Noting Progress towards European Union Accession, High Representative Warns against Divisive Rhetoric Undermining Reforms
Urging all parties to abide fully by their commitments under the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Security Council renewed its authorization of the European-led multinational stabilization force there (EUFOR ALTHEA) for another year before commencing a debate on the situation in the country today.
Following the unanimous adoption of resolution 2315 (2016), the Council also heard a briefing by Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who presented his latest regular briefing with an appended 21 October special report (document S/2016/911). He noted that while the country’s leadership continued to commit itself to reform, certain political actors had accelerated their actions and rhetoric aimed at the further division of the country.
The most egregious, he said, was the holding of a referendum by authorities of the Republika Srpska in September that contravened decisions of the Constitutional Court, thus violating the Peace Agreement. It was feared that the referendum – on the celebration of “Republika Srpska Day” – had opened the door to further defiance of Constitutional provisions by leaders of the Republika Srpska, including the holding of a threatened referendum on the “status” of the entity, or secession, in 2017.
Mr. Inzko also said that tensions between Bosnian Serbs, Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats had increased with the holding of the referendum and other negative developments, including gains by the most divisive parties in an October election. However, those developments coincided with progress in reforms that led to the European Union’s General Affairs Council to invite the European Commission to submit an opinion on the country’s application for Union membership, an event that was “a truly momentous development” and wholeheartedly supported by the major portion of the population.
“Can we accept that some of the country’s leaders work for European Union integration and the internal disintegration of the country at the same time?” he asked the Council. The answer was to send a strong message to those authorities and leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina who openly rejected the rule of law and were seeking to reopen the wounds of the past. Such actions would not lead their constituencies to prosperity or integration with Euro-Atlantic structures, but instead result in isolation.
Following the High Representative’s statement, Council members took the floor to urge leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to pursue reconciliation under compliance with the Dayton Accord, with most expressing concern over tensions that surrounded the referendum on Republika Srpska Day. Most members also welcomed the renewal of the authorization of EUFOR and expressed support for the work and reporting of the High Representative.
The representative of the Russian Federation, however, maintained that Mr. Inzko had not followed an objective path in bringing the parties in the country together, but instead had presented a personal, biased viewpoint. He called for unbiased presentations in the future. He also maintained that the much-criticized referendum had not in any way threaten the sovereignty or territorial integrity of country, adding that a more objective understanding was provided by the report of the government of the Republika Srpska.
Stating that his country had made every effort to calm passions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the representative of Serbia said that the best way to address outstanding issues was through dialogue, including on the issue of the marking of Republic of Srpska Day. His country remained staunchly committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, establishing bonds of friendship and mutual confidence which would bring both countries closer to accession to the European Union.
Welcoming the extension of the EUFOR authorization, the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina underscored that the focus of the mission had been changed from security to capacity-building, as the stability of the country had grown stronger. Progress had been made on the implementation of the Reform Agenda and its socioeconomic reforms, including reforms necessary for integration in the European Union. In addition, the European Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina had initialled the Protocol on the adaptation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement.
The European Union’s representative concurred that Bosnia and Herzegovina was showing potential for growth in the next years. It was essential, he said, that it maintained momentum on European integration and effective reforms in areas such as rule of law, including the fight against corruption and organized crime, particularly in prosecuting war crimes. The legacy of the war must be dealt with honesty, in the interest of reconciliation and a peaceful future, he stressed.
Also speaking were representatives of the United Kingdom, Egypt, United States, Malaysia, Spain, Japan, China, Angola, France, Venezuela, Uruguay, Ukraine, New Zealand, Senegal and Croatia.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 12:27 p.m.
VALENTIN INZKO, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that even as the country’s leadership continued to commit itself to reform, certain political actors had accelerated their actions and rhetoric aimed at the further division of the country. The most egregious was the holding of a referendum in Republika Srpska in September, which, he stressed, was “a serious and direct challenge to the Dayton-Paris Peace Accords and the rule of law”. That took place as the European Union encouraged further progress with the adoption of the Stabilization and Association Agreement and a domestic Union coordination mechanism, and “entity-level” authorities continued to make progress on economic reforms.
He went on to say that following those steps, the Union’s General Affairs Council invited the European Commission to submit an opinion on the country’s application for Union membership, which he called “a truly momentous development”. It was wholeheartedly supported by the major portion of the population. Another positive development was the publishing of the first post-war census, an essential tool for socio-economic planning, although the methodology was being disputed by Republika Srpska authorities.
Tensions increased significantly with the decision of the national assembly of the Republika Srpska to hold the referendum on “Republika Srpska Day” against decisions of the Constitutional Court, he continued. The Constitution directly stated that the decisions of the Court were “final and binding” and that the entities were bound to comply with the decisions of State authorities. “I consider the referendum of September 25 to be a grave violation of the Peace Agreement and the rule of law”, he stated.
Praising the diplomatic role played by neighbouring Serbia and Croatia during the crisis, he noted that, unfortunately, the referendum continued, a clear pattern of statements and actions to deny the authority of the common State institutions and to advocate openly for the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, a couple of weeks ago the national assembly of the Republika Srpska decorated a number of war criminals, including Radovan Karadžić. As well, a 2 October elections saw gains for parties that focussed on polarizing rhetoric. The situation prompted some Bosniak leaders to refer to a possible return to violence.
He urged the international community to take an honest look at both the positive and negative trends in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Can we accept that some of the country’s leaders work for European Union integration and the internal disintegration of the country at the same time?” he asked. The answer was to send a strong message to those authorities and leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina who openly rejected the rule of law and were seeking to reopen the wounds of the past. Such actions would not lead their constituencies to prosperity or integration with Euro-Atlantic structures, but instead result in isolation. “The leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina – with the help and guidance of the international community – must recommit to make BiH a peaceful, stable functional, multi-ethnic country, fully and irreversibly integrated into European structures,” he stated
STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom), welcoming the unanimous adoption of the resolution, said the security provided by the European Union-led multinational stabilization force (EUFOR ALTHEA) was fundamental for the stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The past 12 months had seen divisive rhetoric and challenges to the Peace Agreement. The Republika Srpska had decided to hold a referendum in violation of a ruling of the Constitutional Court. It was a direct challenge to the Peace Agreement and such attacks were unacceptable. The challenge posed was a consequence of dark sentiments lingering below the surface. He called on the political leaders of all parties to refrain from nationalistic rhetoric. As well, all parties should reach an agreement to allow elections to be held. Leaders had made reforms despite the division, he said, referring to the application for membership to the European Union and progress made on the Reform Agenda, which showed what could be done if all worked together.
IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD MOUSTAFA (Egypt) welcomed the positive political developments, particularly the approval by the European Union of the application to join the organization. That progress indicated the persistence of authorities to carry out the required reforms. However, he expressed grave concerns of the deterioration of the political climate, in particular the decision of the Republika Srpska to organize a plebiscite in contradiction of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which was a violation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nationalistic calls had been launched for secession of the Serbian entity from Bosnia and Herzegovina and to re-demarcate internal borders. He urged political leaders to place the joint interest of the Bosnian people over narrow ethnic interests. Saying there was a need to intensify efforts to implement the “5+2 plan” in full, he called on citizens to accept coexistence.
ISOBEL COLEMAN (United States) welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution which authorized extension of the EUFOR and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) presence for another year. It pointed out that any amendments to the Constitution must be made in accordance with the Dayton Accords. The role of the High Representative had been important as certain elements had worked against the unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The decision by Republika Srpska authorities to hold a referendum pointed to the fact that politicians there were trying to erode the competence of State institutions. The rejection of the decision of the Constitutional Court meant that the Republika Srpska had opted out of the judicial system. Full compliance with the Peace Agreement was being delayed because of divisive actions that continued to erode vital institutions. Welcoming progress on the Defence Review, she expressed regret that the registration of defence property continued to be blocked.
RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia) voiced deep concern about recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in regards to violations of the General Framework. “We can trace the various political contentions in the country to its ethnic fault lines”, he said, highlighting the dispute over the 2013 census results; the referendum on “Republika Srpska Day”; and the secessionist agenda of some quarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Security Council must urge parties to cooperate fully with all institutions involved and to reaffirm the existence of two entities under the Peace Agreement. The holding of a referendum by the Republika Srpska had been an act of defiance on the judicial institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it was unacceptable for the entity to pick and choose which decisions of the State-level judiciary to obey. Reiterating the need to implement the 5+2 plan as a condition for the closure of the Office of the High Representative, he also condemned intimidations and death threats against the Representative.
ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), aligning himself with the European Union, said that progress in European integration represented a path toward stability for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, it was necessary for all actors to sit down and come up with a solution for issues of concern to the population there. He called on leaders to be guided by their legal obligations and refrain from divisiveness. Supporting the work of the High Representative, he called for progress on the benchmarks for the conclusion of his mandate. He also affirmed the support of Spain for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
YOSHIFUMI OKAMURA (Japan), welcoming the adoption of the resolution, expressed appreciation for the High Representative’s work and support for the Dayton Agreement. He described his experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the fighting, attesting first-hand to the depth of ethnic divisions. Those tensions had continued to affect the Balkans despite the stability fostered by the Dayton Agreement. There were hopes that borders would become meaningless as European integration progressed, he noted. He welcomed steps toward that end, but expressed concern over the referendum in the Republika Srpska and other divisive developments. “The future is in reconciliation, not confrontation,” he stated, adding that the Council must speak in one voice in supporting that view.
WU HAITAO (China) said that the international community should take a balanced and prudent approach to Bosnia and Herzegovina, encouraging dialogue to solve differences and comprehensive implementation of the Dayton Peace agreement. Emphasizing his respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and the choices of its people, he said he hoped that the High Representative would continue to play a constructive role, along with EUFOR. His country was ready to continue to work with the international community to support reconciliation and stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) expressed concern about the holding of a referendum in the Republika Srpska was in violation of the ruling by the Constitutional Court. The authorities for Republika Srpska must abide by the Court’s ruling and avoid unilateral actions. While welcoming the local elections held in October, he noted that they had been marked by inter-ethnic incidents. He called for voluntary repatriation of refugees whilst strengthening reconciliation in order to consolidate peace, healing and forgiveness. It was worrisome, he said, that statements made by high officials challenged the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and undermined the cohesion of the multi-ethnic society. He rejected the decision by Republika Srpska to deny the High Representative access to information and documents and called on them to enable the Representative to carry out his mandate and duties.
VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said that the briefing by the High Representative did not give an objective view on events in the country. It was regrettable that the High Representative had not paid attention to facilitating dialogue within the country and consolidating trust. There was an anti-Serbian bias, giving an artificial impression of divisiveness between the people. He emphasized that he could not agree with the biased interpretation of the referendum in the Republika Srpska, saying that the referendum did not in any way threaten the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report should provide a more balanced understanding of the situation in that country. In addition, he advocated a quick exit of elements of international presence in the country, including the Office of the High Representative. The High Representative had devoted scant attention to the 5+2 plan. He also said he hoped future reports would reflect appropriately the issue of Islamic terrorism. The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not as dark as it was being depicted.
ALEXIS LAMEK (France), aligning himself with the European Union, said the resolution adopted today expressed support for the presence of EUFOR and respect for the country’s aspirations for a European outlook. The territorial integrity of the country should never be challenged by one of its entities, he said, stressing that the Dayton Agreement continued to be the cornerstone of constitutional stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He deplored the decision by authorities of Republika Srpska to hold a referendum in contravention of the Constitutional Court decision. That decision had stoked memories of past division, he said, stressing that any viable solution had to come through dialogue in good faith between the components of the country and the central Government. He called on politicians to abandon the rhetoric of division.
YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine), associating his delegation with the European Union, expressed full support for the High Representative, emphasizing – despite “attempts by some Council members to question his activities” – that the terms of the Dayton Peace Agreement specifically stated that the Representative was the final in-theatre authority on implementation of the accords. He expressed alarm that the political situation in the country had deteriorated and strongly condemned the holding of the referendum in contravention of the decisions of the courts. Such moves abused the special status granted to their entity by the accords, blocked the country’s political and economic development and led to isolation of the population in the Republika Srpska. The building of bridges was the most important effort right now as opposed to the burning of existing ones. He also expressed full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, welcomed progress in European integration and called for further reforms.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), reaffirming support for the unity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized the importance of strengthening rule of law and institutions established under the Dayton Accord. Full compliance with that agreement must be pursued. He called on leaders in the country to focus on national reconciliation and national objectives. Welcoming continued stability despite inflammatory rhetoric and socioeconomic progress, he called for leaders to end divisive rhetoric and focus on the welfare of citizens.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), expressing full support for the High Representative and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighted the importance of clear and unequivocal compliance with the Dayton Accord. Parties must set aside their differences and pursue dialogue, and the High Representative must encourage such dialogue in a balanced and objective way, he said. Welcoming the renewal of EUFOR, he also called for effective strategies against elements that caused radicalization and recruitment by terrorist groups. He called on parties to build confidence between each other and seek common solutions.
CAROLYN SCHWALGER (New Zealand) said she was pleased that the Security Council had re-authorized the presence of the European Union-led military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Welcoming the progress the country had made on its reform agenda, she said she also hoped to see accelerated progress on the five objectives and two conditions necessary for the closure of the Office of the High Representative in the country. The holding of a referendum had been in opposition to a ruling of the Constitutional Court, destabilizing and undermining the rule of law. All political actors should respect State institutions and constitutional order. “We hope that divisive and inflammatory actions will be left behind and that leaders choose to focus on what can be achieved,” she said.
FODÉ SECK (Senegal), President of the Security Council for November, spoke in his national capacity, welcoming progress made in the political area. However, he noted a resurgence of tensions between the communities. The Dayton Agreement was jeopardized by the September referendum organized by the Republika Srpska, which was a constitutional challenge and undermined the national construction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was a need for dialogue between all components of the State while respecting the Constitution. Also welcoming the acceptance of the application for membership by the European Union, he invited all ethnic groups to engage in a common will to guarantee a prosperous State that took its rightful place in the international community. The fight against terrorism was a challenge, especially in the context of returning foreign fighters.
MILOŠ VUKAŠINOVIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that on 2 October, local elections had been held in a democratic manner and in a peaceful atmosphere. Around 54 per cent of eligible citizens had cast their votes. Although the national economy had been influenced by the global economic slowdown, there had been a steady growth. Bosnia and Herzegovina had made a notable progress on the implementation of the Reform Agenda and had been implementing its socioeconomic reforms, including reforms necessary for integration in the European Union. The European Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina had initialled the Protocol on the adaptation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement. The country had continued processing war crimes before domestic courts.
He went on to say that terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism were security challenges at the global, regional and national level. His country continued to process individuals involved in fighting on behalf of terrorist and paramilitary organizations. Judicial and security institutions had been implementing a national strategy for preventing and combating terrorism. The strategy included security measures, preventive activities for the de‑radicalization undertaken by stakeholders such as religious communities, educational institutions, civil society organizations and media.
Also welcoming the extension of the EUFOR authorization, he noted that the focus of the mission had been changed from security to capacity-building, as the stability of the country had grown stronger. In addition, progress had been made in combating organized crime, corruption and money laundering. However, refugee and migrant flows in the Balkans remained a challenge. Only coordinated actions to address underlying causes of migration in the countries of origin at the global level could bring a satisfactory solution to the migrant crisis. Bosnia and Herzegovina had adopted a strategy in the field of migration and asylum, in accordance with the highest European and international standards.
JOÃO PEDRO VALE DE ALMEIDA, Head of the European Union Delegation, said Bosnia and Herzegovina had meaningfully implemented the Reform Agenda, an ambitious set of socioeconomic, rule of law and public administration measures. The country was showing potential for growth in the next three to four years and it was essential that it maintain momentum regarding effective reforms and Union integration. Adding that the past year was also an election year, he said local polls of 2 October were generally conducted in an orderly manner, but had unfortunately brought to the surface persisting political divisions and challenges that could undermine stability. Irregularities and isolated violent incidents that had occurred should be investigated by Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities without delay.
He expressed regret over the unlawful holding of an entity-level referendum on Republika Srpska Day, which violated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court decision of 17 September. The referendum had caused unnecessary tensions and had distracted attention from social and economic problems people throughout the country faced on a daily basis. Political actors and institutions should resolve that issue through established legal processes and constructive dialogue within the existing constitutional framework. Another area needing attention during the coming period was rule of law, including the fight against corruption and organized crime, particularly in prosecuting war crimes. Expressing concern over the recent glorification of persons convicted for crimes against humanity, he said all political leaders must assess wartime events honestly in the interests of truth, reconciliation and a peaceful future.
ZORAN VUJIC (Serbia) said his country perceived Bosnia and Herzegovina as a key bilateral partner in the pursuit of reconciliation and regional cooperation in the Balkans. His country remained staunchly committed to the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and had worked consistently on establishing bonds of friendship and mutual confidence which would bring both countries closer to accession to the European Union. Recent months had seen messages “which we believed belonged in the past”, he said, but Serbia had made every effort to stabilize the situation, calm political passions and overcome differences by agreement. The best way to address outstanding issues was through dialogue, including on the issue of the marking of Republic of Srpska Day.
The region had stepped irreversibly onto the road to reconciliation and European integration, he went on to say. As a European Union candidate country, Serbia had begun the membership negotiations process and had undertaken relevant reforms. He also welcomed the decision of the Union to accept the application of Bosnia and Herzegovina for membership as well. Serbia had always worked at establishing better communications and promoting political dialogue with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and many Serbian State or Government officials had visited the country or played host to their respective counterparts. The country was also one of Serbia’s most important foreign trade partners, and bringing people together and linking regions and their economies was the most important task that Serbia had undertaken in the Western Balkans.
VLADIMIR DROBNJAK (Croatia), associating himself with the European Union, said the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European Union and NATO was the best catalyst to safeguard democratization; strengthen institutions; ensure freedom of press and an independent judiciary. However, internal political dynamics had become a cause of concern. He welcomed the Council of the European Union’s conclusion to task the Commission to prepare an opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for EU membership. Stating that he looked forward to the adaptation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, he added that it was important for the European Union to remain engaged in preserving security in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The referendum held in Republika Srpska had undermined the stability of the country as it was both unconstitutional and dangerous, he said. Local elections, while on the whole conducted in a peaceful way, had also revealed divisions and mistrust. Furthermore, he said he regretted that elections in Mostar had not been held together with the rest of the country. He encouraged authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the Sejdic-Finci ruling in order to move forward with its European agenda. The rule of law must be promoted and protected, he said, including the fight against corruption and organized crime. In that regard, the depoliticization of the judiciary and its impartiality and independence must receive a strong focus.
The full text of resolution 2315 (2016) 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, and 2247 (2015) of 10 November 2015,
“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 28 October 2016,
“Welcoming the progress in the implementation of the Reform Agenda, adopted by Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 2015 and calling on the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina to maintain positive momentum in implementing the reforms, in line with citizen’s demands and in cooperation with civil society,
“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 the continued support expressed by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s leadership 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,
“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 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 2016;
“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 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, 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;
“9. 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;
“10. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”