November 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 October 2011
Download Complete Forecast: PDF
EUROPE

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Expected Council Action
In November, the Council is expecting a report from the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko (Austria), on implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.

A debate, with a briefing by Inzko, is expected, and the Council is likely to reauthorise EUFOR, the EU force in the country, for another 12 months. EUFOR’s current mandate expires on 18 November.

Key Recent Developments
Bosnia and Herzegovina continues without a state-level government, over a year after the October 2010 general elections were held, as the appointment of political leaders in the Council of Ministers remains stalled.

The country formed a parliamentary assembly in June, eight months after the elections.

Members of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) met in Sarajevo on 6 and 7 July. (The PIC’s steering board comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, the US, the EU presidency, the European Commission and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, represented by Turkey.) In a communiqué, although welcoming the formation of the parliamentary assembly, the PIC steering board expressed concern over the continuing absence of state-level government, which is preventing Bosnia and Herzegovina from fulfilling important obligations and completing the objectives of the 5+2 agenda. (The 5+2 agenda is composed of five objectives and two conditions to be met before the closure of the Office of the High Representative (OHR). The objectives are: the resolution of state property, resolution of defence property, completion of the Brcko final award, fiscal sustainability of the state and entrenchment of the rule of law. The conditions are to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU and to obtain a positive assessment of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the PIC.) The communiqué also welcomed the EU’s further strengthening of engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its nomination of Peter Sorensen (Denmark) as the head of the EU delegation in Sarajevo. The steering board also expressed serious concern about the lack of progress on the fulfilment of the outstanding 5+2 agenda since its last meeting. The steering board is scheduled to meet next on 30 November and 1 December.

In mid-August authorities in the Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska (RS), announced they intend to re-open a liaison office in the capital, Sarajevo, by the end of this year, a move that is being viewed by opposition parties both in RS and in the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat-dominated Federation as an attempt to further undermine state institutions and to prolong the current political deadlock. RS President Milorad Dodik indicated the office will challenge several ongoing legal processes deemed unfavourable to the entity.

On 1 September, Peter Sørensen, took up the post of EU special representative (EUSR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Previously, the EUSR and OHR posts were held simultaneously by Inzko. Under the new arrangement Sorensen is tasked with assisting the country move forward towards EU membership while Inzko will focus on monitoring the implementation of the Dayton Agreement.

The Council was last briefed by Inzko on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 9 May. At that time, Inzko said that with political parties employing zero-sum politics, state-level legislative processes were at a standstill, and the country was facing the most serious and most direct challenges to the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement since it was signed over 15 years ago.

Human Rights-Related Developments
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported on 31 August on activities to promote human rights, prevention of discrimination and promotion of social inclusion of minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These include the population movement programme, which places significant attention on Roma minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina as one of the most vulnerable groups. The programme seeks to obtain first-hand information on the current situation of the Roma in order to develop an appropriate response involving the national Red Cross society and regional Red Cross societies.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is that, due to the political uncertainty, there has been little or no recent progress toward meeting the outstanding conditions of the 5+2 agenda.

The implications of the possible legal challenges coming from Republika Srpska for the overall political and security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina constitute a related issue.

Options
One likely option for the Council is to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the EUFOR without making any substantive changes.

Another option is to highlight the urgent need for unity and functionality of the government and to discourage the continual pursuit of narrow ethnic goals by some actors.

Council Dynamics
Several Council members—in particular Russia, the US and the European nations—are interested in following developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, given that any progress is contingent upon developments in the domestic political realm, some Council members feel there is little role for the Council at this time.

Council members have divergent views on the Office of the High Representative. Russia feels that there should be a focus on closing the office as soon as the outstanding objectives and conditions set by the PIC steering board in February 2008 are met. Other Council members, such as the US and the UK, are more supportive of keeping the Office of the High Representative open and are cautious about a premature closure.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolution

  • S/RES/1948 (18 November 2010) reauthorised EUFOR until 18 November 2011.
  • S/RES/1869 (25 March 2009) welcomed and agreed to the designation of Valentin Inzko as high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina by the PIC steering board.
  • S/RES/1575 (22 November 2004) established EUFOR.

Latest Meeting Record

Selected Letters

  • S/2011/283 (3 May 2011) was from the Secretary-General transmitting the most recent report of the high representative on the implementation of the peace agreement from 16 October 2010-20 April 2011.
  • S/2010/656 (10 December 2010) was from the Secretary-General conveying the report on the activities of EUFOR from 1 June to 31 August 2010.
  • S/2010/235 (14 May 2010) was from the Secretary-General transmitting the most recent report of the High Representative on the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
  • S/2010/51 (28 January 2010) was from Turkey transmitting “Conclusions on developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina” from the second meeting of the political directors of the South-East European Cooperation Process.

Other

  • S/1995/999 and annexes (21 November 1995) was the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Annexes, signed in Dayton, Ohio in the US.

Useful Additional Sources
Statement by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, 3 October 2011.

Peace Implementation Council Steering Board Communiqué, 7 July 2011.

Declaration by the PIC Steering Board on the five objectives and two conditions for the closure of the OHR, 27 February 2008.

Full forecast