#ImagineChange connects people and places across Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark UN Day 2022
28 October 2022
The United Nations team joined people across Bosnia and Herzegovina who are working every day to make positive changes for their communities
Sarajevo – Trebinje – Stolac – Mostar – Travnik – Tuzla – Banja Luka – Brcko - Međugorje
The Old Town Fortress in Travnik, Banski Dvor in Banja Luka, the Old Bridge in Mostar, City Hall in Brcko glowed United Nations blue to mark the 77th UN Day on 24th October. Tonight, the Olympic Museum in Sarajevo will also be illuminated in the traditional blue connecting these iconic places across Bosnia and Herzegovina in a powerful message of peace and unity. 2022 marks the 30year anniversary of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Member State of the United Nations.
For the second year, UN Day was celebrated as part of the #ImagineChange campaign which highlights sustainable development champions working every day to make positive changes in the lives of people and communities across the country. Events started in Trebinje, where the United Nations team, led by the UN Resident Coordinator Ingrid Macdonald and joined by UNDP Resident Representative Steliana Nedera, visited the Trebinje Fire Brigade – an important actor in efforts to promote disaster risk reduction. Hosted by Mayor Mirko Curic, they also visited Herzeg House which captures the heart of the famed Via Dinarica route in Herzegovina’s award winning locally produced products.
In Stolac, the Principals of the First primary and Primary school, and its students, showcased their newly refurbished joint library where students and teachers gather to learn and work. A special video message by the United Nations Under-Secretary-general Alice Nderitu was shown on the occasion, while the UN Resident Coordinator and UNESCO Head of Office Siniša Šešum passed certificates of appreciation to the Principals.
In Mostar, the UN team visited the Partisan Cemetery with representatives of the city, drawing attention to the importance of preserving cultural heritage, whilst sending a clear message of 'No to Hate' speech and actions that have generated damage to the memorial.
Preserving tradition is an important part of a sustainable future, which is showcased by the Handmade Art Gallery in Mostar. Visited by the UN RC and UNWOMEN representative David Saunders, the gallery promotes gorgeous products made by women-led entrepreneurs in one of the most scenic locations in Mostar.
The UN team joined youth activists in Tuzla, at a vibrant gathering organized by the Youth Resource Centre. Accompanied by music performed by the Rock Solid Birac band with youth musicians from Srebrenica, Milici, Vlasenica and Bratunac, young leaders discussed their priorities, activities, and the changes they would like to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the UN Resident Coordinator and the IOM Chief of Mission Laura Lungarotti.
The closing ceremony of Monday events was held in Brcko, where the UN team was welcomed by Mayor Esed Kadric and the OHR Brcko Supervisor Mennuti, at a reception before the multi-awarded theatre play “Game” performed by Mostar Youth Theatre and supported by UNHCR.
Based on the real-life events of people who traveled through Bosnia and Herzegovina seeking refuge, the play echoes the universal message of the value of peace, resilience, and tolerance.
"On behalf of the United Nations, I thank the people and authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina for joining the UN Day Imagine Change campaign and for all that has been contributed to the United Nations and the multilateral system over the past 30 years of the countries' membership at the UN. The United Nations was founded out of hope — and resolve — following the Second World War, to move beyond global conflict to global cooperation. There have been many challenges to this mission, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Yet, as the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has emphasized, now, more than ever, it is imperative for us to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter in all corners of the world. By connecting people and places across Bosnia and Herzegovina we see the unity and commitment of communities to these values and to making a better, greener, more inclusive, and fairer future for all," said Ingrid Macdonald, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With the support of OHCHR, the UN Resident Coordinator also met with human rights defenders and civil society organizations in Banja Luka. The representatives discussed how they are working to promote transparency, rule of law, quality education and a heathy environment and they emphasized the need to be able to work free from intimidation or reprisals. In Medjugorje, UNICEF and UNHCR Representatives Khan and Gagne provided laptops and school equipment to Ukrainian refugee children who are trying to continue their education in accordance with the Ukrainian curriculum with the hope that they will soon be able to return to home.
The UN Day 2022 marking was officially closed with lighting up of the Sarajevo Olympic Museum, and a presentation of some of the winning projects under UNFPA's Youth Lab Programme on Wednesday.
The United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina is committed to supporting people, communities and leaders across the country to shape a peaceful and prosperous future where no one is left behind. For UN Day 2022, we thank the many #ImagineChange champions and partners working every-day to make a better, greener, and more inclusive future for all.