Letter RE: Potential Replacement of Dr.Valentin Inzko, the current High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hamilton, January 5, 2021.
Via E-Mail (

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Letter RE: Potential Replacement of Dr.Valentin Inzko, the current High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina    

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to you on behalf of Bosniak-Canadian community residing in Canada with respect to the recent news regarding Germany’s reported proposal to replace Dr. Valentin Inzko, the current High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina(“Bosnia”).

While we welcome Germany’s initiative and commitment for greater involvement in Bosnia, we are gravely concerned about the timing of such an announcement. For the past eleven (11) years, Germany and other members of the European Union (“EU”) have expressly supported the work of Dr. Inzko in Bosnia, including his most recent report of the High Representative to the Security Council of the United Nations, dated October 21, 2020, which was delivered pursuant to, and under the authority of, Security Council resolution 1031 (1995). However, suddenly there appears to be an unexplainable and unusual rush to replace Dr. Inzko with Mr. Christian Schmidt, the former German Minister of Food and Agriculture.

As noted above, we are certainly excited about the renewed focus, energy, enthusiasm relating to, and the potential for Canadian and European re-engagement in Bosnia. Nonetheless, the past 11 years have offered numerous opportunities for members of the EU to make changes through the Security Council of the United Nations, which they failed to seize and act upon. Moreover, Mr. Schmidt is the recipient of the Order of Ante Starčević, which is an order awarded to individuals whose personal contributions have helped further the development of the Croatian state. To replace the current High Representative with someone who has strong ties to one ethnic group in Bosnia underscores our concern that Germany’s announcement appears to be rushed and could yield severe unintended adverse consequences in Bosnia and the entire Western Balkans.

The EU’s inability to resolve the war and bring peace to Bosnia in the 1990s and its subsequent ineffectiveness in dealing with political deadlock following the war are well documented. Furthermore, the EU’s failure to provide Bosnia with a clear path to EU accession has led to increased nationalism, the weakening of government institutions and the deterioration of democracy and human rights. Therefore, any effort to re-engage and effect a lasting change in Bosnia must be rooted in the Canadian leadership, support and a strong commitment to meaningful and democratic political change.

As proud Canadians of Bosniak origin, we encourage you to take an active role with any current or future initiatives concerning the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia. More importantly, we firmly believe that strong and active Canadian leadership is the only feasible path to increased security, peace and stability in the Western Balkans.

Your sincerely,

Dr. Emir Ramic
Bosniak-Canadian community
Chairman of the Institute for Research of Genocide Canada
105 Chamomile Drive
Hamilton, Ontario
L8W 0B9