Ambassadors in BiH congratulate Students on Max van der Stoel Award

The francophone ambassadors in Bosnia and Herzegovina congratulate the students of the high schools in Jajce for obtaining the prestigious Max van der Stoel Award by the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities today at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

“We strongly believe that the actions of the students in Jajce serve as an example for other citizens all over the country. We hope to see more bridge builders of this kind in BiH and will continue to recognize them in the spirit of the “Francophonie” which promotes dialogue and the universal values of peace, cooperation, solidarity, and sustainable development.”, the ambassadors stated.

High school students from the Municipality of Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) were selected as the winner of the 2018 Max van der Stoel Award. The award is given in recognition of their outstanding courage and inspirational activism, which led to the prevention of further segregation in schools in Jajce as well as throughout the country.

In the summer of 2016, high school students in Jajce stood up against a cantonal decision to establish a new school solely for Bosniak students. The implementation of this decision would have continued the “two schools under one roof” practice of ethnically segregated schools in the country, further deepening the estrangement between the communities. The Jury made the unanimous decision to reward the students from Jajce, represented by the Student Council of the Secondary Vocational School Jajce, with the 2018 Max van der Stoel Award. The members of the jury acknowledged the tenacity, moral authority and bravery of the students and recognized the need to nurture their quest for inclusive and better quality education.

The Award – named after the distinguished Dutch statesman and first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel, – in the amount of 50,000 euros was established by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001. It is awarded biennially to an individual, group or institution in recognition of extraordinary and outstanding achievements aimed at promoting integration and social cohesion in the OSCE participating States.

(Source: fena, ST)


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