Security Council remembers victims of 1995 Srebrenica genocide

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Jan Eliasson. UN  File Photo/Kim Haughton

One of the darkest chapters in recent European history was remembered on Wednesday when the UN Security Council held a briefing on the Srebrenica genocide.

The 15 Council members met to pay respect to the 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed 20 years ago in the Bosnian town during the Balkan wars.

Dianne Penn reports.

For United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, the Srebrenica genocide was "one of the darkest chapters in recent history."

One of the UN's chief missions is to prevent genocide and Mr Eliasson said the organization has acknowledged its responsibility for failing to protect citizens who had sought shelter and relief, he continued.

He said the Security Council meeting was an opportunity to express determination that what happened in Srebrenica will serve as a lesson for detecting dangers earlier.

"All of us share the same objective – to work towards a world which has finally learnt the horrific lessons of the past and where people can live in peace and dignity, as is their right and aspiration. The world looks to us here at the United Nations and to the UN Security Council and expects us to uphold that right and to meet those aspirations. That is our shared responsibility today. And it is how we can best pay homage to the victims of Srebrenica."

The Deputy Secretary-General spoke of UN efforts to make prevention an imperative.

These include appointment of a Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the establishment of international criminal tribunals.

The Security Council members also held a moment of silence for the Srebrenica victims. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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