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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

Mr. President,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the associated countries of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey and the EFTA countries belonging to the European Economic Area Iceland and Liechtenstein, align themselves with this statement.

Mr. President,

May I express our warm thanks to you for opening this briefing for delegations and granting us the opportunity to express our opinions on a subject close to the European Union’s heart.

I would also like to thank the High Representative, Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Jacques Klein, and General Vincent Coeurderoy, Commissioner of the International Police Task Force, for the excellent work they have accomplished together in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They have the European Union’s support in their efforts to implement the Dayton and Paris Agreements.

Mr. President,

The Secretary-General’s report on progress made by the UNMIBH in the last six months makes encouraging reading. We are pleased to see that the UNMIBH Mission, in accordance with the mandate implementation plan, continues to make progress and that 43 of its 66 projects have been completed so far. We are particularly satisfied with the results achieved in relation to the border police, the fight against trafficking in human beings and drugs, and counter-terrorism. The fact that the regional police forces and the two entities are improving their collaboration is very positive and can only serve to make their work even more efficient.

It is a shame that the efforts made by the police are not yet effectively taken up by the judicial system, which, as noted by the Independent Judicial Commission, is only making slow progress. Public confidence, not only in the judicial system but also in the police services, is essential if it is to work properly. We therefore call on the UNMIBH to pursue the efforts it has begun in this difficult task of overhauling the judiciary.

Mr. President,

If it continues in this way, the UNMIBH should have completed its core tasks by the end of its mandate in December next year. As mentioned by the Secretary-General in his report, monitoring and assistance activities will follow on from then. As we declared during the debate in the Council in September this year, the European Union appreciates and supports the High Representative’s global approach to restructuring the current civilian presence on the ground. The transition must be planned intelligently and the avenues open to us for streamlining the presence of the international community on the ground must be explored, while bearing two goals in mind: efficiency and coordination. The document, which High Representative Petritsch is to submit at the meeting of the PIC Steering Board, to be held tomorrow in Brussels, will most certainly enable us to make progress towards a rapid implementation of such streamlining, which will further enhance the efficiency of the international community’s action in the country.

Mr. President,

The UNMIBH’s work is directly in line with the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing the Dayton Agreements. The progress made is positive and the situation is developing satisfactorily. The European Union strongly urges the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue with implementation of the EU Road Map. We should like to stress once again that responsible political management, combined with a total and immediate determination to implement institutional, legal and economic reforms in full, are essential prerequisites for speedy integration into European Union structure. Regional cooperation is no less important to the consolidation of this process, and, as we emphasized in September, in this respect Bosnia and Herzegovina have made significant progress, which must be taken forward.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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