Thirty-eighth report of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/2010/575)
This report covers the period from 1 May to 15 October 2010. During the reporting period, there has been further progress on addressing the conditions for visa liberalization with the European Union. Apart from this progress, the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have failed to address long-needed reforms and as a result there has been no further progress towards European Union and NATO integration. General elections were held on 3 October and they were assessed to be generally free and fair by the international election observation missions. At the time of writing, the election results remain provisional.
It remains a matter of concern that legal and political actions challenging Bosnia and Herzegovina State-level institutions, competencies and laws, and the authority of the High Representative and the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, have continued and intensified, mainly from the Government of the Republika Srpska, one of the two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In advance of the October general elections there was a marked increase in divisive anti-Dayton rhetoric disputing the sovereignty and constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Political leaders from the Republika Srpska have repeatedly referred to the future independence of that entity and reiterated their views that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a "virtual and impossible state". The Republika Srpska also adopted a new law governing the holding of referendums in that entity. Following the International Court of Justice's opinion on Kosovo, political leaders from the Republika Srpska made unsubstantiated claims that that entity also has the right to self-determination. Moreover, there has been an increase in actions that threaten earlier achievements in coping with and overcoming the country's legacy of serious war crimes.