Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the genocide at Srebrenica on 11 July 1995. On this day, we remember one of the most horrific atrocities ever to take place on European soil, when 8,000 men and boys were massacred and the lives of their loved ones and their wider communities torn apart.
This year, the theme of the Remembering Srebrenica foundation’s commemorations is “Acts of Courage” – celebrating ordinary people who carried out extraordinary acts during the Srebrenica genocide. That we continue to mark this anniversary, 23 years later, is testament to the extraordinary courage of the Bosnian community, both in Ireland and in the rest of the world, who work tirelessly to highlight the impact of the genocide, the importance of learning the lessons of conflict, and the need to work together to build tolerance and respect.
Ireland continues to support the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans region as they aim to achieve reconciliation and lasting peace. We fully support their path to accession to the European Union, a community which is founded on the values of equality and respect for human rights. The Srebrenica anniversary is a timely reminder of the need to redouble our efforts to promote these values in the United Nations and in other multilateral fora.