Sunday 18th of February 2018

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Focus on future, prioritize reconciliation for the region, UN envoy urges Western Balkans

 UN,Feb 14,(Fast Mail):-- Concluding a twelve-day visit to Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide called for concerted and sustained efforts to prioritize reconciliation and prevention.

 

The renewed focus of the Western Balkan States to achieve European Union membership, provides a new opportunity for prioritizing the reconciliation agenda, Special Adviser Adama Dieng said on Monday.

 

Mr. Dieng met with high-level government officials; religious leaders; civil society organizations; and members of the diplomatic community – along with representatives of the UN Country Teams in the region and the UN Office in Belgrade – exploring both reconciliation challenges along with opportunities to overcome them.

 

Mr. Dieng was concerned over a number of divisive factors that, without serious and concerted efforts, could make matters worse, including political polarization across identity lines and politicization of past events, such as glorifying war criminals and contesting court decisions.

 

Special Adviser Dieng called on political leaders to take active steps to overcome divisions and maximize common ground, encouraging them to focus on the future and prioritize reconciliation as a fundamental regional policy objective.

 

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, he placed a special focus on the October general elections, noting the increase in political tensions when he met government officials at State and entity levels in Sarajevo and in Banja Luka. He also met members of the Speakers Collegium of both parliamentary chambers. Mr. Dieng paid tribute to the victims of past atrocity crimes with visits to memorial sites in Srebrenica and in Donja Gradina and visited the Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar.

 

 

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