Principal Deputy High Representative and Brčko Supervisor Jonathan Mennuti held a meeting today with Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director of the UN Office of the Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Raffi Gregorian.
During the meeting, they discussed current political developments and the country’s Euro-Atlantic path, the security landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the region, and the disturbing increase in hate speech, disinformation, misogyny, and genocide denial.
They agreed that BiH government agencies are generally effective in addressing terrorist threats, but the sort of whole-of-society approach the UN General Assembly endorses is needed as well. In that context, Gregorian particularly stressed the importance of a human rights-compliant approach as the only effective way to actually defeat terrorism and violent extremism. “It is disturbing that some jurisdictions might be tempted to use counter-terrorism as a pretext to shrink civic space or limit freedom of expression,” Gregorian said. “Such an approach always ends up back-firing in the end,” he added.
DUSG Gregorian, who previously served as PDHR and Brčko Supervisor, also shared his experiences facilitating and supporting the implementation of the Final Award. Mennuti and Gregorian agreed on the importance of sustaining the positive momentum of reforms in Brčko and its potential to serve as a model for others in BiH.
To conclude, they underscored the pressing need for all stakeholders in BiH to pursue cooperation and accountability at this crucial juncture.