02/16/2023 OHR

Supervisor’s Address at the Ceremony of Unveiling the Memorial to the Civilian War Victims in Brčko

Today we have gathered here to finish the work started by my predecessor, Raffi Gregorian, and your predecessors.

This decision was made because Brčko is a symbol of reconciliation, agreement, and coexistence. In the spirit of the Dayton Agreement and the Final Arbitration Award. In the spirit of mutual respect and tolerance, and the agreement reached by veterans, associations and officials of the District.

At that time, a Supervisory Order was the easiest way to resolve this issue with a single legal act.

The negotiations had not been easy. Difficult divisions and wounds from the last war had to be overcome.

Brčko won. This community won. An agreement was reached on four monuments in the very center of the city, which Supervisor Gregorian then legalized with his Order.

That is why this monument was not a debt to the supervisor, the Presiding Arbitrator or to the international community.

That was a debt to Brčko! To the citizens who went through difficult years together.

We must continue on this path. The citizens of Brčko need a shared and bright future.

This monument offers us the opportunity to pay respect to all victims, but also to plan a better future together.

This monument is here to preserve memory, and to remind us that there is no alternative to agreement – no matter how difficult the agreements and negotiations may be.

I am glad to witness today that the District’s leaders have chosen this path.

In the words of my predecessor Gregorian, “the District has once again demonstrated that it deserves to be a city of dialogue and culture of peace.”

Thank you.