The Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) discussed the recent announcement that the name of one entity might be challenged in front of the BiH Constitutional Court, as well as statements threatening the secession of one of the entities, and the declaration adopted by the Croat People’s Assembly on 26 January 2019.
While recognizing that there are legitimate concerns with regard to the discrimination of constituent peoples and citizens across BiH that should be properly addressed, an initiative to challenge the name of Republika Srpska in front of the Constitutional Court of BiH would be counterproductive and irresponsible, as the names of the Entities are enshrined in the BiH Constitution. Such initiatives undercut the building of trust among constituent peoples and their political representatives as a basis for much needed reconciliation in BiH.
The PIC SB recalled that the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina recognizes that Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. The PIC SB has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the territorial integrity and fundamental structure of BiH as a single, sovereign state comprising two entities and that there will be no redrawing of the map of BiH. In this context, the PIC SB strongly condemned recent rhetoric and actions that question the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH or demand the territorial reorganization of the country, and thus create tensions over fundamental aspects of the Dayton Peace Accords.
The PIC SB also condemned any attempt by political actors at rejecting the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as unacceptable and not in line with BiH’s international commitments, including its European path.
The PIC SB called upon all parties to refrain from any further divisive action and rhetoric, and to engage constructively on the formation of authorities at all levels in order to move the country forward.
* The Russian Federation does not join this statement.