At the outset, I would also like to join others to express our heartfelt appreciation and congratulations to the Brazilian delegation for their dedicated and successful work in challenging October. I also would like to congratulate China for the successful assumption of November presidency. Japan assures its full support to your delegation.
We are pleased the Security Council has once again unanimously adopted the resolution to authorize the EUFOR Althea mission, and in so doing has sent a clear message in support of its important role in maintaining peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Dayton Peace Agreement.
We also thank the European Union and its member states for their commitment to its essential mission.
I also welcome the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia to this meeting.
Although High Representative Christian Schmidt is not here today, we would like to reassure him of Japan’s unwavering support for him and his office. Recognizing the importance of the role of the High Representative, Japan has been contributing a fair amount of the office’s budget since its inception. We are very appreciative of the High Representative’s recent report, which the Secretary-General has shared with this Council.
Twenty-eight years have passed since the brutal conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to an end. Achieving peace, stability and prosperity is crucial, not only for the country’s future but also for peace and stability in the Western Balkans.
Japan, as a member of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) Steering Board, strongly supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation. Since the Dayton Peace Agreement, Japan has been consistently engaging in PIC activities and providing assistance to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in areas such as healthcare, education, and demining. Our support for nation-building and national reconciliation efforts continues to this day.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing an important juncture. It has transitioned from conflict to peace, but the question remains how it can achieve a successful future.
Japan is deeply concerned about the recent escalation of statements and actions by one entity challenging the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in ways that would undermine the foundation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Based on this agreement, it is clear that the two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, are not states. We reiterate that any discourse calling for secession could damage the agreement. Both entities are part of the sovereign state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We strongly urge all political leaders to have a constructive attitude for the future of the country.
The accession of the Western Balkans to the EU is an important step towards attaining a united Europe. We hope the advancement of this cause will present an opportunity for the countries of the region, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, to further advance the necessary reforms to achieve greater integration.
In conclusion, Mr. President, let me reiterate our steadfast commitment to supporting peace, stability and prosperity through the steady development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans region as a whole
I thank you.