09/19/2016 OHR

Remarks by High Representative Valentin Inzko on the 19th anniversary of the helicopter crash at Prokosko Lake

Check against delivery.

During and especially after the war ended nearly 21 years ago, tens of thousands of men and women from other countries have come to this country to work with and for its people. And some of those men and women have given their lives for the sake of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We remember this here today. We should remember it every day.

For the past 21 years the International Community has been helping the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to consolidate peace and to build a prosperous and sovereign democracy governed by the rule of law.

As we stand here today to honour the memory of our brave colleagues I want publicly to reaffirm the commitment of the International Community to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will continue to do everything in our power to help the people of this country.

We will continue because even if divisive and backward looking rhetoric and policies become a distraction, we know what our duty and we know what our goal is: the future of this country. We will continue because in the end – despite every challenge, despite every setback – the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina will prevail. They will build a just society; they will build a secure and sovereign democracy. And we will help them.

It was Ivo Andric who observed: “Even the biggest deserts have their spring, no matter how short or hardly noticeable it may be.” And the spring that will restore wellbeing and justice to Bosnia and Herzegovina is the good sense, the compassion, and the fundamental decency of the people of this country.

Today we honour the memory of Peter Backes, Livio Beccaccio, Andrzej Buler, David Kriskovich, Leah Melnick, Charles Morpeth, William Nesbitt, Marvin Padgett, Thomas Reinhardt, Jurgen Schauf, Georg Stiebler and Gerd Wagner.

We honour their memory by continuing their work – and leave this place with a renewed commitment to do just that.