Schmidt presents 61st Report of the High Representative for Implementation of the Peace Agreement in BiH to the UN Security Council

This report covers the period from 16 October 2021 through 15 April 2022.

Systematic challenges to the Dayton architecture of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), particularly its constitutional order, have intensified during the reporting period. Since October last year, the Republika Srpska (RS) entity authorities, headed by the Alliance for Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), which is led by BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik, have intensified their activities aimed at unilaterally retaking State competences by the entity in the areas of defense, indirect taxes, and the judiciary, among others.

The entity’s legislature, the RS National Assembly (RSNA), has endorsed policy acts obliging the RS authorities to implement them through various measures. These measures include the unilateral withdrawal of the RS from transfer agreements signed by the RS and the Federation entity in the past, and the adoption of comprehensive legislative undertakings, some of which have already materialized.

These actions undermine the constitutional responsibilities of the State and the institutions established to carry out such responsibilities, representing rollbacks of key reforms carried out under the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP). These not only erode the fundamentals of the GFAP, but directly threaten to undo more than 25 years of progress in building up BiH as a State firmly on the path towards European Union (EU) integration.

Such undertakings follow the RS’ willfully erroneous interpretation of the BiH constitutional framework based on a hypothetical “original Dayton”, and the assertion that most constitutional competences exercised by the State-level institutions were “illegally usurped” from the RS through High Representative decisions, decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court, and other decisions of the State-level institutions, and that the State institutions should return most competencies they assumed in accordance with their constitutional prerogative. It is deeply worrisome that RS political leaders claim that these undertakings, which clearly violate the GFAP, are in fact pursued to uphold and protect the Agreement, particularly the constitutional order as established by the BiH Constitution.

As the RS Government and the RSNA continue to adopt measures to fulfill their stated ambitions to return competences, including by creating a parallel legislative and institutional RS framework to the existing framework of the State, chipping away at the State institutions, simultaneously representatives elected and appointed from the RS to those institutions either do not participate in decision-making or block decisions deemed not be in the interests of the RS. This has the effect of impeding the State’s ability to function and exercise its constitutional responsibilities. As adopted legislative and other legal measures enter into force, they will one by one provide a legal basis to withdraw the RS from the constitutional order established under Annex 4 of the GFAP and withdraw the RS from civilian implementation of the GFAP as set forth under Annex 10.

The danger lies in the RS deconstructing the BiH constitutional framework, unchallenged, as the architecture of the State of BiH as set forth in the GFAP gradually disintegrates.

As the final interpreter of the civilian aspects of the GFAP, I reiterate, as I did in my November report, that the RS authorities are in grave violation of the GFAP and thus far appear undeterred from continuing to do so, despite the exhaustive efforts of my office and the international community to open dialogue and deescalate. Under these circumstances, shortly before finalizing this report, I decided that it was necessary under my authority as High Representative to issue two decisions aimed at supporting the institutional framework and upholding the rule of law. This may pave the way towards a constructive solution fully respecting the GFAP. These decisions are detailed later in this report.

There is turbulence not only in the RS. The lack of agreement mainly between Bosniak and Croat parties in the Federation on electoral reforms has prompted Croat parties to cast doubt on the holding of the 2022 General Elections, including by withholding financing of the Elections. Conducting free and fair elections is a GFAP requirement, and the minimum expectation of any nation that aspires to EU membership. Parties involved in the negotiations must back down from maximalist positions and redouble their efforts to find a way forward.

Moreover, this has contributed to the dysfunctionality in the Federation itself, where the Government from the 2014-2018 mandate is still sitting due to the failure to appoint a new one following the 2018 General Elections. In a supposedly democratic society, non-implementation of election results is unacceptable.

The blockade at the State level has resulted in the poorest legislative output of any prior mandate and forced the BiH institutions to operate under temporary financing for 16 months, with no State-level budget adopted in 2021, and so far not in 2022.

I. Introduction

1. This is my second report to the United Nations (UN) Security Council since my arrival as High Representative for BiH in August last year. My report represents an impartial assessment of implementation of the civilian aspects GFAP, with factual information on developments and progress towards achieving previously established goals.

2. It is my duty to fulfill my mandate pursuant to Annex 10 to the GFAP and relevant decisions of the UN Security Council. Progress on the five objectives and two conditions (5+2 Agenda) set in 2008 as the agenda for BiH to transition from international oversight remain the obligation of the BiH authorities to fulfill. However, as my report indicates, the ongoing political crises and deadlocks in BiH, coupled in some cases with outright rejection of several of the objectives, have resulted in no progress in this regard – except Brčko District, where I recently visited to highlight such progress – and even some setbacks, despite my attempts to offer constructive solutions to all relevant stakeholders.

3. As previously noted, the 5+2 Agenda necessarily entails full compliance with the GFAP, and there are numerous shortcomings in that regard. I reiterate that the parties must fully comply with the GFAP, and I remain hopeful that they will take concrete steps on BiH’s path towards the EU, in their own interests, in the interests of all BiH citizens, and in the interest of regional peace and stability, which, as recent global developments have reminded us, are more important than ever.

4. The international community in BiH remains engaged and committed to advocating dialogue and compromise over discord and ultimatums.

II. Political update

A. General political environment / Challenges to the General Framework Agreement for Peace

5. There have been persistent challenges to the GFAP throughout the reporting period, with rhetorical challenges from the RS to BiH’s viability as a state and its territorial integrity, predicting dissolution.[i] Additionally, with an agreement not yet reached on electoral reforms, Croat political representatives have suggested a “territorial reorganization” may be necessary, raising the specter of the wartime drive for a “third entity.”[ii] All such rhetoric is destabilizing as it seeps into society and poisons relations between communities.

6. In this regard, I note that neighboring Serbia and Croatia consistently reaffirm their full commitment to BiH’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in keeping with their obligations as GFAP signatories. In times of political instability, regional stability is crucial.

7. Genocide denial, the relativization of war crimes and glorification of war criminals reduced after the July 2021 imposition of amendments to the BiH Criminal Code by my predecessor. However, such practices have continued, with new reports coming in since November 2021 in the RS, and in neighboring Serbia. Several new murals of convicted war criminal General Ratko Mladić, or graffiti in his support, appeared in communities in the RS, and in Serbia’s capital Belgrade.

8. The RS authorities still actively move to subvert the State of BiH, its competences and institutions, and thus the GFAP. On the one hand, representatives elected and appointed from the RS to the State institutions continue to paralyze those institutions by blocking their ability to work and decide. As a result, legislative output is non-existent, reforms – including those required to advance towards the EU – are stalled, international agreements are on hold, and there is no adopted State-level budget for the second year in a row.

9. This leads to the State’s inability to carry out its responsibilities and provides a pretext for the RS leadership to portray the State as dysfunctional and impotent. In parallel, the RS authorities have proceeded with unilaterally withdrawing the RS from the constitutional, legal, and institutional order of the State and establishing a parallel RS framework forcing a unilateral takeover of State responsibilities which they substitute with a parallel RS framework. Both tactics serve the end goal of the de facto dissolution of the State of BiH.

10. The state of BiH alone is not equipped to respond to such attacks. The BiH Constitutional Court is seen as the logical response to such unconstitutional actions but, as pressure mounts on this institution, it will not represent a dissuasive response to a political crisis of such magnitude. These actions not only represent a direct attack against the constitutional order of BiH but would also create a clear conflict of laws and jurisdictions seriously affecting the functioning of State institutions, particularly their ability to enforce decisions on the RS territory.

11. In the previous period, the RS National Assembly adopted the Law on Non-Applicability of the Decision of the High Representative Enacting the Law on Amendment to the BiH Criminal Code, which represents not only a challenge by the RS authorities to the authority and powers of the High Representative under the GFAP, but also a rejection of the application of State-level legislation on RS territory, overstepping entity competence to directly challenge the authority and sovereignty of the State and its institutions. A request for review of the constitutionality of this law was submitted to the BiH Constitutional Court in late November.

12. Following the session of the SNSD Executive Board in Banja Luka on 8 October, after which SNSD President Milorad Dodik announced that RS teams of experts would work on a new RS Constitution and on defining new entity structures for defense, justice and finance matters and on a rejection of all “illegally” imposed decisions and laws of the High Representatives, on 18 October, the RS Government, with Mr. Dodik present, discussed the constitutional position of the RS and the return of competences to the RS, and followed through on that earlier announcement. The RS Government tasked expert teams to prepare a legislative package regarding the “constitutional protection of rights of the RS guaranteed in Dayton.”

13. On 20 October, the RS National Assembly adopted the RS Law on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, which was published in the Official Gazette of the RS on 28 December and will enter into force at the end of June 2022. This law challenges the competences and unimpeded functioning of the BiH Agency for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices and may be viewed as a trial balloon for the RS authorities’ ambitions to unilaterally take over the State’s constitutional responsibilities in other areas. Under the BiH Constitution, the entities are obliged to comply fully with the Constitution and decisions of the State institutions.

14. The BiH Agency is the only institution in BiH authorized to ensure the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in BiH, and the only such agency established in accordance with EU Acquis as a requirement for BiH in the EU accession process. Rollback of this reform seriously threatens BiH’s internal market, particularly the free movement of goods. It undermines the fulfillment of BiH’s international obligations arising from international conventions relating to the trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and goes directly against public health safeguards and poses a dangerous and unnecessary risk to the lives and the wellbeing of all BiH citizens. The mandate of the director of the BiH Agency expired on 26 March, and officials from the RS in the State institutions have stated they would only support the appointment of a new director who would work towards implementation of the RS Law and realization of the RS Agency. This represents further interference in a State institution’s discharge of its obligations.

15. In its 8 December Communiqué, the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board – PIC SB (minus the Russian Federation) deplored “the actions taken by the RS ruling coalition, which seriously challenge the Dayton framework and damage stability in BiH and the region,” also stating that “announced measures – if followed through – would roll back 26 years of peace implementation reforms, also important for the EU accession process.” Regarding the announcement of measures to unilaterally withdraw the RS from agreements on the transfer of competences to the State in the fields of defense, indirect taxation, and the judiciary, among others, the PIC SB underlined, “there can be no unilateral withdrawal from transfer agreements from the entities to the State.”[iii]

16. On 10 December, the RSNA adopted the Declaration on Constitutional Principles and four sets of conclusions, each endorsing submitted policy acts, including the Information on the Transfer of Responsibilities from the RS to the BiH State-Level, which contends that in the last 25 years, RS responsibilities have been transferred to the State through High Representative decisions, BiH Constitutional Court decisions, BiH Parliamentary Assembly laws and bylaws by the BiH Council of Ministers (CoM) and other State-level bodies, through conditionality exerted by international organizations and EU bodies, and through entity agreements. The information contains an analysis and presents an overview of the legislative activities which since 1997 led to the “transfer of responsibilities from RS to the State level” and contains two charts illustrating such “transfers,” including 128 State-level laws and 112 bylaws and decisions of the BiH CoM.

17. By virtue of the 10 December conclusions, the RSNA not only endorsed the policies in the relevant Information acts but also determined the obligation for the RS Government to prepare for adoption by the RSNA a comprehensive set of laws in the relevant areas within next six months, each with provisions to render the corresponding State-level laws as non-applicable in the RS on the day of their entry into force. The adoption of the RSNA Conclusions on the unilateral withdrawal of the RS from transfer agreements on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), the Indirect Taxation Administration (ITA), and defense, signed by both entities between 2003 and 2005, confirmed the intent of the RS authorities under SNSD to unilaterally opt out of these three reforms, effectively withdrawing from the GFAP and the constitutional and legal order of the State.

18. In February, members of the BiH House of Representatives submitted five requests to the BiH Constitutional Court requesting the resolution of constitutional disputes between BiH and the RS caused by the adoption of acts adopted by the RSNA on 10 December. It is unclear when the Court will deliberate on these requests.

19. On 10 February, the RSNA adopted the proposed RS Law on Immovable Property used for Functioning of Public Authorityand the draft Law on the RS HJPC. The latter item was adopted in the first reading and was put to public debate in the period of 60 days. The adopted Draft Law currently envisages that it will enter into force one year following publication in the Official Gazette of the RS. It remains to be seen whether this provision would remain when the proposal of the Law is put into procedure for final adoption.

20. The same day, PIC SB Ambassadors (minus the Russian Federation) issued a joint statement underlining that “moves by the RS authorities to introduce a Law creating a parallel HJPC represent a clear attempt by the entity to unilaterally assume the constitutional responsibilities of the State, which would represent a violation of the constitution and legal order of BiH.” The Ambassadors also noted, “The adoption of an RS Law on HJPC would be incompatible with BiH’s European integration process, constituting an unacceptable interference in the independence of the judiciary and signaling a backsliding of the whole country on European standards in rule of law.”[iv]

21. The RS Law on Immovable Property used for Functioning of Public Authority entered into force on 14 April. The Law represents the unilateral attempt of the RS to regulate ownership rights over State Property assets and is unconstitutional. It violates relevant decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court and precludes an acceptable and sustainable resolution of the issue of State Property – a key requirement of the 5+2 Agenda. Additionally, it violates the Laws on the Temporary Prohibition of Disposal of State Property (Disposal Ban), pursuant to which any legal instrument disposing of State Property contrary to these Laws shall be null and void. Upon entry into force, the Law would create legal chaos and uncertainty in property relations, including vis-à-vis future investments in RS.

22. The continuously escalating political crisis, the most serious in the post-war period, has undoubtedly raised tensions in the country and poisoned the atmosphere, as evidenced by the multitude of interethnic incidents that occurred around the January Orthodox holidays and the repeated decisions of RS authorities to observe the “RS Day” on 9 January. I have publicly deplored the RS authorities’ continued disregard for the final and binding decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court, which established that the designation of 9 January as RS Day is incompatible with the BiH Constitution.

23. From 6 to 9 January, incidents of hate speech and threats against Bosniaks were registered in Bijeljina, Doboj, Višegrad, Prijedor, Foča and Nevesinije in the RS, and in Brčko District. At RS’s main event in Banja Luka, Milorad Dodik stood with convicted war criminal Vinko Pandurević. The day after the 9 January event, hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the OHR in Sarajevo and thousands in capitals around the world to call on the international community to react to the continued destructive behavior of the RS authorities. I addressed the protestors and spoke with some of them, who were scared and frustrated. They know from history that in the current dynamic the potential for a political crisis to become a security crisis is very real, and the international community must respond appropriately.

24. In that regard, I welcome the introduction in January of sanctions by the United States (US) Treasury Department against Mr. Dodik for his “destabilizing and corrupt activities” and against RS media outlet “Alternativna TV” as Dodik’s “personal media station.”[v] Likewise, I welcome the EU’s decision to postpone disbursement of the second tranche of its macro financial assistance (MFA) to BiH due to the failure of the BiH authorities to deliver on commitments they took on when signing the MFA agreement. Further, I commend the EU Parliament’s adoption in February of amendments to the its annual report on the Foreign Affairs Committee calling for targeted sanctions against Dodik and his associates for “his corrupt practices, continued destabilization of the country and undermining of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”[vi] Lastly, I applaud the recent introduction by the UK of sanctions against Mr. Dodik and RS President Željka Cvijanović (SNSD) for their “attempts to undermine the legitimacy and functionality of the State” and “undermining the hard-won peace” in BiH.”[vii]

25. However, I must express my disappointment and alarm at recent comments by the Russian Ambassador to BiH, who appeared to threaten BiH sovereignty. In a local media interview on 17 March, the Ambassador said, “If [BiH] decides to be a member of any alliance, that is an internal matter. Our response is a different matter. Ukraine’s example shows what we expect.”[viii] It is unacceptable for an ambassador and a member of the PIC SB to use the example of a war being perpetrated in another country as a “warning” to his host country. Recent developments in Ukraine are stark reminders of the importance of preserving peace and stability. I must also report that, following its announcement on 28 July 2021 to suspend its participation in PIC SB meetings, the Russian Federation announced, on 17 February, to suspend its mandated contribution to the budget of my Office.

26. The destabilizing RS policies naturally impacted the functionality of the State-level authorities, as intended. BiH went through the whole of 2021 without an adopted budget and 2022 does not look to be any different, as the BiH institutions remain on temporary financing in Q1 and Q2, so far. The legislative output of the BiH CoM and the BiH Parliamentary Assembly remains the lowest of any previous mandate of these institutions.

27. In October, I addressed the BiH House of Representatives and encouraged the elected members to work towards solutions to the crisis. I have also submitted proposals to resolve the issues of State Property and the issue of genocide denial, but to no avail yet.

28. The efforts to reform several aspects of the electoral rules through amendments to the BiH Election Law and limited constitutional changes have unfortunately failed to yield results and remain an issue of contention primarily between the main Croat party, the Croatian Democratic Union of BiH (HDZ BiH) and the main Bosniak party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), although the outcome is of concern to all parties. I commend the tireless efforts of the EU and US facilitators to broker an agreement between parties on this issue. I believe that these efforts will not be in vain as the obligation of BiH to bring its constitutional and legal framework in line with the European Charter for Human Rights, the relevant Constitutional Court decisions and the recommendations of ODIHR and GRECO remains, and this issue will need to be addressed in the future.

29. The failure to reach an agreement is another missed opportunity, as it could have created a new dynamic as BiH endures serious challenges to its constitutional order. It also could have ensured the removal of discrimination from the election to the BiH Presidency and the BiH House of Peoples and on the adoption of rules to better combat electoral fraud, through the so-called integrity package. Discussions also focused on the functionality of the Federation, considering the need to ensure that authorities can be formed in an entity which has yet to appoint its executive three and a half years since the last General Elections. Indeed, the parties came close to an agreement on several issues discussed but the political courage to take the extra step needed to reach a compromise so close to the elections was not found. As of the time of this report, there is still sufficient time for the parties to agree on a package and adopt it through the BiH Parliament. It is, however, unlikely that the entire package of necessary reforms will be adopted without pressure by the international community, which now strongly encourages the parties to adopt the integrity package.

30. The absence of an agreement does not call into question in any way the 2022 General Elections, which will be held in the first week of October under the same rules as in 2018. However, the lack of agreement on electoral reform will make the organization of the elections more challenging. Most Croat parties continue to condition their participation in these elections on changes in the manner of electing the members of the BiH Presidency. These parties have long requested the adoption of a rule that ensures that one of the members of the tripartite Presidency “legitimately” represents the Croat constituent people.

31. In this context, the BiH Central Election Commission (CEC), tasked with organizing elections, has been thus far unable to secure the funds needed to conduct preparatory activities, due to the failure to adopt the 2022 budget of the BiH institutions. In the absence of an adopted budget, the BiH CoM may adopt a special decision to provide requisite funds to the CEC for the purpose of the conduct of 2022 General Elections. In early April, the PIC SB Ambassadors (minus the Russian Ambassador), the OSCE and I signed a letter to the BiH CoM Chair and Deputy Chairs urging them to do so without further delay.

32. As noted, the Federation Government from the 2014-2018 mandate remains in place, with no new Government appointed following the 2018 General Elections. The Government is reduced from 16 to 13 ministers, due to the deaths of two and the resignation of another. There is no agreement on appointing a new Government or replacing the missing ministers due to the stated position of HDZ BiH not to approve any appointments until an agreement on electoral reform is reached. Similarly, the 2018 General Election results are also not implemented in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, where the same Government from the 2014-2018 remains.

33. The perceived lack of rule of law in BiH, among other factors such as political instability, corruption, and nepotism, continues to drive young people in particular to leave the country for opportunities abroad. An estimated 170,000 persons left BiH in 2021. Reversing this trend must be a priority or BiH will lose its competitive capacity.

34. There have been some positive developments. In November, the Sarajevo City Administration opened a memorial at Kazani commemorating 17 mostly Serb residents of Sarajevo who were murdered by Bosniak members of the Army of the Republic of BiH in 1992-93.

35. In December, the Posavina Canton Assembly amended the Canton’s constitution affirming the constituent status of Serb people, Serbian and Bosnian as official languages, and Cyrillic as an official script, consistent with the Federation Constitution. This follows a similar move by Herzegovina-Neretva Canton in the previous period. Both cantons acted to implement the 2018 judgement of the Federation Constitutional Court, which found that the constitutions of three cantons did not conform with the Federation Constitution. Necessary changes remain pending in West Herzegovina Canton.

36. In Brčko, the District authorities agreed on the construction of a joint memorial for all civilian war victims later this year. The fact that it would only be the second such joint memorial in BiH underscores the neglected imperative for a meaningful effort at reconciliation in the country. To address this need, in December, I wrote to the Joint Collegium of Both Houses of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly to encourage parliamentarians to engage in a process involving civil society to take up the issue as a priority. Regrettably, the addressees have taken no substantial steps in this regard, but I will continue to press this issue in the forthcoming period.

B. Decisions of the High Representative during the reporting period

37. Notwithstanding repeated calls by the PIC Steering Board to all authorities in BiH to refrain from taking unilateral actions that undermine the resolution of State Property, on 10 February the RSNA adopted the Law on Immovable Property Used for Functioning of Public Authority. The Law disregards several final and binding decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court and precludes an acceptable and sustainable resolution of the issue of State Property. Following exhaustive efforts by my office and our international community partners to appeal to the RS leadership to withdraw the legislation and participate in an institutional process to resolve the issue in a legal manner, without success, on 12 April, prior to its entry into force, I issued an Order suspending application of the RS Law on Immovable Property Used for the Functioning of Authorities[ix], with the aim of protecting the property interests of all stakeholders and avoid any negative legal repercussions, until the BiH Constitutional Court reaches a final decision on this matter.

38. The same day, I issued a Decision Amending the Law on the Temporary Prohibition of Disposal of State Property of BiH[x], better known as the State Property Disposal Ban. The Decision takes into account that pursuant to the BiH Constitution, as interpreted by the decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court, the State of BiH is the titleholder of entire State Property and has the exclusive responsibility to regulate the issue of State Property, including to enact legislation establishing a disposal ban applicable to all levels of authority in BiH. The purpose of these amendments is to include the principles and contents of relevant decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court.

39. Reaction to these decisions from Mr. Dodik suggests that the RS would not respect them.[xi] Failure to respect these decisions would further violate the GFAP. On the day of completion of this report, SNSD promoted a rally to be held in Banja Luka on 20 April to oppose these decisions and “fight for the RS.” As I noted in my remarks announcing these decisions, they do not diminish the status of the RS. Both entities have their place in the GFAP and will remain so, but that does not provide a basis for acting against the BiH Constitution.

III. European Union military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

40. EUFOR-ALTHEA continues to play a vital role in safeguarding peace and security in BiH, enabling my office and other international organizations to fulfill our respective mandates. I welcome the UN Security Council’s adoption in November 2021 of Resolution 2604 (2021) extending the EUFOR-ALTHEA mandate for 12 months.

41. I also commend EUFOR-ALTHEA on its Reserve Activation 2022, which in February saw the deployment of an additional 500 reserve personnel to BiH as a precautionary measure, in the context of a deteriorated global security situation, as a demonstration of its commitment to preserving stability in BiH.

42. While EUFOR’s non-executive mandate (Supporting the Armed Forces of BiH collective and combined training) is vital, it is equally important that EUFOR retain its executive mandate and the capacity to deploy troops at short notice. The international military presence has significantly reduced due to defense reforms and the establishment of a singled BiH Armed Forces, which enabled the country to take the lead in preserving peace and security. Persistent rhetoric suggesting the undoing of such reforms and reestablishment of entity military forces warrant the vigilance of the international community.

IV. The Office of the High Representative

43. The Office of the High Representative’s (OHR) total budget amount has been “frozen” at the same level since 2017. The term “frozen budget” is misleading, as it does not account for annually increasing costs, which in turn reduce available revenues each year. There are also the issues of nonpayers and those donors that have reduced their contributions. As a result, operating revenues reduce year by year by approximately 7 percent.

44. While the organization has faced substantial reductions to budgets and staff over time, the remaining tasks have not decreased proportionally. As the budgets decrease, it becomes exponentially more difficult to further reduce costs without cutting essential expertise. Staff reductions pose a greater risk for an organization such as OHR, which relies on its human capital, institutional memory, expertise, and longstanding contact networks.

45. Moreover, as previously noted, in February the Russian Federation suspended its contribution to the OHR budget (representing 1.2 percent of the total budget), placing additional constraints on operations. Given the current dynamic and the challenges ahead, the OHR must retain effective capacity to move the country forward and to eventually end the international oversight. To achieve this, resources must follow the mandate and the organization must be supported politically and financially, with policy considerations regarding BiH being the basis for assessing the future resource requirements of the OHR. To achieve the goals of the organization, consideration should be given to a temporary increase in the budget.

V. Reporting schedule

46. I submit this report in accordance with the requirement in UN Security Council Resolution 1031 (1995) for the High Representative to submit regular reports to the Secretary-General for transmission to the Security Council. Should the Secretary-General or any member of the Council require further information, I am at their disposal. The next regular report is scheduled for October 2022.

[i] “BiH will not be able to survive for the same reason that Yugoslavia did not… We are talking about a different possibility, based on an evaluation that BiH will not be successful as a state. If this is the case, the best option is to go different ways in a civilized manner.”

BiH Presidency member/SNSD President Milorad Dodik, 23 April 2022

[ii] “The HNS and all its members will closely monitor the continuation of political negotiations on changes to the Election Law and limited constitutional reforms, as well as solutions to the overall political situation in BiH. If the process of deconstitution of the Croatian people continues, HNS will initiate all legal procedures and political steps for the new institutional and territorial organization of BiH on the principles of federalism and consociational democracy, which will ensure full constitutional equality of all three constituent peoples in BiH.”

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