The Ambassadors of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SBA) reject the adoption of the Conclusions of 11 November 2019 by the ruling coalition in the RS National Assembly as based on an erroneous interpretation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA). The interests of Republika Srpska are served not by rolling back essential reforms, but by implementing forward-looking reforms that support and strengthen the security, stability, and prosperity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and reduce BiH’s reliance on international supervision.
The PIC SBA recalls the following facts:
- BiH was recognized as a sovereign country in 1992 and transformed with the signature of the DPA into a State consisting of two Entities. The RSNA Conclusions contradict these facts.
- BiH enjoys sovereignty and the BiH Constitution does not leave any room for any “sovereignty” of the Entities, which only exist legally by virtue of the BiH Constitution. This has been affirmed by the BiH Constitutional Court on many occasions.
- Republika Srpska has no right to secede and operates under the DPA which recognizes the territorial integrity, political independence, and sovereignty of BiH.
- The BiH Constitutional Court has, in its decisions, developed a comprehensive jurisprudence on BiH, its competencies and the status of the constituent peoples. The decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court are final and binding, and it does not belong to the RSNA to select which decisions it chooses to apply. The presence of the international judges in the Constitutional Court is regulated by the BiH Constitution and it belongs to the BiH Parliamentary Assembly to decide on their presence.
- The RS is obliged by the DPA to comply with the decisions of the BiH institutions and to “provide all necessary assistance to the government of BiH in order to enable it to honor the international obligations of BiH.”
The PIC SBA fully supports the state-level institutions which are required for the effective functioning of both entities and calls upon the RS authorities to refrain from undermining them.
The PIC SBA also fully supports the High Representative and his mandate and commends the efforts of the High Representatives in implementing the DPA. The PIC SBA further lends its support to all agencies that were involved in the implementation of the peace settlement. The international community retains the necessary instruments to uphold the DPA.
The Russian Federation disagrees with this statement.
Serb member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik told Srna the National Assembly of Republika Srpska did not adopt its conclusions for the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board to reject them or uphold them, because the Peace Implementation Council is not a body that is even envisaged by the Dayton Peace Agreement or the BiH Constitution.
“The Conclusions were adopted by the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, which draws the possibility and right from all valid regulations to adopt them. The Peace Implementation Council is a self-organised body of a certain number of countries and organisations, which does not have its articles of association, nor any document on its functioning, which means that it is a body that is not based on international law or documents,” Dodik replied when asked to comment on a statement by the ambassadors of the PIC Steering Board rejecting the National Assembly’s Conclusions.
That the PIC is total legal nonsense was stated back in 1995 by Pauline Neville-Jones, the then political director of the British Foreign Office, at a conference in London, when the body was self-founded, Dodik emphasised.
“‘Everybody knew it was a trick’ was how Pualine Neville-Jones described the PIC formation at the time. The high representative does not have any kind of obligation towards the Peace Implementation Council, either under the Dayton Agreement of the UN Security Council resolutions, and that’s why I believe their actions in the past, including this one today, bypass the Dayton Agreement or any other legally binding document,” the Serb member of the BiH Presidency emphasised.
He noted that the forum of ambassadors within the PIC Steering Board, who occasionally meet in Sarajevo, has neither any legal grounds nor any meaning, especially if one takes into account that they keep interfering in BiH’s internal matters without any legal grounds, citing the preservation of the sovereignty of the very same BiH.
“It is clear to us that force is on their side, but force and law are not one and the same thing, and that’s what I want to say to them today. In order to interpret the Agreement and the Constitution, we do not need anyone from the international community, for even if they find us little and small in number, we have enough capable people who can interpret all treaties and decisions competently,” said Dodik.