I would like to thank High Representative Valentin Inzko for his briefing and for his comprehensive report to the Council.
2. Since this is Malaysia’s first Security Council session with High Representative Inzko, I wish to express Malaysia’s strong support for his work and commitment in carrying out the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords.
3. Malaysia welcomes the formation of the government in Bosnia and Herzegovina in March 2015, following the 7th General Elections in October last year.
4. The new government’s expressed commitment to prioritise a reform agenda, especially in the economic sector, is a step in the right direction. We urge the country’s leaders and political parties to close ranks and focus on accelerating efforts based on collective responsibility towards reforming the country’s economy.
5. The lack of progress in socio-economic reforms in the past years, as highlighted in previous reports of the High Representative, must not be allowed to fester. Unemployment, particularly among the youth, as well as the increasing flow of brain drain in the country must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
6. We have seen how damaging it can be early last year, when the population took to the streets to engage in massive demonstrations and riots, as they demanded a better future and quality of life for them and their children.
7. Economic development can only take place when there is political stability. In this regard, Malaysia shares the concerns of the High Representative on the self-serving and divisive politics of certain quarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a dangerous game to be played on the future of the country, especially in view of its traumatic history. We thus urge all parties to enhance efforts towards national reconciliation to ensure political stability in the country.
8. We take note that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. We hope this will present a good opportunity for all parties to renew their commitment to the Dayton Agreement. Efforts to undermine or revise the Dayton Peace Accords must cease.
9. We also take note of the priority accorded by the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina on EU integration as a cornerstone in its foreign policy. We welcome the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina towards this aim, with the recent conclusion of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU last month.
10. We believe this will provide further impetus for the country to accelerate its reforms in the areas of economy, rule of law and good governance, towards a future of peace, stability and prosperity within the EU, as desired by the people.
11. Malaysia reaffirms its commitment to the independence, sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have long supported the country in its re-construction after the war, and will continue to do so.
12. Our investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the areas of real estate, construction, energy, education and capacity building, are aimed at strengthening the socio-economic foundation of the country towards growth and prosperity.
13. In our effort to bring the ethnic groups together towards economic and social integration, Malaysia has sought to involve the three main ethnicities in the country in our various investment projects. Based on our own multi-racial and multi-religious experience, we believe this is a win-win formula for all to ensure a united, stable, and prosperous future for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14. In concluding, Malaysia stands ready to play a constructive role at the Council on the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We reiterate our unwavering commitment in contributing towards the country’s nation-building, inclusive democracy, reconciliation and economic progress.
I thank you, Madame President.