Ambassador Bukun Onemola

Nigeria Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Nigeria Mission to the UN

New York, NY

26th May, 2010

As Delivered

I welcome His Excellency Mr. Haris Silajdžić, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and thank him for his statement. I thank High Representative Valentin Inzko for his briefing on developments in the country during the past six months.

Nigeria welcomes the positive developments, including the progress made in addressing the conditions for visa liberalization with the European Union, as well as the acceptance of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for a Membership Action Plan by NATO. We are pleased with the improved relations between the country and its immediate neighbours, resulting in increased diplomatic activity among them, as well as the furtherance of reconciliation and the promotion of peace within the region.

We note that attacks against State institutions and nationalistic rhetoric undermine efforts to promote peace and stability. Such actions have also constrained efforts by the High Representative and the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council to fully implement their mandates. The limited progress made in implementing necessary reforms and in meeting the outstanding requirements set by the Steering Board for the transition from the Office of the High Representative to a European Union presence requires attention. The General Framework Agreement for Peace needs sustained support.

If these issues are not handled properly, they could trigger further tension and possibly affect the general election slated for October. The leaders must demonstrate the requisite political will to promote reconciliation, peace and development in the country and the region as a whole. In this regard, we urge political leaders to refrain from divisive and anti-Dayton rhetoric, as this may impede the progress recorded thus far. They should also commit to dialogue and compromise in resolving their differences.

We welcome the efforts of the United States and the European Union to assist the country in resolving the remaining issues on the agenda set by the Peace Implementation Council for the closure of the Office of the High Representative and in reforming the Constitution within the framework of the Dayton Agreement. We also welcome the follow-up meeting being facilitated by the United States in June.

We note the call by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for constitutional reform, and the Sejdic-Finci decision on the election eligibility provisions of the Constitution. It is our hope that any envisaged process will take into account the specific circumstances and concerns of all the country’s peoples. We appreciate the role of European Union peacekeeping, in collaboration with the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in fostering stability and security in the country. We urge the High Representative to continue with his efforts to promote the admission of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European Union.

 In conclusion, we urge continued support for the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in its efforts to implement its justice sector reform strategy, to promote the return of internally displaced persons, and to strengthen its economy. We call for concerted action by the international community to facilitate attainment of the goals of these reform efforts.