Adopting Resolution 2384 (2017), Security Council Renews Authorization of Multinational Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina

SC/13059
7 November 2017
8089th Meeting (AM)

Adopting Resolution 2384 (2017), Security Council Renews Authorization of Multinational Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Urging all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to step up the pace of reforms and to refrain from polarizing actions and rhetoric, the Security Council today renewed its authorization of the European-led multinational stabilization force (EUFOR ALTHEA) for one further year before commencing a debate on the situation in the country.

Prior to the unanimous adoption of resolution 2384 (2017), the Council also heard a briefing by Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who presented his latest report (document S/2017/922), which described political tensions due to divisive positions on electoral laws in the lead-up to general elections planned for October 2018.

Mr. Inzko said that in many ways the country had made remarkable progress since 1995 when the tragic conflict there came to an end.  Those achievements included the establishment of institutions, a unified military and an efficient tax collection system.  Today the country was at a crucial moment in its aspirations to European Union candidate status.  However, divisive nationalism and persistent challenges to the Dayton Peace Agreement and the institutional arrangements provided for under that agreement were threatening to take the country backwards.

He warned that election problems could threaten the subsequent formation of a Federal Government.  “The parties must do whatever is necessary to ensure that elections can take place next year and that the results are implemented without undue delays,” he said.

He also voiced regret regarding actions and statements made by representatives of the Republika Srpska, which questioned the future of the country, challenged the authority of courts and posited separate positions on foreign policy.  Pointing to other examples that showed a general long-term trend of diminishing regard for the rule of law, he underlined the continued need for EUFOR ALTHEA so that gains made could be retained.

Following that presentation, Council members expressed concern over the lack of compromise and use of polarizing rhetoric ahead of the 2018 elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Most expressed support for the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, and called for accelerated implementation of all provisions of the peace agreement as well as the reforms needed to complete the High Representative’s mandate and progress towards European integration.

Some speakers noted regret concerning actions by leaders of the Republika Srpska and most called on all leaders to end divisiveness and work together for the good of the country.  Many also expressed full support for the High Representative’s role until those conditions were met.

The Russian Federation’s representative, however, maintained that the High Representative’s report was highly biased, blaming Bosnian Serbs for all problems.  The author had lost his grip on reality and was not representing the entire international community, he stated.  There was a lack of mutually respectful dialogue between all three groups.  He proposed that closing the Office of the High Representative be considered.

Nonetheless, the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed the extension of EUFOR ALTHEA, affirming that the situation remained peaceful in the country.  He highlighted progress made in implementation of the reform agenda, European integration, strengthening relations in the subregion and the international community, countering violent extremism, cooperating on migration and pursuing unbiased justice in implementing the national strategy for processing war crimes.

Serbia’s representative stressed that the past experience in the Western Balkans showed the importance of States’ sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity for peace, stability and mutual trust.  Acknowledging that reconciliation was sometimes hard to come by, he said it was evinced by the persistence of different undertones in the region.  Describing mutual interests between his country and Bosnia and Herzegovina and large investment in that country by his, he envisioned their relationship becoming a model for neighbourliness.

Similarly, the representative of Croatia described his country’s investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s progress and its support for its European integration.  He pointed to the need for less inflammatory rhetoric and more cooperative work on accelerating reforms.  It was utterly wrong, however, to compare divisive statements from Republika Srpska with the Croats’ efforts to obtain genuine equality with the two other constituent peoples.  The Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina had demonstrated the highest level of support for their country and its Euro-Atlantic ambitions, he stated.

Also speaking were representatives of France, Sweden, Egypt, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Ethiopia, Senegal, Bolivia, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, United States and Italy, as well as the European Union delegation.

The meeting opened at 10:19 a.m. and closed at 12:22 p.m.

Briefing

VALENTIN INZKO, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that in many ways the country had made remarkable progress since the tragic conflict ended there in 1995, including establishment of institutions, a unified military and an efficient tax collection system.  Today the country was at a crucial moment in its aspirations to European Union candidate status.  However, divisive nationalism and persistent challenges to the Dayton Peace Agreement and the institutional arrangements provided for under the Agreement were threatening to take the country backwards.

In the last six months, many political actors had been unwilling to compromise to adopt the necessary reforms and were instead holding onto “maximalist” positions, he continued.  Nonetheless, some steps had been taken to implement the European reform agenda and a Transport Community Treaty had been signed to open the door to regional infrastructure improvements.  The official visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was among positive developments in regional relations.  However, overall, reforms had slowed down considerably.  With general elections expected next year, divisive pre-election rhetoric had become the focus for many.

There was a risk of a deeper political crisis next year, he said, highlighting disagreements on rules regulating the indirect election of delegates to one of the Federation Houses of Parliament, with the Constitutional Court striking down provisions relating to how ethnic caucuses were to be formed in the House.  If the House was not assembled after the next election, it would most likely prevent formation of a Federal Government as well as one chamber of the national-level Parliament.  “The parties must do whatever is necessary to ensure that elections can take place next year and that the results are implemented without undue delays,” he stressed.

There were also actions and statements from the representatives of the Republika Srpska questioning the future of the country and challenging the authority of institutions such as courts, he said.  In addition, in October the Srpska National Assembly had adopted a resolution asserting the entity’s neutrality on integration with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and attempting to redefine obligations under the peace agreement.  Both were part of a campaign to assert that the country only derived its sovereignty from the entities and was not a real State.

Pointing to other examples that showed a general long-term trend of diminishing regard for the rule of law, he said all such issues needed to be addressed, as did the deeper problem of corruption in the political system, in the public sector and in the provision of services.   Such problems contributed to the exodus of talented people from the country and strengthened the forces of nationalism and division.  In light of the many remaining challenges, he underlined the continued need for the European Union’s military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina — known as “EUFOR ALTHEA” — on the ground so that stability that had been established was not degraded.

However, he pointed to positive events, describing the objection by students and other citizens to measures that attempted to segregate Bosniak and Croat pupils.  It showed that there was a desire at the local level for integration and for European standards to apply in the public sphere.  It also illuminated that international attention brought results.  

Looking ahead, he called for political leaders to focus on completing the next steps in Euro-Atlantic integration, ensuring that 2018 elections could be held and results implemented smoothly and strengthening respect for the rule of law.  The international community could not accomplish those things, but could speak out clearly against rolling back progress.  “We can support all those who demonstrate a true commitment to making [Bosnia and Herzegovina] a stable, functional and prosperous country, irreversibly integrated into European structures,” he emphasized.

Statements

ANNE GUEGUEN (France), aligning herself with the statement to be made by the European Union, said the Dayton Accords remained the cornerstone of stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Members of the Council had expressed overriding support for the institutions, respect for the country’s European prospects and EUFOR ALTHEA.  The Council had also delivered a message of peace urging parties to alleviate tensions arising from stark political differences and to respect for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She called upon all Bosnian forces to refrain from any initiative to weaken the institutions and to abstain from divisive rhetoric.  The rule of law was critical for a calm debate.  Furthermore, all parties should cooperate with the Constitutional Court and the High Representative and aim for a calm dialogue in electoral reform.  Despite weaknesses, the situation in the country was moving along to normalizations.  The European prospect was the main engine or the country’s development and had tremendous support in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The reform agenda was critical, she said, but expressed concern at that agenda’s slowdown.

CARL SKAU (Sweden), associating himself with the statement to be made by the European Union, said that the perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina remained central to its future.  The President of the European Commission had said in his State of the Union speech that the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union remained a top priority for the European Union.  The Western Balkan region was a part of Europe and developments in the region would affect the rest of the region.  While he welcomed the initial implementation of the Reform Agenda, the pace of reform had slowed in 2017.  It was crucial that authorities improved the implementation of comprehensive reforms in order to regain momentum.  It was also important that efforts towards continued reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina were supported.  Sexual and gender-based violence committed during the war needed to be addressed.  Impunity threatened stability and social cohesion, which made reconciliation more difficult, he said.

CARL SKAU (Sweden), associating himself with the statement to be made by the European Union, said that the perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina remained central to its future.  The President of the European Commission had said in his State of the Union speech that the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union remained a top priority for the European Union.  The Western Balkan region was a part of Europe and developments in the region would affect the rest of the region.  While he welcomed the initial implementation of the Reform Agenda, the pace of reform had slowed in 2017.  It was crucial that authorities improved the implementation of comprehensive reforms in order to regain momentum.  It was also important that efforts towards continued reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina were supported.  Sexual and gender-based violence committed during the war needed to be addressed.  Impunity threatened stability and social cohesion, which made reconciliation more difficult, he said.

AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) reaffirmed his full support to the High Representative’s mandate, as well as to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The Council’s adoption of the resolution showed the international community’s support for the country and the peace agreement that was shaping a multi-ethnic State.  He called on all parties in the country to unite in the interest of advancement and implement reforms, agree on electoral law and respect the judiciary.  He also called on the High Representative to ensure that his mandate was implemented in full.  Welcoming the positive developments described in the report, he urged the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen their social coexistence and political consensus.

STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom), expressing full support for the High Representative, said that the continuation of the European force was a sign of the commitment of both Europe and the United Nations to assisting the advancement of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It was now up to citizens of the country to ensure implementation of reforms and avoid divisive rhetoric.  He called on party leaders to focus their energies on reform instead of looking to the past, adding that if they looked towards their future, they would have the full support of the international community.  Respect for the rule of law was crucial for that purpose.  Furthermore, electoral reform must be approached through compromise and dialogue.  Mostar must remain a single multi-ethnic unit.  Progress towards the NATO membership action plan was needed as well.  Until stability and security were firmly entrenched, both EUFOR and the High Representative should remain in place, he stated.

YASUHISA KAWAMURA (Japan) said that the economic reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina were not sufficient.  He called on the Government to make progress on the fuel tax bill, address unemployment among the youth and introduce measures to create an environment conducive for foreign investment.  He emphasized that actions by the Republika Srpska’s leaders to undermine the authority of the High Representative were politically unacceptable and were violations of the Dayton Accords.  He called on the international community to continue to convince the leaders of the Republika Srpska that containing nationalism and separatism were crucial for peace and prosperity.

WU HAITAO (China) said that maintaining stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and promoting its development was in the common interest of the country, the region and the international community.  The international community should take a balanced approach, heeding the views of all parties, with respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity, as well as for people of all ethnicities.  He voiced hope that all ethnic groups would work together to achieve progress, engage in dialogue, and implement the Dayton Agreement so they could share in the peace dividend.  He also expressed hope that EUFOR would cooperate closely with Bosnia and Herzegovina and safeguard the stability in the country.

MAHLET HAILU GUADEY (Ethiopia) reaffirmed support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Progress would help to promote stability and prosperity in the country and the region.  However, she also expressed her concern regarding the divisive rhetoric that challenged the constitutional order and judicial institutions.  Respecting the rule of law and the State institutions were fundamental for the country’s progress, she said, urging parties to refrain from any actions that would undermine its territorial integrity.  The discussions on electoral law reform could potentially undermine Bosnia and Herzegovina’s stability.  The ruling of the Constitutional Court should be implemented.  Parties should engage in dialogue on electoral reform, she said, calling on all stakeholders to extend cooperation to the High Representative.

GORGUI CISS (Senegal) said that, despite ongoing problems, progress was being made, as seen in actions on defence and progress on European integration.  However, the Dayton Agreement had been undermined by actions of the Republika Srpska, which had refuted the ruling of the Constitutional Court regarding the referendum.  Such actions only served to undermine the country as a whole.  He called on all parties to engage in political dialogue.  Hailing the progress achieved in the economic sector, which fostered stability and unity, he invited all three ethnic groups to pursue a desire to live together harmoniously.  The presence of EUFOR with an executive mandate remained necessary, as it provided security to all citizens.  Furthermore, the country must rise to counter terrorism, he said, notably with the problem of foreign terrorist fighters.  The international community must continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina as it strengthened security forces to counter terrorist threats.

VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said the High Representative’s report was the most non-objective of all his reports since 2009, adding that its attacks against Republika Srpska were biased and contentious.  Bosnian Serbs were being blamed for all issues.  However, the picture was far from factual, he said, pointing to the fact that the author had “lost grip on reality”.  The High Representative should realize he represented the international community and not a hand-picked few.  The situation on the ground was a profound political crisis with a lack of mutually respectful dialogue between the three groups, something the High Representative had not underscored, and which was hampering the economic reforms and the European agenda.  In addition, electoral reform must be rooted in respect of the Dayton Agreement, namely the equality of all people.  Giving examples of issues the High Representative had not addressed, he said he did not agree with the comments regarding the Bosnian Serbian leadership.  The mechanism of the external protectorate through the High Representative was obsolete and stoked unnecessary tensions.  He proposed a reconsideration of closing the Office of the High Representative and cutting that Office’s staff and budget.  He also urged for an end to bilateral sanctions.

PEDRO LUIS INCHAUSTE JORDÁN (Bolivia), welcoming the resolution’s adoption as a show of support, expressed hope that the country’s authorities would work for development and stability and ramp up efforts to achieve accomplishments necessary for completion of the High Commissioner’s mandate.  He voiced his regret regarding any actions that threatened the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrated of the country.  In addition, he called on all stakeholders to refrain from divisive rhetoric . All Bosnia and Herzegovina’s people should work to ensure that the divisions of the past were part of history.

LUIS BERMÚDEZ (Uruguay) welcomed the resolution’s adoption and hailed the work of both the High Representative and EUFOR ALTHEA.  He reiterated support for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and stressed the importance of respect for all provisions of the peace agreement.  Focus must not be diverted from efforts for reconciliation, reform and progress towards completing the mandate of the High Representative.  Full compliance with the “5+2” programme must be ensured.  Acknowledging some progress in reforms and European integration, he stressed that much remained to be done in strengthening rule of law and consolidating peace and stability.  He called on all parties to work for those goals.

KANAT TUMYSH (Kazakhstan), welcoming the renewal of the Council’s authorization of the European-led stabilization force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that the focus must remain on the economy.  It was important to attract foreign direct investments, create jobs, and implement strategies on energy and agriculture, he stressed, adding that the signing of the Transport Community Treaty opened big opportunities for the security-development nexus.  Noting that the country was getting ready for elections, he called on the leaders of both entities to implement the peace agreement and observe all its provisions, including the rulings of the Constitutional Court.  Welcoming the political will of the Serbian leadership, he stressed that direct contacts between the leaders of neighbouring States could help promote dialogue and trust.

VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine) called on the leaders of the Republika Srpska to cooperate with the Office of the High Representative and refrain from intimidating the Office’s team.  He also expressed regret regarding the decision by the Republika Srpska National Assembly to hold a referendum on the Bosnia and Herzegovina judiciary and the authority of the High Representative.  The decision was a violation of the General Framework for Peace.  He added that he strongly supported the position of the High Representative on the resolution adopted by the Republika Srpska in October.  There was concern that the resolution would favour the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He called on political leaders on all sides to refrain from nationalist rhetoric and concentrate on real issues.  “It is vital to continue the efforts in implementing a reform agenda that includes socioeconomic, rule of law and public administration reforms,” he said.

AMY NOEL TACHCO (United States), noting that the Office of the High Representative had played a critical role in helping Bosnia and Herzegovina move towards prosperity and security, expressed support for his impartial reporting.  His role was pivotal in the upcoming election.  The Council must be vigilant against those who sought to undermine the constitutional order in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Commending EUFOR and NATO for promoting capacity-building in the country, she urged for progress in integration in the European Union and NATO which would, among other things, require defence property registration.  All parties must stay focused on the necessary reforms, enhance the rule of law and tackle corruption.  Bosnia and Herzegovina leaders must ensure that the electoral code complied with the ruling of the Constitutional Court and the European Union Court on Human Rights.  The United States sanctions against the President of Republika Srpska were a warning to anybody who sought to sow instability, she said.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), Council President for November, speaking in his national capacity, aligned himself with the statement to be made by the European Union.  He voiced strong support for the European Union path, noting progress made in that regard.  However, it was regrettable that the pace of reform had been slowing down.  The demands of all citizens for a better future deserved to be met and divisive actions and rhetoric that were rooted in past were not serving that progress.  Regaining momentum in the reform agenda was necessary to unblock assistance of the European Union.  He called on all parties to engage in dialogue on the issues of the electoral framework.  Noting that many challenges remained, such as strengthening the rule of law and fighting corruption, he said citizens’ trust in institutions must be restored.

MILOŠ VUKAŠINOVIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said he welcomed the adoption of the Security Council resolution that extended the mandate of EUFOR ALTHEA for an additional twelve months.  The situation had been peaceful for a long time, and that had been reflected in EUROR ALTHEA’s reports, as well as in the relevant Council resolutions.  In addition, Bosnia and Herzegovina had continued its vigorous work on implementing the socioeconomic reforms necessary for integration into the European Union.  It had intensified efforts to ensure effective implementation of the reform agenda in accordance with its action plan.  It had made significant progress in the integration process, following last year’s European Union Council conclusion inviting the European Commission to submit an opinion the merits of its application.

One of the most important goals of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s foreign policy was the advancement of friendly and constructive cooperation among countries of the region, he continued.  The perspective of integration in the European Union continued to drive the transformation and modernization of the region through political and economic reforms.  That remained the crucial factor not only for regional cooperation but also for the stability of the Western Balkans.  Cooperation within the framework of the Berlin Process, which provided assets for traffic and energy infrastructure, was particularly important for regional development.

His country continued to fulfil its international obligations with regard to countering terrorism, violent extremism and the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, he said.  With regard to the international migrant crisis, it had undertaken a set of comprehensive measures in the humanitarian and security fields.  As for the processing of war crimes before domestic courts, he reiterated that fighting impunity at the local level was vital for Bosnia and Herzegovina as a complex and multinational State.  In that context, implementing the national strategy for processing war crimes, regardless of national or religious origin of perpetrators or victims, was essential for reconciliation and long-term stability.

JOANNE ADAMSON, European Union delegation, recalled that in 2016, the Union’s Council had decided to ask the European Commission’s opinion regarding the membership application submitted by Bosnia and Herzegovina.  That decision followed the country’s commitment and readiness to make difficult decisions in order to deliver on its European Union integration path, including ensuring meaningful progress in the implementation of an ambitious set of socioeconomic, rule of law and public administration reforms.  There had been an expectation that 2017 would be marked by a continuous momentum in that process; however, the divisive rhetoric and an early preoccupation with upcoming elections had slowed down the pace of reform and affected the political climate, she said.

Calling on the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to translate commitments into concrete reforms, she observed that delays in the signature of the Transport Community Treaty — belatedly signed in September — and continuing uncertainty around the adoption of excise legislation had undermined the possibility of the country receiving further international financial assistance.  Noting that the general elections were 12 months away, she reiterated the principle of equality of all citizens and called on the country to address, within the necessary deadlines, its Constitutional Court’s December 2016 ruling concerning specific electoral provisions on the Federation House of Peoples.  The European Union integration process offered an avenue for tackling deep-rooted structural challenges, but it was up to the political leadership to engage with that process, she underscored.

VLADIMIR DROBNJAK (Croatia), aligning himself with the European Union, said a stable, peaceful and united Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the genuine institutional equality of its three constituent peoples and all citizens was a generator of stability of South-Eastern Europe.  What the country needed today was far less inflammatory rhetoric and much more reforms aimed at strengthening of institutions, the judiciary in particular.  He voiced concern that the ruling coalition might no longer be able to push any legislation through, such as the vital amendments to the Election Law.  Cherishing the principle of an independent judiciary, he said that to allow for the possibility of dismissing judges or prosecutors without prior independent investigation would be nothing short of trampling the basic principle of an independent and impartial judiciary.  Secessionist statements and divisive actions from politicians in Republika Srpska were endangering the very stability and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It was utterly wrong, however, to compare such rhetoric and actions with the Croats’ efforts to obtain genuine equality with the two other constituent peoples.  The Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina had demonstrated the highest level of support for their country and its Euro-Atlantic ambitions, he said.

MILAN MILANOVIĆ (Serbia) said that as a guarantor of the Dayton Agreement, his country continued to provide a basis for peace and stability that was of crucial importance for reconciliation.  That reconciliation was sometimes hard to come by, a fact that was evinced by the persistence of different undertones in the region.  Another reason to promote cooperation and strengthen relations was that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska were home to many Serbs, he said.  The sovereignty and territorial integrity of States were international standards, the respect of which was of paramount importance in international relations.  The past experienced in the Western Balkans was a constant reminder of that importance for peace, stability and mutual trust.

High-level dialogue and regular meetings were instrumental in developing all-round bilateral relations and closer cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said.  The intensification of the dialogue between the two States was demonstrated by the preparation of the visit to Belgrade by members of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s presidency, which was scheduled for December, as well as by the invitation that his country’s Prime Minister extended to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina to attend a joint meeting of the Government of Serbia and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The promotion of economic cooperation between the two countries was of the utmost importance for Serbia, he noted, adding that trade exchange was in the ascendant.  With the investment of €900 million, Serbia was among the largest investors in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Drawing upon the traditional bonds of friendship between the two nations, he said they could make their relations a role model for good neighbourliness.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2384 (2017) 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, 2183 (2014) of 11 November 2014, 2247 (2015) of 10 November 2015, and 2315 (2016) of 8 November 2016,

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),

Noting the reports of the High Representative, including his latest report of 24 October 2017,

Noting positively that the initial implementation of the Reform Agenda, adopted by Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 2015, has provided the first steps of structural adjustment to the economy of the country,

Encouraging the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of the international community, to accelerate their efforts to address the disposal of excess ammunition,

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, and further reaffirming Article V of Annex 10 of the Peace Agreement regarding the High Representative’s final authority in theatre in the interpretation of the civilian implementation of the Agreement,

Taking note of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s leadership’s commitment towards a European perspective, on the basis of the Peace Agreement, including through the submission of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership application in February 2016 and through the work done to answer the EU Commission’s Opinion questionnaire through the coordination mechanism on EU matters,

Reiterating its calls to all Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political leaders to advance reconciliation and mutual understanding and to refrain from polarizing policies, actions and rhetoric,

Noting that the pace of implementation of the Reform Agenda has slowed down over the last months and underscoring the urgency to step up the implementation of comprehensive reforms, in an inclusive manner, to the benefit of all citizens,

Emphasizing the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to step up efforts regarding the functioning and independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organized crime and the fight against terrorism and prevention of radicalization,

Underscoring the urgency to address outstanding OSCE-ODIHR recommendations to improve the electoral framework and related rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Court of Human Rights and emphasizing electoral reforms should be approached in a spirit of consensus and dialogue and should move the country towards modern democratic standards,

Encouraging the parties to implement Bosnia and Herzegovina’s National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security in an inclusive manner and looking forward to its continuation,

Taking note of the EU’s planned strategic review in autumn 2017,

Recognizing that the security environment has remained calm and stable, and noting that the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities have so far proven capable to deal with threats to the safe and secure environment,

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 in view of the forthcoming closure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia;

“2.   Welcomes the EU’s readiness to maintain an EU military operation (EUFOR ALTHEA) in Bosnia and Herzegovina from November 2017;

“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.   Urges the parties to step up the implementation of comprehensive reforms, in an inclusive manner, to the benefit of all citizens and in line with the European perspective the country is committed to, and, in this regard, further calls on them to refrain from any polarizing policy, action and rhetoric;

“9.   Urges the parties, in accordance with the Peace Agreement, to abide to their commitment to cooperate fully with all institutions involved in the implementation of this peace settlement, as described in the Peace Agreement, including Annex 4;

“10. Reaffirms that under the Peace Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities, which exist legally by virtue of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution, and further reaffirms that any change to the Constitution must be made in accordance with the amendment procedure prescribed therein;

“11.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.