The second Model OSCE conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) concluded on 22 June 2019 in Banja Luka. Over 35 participants from Serbia, Croatia and the host country BiH gathered to enhance their theoretical and practical knowledge about the history, role and functioning of the OSCE and the work of its Permanent Council and field operations, particularly with regards to conflict prevention.

The event was organized by the OSCE Mission to BiH, its Youth Advisory Group members and the Students’ Club of the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Banja Luka.

“In our daily work, we place great significance on working for youth and with youth, recognizing young women and men as natural and key partners for positive systemic change, social cohesion and sustainable development,” said Dmitry Iordanidi, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina Field Office in Banja Luka.

Iordanidi added that “the OSCE fully appreciates the unique position and ability of young people to promote mutual understanding, reconciliation and regional co-operation, protect norms which underpin democratic governance, counter hate speech, prevent bias-motivated incidents and hate crimes, combat radicalization toward violence and violent extremism, stand up against corruption, and advocate against segregation and discrimination in education”.

Ljubiša Aćimović, the President of Students Club at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Banja Luka, said: “It was certainly a great pleasure for us to co-operate these several months with representatives of the OSCE Mission on the implementation of the Model OSCE for 2019.” He emphasized how glad he was that “participants from the region came, and it would certainly be good to extend the invitation to include other countries from the region and beyond”.

“Through the simulation of the work of this international organization the participants had an opportunity to broaden their knowledge about the work and structure of OSCE and to get to know each other better,” he said.

A student from Zagreb, Croatia, Tina Novak, commented: “I am glad that I had an opportunity to meet other students during these two days and to learn a lot about activities of the OSCE.”

Novak explained that through the simulation of the work of delegates she had an opportunity to see how interesting and challenging their work was. “I heard about the Model OSCE from my colleagues who participated last year and shared their positive experiences. I hope that the third Model OSCE will be organized next year and that it will include even more countries,” she concluded.

This activity is one in a series of simulations in BiH meant to provide students with a unique opportunity to explore various aspects of the OSCE’s work across the politico-military, economic and environmental and human dimensions.

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