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PACE President pays tribute to Srebrenica victims

“Srebrenica has become a symbol of human brutality and suffering. I would like to pay tribute to the victims of the genocide and express solidarity with their families. We remember your suffering, we share your pain and we stand by your side,” said Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), speaking on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica tragedy.

“All Europe’s parliaments and political forces must join the cause. I am proud that yesterday, my national parliament in Luxembourg unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre and paying tribute to the victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. I hope that this vote will set an example for other parliaments,” continued the PACE President.

“The Council of Europe’s mission is to ensure that such atrocities never happen again. From Europe’s long and turbulent history, we know all too well how intolerance, hate and populist rhetoric can spark violence and war. One lesson of Srebrenica is that we must remain firm in combating these ills,” said Ms Brasseur.

The President also welcomed efforts at reconciliation among the countries of the region, and encouraged them to continue working together, including on prosecution of war crimes. “The wounds of the past take time to heal, but reconciliation starts with truth and justice. We must show the political commitment to establish the facts, condemn the heinous war crimes committed in the past and bring those responsible to justice.”

“During my recent visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, I saw for myself that reconciliation is progressing but I saw challenges too. To overcome them, we have to focus on what unites us, while showing respect and understanding for each other. And we have to support people-to-people initiatives and concrete projects that have the potential to promote reconciliation at grass-roots level. The Parliamentary Assembly will do all it can to support such initiatives.”