The International Community must remain focused on and engaged in Bosnia and Herzegovina and “stand in solidarity with the people of this country”, High Representative Valentin Inzko said yesterday.
The International Community must uphold the post-war settlement, he said, amid “unwillingness on the part of some political leaders to deliver the most basic functions of government; and direct challenges to the Dayton Peace Agreement, the constitution and the rule of law.”
The High Representative was speaking to academics and policymakers at a seminar on the Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the University of Graz.
He said the Dayton Peace Agreement “creates space in which lasting peace can grow organically, a space in which institutions can develop into a functioning modern democracy and work towards providing citizens with security and prosperity,” but that the treaty itself “cannot substitute for this long-term and often challenging process.”
“By ensuring respect for Dayton and by extension ensuring stability, the Office of the High Representative provides an environment in which the EU and other international organizations can fulfil their mandates,” he said.
The High Representative stressed that despite the present political climate, incremental change is moving Bosnia and Herzegovina is the direction its citizens want to go.
“The process of Euro-Atlantic integration – even at the present pace – is altering the body politic of this country, as it has done with every other member state,” he said. Over the long term, “this will tip the balance in favour of progressive social and political forces.”
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