CoE, EU, UN and OSCE Mission to BiH congratulate citizens of BiH for 25 years of peace

The Council of Europe, the European Union in BiH, the United Nations in BiH and the OSCE Mission to BiH welcome the 25th anniversary of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a significant milestone made possible by the people across the country who have worked hard to ensure that BiH continues on its course toward a more stable future with opportunities and ever-brighter prospects for its younger generations.

“We jointly welcome the recent BiH Presidency joint statement including its emphasis on the vital importance of ensuring mutual understanding, respect and dignity among and between people across the country. Equally powerful is their call for compassion for the pain and suffering of all peoples and citizens and to express respect for all innocent victims of war.

Let us build on these words and help support and work together to create an environment more conducive to reconciliation. Active support for the efforts of peace-builders across generations and backgrounds throughout the country will be critical as BiH moves ahead from this anniversary.”

Today, the European Union’s High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell visited the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo, where he paid tribute to all civilian victims and celebrated the work of peace-builders. Gathered there together, the Heads of Mission of the CoE, the EU, the UN and the OSCE Mission to BiH heard the messages from some of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most active agents of peace and reconciliation on what it is that the country’s people want most:  peace, stability and a path towards a prosperous, inclusive and democratic future.

Following this gathering, the EU Head of Delegation and EU Special Representative Ambassador Johann Sattler underlined that “what unites the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina is far stronger than what divides them. It is heart-warming to see the work of peace-builders strengthening trust and cohesion in communities.” He noted that progress on the EU path needs to be underpinned by genuine reconciliation and that political leaders should help to create an environment that facilitates, not undermines this. “Citizens deserve no less.”

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, dr. Ingrid Macdonald recognized the strength of solidarity through diversity exhibited by ordinary citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past 25 years ‘As the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina work to address their common challenges and find joint solutions, we will continue to support their efforts with the goal of facilitating durable peace and sustainable prosperity where no one is left behind.”

Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Kathleen Kavalec stressed that future progress in BiH depends first and foremost on cooperation and building trust among all citizens.  “Let us continue, hand in hand, to strengthening mutual understanding and reconciliation. Building a more prosperous future that includes all citizens of BiH must be our common priority.,” added Kavalec.

Head of the Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo Bojana Urumova said: “It is significant that we are marking this anniversary at the War Childhood Museum, winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize in 2018, an institution that advocates peace, reconciliation, and the value of cultural diversity.”

“We appreciate the efforts of those who have established museums and memorials that pays tribute to all civilian victims of the 1992-1995 war, such as the War Childhood Museum.  The shared losses of the past must never be forgotten but, with empathy and good will, can be used to build bridges toward a more genuine peace. All of us are committed to supporting these aspirations and goals.” concluded the heads of the CoE, the EU in BiH, the UN and the OSCE Mission to BiH.