Republika Srpska insists that the Dayton Accords be respected, and it will continue seeking to enforce and protect the Accords through political and legal means, says the latest report the Republika Srpska Government submitted to the UN Security Council.
The 23rd Republika Srpska report to the UN Security Council says that Republika Srpska, as a party to the Dayton Accords, remains fully committed to the Accords, including the BiH Constitution.
Republika Srpska respects the legal structure, rights, and obligations set forth in the Agreement – including those set out in the BiH Constitution (Annex 4 of the Accords) – and it calls on the other parties and witnesses to the Accords to do so as well.
The report says that this means respecting entity autonomy and the rights of constituent peoples as guaranteed under the BiH Constitution, as well as refraining from interfering in the domestic affairs of BiH.
Republika Srpska supports BiH as it is defined in the BiH Constitution, and it will continue to seek the full implementation of the Dayton Accords. Srpska has every right to insist that the constitutional structure established under the Accords be fully honored.
“BiH can be highly functional if it is allowed to operate as set out in the BiH Constitution. BiH can have a bright future as a successful and stable country, but that future must be built in accordance with the Dayton Accords,” says the report.
Other actors in BiH and the international community must also respect the Dayton Accords for BiH to succeed and prosper as a country.
Unfortunately, the SDA and other Bosniak political parties have never accepted the Dayton compromise and work tirelessly to undo it.
The High Representative has already, through decrees and coercion, achieved much of the SDA’s agenda of centralizing BiH, but the Bosniak parties are not satisfied.
The report says that the SDA adopted a declaration calling for the complete abolition of the Dayton structure — including the Entities and the protections for constituent peoples — in favor of a unitary state that would be dominated by this party.
The SDA also announced last year that it would ask the BiH Constitutional Court to declare the Republika Srpska’s very name unconstitutional, despite the fact that the name is recognized repeatedly in the text of the Constitution and, of course, throughout the Dayton Accords.
Some elements of the international community also fail to appreciate the importance of the Dayton principles for BiH’s future stability and success, and so they continue to undermine the Dayton system.
Most prominently, the High Representative continues to claim dictatorial authority over BiH that conflicts with its strictly limited responsibilities laid out in Annex 10 of the Dayton Accords. In addition, as noted above, the High Representative has used its claimed dictatorial authority to centralize BiH in violation of the Dayton system.
Many of these centralizing dictates have only caused dysfunction and created obstacles to the efficient administration of standard governmental duties, as exemplified by the problems caused by the High Representative’s intervention into the restitution of land in Republika Srpska.
The High Representative, moreover, never condemns attempts by the SDA and other Bosniak parties to undo the Dayton compromise by undermining the Entities and the rights of BiH’s constituent peoples.
Some foreign diplomats speak as if the Dayton constitutional system is merely a series of temporary measures.
For example, U.S. Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer said, “The Dayton Agreement was never meant to be a fixed framework, but rather a changing framework.”
This is incorrect as a historical statement as the parties involved in negotiating Dayton knew that the agreement needed to be concrete, detailed, and comprehensive rather than leaving issues unresolved and a potential source of political conflict. In fact, the term “changing framework” is an oxymoron.
Anything that changes due to the temporary political objectives of the parties or outside forces is not a framework at all, but the very opposite of a framework, the whole purpose of which is to provide fixed parameters.
“Moreover, comments like these, even if made with the best intentions, further embolden the SDA to seek abolition of the entities and the other Dayton protections for BiH’s constituent peoples, and cause other groups guaranteed a measure of protection and autonomy under Dayton to feel threatened, and to react accordingly,” says the report.
The Republika Srpska Government has adopted a report which Republika Srpska Prime Minister Radovan Višković sent to the UN Security Council and UN Security Council member states on behalf of Republika Srpska as a signatory to all annexes of the Dayton Agreement.