SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 17 May 2013

The heads of the OSCE Missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia called for further efforts in transitional justice and reconciliation to ensure regional stability and prosperity ahead of the two-day conference in Jahorina in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Ninth International Forum for Transitional Justice: Reconciliation in Post-Yugoslav Countries is organized by the Coalition for RECOM (the Regional Commission for Establishing the Facts about War Crimes and Other Gross Violations of Human Rights Committed on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia in the period from 1991-2001) and supported by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the OSCE Mission to Serbia.

“Transitional justice is vital to fostering reconciliation, breaking the cycle of violence and creating a sustainable peace”, stated Fletcher M. Burton, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH. “Developing an effective system of justice is a key element in promoting reconciliation and will remain one of the Mission’s priorities for BiH”.

The Forum will consist of various panel discussions on topics related to transitional justice and reconciliation. It aims to contribute to regional cross-border communication and coordination in relation to these issues between governments and judicial authorities, as well as civil society organizations, and victims’ and veterans’ associations. In addition, the Forum is expected to increase the interest and support of various stakeholders for transitional justice in Post-Yugoslav countries and the RECOM process.

“Creating a regional commission is necessary as trials alone are not sufficient to establish and present facts about war crimes, hear victims’ accounts and restore confidence between the people”, said the Acting Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Paula Thiede. “Such a body is also needed to provide an alternative to mutually opposing national narratives about the conflicts and the crimes in the nineties.”

The OSCE will continue to support the transitional justice process, including the efficient processing of war crimes, bringing perpetrators to justice and establishing the facts about the crimes committed.