I am grateful to High Representative Valentin Inzko for his briefing and for his comprehensive reports to the Council, including the Special Report on a referendum in Republik Srpska.
2. Based on the briefing and the reports, my delegation is deeply concerned about the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the reporting period and the direction where the country is heading. Of our particular concern is the viability of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the agreement is being increasingly challenged and violated.
3. We can trace the various political contentions in the country to its ethnic fault lines, from the dispute over the 2013 census results; the referendum on “Republika Srpska Day”; the continuing failure to implement the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the electoral system for Mostar; to the secessionist agenda of some quarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4. In this context, we recognised the crucial need for the Council to send a united message via Resolution 2315 to urge the parties to abide by their commitment to cooperate fully with all institutions involved in the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and to reaffirm the existence of two entities under the Peace Agreement, as uphold by the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5. The holding of the referendum by the Republika Srpska on 25 September was carried out in complete disregard of final and binding decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It represents the latest act of defiance by the Republika Srpska on the judicial institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in violation of the Peace Agreement.
6. We have seen persistent challenges by the Republik Srpska on the State’s judicial system in the past, including its disregard of the Court’s decision on the registration of defence property. More recently, the President of the Republika Srpska chose to ignore the summons by the State’s Prosecutor’s Office relating to the 25 September referendum.
7. It is simply unacceptable for the Republika Srpska to pick and choose which decisions of the State-level judiciary it is willing to obey. Such action is in violation of the Peace Agreement and the State’s Constitution. It also constitutes a dangerous precedent, especially in the context of divisive secessionist rhetoric and increasing attacks on the authority of the High Representative.
8. Self-serving and divisive politics is a dangerous game to be played on the future of the country, especially in view of its traumatic history. We thus, urges all parties to renounce its divisive politics and secessionist agenda, and to abide by the State’s Constitution, various UNSC resolutions and the Peace Agreement, for the sake of peace and stability in the region.
9. Malaysia takes note of some positive developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the reporting period. We particularly welcome the progress made by the country towards EU integration, which remains central to the aspiration of its people.
10. Malaysia also welcomes the increase in foreign direct investments in the first quarter of 2016. We urge the government to remain steadfast in implementing its reform agenda, particularly to address youth unemployment, to fight corruption, to instil good governance, and to strengthen the rule of law.
11. We also commend the ongoing commitment by Bosnia and Herzegovina in countering violent extremism, including the recent sentencing of seven individuals for joining or attempting to join ISIL as foreign terrorist fighters.
12. On the issue of the return of refugees and displaced persons, we wish to see further progress being made by the authorities to create conducive political, economic and social conditions for their voluntary return and harmonious reintegration and reconciliation.
13. Malaysia reiterates the need to intensify efforts to fully implement the 5+2 (five plus two) agenda as condition for closure of the Office of the High Representative. Until then, Malaysia reaffirms its strong support for the Office of the High Representative, as laid down in the Dayton peace agreement and upheld in various Council resolutions. We condemn intimidations and death threats levelled against the High Representative and called for their prompt and thorough investigation according to the rule of law.
14. We also recognise the important stabilising role played by the EU-led multinational stabilisation force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We thus welcome the renewal of its mandate and Council’s unity in adopting Resolution 2315 today.
15. In concluding, 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 towards the country’s nation-building, inclusive democracy, reconciliation and economic progress.
I thank you, Mr. President.