MIP holds conference on “Srebrenica Genocide: From Courtroom to Classroom” in Sarajevo

The Hague
Conference Srebrenica Genocide: From Courtroom to Classroom

On 12 July 2023, the Mechanism Information Programme for Affected Communities (MIP) held a conference entitled “Srebrenica Genocide: From Courtroom to Classroom – Utilising Facts Established by the ICTY and IRMCT in Education” at the Sarajevo Canton Memorial Fund, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conference was organised jointly with the Sarajevo Canton Memorial Fund and the Post-Conflict Research Center.

In her opening remarks, Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), noted the overwhelming body of evidence and unanimous rulings by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Mechanism, and other courts that what happened in Srebrenica constitutes genocide. She emphasised in this context the critical role of the judicial records of the ICTY and the Mechanism in helping educators foster a deeper and better understanding of the region’s recent past, and ensuring that the lessons from the 1990s conflicts are never forgotten.

Observing that denial and revisionism regrettably continue to gain momentum, the President highlighted that consolidating the achievements and legacy of the ad hoc Tribunals and the Mechanism, and making them more accessible, is one of her key priorities. She stated that: “It is my personal conviction that education serves as the strongest foundation for resilient, inclusive, and peaceful societies.”

Ms. Kada Hotić, representative of the Association "Movement of Mothers of the Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves", and Mr. Vibor Handžić, Vice President of the Sarajevo Canton Assembly, also delivered opening remarks.

Next, two panel discussions took place, with the participants exchanging ideas on the importance and challenges of using the archives of the ICTY and the Mechanism in formal education - including in relation to teaching about the Srebrenica Genocide - as part of peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in the former Yugoslavia.

The panellists, including renowned national and international experts and policy makers, were (in alphabetical order): Mr. Fermin Cordoba, Senior Political Advisor and Team Coordinator of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ms. Naida Hota Muminović, Minister of Education of the Sarajevo Canton; Mr. Ahmed Kulanić, Director of the Sarajevo Canton Memorial Fund; Ms. Azerina Muminović, Senior Adviser of the Sarajevo Canton Pedagogical Institute; Ms. Rada Pejić-Sremac, Coordinator of the MIP; Ms. Velma Šarić, Founder and Director of  the Post-Conflict Research Center; Mr. Steven Stegers, Director of the European Association of History Educators; and Dr. Eli Tauber, UNESCO Adviser in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Attended by more than 100 participants, this conference formed part of the MIP’s broader efforts to train history teachers from the former Yugoslavia in how to effectively incorporate judicially-established facts into educational materials pertaining to the 1990s conflicts in the region. Since the start of the project in January 2019, the MIP has successfully conducted workshops attended by over 600 history teachers.

Funded by the European Union, the MIP aims to enhance the knowledge and understanding of citizens and communities in the countries of the former Yugoslavia regarding the crimes committed during the conflicts of the 1990s, drawing from ICTY and Mechanism cases.

                                                                                                           President’s Remarks