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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on Bosnia and Herzegovina

2024-04-30 23:53


I thank Malta for convening today’s meeting at the request of the Russian Federation. I thank Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča for his briefing. I also listened attentively to the statement of Her Excellency Ms. Željka Cvijanović, Serb member of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and welcome the presence of the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia at today's meeting, 

Pursuant to the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina established a political system featuring two entities and tripartite inter-ethnic consultation and coexistence, setting in motion an important process of peace, reconciliation, and national rebuilding. In the last three decades, the Dayton peace agreement has played a unique role in promoting inter-ethnic harmony in BiH and peace and stability in the Western Balkans. The High Representative for the BiH as established under the Dayton peace agreement is mandated to oversee the implementation of the agreement. The Bonn powers, which were later entrusted to the High Representative, were intended to better implement the Dayton peace agreement and help BiH achieve stability and development.

In recent years, the appointment of the High Representative and the invocation of the Bonn powers have caused tensions and disagreements. These have exacerbated tensions among the various communities in BiH, instead of defusing tensions. We reiterate that the High Representative system and the Bonn powers are both special arrangements designed for special times. Such special arrangements are not to be deemed as long standing in nature, let alone permanent. BiH is a sovereign state. Its internal affairs should ultimately be managed by its people independently. It is worrying that the recent violations and the challenge to the tripartite inter-ethnic consultative system as established under the Dayton agreement have further deepened ethnic divisions and had a negative impact on the situation in the country. The international community should uphold a balanced and prudent attitude, fully heed and respect the views and concerns of the three ethnic communities in BiH, encourage and promote dialogue, consultation and national reconciliation, and do more for the benefit of peace and development of the Western Balkans and the European continent. External forces picking sides, imposing solutions, or even unilateral sanctions, will not help defuse inter-ethnic tensions in BiH. It will only serve to exacerbate tensions. We call on all parties concerned to adopt a prudent and responsible approach and avoid exerting lopsided pressure and interfering in the internal affairs of BiH. 


The armed conflict that took place in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s is a dark chapter in history, marked by casualties among innocent civilians from all ethnic groups and the Srebrenica tragedy that is all the more deplorable. China has all long advocated never forgetting history and always learning from it in order to prevent recurrence of such tragedies. Meanwhile, we hope that all ethnic groups in BiH can embrace tolerance and reconciliation, maximize consensus, look ahead in unity, and solidarity, and work together to maintain peace and stability and promote socioeconomic development.

China has taken note of the draft GA resolution on the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica and all the controversies surrounding it. China is of the view that the sponsors of the draft resolution should fully consult with the key parties concerned and UN membership, and on the basis of consensus move the process forward. Steamrolling the draft resolution marked by major differences is inconsistent with the spirit of promoting reconciliation or harmony within BiH and among regional countries, inconsistent with the desire to maintain peace and stability in the Western Balkans and Europe at large, and inconsistent with the original purpose of demonstrating solidarity of members via the designation of international day. China is ready to continue its constructive engagement in the relevant discussions and work with all parties to facilitate a proper settlement of this matter.


China’s position on the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina is consistent and clear. We always respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of BiH. We're hoping that all communities in BiH can prioritize the interests of the entire country and people, enhance dialogue, build trust, achieve reconciliation, and work together to maintain political stability and promote economic development of the country. China will continue to develop friendly relations with the people of all ethnic groups in BiH and play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability in the country and region.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Malta on a successful presidency this month. I wish Mozambique every success next month.

I thank you, President.

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