Association of Citizens
Truth and Reconciliation
Fiamenga 14b, 71000 SARAJEVO, Bosna i Hercegovina
Phone: ++ 387 33 663 473, Fax: ++387 33 454 230
April 23 - 24: Stockholm International Forum TRUTH, JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION
The Swedish Prime
Minister Göran Persson has invited the governments of more than 40 countries to
take part in the “Stockholm International Forum: Truth, Justice and
Reconciliation” on 23-24 April. The conference will discuss how truth and
justice is related to reconciliation.
The conference will give governments, the research community and the professional groups concerned the opportunity to exchange views and experiences on the subject of reconciliation. When is reconciliation possible, how can it be achieved, with which means?
Speeches of the participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina who will address the Forum can be read by following the links below:
Why do we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission? - Jakob Finci, President of the Association Truth and Reconciliation:
Truth and Reconciliation in BH - Srdjan Dizdarevic, Member of the Coordination Committee
Ways of Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Branko Todorovic, Member of the Coordination Committee
Bijeljina - April 10, 2002
Public tribune “It is time… Truth and Reconciliation”
A public tribune entitled “It is time… Truth and Reconciliation” was organized in Bijeljina on April 10, 2002. Along with representatives of political parties, religious communities and civil society a significant number of young people from Bijeljina and neighbouring region took part in the tribune. Branko Todorovic opened the tribune and Esad Bajtal and Jakob Finci delivered keynote speeches.
The idea was strongly supported although some of the participants in the discussions believed that economic progress must precede the process of reconciliation and that we should wait for better times to establish the Commission. On the other hand, the majority felt that this is the right time in order to avoid “cementing” of the existing situation and that both these processes – development of economy and initiation of activities related to reconciliation should be developed at the same time. Younger participants were far more active in the discussions, which is quite encouraging.
Harrogate, March 9, 2002
Bradford, March 11, 2002
Mr. Jakob Finci, the President of the Asosociation, spoke at the Unison Balkans Seminar about progress achieved in establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Bosnia and delivered a lecture at the Bradford University on the Prospects for Reconciliation in Bosnia.
Tuzla, 28. February 2002: Panel Discussion - A Debate About Our Past
Mr. Jakob Finci, President of the Association, and Mr. Vehid Sehic, Member of the Association’s Coordination Board, talked about Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the panel discussion in Tuzla. About one hundred visitors attended the panel including the President of the Assembly of Tuzla Kanton and Head of Tuzla Municipality.
Moscow, February 12 – 17, 2002 Regional Conference on International Justice
Hazim Kazic, secretary general of the Association Truth and Reconciliation, participated in the conference on international justice that was organized by the International Federation of Human Rights and Memorial in Moscow. In addition to discussing fundamental principles of international criminal justice, fight against impunity and issues related to establishment of the International Criminal Court, special panels were organized on relations between justice and truth and reconciliation commissions and on justice and transition in South East Europe. It was reaffirmed that the TRC process is not incompatible with justice. The two reinforce each other and each occupies a space that the other cannot occupy. They both serve equally essential and complementary roles.
Mostar, November 22
Round Table Discussion "It Is Time - Truth And Reconciliation Commission"
The workshop brought together some 80 people from Mostar and Herzegovina region. The round table participants were greeted by the Mayor of Mostar, Mr. Neven Tomic and by the deputy major. In the discussion that followed the opening speach delivered by Mr. Finci, all the participants voiced strong and unequivocal support to establishment of the truth and reconciliation commission. A number of participants stressed that there is no alternative to a process of establishing truth and work on reconciliation.
The conclusion of the round table discussion was that the city of Mostar and its citizens are unanimous in their determination to support establishment of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Media coverage of the round table was quite satisfactory and a number of interviews with participants were made. A special TV program presenting the material video taped during the round table is planned on local TV in the near future.
Prague, November 17
Prague Workshop on Truth and Justice Initiatives in the Balkans
A select group of key representatives from the FRY, Bosnia and Croatia gathered in Prague to discuss the truth commissions that have been established or are under consideration in each country and throughout the region. The meeting initiated a dialogue among the participants with a view to fostering constructive debate, and building trust and cooperation.
It was felt that such regional workshops have the potential to allow
national truth commission initiatives to plan joint events and hearings,
which could help to forge a common understanding of the past and encourage
various groups to consider human rights violations from a range of different
perspectives. Joint research and thematic projects as well as public hearings
might help in avoiding a scenario in which three separate and antagonistic
commissions potentially end up replicating the divisions of the past and
producing three mutually exclusive truths – something that would only perpetuate
division and resentment in the region.
Resolution arising from the Prague workshop
A national consensus and acknowledgment of the abuses suffered by all victims during the recent war and an analysis of the factors, which facilitated those atrocities, is a prerequisite to any process of reconciliation. The attainment of a lasting peace in our country is threatened by the development of multiple and conflicting versions of the truth regarding these abuses.
We believe that it is in the best interest of the citizens and nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their collective desire, to avoid renewal of the conflict in the future, to establish the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission should, in a professional and objective manner, examine and report on the nature of the abuses suffered and the societal, political and historical elements, which made this pattern of abuses possible. Based on this examination, the Commission should also develop recommendations for steps to be taken to deal with this painful legacy and to prevent the recurrence of such inhumanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Such a broad historical accounting is a necessary complement to the crucial judicial process of determining individual criminal responsibility.
The members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be chosen through a process in which the public plays the primary role. Individuals selected must be of high moral standing, unimpeachable integrity and objectivity and credible to all the public as representing an honest search for the truth regarding our common history rather than the interests of any ethnic or political group.
The Commission should be provided all due legitimacy and support by the government but must be wholly independent and autonomous in its work. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the generations yet unborn deserve no less.
“Painful truth is better than a flattering lie.”
This page was last updated on April 22, 2002