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Bosnia and Herzegovina | General assembly

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ŽELJKO KOMŠIĆ, President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, reiterated his country’s support for the 2030 Agenda. Although its implementation would lead member states and their societies towards self-reliant development, its achievement will be a challenge in the today’s world dominated by wars and geopolitical interests. One of the challenges in building trust and encouraging global solidarity is migration, he stressed. While migrants are often seen as beneficiaries of the Sustainable Development Goals, the situation is different when it comes to their country of origin. He claimed that powerful countries select competent migrants and profit from “exploiting their knowledge and capabilities,” thereby weakening small states. The latter thus lose both human capital and investments dedicated to the training of highly qualified people. “It is difficult to talk about confidence building when larger countries and their extensive systems are taking over the population of smaller countries through migration,” he lamented.

This creates an environment in which poverty thrives and prevents socio-economic development. The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina supports this argument, he said, noting that a significant number of people are leaving for more developed countries, mainly Western democracies. The main reason for their departure is the lack of prospects in their country. He said this was due to the political system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is based on ethnicity. “In such a system, key positions are not occupied by the best and most qualified people, but by those who are politically and ethnically appropriate,” he detailed, adding that this creates space for nepotism and corruption in all segments of society, eroding trust. and social cohesion. In addition, the unfinished political system degrades democracy, slows down his country’s development and hinders its membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), he noted.

He then accused neighboring countries of “cleverly using this political system to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina or deprive it of its meaning as a state.” Twenty-seven years after being attacked by its two neighbors, such behavior violates the minimum level of interstate trust to the detriment of the establishment of interstate cooperation, he stressed. Furthermore, this behavior is often supported not only by authoritarian regimes but also by liberal-democratic states, he asks, emphasizing that: “We will certainly not allow the division and disappearance of our thousand-year-old state” . Calling on the United Nations to support his country and its institutions to preserve peace in the Western Balkans, he reiterated that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fundamental problem lies in the inequality of its citizens in the ethnic system of governance, doomed to be conflictual. In such a situation, one easily loses hope of having a positive outlook for the future, he observed.

He deplored that the latest interventions by international representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina have reinforced the undemocratic principle of governance and deepened the discrimination of citizens. Stressing that a transition to full democracy is a prerequisite for equality, especially in a post-war society, he said Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to change its entire paradigm and move to civic political representation. In this regard, he condemned a political leader from a neighboring country for rejecting a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on this issue. This harms Bosnia and Herzegovina and “recalls the attitude towards international law that (President of the Russian Federation) Vladimir Putin built in the case of Ukraine”, he warned . Only when the political system changes and attacks from neighboring countries stop will Bosnia and Herzegovina be ready to be a completely legitimate actor contributing to self-sustainable development by building trust and global solidarity, a- he concluded.

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