Sarajevo, 13 May 2014
The ICTY Field Office in Sarajevo today hosted a visit by a group of 25 students from the Society of International Affairs, which is based in Göteborg, Sweden. Almir Alić, ICTY representative in BiH, introduced the students to the work and the achievements of the Tribunal, as well as the experiences of its Outreach Programme in working with local communities in the former Yugoslavia. Almir’s introductory remarks provided the basis for a very lively two-hour discussion.
The dialogue about the ICTY’s contribution to international justice, as the first international war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo, made a particular impression on Junya Murakami, a Japanese member of the Society of International Affairs, who told her fellow students: “The war crimes of the Imperial Japanese Army have been forgotten, especially among young generations and right-wing politicians. Therefore, this is a precious opportunity to remind myself of the importance of facing the crimes committed in the history of my people.”
Descriptions of some of Outreach’s projects resonated particularly strongly with the students, who said they believed very strongly that young people in the former Yugoslavia have a potential to significantly contribute to the process of facing the past.
One of the students - Eva Corjin - said: “I learned a lot during this presentation and am extremely grateful for the ICTY’s Outreach efforts. You are clearly passionate about your work and have given me more faith in the UN as an organisation. The UN may be sometimes criticised, but the work you are doing is hugely important!”