representatives of Western Balkan countries, most recently, with Serbia on 4 November.  Despite a “difficult” economic and fiscal situation, exports and industrial production had increased, while unemployment had fallen, he said in conclusion.

JOÃO PEDRO VALE DE ALMEIDA, Head of the European Union Delegation, thanked the Security Council for adopting the respective resolution renewing the EUFOR ALTHEA mandate.  The Stabilization and Association Agreement between the regional body and the country, which had entered into force on 1 June 2015, was an important step forward in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s move towards European integration.  In July 2015, the country had adopted a comprehensive package of socioeconomic and judicial reforms — the Reform Agenda — at State and entity levels.  The European Union and international financial institutions would support the agenda’s implementation, including by providing €1 billion over three years and another €500 million for investment.  Meaningful progress on the agenda, including on the compact for growth and jobs, would be necessary for the country’s European Union membership application to be considered.

Two decades of progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina, domestically and with neighboring countries, should not be jeopardized by initiatives taken for short-term political purposes.  The regional body was very concerned by the Republika Srpska’s preparations to hold an entity-level referendum on the state-level judiciary as it would challenge the cohesion, sovereignty and integrity of the country and undermine progress in the European Union integration process.  The shortcomings of the judicial system should be addressed through constructive dialogue.  The European Union worked with all relevant authorities in the country in the framework of the structured dialogue on justice and stood ready to intensify efforts to improve the functioning of the legal system.  It also called on authorities in the country to cooperate with all entities involved in the implementation of the Dayton Accords, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The European Union’s engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina was deeply entrenched and multidimensional.  The membership welcomed the continued presence of Operation Althea, which retained the capability to contribute to the country’s deterrence capacity while focusing on capacity building and training.  However, the European Union had agreed to keep EUFOR ALTHEA under regular review to assess progress on the delivery of its mandate and looked forward to discussions with the global community on the reconfiguration of international presence in the country.  It also called on the authorities of the Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet the outstanding objectives and conditions for the closure of the Office of the High Representative.

VLADIMIR DROBNJAK (Croatia), aligning himself with the European Union, noted the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the Dayton Accords and regretted that it would be marred by “secessionist and inflammatory rhetoric” by Republika Srpska.  Croatia condemned the call for a referendum on the High Representative’s decisions concerning the court and the prosecutor’s office in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Conducting such a referendum would have a detrimental effect on the country’s sovereignty and integrity and would overshadow the resolution of pivotal socioeconomic issues.  His country strongly believed that a steady and forward-looking European integration process was the most efficient way to reach internal consolidation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The Stabilization and Association Agreement of 1 June 2015 was a concrete step in the country’s process of European integration and the adoption of the Reform Agenda in July 2015 was also a positive development.

Croatia believed that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s advancement towards NATO was important for the stability and security of the country, he said, calling on political leaders to intensify efforts on the implementation of the six parties’ political agreement on registering immovable defence properties.  Croatia also supported the executive mandate for EUFOR ALTHEA.  However, that should not be seen as an obstacle to the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic integration, but rather as a part of the European Union’s comprehensive approach to the country and an important element of its European future.

MILAN MILANOVIĆ (Serbia) said decisions crucial for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future should be based on dialogue and agreement between its entities and three peoples.  In that regard, the referendum in Republika Srpska on the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina was an internal question to be resolved by dialogue between political actors within the existing legal system of the country.  Greater trust among Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats in the country was important for reforms that would be conducive to the country’s full membership in the European Union.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was a key partner for Serbia, he said.  Last week’s joint session of the Governments of the two countries in Sarajevo was indicative of the importance attached to fostering mutual relations, good neighbourliness and reconciliation.  In July 2015, during the commemoration of the victims of Srebrenica, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić had been brutally attacked at the Potocari Memorial Centre.  However, he had invited members of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to visit Serbia only 10 days after the incident.  In addition to sending a strong message of mutual cooperation, three agreements were signed with regard to telecommunications, the environment and cultural heritage, as well as a protocol on cooperation in the search for missing persons.  Serbia was a staunch advocate of the country’s European integration and was also willing to strengthen mutual cooperation in that regard.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2247 (2015) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions concerning the conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia and relevant statements of its President, including resolutions 1031 (1995) of 15 December 1995, 1088 (1996) of 12 December 1996, 1423 (2002) of 12 July 2002, 1491 (2003) of 11 July 2003, 1551 (2004) of 9 July 2004, 1575 (2004) of 22 November 2004, 1639 (2005) of 21 November 2005, 1722 (2006) of 21 November 2006, 1764 (2007) of 29 June 2007, 1785 (2007) of 21 November 2007, 1845 (2008) of 20 November 2008, 1869 (2009) of 25 March 2009, 1895 (2009) of 18 November 2009, 1948 (2010) of 18 November 2010, 2019 (2011) of 16 November 2011, 2074 (2012) of 14 November 2012, 2123 (2013) of 12 November 2013 and 2183 (2014) of 11 November 2014,

Reaffirming its commitment to the political settlement of the conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia, preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states there within their internationally recognized borders,

Underlining its commitment to support the implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the annexes thereto (collectively the Peace Agreement, S/1995/999, Annex), as well as the relevant decisions of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC),

Taking note of the twentieth anniversary of the Peace Agreement, which plays an important role in post-conflict reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in the broader region, and paves the way for the implementation of the current ongoing reforms,

Welcoming the adoption in July 2015 of the reform Agenda by Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, which marks an important step for the credible implementation of the commitments undertaken by Bosnia and Herzegovina's leadership, and calling on the latter to maintain positive momentum in implementing the reforms, in line with citizen's demands and in cooperation with civil society,

Recalling all the agreements concerning the status of forces referred to in Appendix B to Annex 1-A of the Peace Agreement, and reminding the parties of their obligation to continue to comply therewith,

Further recalling the provisions of its resolution 1551 (2004) concerning the provisional application of the status of forces agreements contained in Appendix B to Annex 1-A of the Peace Agreement,

Welcoming the continued presence of EUFOR ALTHEA, successfully focusing on capacity-building and training while also retaining the capability to contribute to the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities’ deterrence capacity if the situation so requires,

Reiterating its calls on the competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to take necessary steps to complete the 5+2 agenda, which remains necessary for closure of the Office of the High Representative, as confirmed by the PIC Steering Board communiqués,

Reaffirming provisions concerning the High Representative as set out in its previous resolutions,

Taking note of the support expressed by the Bosnia and Herzegovina's leadership towards a European perspective, on the basis of the Peace Agreement,

Determining that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Reiterates that the primary responsibility for the further successful implementation of the Peace Agreement lies with all the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina themselves and notes the continued willingness of the international community and major donors to support them in implementing the Peace Agreement, and calls upon all the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as well as with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, in order to complete its work and facilitate the closure of the Tribunal as expeditiously as possible;

“2.   Welcomes the EU’s intention to maintain an EU military operation (EUFOR ALTHEA) in Bosnia and Herzegovina from November 2015;

“3.   Authorizes the Member States acting through or in cooperation with the EU to establish for a further period of twelve months, starting from the date of the adoption of this resolution, a multinational stabilization force (EUFOR ALTHEA) as a legal successor to SFOR under unified command and control, which will fulfil its missions in relation to the implementation of Annex 1-A and Annex 2 of the Peace Agreement in cooperation with the NATO Headquarters presence in accordance with the arrangements agreed between NATO and the EU as communicated to the Security Council in their letters of 19 November 2004, which recognize that EUFOR ALTHEA will have the main peace stabilization role under the military aspects of the Peace Agreement;

“4.   Decides to renew the authorization provided by paragraph 11 of its resolution 2183 (2014) for a further period of twelve months starting from the date of adoption of this resolution;

“5.   Authorizes the Member States acting under paragraph 3 and 4 above to take all necessary measures to effect the implementation of and to ensure compliance with annexes 1-A and 2 of the Peace Agreement, stresses that the parties shall continue to be held equally responsible for the compliance with that annex and shall be equally subject to such enforcement action by EUFOR ALTHEA and the NATO presence as may be necessary to ensure implementation of those annexes and the protection of EUFOR ALTHEA and the NATO presence;

“6.   Authorizes Member States to take all necessary measures, at the request of either EUFOR ALTHEA or the NATO Headquarters, in defence of the EUFOR ALTHEA or NATO presence respectively, and to assist both organizations in carrying out their missions, and recognizes the right of both EUFOR ALTHEA and the NATO presence to take all necessary measures to defend themselves from attack or threat of attack;

“7.   Authorizes the Member States acting under paragraph 3 and 4 above, in accordance with annex 1-A of the Peace Agreement, to take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with the rules and procedures governing command and control of airspace over Bosnia and Herzegovina with respect to all civilian and military air traffic;

“8.   Decides to remain seized of the matter."

For information media. Not an official record.