Why Srebrenica is Still Relevant for Us

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Room 1512 International Affairs Building

Please join the Harriman Institute for a panel discussion on the experience and continued relevance of Srebrenica as a UN safe area/NATO protected zone. 


Tanya Domi is an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, and a Harriman Institute associated faculty member, who teaches Human Rights in the Western Balkans.  Ms. Domi has worked in more than a dozen countries, working on democratization, human rights and media freedom.  She served as Spokesperson and Chair of the International Media Experts Commission in the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1996-2000.  She also has worked in Republic of Kosovo, Republic of Montenegro and Republic of Serbia.

Ambassador Christian Wenweser has been the Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations since 2002. In 2008, Ambassador Wenaweser was elected to a three-year term as the President of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court. From 2003 until his election as President, he chaired the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression for the Assembly of States Parties. At the United Nations, Ambassador Wenaweser served as Chairman of the Third Committee (dealing chiefly with human rights issues) during the 57th session of the General Assembly and as Vice Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on Security Council Reform and Adviser on Security Council Reform during the 59th session. Between 2003 and 2005 he served as Chairman of the ad hoc Committee on the Scope of Legal Protection under the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. Ambassador Wenaweser was educated at the University of Zurich, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Munich, Germany.

Mr. William Pace is the Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy. He has served as the Convenor of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court since its founding in 1995 and is a co-founder and steering committee member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. He has been engaged in international justice, rule of law, environmental law, and human rights for the past 30 years. He previously served as the Secretary-General of the Hague Appeal for Peace, the Director of the Center for the Development of International Law, and the Director of Section Relations of the Concerts for Human Rights Foundation at Amnesty International, among other positions. He is the President of the Board of the Center for United Nations Reform Education and an Advisory Board member of the One Earth Foundation, as well as the co-founder of the NGO Steering Committee for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and the NGO Working Group on the United Nations Security Council. He is the recipient of the William J. Butler Human Rights Medal from the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and currently serves as an Ashoka Foundation Fellow. Mr. Pace has authored numerous articles and reports on international justice, international affairs and UN issues, multilateral treaty processes, and civil society participation in international decision-making.

Ambassador Mo Sacirbey is a Bosnian American lawyer, businessman and diplomat. Sacirbey rose to prominence in the 1990s when Bosnia and Herzegovina appointed him to be its ambassador to the United Nations. Sacirbey also served as the Bosnian foreign minister. In 1963, the family left SFY Yugoslavia due to his father's and mother's anti-communist politics (both had spent time in prison for their activities) and lived for a while in Turkey and Libya before settling in the United States in 1967. Sacirbey attended Tulane University in New Orleans on a football scholarship and subsequently received a law degree from Tulane Law School and an MBA at Columbia Business School Sacirbey served as legal counsel to Standard & Poor's. Most of Sacirbey's professional career was spent as an investment banker on Wall Street. Sacirbey was Bosnia's first ambassador to the United Nations. He began his term on 22 May 1992, the day that Bosnia and Herzegovina was admitted to the UN. During the war, he made many impassioned pleas for the lifting of the arms embargo against the Bosnian government and made repeated calls for the UN to protect the so-called safe areas from indiscriminate attacks. He traveled the world in a bid for support. Sacirbey was member of the Bosnian delegation at the Dayton peace negotiation in November 1995

Ambassador Diego Arria was Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations from 1991 to 1993, and was President of the Security Council (March 1992), during Venezuela's membership of the Security Council.  Arria later became Special Advisor to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN.  He initiated the eponymous 'Arria formula' a very informal consultation process which affords members of the Security Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential, informal setting. These meetings are presided over by a member of the Council as service facilitator for the discussion and not by the President of the Council. He was chairman during the massacres at Srebrenica. After visiting the enclave he warned of its impending doom and predicted the massacres saying it was "slow motion Genocide" and the besieged enclave itself as "a concentration camp policed by UNPROFOR". Ambassador Arria was also Diplomatic Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of the Americas and of Freedom Now, and of the Board of Advisors of Inter-American Dialogue. He has been a Director at The Columbus Group, and is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Athelera LLC as well as a Member of the Board of Advisors at VMS Associates, LLC.

Refik Hodzic joined ICTJ as director of communications in March 2011. For almost two decades, Hodzic has worked in transitional justice as a journalist, filmmaker as well as an expert in public information and outreach campaigns for international and national courts seeking justice for war crimes. He has focused on post-war justice and media primarily in the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Timor-Leste. Before his current role at ICTJ he consulted for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), where he developed recommendations for the STL’s outreach strategy and helped implement several high-impact projects. While working with the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia from 2000–2004 and 2006–2010, he served as the tribunal’s spokesman and outreach coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also headed the public information and outreach section of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he developed a comprehensive public information and outreach strategy for the court and the state prosecutor’s office. In 2004, Hodzic co-founded XY Films, an independent film and television production company producing documentary films dealing with the legacy of war crimes committed during the 1990s. His work includes “Living the Legacy of Mass Atrocities: Victims’ Perceptions of War Crimes Trials,” Journal of International Criminal Justice (2010), Statement 710399, documentary, XY productions (2006), and Justice Unseen, documentary, XY productions (2004).

Erol Avdovic (moderator) is an award-winning journalist and author professionally based in New York since 1993.  Avdovic is United Nations and US correspondent for many West Balkans media. His interview with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, was quoted by The New York Times. He traveled with US Vice-President Joe Biden to the Balkans and Middle East in 2009, and published an interview with him – that was quoted by many Western Balkans media. He is US contributor to radio and TV outlets in Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Monte Negro and Germany (Deutsche Welle and WDR Radio). Avdovic was a UN and US Bureau chief for two biggest Croatian daily newspapers - Zagreb based “Jutarnji list” and“Vjesnik”. He was also New York contributor for the biggest news agency covering the UN War Crime Tribunal in Hague – SENSE Agency, based in Brussels and Independent News Agency BETA, from Belgrade (Serbia). He appeared on Al-Jazeera International and Al-Jazeera Balkans as analyst of UN and Balkan Affairs. He is an author of two books. Avdovic served two terms as President of the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA). He graduated Economy at the Saint Cyril and Methodi University of Skopje. He is now a US Citizen.