UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The UN Security Council on Thursday rejected a resolution tabled by Russia and China that would have immediately stripped the powers of the top international representative who oversees the implementation of the 1995 peace accord that ended the devastating war in Bosnia and eliminated the position in its entirety within a year.
The draft resolution did not obtain a minimum of nine votes in favor for its adoption. The vote was 2-0, only Russia and China voted “yes” and the other 13 council members abstained.
The rejected resolution stated that the powers granted to the high representative at a conference on the implementation of the Dayton peace agreement in 1997 “are no longer necessary given the progress made by the Bosnian parties.” He supported the appointment of High Representative Christian Schmidt of Germany “until July 31, 2022, with the closure of the Office of the High Representative.”
Before the vote, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, accused the senior representative of becoming “a czar” with “almost post-colonial” powers, saying that Schmidt’s election is not legitimate without the approval of the Council. of security.
The US-brokered Dayton peace agreement, which ended the 1992-95 war after more than 100,000 people were killed, established two separate entities in Bosnia: one run by Bosnian Serbs and one dominated by Bosnians. of the country, who are mostly Muslims and Croats. .
The powers of the high representative have been criticized by the Bosnian Serbs, who have close ties to Russia, for not offering the possibility of appealing his decisions, which take immediate effect. The Office of the High Representative has removed dozens of officials, including judges, civil servants and members of parliament since its inception.
Russia disagreed with Schmidt’s appointment and has long called for the high representative position to be removed.
Schmidt was formally appointed as the next high representative on May 27 by the 10-member Board of Directors of the 55-member Peace Implementation Council, the international body guiding the Bosnian peace process.