This week, the Embassy met with different civil society organisations and initiatives in Republika Srpska, seeking a broader picture of the atmosphere in the RS and the concerns of civil society.
Chargé d' Affaires a.i. Anne Havnør and colleagues met with Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of RS, Bijeljina Youth Council, Theatre “Ubuntu”, and “LARA” Women’s Association in Bijeljina, and “Civic Strength” (Gradjanska Snaga Party) in Tuzla.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of RS highlighted several issues of concern, such as discrimination of pregnant women and young women, and the need to reform history teaching and promote a unified understanding of recent history.
Bijeljina Youth Council advocated for a better life for young people, and emphasised unemployment as the biggest challenge for young people. They promoted entrepreneurship and civic spirit among youth. They also drew attention to “M1 – The Right One for Youth” (“Prava Za Mlade”), a political initiative across entity and ethnic lines for young people only, whose goal is to act as a political corrective and improve the life of young people.
Representatives from the Embassy with representatives from Bijeljina Youth Council. Photo: The Norwegian Embassy.
Theatre “Ubuntu” highlighted the importance of culture and the need for a proper theatre in Bijeljina. They also emphasised how theatre plays can engage and mobilize young people.
“LARA” Women’s Association in Bijeljina provides support to women who fall victim to domestic and sexual violence and emphasised women’s human rights, their political participation and empowerment of women in general.
“Civic Strength”, a newly formed political party in Tuzla that will participate in the local elections in October, highlighted the need for honesty in politics by eradicating corruption and to provide basic utilities/services to the poor rural villages around Tuzla.
The Embassy also met with leading local politicians in Bijeljina and Srebrenica.
Representatives from the Embassy with the Presidency of "Civic Strength" in Tuzla. Photo: The Norwegian Embassy.