Delivered by: Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

I welcome the participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and the EU in today’s meeting.

Mr. President,

In October, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina exercised their constitutional right to participate in elections. Following the elections, we hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to promote stability and development for its people, including through building on some of the recent positive developments in the country. This is especially important due to the ongoing tensions across the continent. In the context of today’s discussion, the UAE would like to reiterate the following key points:

First, we welcome the unanimous renewal of the mandate of EUFOR-Althea. This reflects the confidence the Council has in the European Union Force and the important role it plays in promoting stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The support for extending the Force’s mandate from leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament, as well as by the members of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a positive step.We hope that dialogue will continue among the political leaders to work toward consensus on all important political issues.

Second, we stress the importance of addressing hate speech. The promotion of peaceful coexistence and tolerance are essential pillars for building peaceful, cohesive, and prosperous societies, especially for diverse societies such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UAE understands the importance of strengthening these values from our experience in a region that has suffered greatly due to the spread of extremism, sectarianism, and the fueling of hatred. Therefore, we believe it is important to address hate speech wherever it manifests – whether in written, audio, or visual media. In this context, we commend the reported decrease in hate speech incidents during the last electoral cycle in the country as well as the positive impact of the laws put in place for this purpose.

Third, we stress the importance of the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in political life and decision-making, especially considering the challenges facing women’s participation in these areas as described in the High Representative’s report. We are all aware that women play an essential role in achieving stability and sustainable peace, especially in terms of supporting reconciliation efforts in societies that witness constant tensions. Women’s participation increases the chances of reaching successful and meaningful agreements and takes into consideration the broader views of the community.

Finally, Mr. President, the UAE reaffirms its support for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in line with international law and the Dayton Agreement. We also commend the important role played by the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we stress the importance of fully respecting the national institutions in the country. Achieving peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires maintaining political stability and advancing the reconciliation process, which the Council must support. Doing so will have a positive impact not only on Bosnia and Herzegovina, but across the entire region.

Thank you, Mr. President.