07/11/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/11/2020 05:51
Press release11 July 2020
Minister Simon Coveney Marks 25th Anniversary of Srebrenica Genocide
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D today marked the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, when over 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed by Serb forces in the town, which was designated as a UN Safe Area.
'Today marks the 25th anniversary of one of the worst atrocities to take place on European soil, when 8,000 unarmed men and boys were systematically murdered at Srebrenica in July 1995. A quarter of a century later, the psychological wounds remain, particularly for the families and communities directly affected. Although the Covid-19 pandemic prevents us from physically gathering together in commemoration here in Ireland, it is important that we remember this event for what it was: an appalling act of genocide.
'I want to commend the work of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Association of Ireland who have worked tirelessly, along with other members of the Bosnian community in Ireland, to ensure that the events in Srebrenica have been remembered and marked in Ireland over the years. It is thanks in considerable part to their actions that we reflect today on the events at Srebrenica, and why the lessons learned then are still so relevant.
'Ireland has respect for human rights at the heart of our foreign policy, and we know from our own history the importance of reconciliation and lasting peace. We will therefore continue to support the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina on their own journey towards reconciliation. We will also continue to support their path towards the European Union, a community which is founded on the values of equality and respect for human rights.
'As Ireland prepares to take up its seat for a two-year term on the UN Security Council next January, the memories of what occurred in Srebrenica will be a driving force for our membership. Mindful of the lessons of those appalling days, Ireland and its representatives will work to ensure such atrocities can never occur again and to be an effective voice for equality, justice, and respect for human rights on the Council.'
Notes for editor