Thank you Mr President,
I would like to welcome High Representative Ambassador Valentin Inzko and to convey to him Portugal’s appreciation and support for his important and demanding work and that of his office in the interests of peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I also thank him for his very comprehensive report.
Portugal naturally shares the views expressed in the statement which will be made by the European Union representative, but allow me to underline some issues of particular concern for my country.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has undertaken significant efforts to overcome the political impasse, following the October 2010 elections, which affected the development of national policies, its progress towards meeting the “5+2” to close the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as EU and NATO integration. In this regard, the constructive attitude of political leaders and relevant authorities is much to be appreciated and encouraged, so that the positive momentum for the adoption of relevant reforms is not lost.
Among these, economic reforms are of particular importance given the difficult situation of the country. In this context, we reiterate the urgent need to adopt the 2012 State budget and the 2012-2014 Global Fiscal Framework, as these would contribute to the strengthening of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s social and economic stability and ultimately to peace and security throughout the region. Challenges to the fiscal structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at its different levels, as we have witnessed over the past months, directly threatens the operation and sustainability of the federal government and risks creating a new obstacle to a government, and indeed, an entire country, which faces a very complex situation in that regard.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the international community, and notably the European Union, must continue to be fully engaged with Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcome the reinforcement of the EU presence in the country and, in this regard, we support for the European Union forces, namely the European Union Police Mission, whose competences will soon be assumed by the Special Representative and by EUFOR Althea, whose mission and presence we believe continue to be of significant importance to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We also bear in mind the ongoing discussions on the reconfiguration of the international presence with a view to reflect on, and respond to, the specific needs of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an adequate, constructive and open-minded manner.