04/01/2014 OHR

Cynicism is the biggest obstacle

The High Representative, Valentin Inzko, met participants of the Global Peace Run today at the OHR in Sarajevo, accepting and handing on the relay-torch that is being carried through every country in Europe on a 2,400-kilometre route between Lisbon, where the race began on 21 February, and Belgrade, where it will finish on 7 October.

Runners arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina from Montenegro on Sunday, and will pass through Banja Luka on Thursday before entering Croatia on 4 April.

The High Representative praised the Peace Run organisers and participants for their “affirmation of peace in the face of conflict.”

“Your philosophy is inclusive and your confidence in the goodness of human beings is resonant and powerful,” the High Representative said.

He said Bosnia and Herzegovina needs this spirit of inclusiveness “because the complicated political system here can work if leaders and citizens work together.” He added that “most citizens in this country think inclusively rather than exclusively. Exclusiveness tends to increase the further up the political ladder you look.”

The non-profit global relay race has been organised annually for more than 25 years, visiting more than 150 countries, with thousands of participants covering more than 500,000 kilometres. This year’s event will visit more than 100 countries worldwide.