The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), together with the Embassy of Sweden in BiH as the 2021 Chair of the OSCE, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator’s Office in BiH, and the Municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, organized today a high-level visit to Bosanski Petrovac for the unveiling of a Monument to Peace. The visit was organized on the occasion of World Peace Day, celebrated on 21 September.
“Bosanski Petrovac has become one of the few municipalities across BiH to initiate such a memorial and to commemorate all, regardless of ethnic or religious belonging,” said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH. “Indeed, this comes as the culmination of an entire month celebrating peace and tolerance, which filled Bosanski Petrovac with activities and messages highlighting love, coexistence, co-operation, and the richness that multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities such as this one symbolize” added Kavalec.
“We need more good examples where people come together to find ways of building a better future together for everyone. I hope that many more will follow in the footsteps of Bosanski Petrovac” said Johanna Stromquist, Swedish Ambassador to BiH, on behalf of 2021 Swedish Chairpersonship of the OSCE.
“In our community we must build peace, coexistence, respect and make good deeds as much as we can. The biggest gift we can give our children are roots of accountability and wings of independence, and if we want a true peace let’s start it with kids,” said Mahmut Jukić, Mayor of Bosanski Petrovac.
“Bosanski Petrovac is showing us that – no matter their nationality or background – people simply want to move forward in a constructive way. And that way involves rebuilding trust and recognizing that everyone has suffered and that everyone has common aspirations and priorities. Bosnia and Herzegovina is full of positive examples; positive narratives and real champions of peace. But more needs to be done so these people and these communities are seen and heard” said dr. Ingrid Macdonald, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in BiH.
This event demonstrates the international support for the progress made in Bosanski Petrovac and all other municipality striving to amplify positive actions, policies, and messages and to set an example for other communities across the country.