Secretary-General wraps up mission to South-Eastern Europe

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Ban Ki-moon

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday concluded a six-day mission to South-Eastern Europe, a journey which took him to all parts of the former Yugoslavia.

Twenty years ago, the region was ravaged by fighting and ethnic conflict during the Balkan wars which lasted from 1992 to 1995.

Ban Ki-moon said he left with a deeper understanding of the region, and greater appreciation for its challenges and potential.

Charles Appel reports.

The Secretary-General ended his mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, scene of intense fighting during the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

He travelled to Srebrenica where more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in July 1995.

"I'm standing here with profound sadness and remorse. There is perhaps nowhere in the world more difficult, more painful than here for the United Nations Secretary-General to visit."

In the capital, Sarajevo, Mr. Ban commended the region for its resilience, dynamism and commitment.

He said it is not looking back at what was destroyed, but instead is looking forward to building together over the next generation.

Sarajevo also hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, and Mr. Ban will next travel to London, host of this year's games which open on Friday.

Charles Appel, United Nations
Duration: 1’02″

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