Their souls are still with us, today.
A quarter of a century has passed since the massacre of Srebrenica. As we look back today, to remember and honour the victims of this crime, the sadness and horror still sit deep. The past is still very much with us.
It takes courage, persistence and time to address the legacy of these atrocities. The steps that have been undertaken towards reconciliation are commendable. Every commitment to continue on this path must be encouraged.
Coming to terms with the past means making a genuine and collective effort to establish facts and reach a common understanding of the events that unfolded. It is a very difficult process. As we commemorate the massacre today, we are reminded of the responsibility to persevere with the search for truth, and resist any attempts to undermine it.
To recognize the injustice and the suffering of the victims on all sides is to recognize the need to hold the authors of these crimes to account. Justice is a central tenet of reconciliation and it is vital that efforts to support and strengthen all relevant accountability mechanisms be continued.
Today, we remember the over 8'000 victims of the massacre. So many lives forever and unjustly lost. And we remember all those left behind. Lost lives cannot be replaced; we can but mourn them and cherish their memory. But for the survivors, the only hope for a better tomorrow is to work together towards reconciliation.
Today's commemoration is a renewed call for us to do all we can to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated. Every State must uphold its duty to protect its entire population and continuously strive to prevent the recurrence of such atrocities. This will only be possible by promoting tolerance, respect for minorities, and the rule of law within a democratic framework.
This is what the souls who are with us today are whispering in our ears. We should listen to them.