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SG/SM/7168
11 October 1999

UN BOSNIA EXPERIENCE ONE OF MOST 'DIFFICULT AND PAINFUL' IN ITS HISTORY SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEMORIAL CEREMONY IN SARAJEVO

11 October 1999


Press Release
SG/SM/7168


UN BOSNIA EXPERIENCE ONE OF MOST 'DIFFICULT AND PAINFUL' IN ITS HISTORY SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEMORIAL CEREMONY IN SARAJEVO

19991011

Following are the remarks of Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the Bosnia and Herzegovina memorial ceremony in Sarajevo on 11 October:

On behalf of the United Nations, allow me to express my profound appreciation for this recognition for the service rendered to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina by those who served here under the flag of the United Nations. They endured untold hardships -- and some, tragically, made the ultimate sacrifice -- so that peace could return to this nation.

I ask you now to join me in a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the struggle for peace in Bosnia.

The United Nations' experience in Bosnia was one of the most difficult and painful in our history. No one regrets, more than we, the opportunities for achieving peace and justice that were missed. No one laments, more than we, the failure of the international community to take decisive action to halt the suffering and end a war that had produced so many victims.

We will never forget that Bosnia was as much a moral cause, as a military conflict. The tragedy of Srebrenica will haunt our history forever.

The men and women whom you are honouring today came to this country to serve the people of Bosnia in the hope that co-existence -- once flourishing among the communities of your country -- can once again become reality. They showed, in their work and in their lives, that conflict in Bosnia is not inevitable, that the desire for peace and for tolerance is genuine, and that we in the international community have a duty to make that peace possible.

For sake of those we honour today, let us ensure that we do.

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For information media. Not an official record.