Dr. Zlatko Lagumdzija speech - Together for Peace 2018 HWPL World Peace Summit
September 18th 2018, Seoul
"Allow me to start by sharing with you a personal story.
Coming from Sarajevo, European Jerusalem - just to use the name given to us by Pope Francis visiting us almost three years ago – sending words of peace be with you, Selam, I have decisive and clear commitment for common mission that hopefully we share. Introducing, supporting, promoting and implementing the concept of Shared societies and values in peace and sustainable development that can be shared globally, regionally and within individual societies.
In its 25 years of modern history, Bosnia and Herzegovina went through process of failing to prevent conflict, over the war, last Genocide in 20th century in Europe, peace process, and finally post conflict state building through on going Euro-Atlantic integrations and participation in UN peace missions.
25 years ago, laying in a hospital bad, going through dozen of hard surgeries, after being heavily wounded on main pedestrian street of Sarajevo, walking to a meeting with UN Commander as at that time Bosnian Deputy Prime Minister and Head of State Committee for cooperation with UN structures, I came by my own experience to the conclusion that Peace is not everything but without peace nothing else is possible.
But we should always have in mind that war and atrocities, crime and genocide is not committed by ordinary soldier who was pulling the trigger but by the evil minds and leaders who are misusing followers for their personal criminal gain or vain.
So that summer 1993, journalist, friend who was reporting from wars all over the world came to visit me in a hospital not knowing was it our last meeting or will I be lucky to go through hard recovery. On his way out, he stopped, turned back, and said: „forgive me for this but can I ask you something that may not be proper... one day when this war stops, if you would have a chance to meet the soldier that was enjoying barbeque and bear some place on Sarajevo besieged surrounding hills and pulling the trigger on heavy gun, while launching granate on main pedestrian street that killed three civilians and heavily wounded you – what would you tell him? “
I answered in a moment, from the bottom of my heart. I would not like to meet him because he is the poor man who did not know what he was being part of and doing it. But I would like to see in War Crimes Tribunal his Chief Commander and President, war criminals, Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić who drove us , soldiers and civilians, to the war in which victims only guilt was the fact that they were not of same religion or ethnicity like perpuetors. Because they were different along some identity or ideology. Mladić and Karadžić are today in front of International War Crime Tribunal in Hague sentenced for worst war crimes including Genocide in Srebrenica.
I see these ICTY verdicts as a small building blocks of conflict prevention mechanisms anywhere in the world, and not only as a symbols of postponed justice in my country.
So, laying in a hospital bad, I knew that, if I ever get out of our war, what ever I do in the rest of my life, I will keep working on sharing my thoughts, experiences and values in simple mission – to do everything I can so that what happened to us happens never again. To no one.
That is why I am standing here in front of you with a credible conviction that it is not only clear signal for Balkan and Europe but for the rest of the world as well, that justice and rule of law are best conflict prevention mechanisms.
Peace is justice in action.
This is a reason why I am thankful to World Alliance of Religions Peace (WARP) Summit, to Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) for Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) and for the work done under this roof and offering me chance to be with you on a common journey to Promised Land.
Conflict prevention, conflict mediation and securing sustainable peace, our three overarching values, are putting us to be here together, not only as a people who share passion for peace, but at the same time as a people who are committed to share hopes and readiness to make them our common destiny and providing dignity for all.
As a peace promoters and realistic peace protectors, in current more interests than values driven world, we should keep pointing out that conflict prevention is not only highest moral principle, but that is cost effective as well. Today even more since the conflicts are more economically destructive then ever before.
10 years ago, UN studies showed that donors save 2 to 7 $ for each 1 $ invested in prevention related activities.
This year UN Report on Pathways to Peace shows that for each 1$ invested in prevention, about 16 $ is saved down the road.
We do believe that all people can live in peace and prosperity. But we do know that it is on our reach only if we are together , if we are one, on a journey determined with Shared Leadership for Shared Future in Shared Societies and Environmental Sustainability. Shared Leadership for Peace and Harmony of People, Planet and Technology. Shared Vision, Values, Passion and Persistance for Peace and Prosperity.
I do believe in bright and shared future along the long and vinding road with shared leadership in shared societies.
I am sharing with you my thoughts and feelings on my 25th year of second life given to me by mighty force after almost deadly war injuries on streets of Sarajevo.
I do not have answers for today’s major problems. We are all aware of unpredictability and difficult days ahead.
So why am I happy today? Because while going through the Bosnian war , in besieged city of Sarajevo, I have seen the Promised Land of Shared Future in Shared Societies with Peace and Harmony of People, Planet and Technology. Promised Land in which 7 sins or roots of conflicts: Exclusion, Inequality, Injustice, Poverty, Fear, Populism and Ignorance are confronted with better angels of our nature, with 7 virtues or conflict preventers: Inclusion, Compassion, Justice, Sustainable Development, Hope, Culture and Education.
I know that together we can fight the true threats to peace and to our societies.
Alone we can go faster. But if we want to go further, then we have to go together.
And do not ever forget that we are on the right side of history; we are one, because „We are all angels with one wing. We can fly only by embracing one another – all together“."