Members of BiH Presidency Visited IUS

Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović, members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were guests at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) on November 27, 2018, as part of the SPIUS Talks session dedicated to the Statehood Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the very beginning, Ismail Ćidić, the Student Parliament president and program moderator, thanked the Presidency Members for visiting the International University in Sarajevo in the first seven days of their mandate. He also thanked them for deciding to send message on the sovereignty of BiH and continuity of statehood from this institution, on the occasion of the Statehood Day (November 25th).

The distinguished guests talked about the historical significance of this date, the main challenges that BiH faces today, and potentials of BiH.

Referring to November 25, 1943, and the ZAVNOBIH session, Željko Komšić repeated that it was one of the most important moments in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He said:

"On 25 November 1943, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, suppressed by German and Italian forces and their associates, an organized group of people who were part of anti-fascist movement decided to hold an assembly in Mrkonjić Grad. From today's point of view that was the making of the state apparatus."

BiH Presidency Member Šefik Džaferović said that November 25th is one of the most important dates in the modern history of BiH:

"If we try to summarize the importance of this date, we can safely say that the statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina was renewed and confirmed. In addition, when we take into account all the meetings of ZAVNOBIH, we can say that the principle of equality was promoted for all peoples and citizens all over the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. BiH has a thousand-year statehood which is mentioned in the documents starting from the 9th century. The Charter of the Kulin Ban is a type of document that confirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of medieval Bosnia."

The Presidency Members also emphasized that there is currently noticeable discrimination especially in some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that we should not give up building Bosnia and Herzegovina in which everybody is equal.

Since one of the main challenges for BiH today is youth emigration, professors and students asked the Presidency Members how this problem can be solved and what is their message to the IUS students.

Mr. Komšić responded that there is no simple solution for that problem: "No country is perfect, but there are certain standards that must be maintained, and that's a long process."

Mr. Džaferović added that there is also a somewhat politicized image of hopelessness that is being created in the BiH media:

"All actors of Bosnian-Herzegovinian social scene should speak about things (i.e. economic conditions in BiH) the way they really are, to speak by using the facts, and to produce in public a realistic image of our state of economy."

The session was also attended by a delegation of the Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo led by the ambassador, H. E. Harun Koç, representatives of cultural institutions, numerous media representatives, IUS staff, professors, students, and other guests. The organizers of the session were the Student Parliament of IUS (SPIUS) and the Balkan Studies Center.