The UK Srebrenica Memorial Day 2023 at Lancaster House, London on Tuesday 4th July

London: The Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, The RT Hon James Heappey hosted the UK Srebrenica Memorial Day 2023 at Lancaster House on Tuesday 4th July on behalf of His Majesty’s Government to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.

The national ceremony is one of hundreds of memorial events and activities taking place during UK’s Srebrenica Memorial Week which is running from 4th to 11th July and will see communities from across the country come together in a collective act of remembrance in schools, local authorities, police stations, workplaces and places of worship to name but a few.

The keynote speech at this year’s UK National Srebrenica Memorial Day was delivered by His Excellency, President Denis Bećirović of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alicia Kearns MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in British Parliament, MP Stephen Doughty, Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development and attended by high profile dignitaries including Ambassadors and High Commissioners, politicians from across the political spectrum, senior faith and community leaders as well as British Bosnian survivors of the genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The UK is the largest commemorator in the world of Srebrenica memorial activities which are organised by the British charity Remembering Srebrenica UK through its eight English regional boards and three country boards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and 1,500 Community Champions to honour the victims and survivors of the genocide and teach people about the dangers of hatred and the importance of building more cohesive communities for all.

Each year, Remembering Srebrenica UK selects a theme that not only reflects an aspect of the genocide that should be commemorated, but also speaks to communities in the UK. The theme for this year is ‘Together We Are One’ which seeks to provide communities with a better understanding of the behaviours and influences around them that can either build or damage a cohesive community and encourage people to reflect upon the importance of the role that each and everyone one of us, irrespective of our background, has in coming together as one community against hatred, division and genocide denial.

The Chair of Remembering Srebrenica, Dr Waqar Azmi OBE said: “We are proud that our country is the largest commemorator of Srebrenica memorial activities in the world which not only seeks to bring people together to learn the lessons of the past in order to create stronger, more inclusive communities but also inspires future generations to take action to stand up to hatred and intolerance.

“This year’s UK National Srebrenica Memorial Day theme ‘Together We Are One’ is particularly important in not just coming together as one to honour the memory of the Srebrenica victims but remember Russia’s ongoing war of aggression in Ukraine and to highlight the little-known fact that Russia is also helping to destabilise Bosnia-Herzegovina and supporting the denial of genocide and glorification of those people who committed the genocide”, he said.

Azra Omerbegovic, a survivor of the genocide & ethnic cleaning in Bosnia-Herzegovina shared her witness testimony. Sombre Musical performances were give by the Elvir Solak and Lejla Jusic whilst prayers delivered by Hana Ceric, a second generation survivor and Ayman Azmi, National Convenor, Young Ambassadors of Remembering Srebrenica. Finally, the vote of thanks was given by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, President of Remembering Srebrenica.

Related Articles

Back to top button