The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP, has launched Remembering Srebrenica’s 2019 UK Theme ‘Bridging the Divide:Confronting Hate’ in the House of Lords to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide- the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.
Each year Remembering Srebrenica selects a theme that both reflects an aspect of the genocide that must be commemorated, but also speaks to communities here in the UK. The theme will see hundreds of acts of commemorations taking place across the country in local communities, schools and town halls during UK Srebrenica Memorial Week from 7th to 14thJuly 2019.
The theme for 2019, ‘Bridging the Divide: Confronting Hate’ seeks to inspire people to challenge those who wish to divide communities, celebrate those who build bridges between communities, and change attitudes and behaviours in others to go out and build bridges of their own.
Since the establishment of Remembering Srebrenica UK in 2013, it has educated more than 90,000 young people in the lessons from Srebrenica,organised 6,200 memorial activities across the country, and created 1,200 community champions who have pledged to stand up to hatred and intolerance in their local communities.
Other speakers at the Theme Launch include: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth,Minister for Faith; The Rt Hon. The Lord Pickles, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Post Holocaust Issues; Richard Burden MP, Vice-Chair of APPG onSrebrenica Commemorations; The Rt Hon. Ian Blackford MP, Leader of Scottish National Party Westminster Group; The Rt Hon. The Baroness Warsi, Former Senior Minister of State at the FCO; The Rt. Hon. The Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC;Amra Mujkanović, Second generation survivor; and Amina Mekić, Second generation survivor.
Amra Mujkanovic, a Second generation British survivor, who is descended from three generations that survived concentration camps including Auschwitz and Omarska, spoke powerfully about her personal story and the need to challenge hatred and intolerance at all levels.
Dr. Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica, said:
“With the rise in hate crimes, as well as of those people who are promoting hate, we hope that Remembering Srebrenica’s 2019 theme will inspire people to commemorate Srebrenica to help unite communities against hate and help change attitudes and behaviours on the importance of building bridges”.