On February 12th, 2018, The Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) organized a meeting between Adama Dieng, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, and key representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s civil society organizations (CSOs) at the United Nations office in Sarajevo.
During the meeting, CSOs briefed Mr. Dieng on their work and current activities, as well as biggest challenges they face in their peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts. Mr. Dieng stressed the importance of joint responses and activities by the civil society sector, in that CSOs are direct representatives of the people. “CSOs are close to my heart. I do understand how important your work is. Uniting your efforts now is the key to progress,” said the UN Special Adviser.
Special Advisor Dieng concluded the meeting on a personal note, stating that his biggest dream for this region is to see the polarization across identity lines destroyed. “I am not a pessimist or an optimist, but determined. I hope to continue to see this determination in you all,” said Mr. Dieng.
This discussion – part of Mr. Dieng’s wider visit to the Western Balkans – was the result of the partnership between PCRC and the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (UN OSAPG) in building the Western Balkan Coalition for Genocide Prevention. The Coalition is a specialized network consisting of over 25 of the region’s leading CSOs that work in partnership with UN OSAPG to monitor and report on early warning signs of inter-ethnic violence, mass atrocities, and genocide.