The Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) Political Directors met via video conference on 1-2 June 2021 to review the process of implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), which remains the basis for a stable, secure and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The PIC SB reminded all parties of their obligation to comply fully with the GFAP, all its annexes, and decisions of the High Representative. It reaffirmed its unequivocal commitment to the territorial integrity and fundamental structure of BiH as a single, sovereign state comprising two entities. The PIC SB restated that the entities have no right to secede from BiH and only exist legally by virtue of the BiH Constitution. The PIC SB reminded authorities in BiH that the BiH Constitution is an integral part of the GFAP and that the decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court are final and binding and must be implemented. The PIC SB reiterated its full support for the High Representative in ensuring complete respect for the GFAP and carrying out his mandate under Annex 10 and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, which remains unchanged. It underlined that the International Community retains the necessary instruments to uphold the GFAP. The PIC SB emphasized the need to fully implement the 5+2 agenda, which remains necessary for the closure of the Office of the High Representative.
The PIC SB urged the BiH authorities/political and institutional leaders to address the following priorities without further delay:
- Address the 14 key priorities of the European Commission’s Opinion.
- Use 2021 as a non-election year to carry out limited constitutional and electoral reform, by implementing the Sejdić/Finci and other election related judgements of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which remain unimplemented, some for more than a decade. In the process of electoral reform, take into account decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court, the OSCE/ODIHR, GRECO and Venice Commission recommendations on election integrity. In the process of electoral reforms, refrain from taking legislative or political steps that would make the implementation of the ECtHR judgements more challenging or lead to further divisions.
- Take concrete steps at all political levels towards reconciliation in BiH, including through joint commemorations.
- Advance fiscal, economic and financial sector stability and resilience, including through reforms advised under the IMF EFF. Adopt the 2021 state-level budget.
- Finalize government formation and pending appointments at all levels of authority, including the judges of the Federation Constitutional Court.
- Improve coordination and cooperation among all levels of authority on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating its consequences. Advance vaccination programs and measures strengthening the healthcare system.
- Strengthen cooperation among all levels of authority, provide sufficient funding and develop a migration management and asylum system to manage migration and border security as the exclusive competence of the state. Both entities should equitably share the responsibility of meeting humanitarian obligations in accommodating migrants.
The PIC SB welcomed the appointment of Mr. Christian Schmidt as the new High Representative and expressed their full support to him in strengthening the stability in BiH by ensuring consistent implementation of the civilian aspects of the GFAP. The PIC SB commended the incumbent High Representative, Mr. Valentin Inzko, for the outstanding work he and his team have done for the stability and development of BiH.
The PIC SB will hold its next meeting on 7-8 December 2021.
* The Russian Federation does not agree with this Communiqué.