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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Riunione in formato Arria

Intervento dell’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Meeting in formula Arria del Consiglio di Sicurezza in commemorazione del 25mo Anniversario dell’Accordo Quadro Generale per la Pace in Bosnia ed Erzegovina —

Thank you Chair,

and let me start by thanking the Russian Federation for its invitation to participate in this event. As recalled in previous interventions the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, paved the way for ending the most horrific conflict in Europe since World War II.

Today’s meeting is an opportunity to celebrate that historic achievement on its 25th Anniversary and to look towards the future of the Country.

We have listened attentively to the presentations. We share the view of other Delegations that a more institutional panel of briefers, as well as representations of civil society would have been appropriate and useful. At the same time, we appreciate the inclusion among the panelists of the High Representative whose mandate and office we continue to support.

Italy aligns itself with the statement that will be made by the European Union and would like to add few national remarks.

As we celebrate 25 years of enduring peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we should never forget the innocent victims – particularly the civilian ones – of that tragic conflict. Bosnia and Herzegovina has come a long way since then. However, disunity and fractions are still present in the country. Hampering its full potential. A true and effective reconciliation is therefore urgently needed.

Italy firmly believes that all political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina must engage in and promote such a reconciliation – through word and action -, putting aside inflammatory rhetoric and working together to build a common vision of the future of the country.

The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina demand a better future. They want to live in a country where the younger generations have a tangible perspective of prosperity, without feeling forced to move abroad to fulfill their dreams. They want to have the same opportunities that young European citizens enjoy. To put it in simple terms, they want to become full-fledged European citizens.

Italy stands by the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and fully supports their quest for better opportunities and prospects. We know, that the ultimate future of the country lies in the European Union, and we will spare no effort to help Bosnia and Herzegovina move decisively along this path.

Such a strategic goal demands deep, modernizing reforms. We welcomed the decisions adopted by the Tripartite Presidency in April and October, which provide a road-map for the implementation of reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in line with the European Commission’s Opinion of 2019.

Preserving local ownership of the process is crucial to achieving sustainable and lasting reforms. We wholeheartedly encourage the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to follow up on these decisions by working hard, with a pragmatic and constructive approach, to make substantial progress in this sphere. We do believe this can be achieved if there is political will.

It will also be crucial to strengthen the role of civil society in the reform process, as consistently advocated by Italy, including in the OSCE framework. Only through a bottom-up approach can we guarantee that these reforms really respond to the needs and expectations of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus reinforcing the accountability of politicians and institutions.

Much work awaits us in the coming months. We look forward to welcoming back Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European family as a partner for security, growth and stability.

I thank you.