Sarajevo, 19 December 2014.
Sarajevo's 2nd Grammar School (II Gimnazija) today was a venue for the awards ceremony for the essay writing contest organised by the Outreach Programme on the topic “Should we hold trials for war crimes committed during an armed conflict?“. Students from five Sarajevo grammar schools included in the Outreach Youth Project in BiH took part in the contest. The winner of the first prize is Nedim Pećanin, a fourth year student of Sarajevo's 2nd Grammar School.
In his winning essay Nedim described his recent experience of going to a rock festival in a neighbouring country. The whole experience of going to the festival made him realise that young people still feel the consequences of the armed conflict that took place in the former Yugoslavia before they were born. The author suggested that change for a brighter future for the next generation cannot be achieved without facing the past and holding war crimes trials, as an essential part of this process.
This year's participants in the essay writing contest were students from five grammar schools in Sarajevo whose teachers took part in the ICTY workshop, during which they were trained to independently hold presentations about the work and achievements of the Tribunal as part of the regular curriculum. Under the impression of the presentations held by their teachers, 68 students submitted their essays on the topic of the importance of holding trials for war crimes. Almir Alić, representative of ICTY's Outreach Programme also handed the prize to the teacher, Aida Muftić, whose student is the author of this year's winning essay.
During the award ceremony, held in 2nd Grammar School, which was attended by teachers and students from that school, the head mistress, Aida Arnautović, noted that including young people in the projects on the topic of justice and fairness crucial for their education. She added that the school intends to continue its cooperation with the Tribunal's Outreach Programme, which has been very positive. The Outreach Programme has been organising essay writing contests for students in BiH for the last two years. As the ICTY moves towards the completion of its mandate, the Outreach Programme is intensifying its efforts to increase the access of young people throughout the former Yugoslava to information on the Tribunal’s work and achievements and by doing so, promote a greater understanding of the Tribunal’s work and its legacy.