DALIJA HASANBEGOVIC: Good afternoon and thank you for coming back. We are now in the second part of the symposium, which is a panel discussion
You already met most of the participants of this discussion this morning: Dr. George Rupp, Dr. David Rodin, Sir Adam Roberts, Dr. Ivo Banac, Dr. Joel Rosenthal, and Dr. Michael Ignatieff, who I have not previously introduced.
Dr. Ignatieff is a distinguished academic, authority on human rights, a former political leader in Canada; he is Centennial chair of Carnegie Council and professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He served in the Parliament of Canada and was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. His books include Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001); The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004); and, most recently, Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013). Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ignatieff to this panel today. He will address us after this panel discussion.
The moderator of today's panel discussion is Mr. Mustafa Cerić, a former grand mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina, currently serving as president of the World Bosniak Congress. His work on inter-religious dialogue and understanding has been recognized by many international awards, including UNESCO Felix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, the King Abdullah I Bin Al-Hussein International Award, and in 2012 he received the Ducci Foundation Peace Prize.
Mr. Cerić, please take the microphone.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you for the kind and generous introduction.
I am privileged compared to your situation. I am here to navigate this discussion after this morning's great speeches, beginning with His Eminence, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Husein Kavazović, and all others who followed after that.
In order to set the stage for this Q&A, I would say just a few words of my small introduction. I would like to remind you that you are in Sarajevo. A hundred years ago here in this city we had a terrorist act of an assassination. Some would say that that was a patriotic act and others say that this is terrorism. I don't think that we can settle this issue in this session, but the Sarajevo people believe right now that terrorism or violence must be condemned for whatever reasons.
Now, I would like also to greet all those who are following us on different channels. I was told that about a million or so people are watching us from Sarajevo. I would like to greet them also from the city of Sarajevo, from the City of Peace. Sarajevo is the first Jerusalem of Europe and the second Jerusalem in the world. "Jerusalem" means literally "the city of peace." I hope that Sarajevo will not be the city of the holy war but the city of the holy peace in the future.
Thank you to the Carnegie Council for choosing Sarajevo for its Centennial and coming here with a great staff, to tell us, "We are with you and we would like to advance the idea of Mr. Andrew Carnegie for peaceful relationships in the world." They could choose any other city in the world, but they have chosen Sarajevo. So thank you very much.
The second thing that I would like to say, and probably this will be my first question—I know that you have difficulty to ask now, but allow me in this privileged position that I would ask a question for all the panelists. We in Sarajevo, those who survived, we can say now that we have survived genocide. I don't know why God gave us this chance to live after genocide. But I think we have the message.
Some say that there are three kinds of people—those who remember, those who think, and those who dream. Basically, most of the people in the world are remembering, less are thinking, and the least are dreaming. I would ask our panelists: Could you give some idea for us in Sarajevo; can we not only remember what happened and not only think about today, but can you give some venue for us in Sarajevo to dream a better future for our children? The better future for our children is the security that genocide will not be repeated to us here in Europe and in Sarajevo.
MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: I think I am in one of those positions that is only too familiar: foreigners coming into Sarajevo and giving you advice. I don't like to be in this position. In fact, the right position is every time I have been to Sarajevo, I have learned much more than I had to say. I do want to make that point very strongly.
Better hopes for your children—look, your future lies in Europe, and Europe has to give you a signal that they want you in. Your future lies in democratic politics, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional politics, which becomes a politics of citizens rather than a politics of ethnic groups, in which somehow over the next couple of generations people act towards each other strictly as individuals and no longer react towards people as if they all carried a little sign around their necks identifying, either by their last names or by the way they dress, what ethnicity they came from. You are a long way away from that, and you have suffered horribly trying to defend a multi-ethnic confessional society in the middle of ethnic nationalism at its most brutal.
All of this is difficult. You need a new constitution that allows these things to happen. Nobody thinks you need to be different people. I am a liberal, so I believe that good institutions matter, and if you have good institutions then you can start having decent politics in which voters count, politicians are at last accountable to the people instead of ripping people off.
Every Sarajevan I have ever talked to before the war, during the war, and after the war said, "We want to lead a normal life." A normal life is simply decent institutions; the rule of law; democratic rule so you can throw the rascals out, so you can throw the people out who skim and steal your money; and, above all, a society that takes responsibility for itself. What is very frustrating for Bosnia-Herzegovina right at the moment is that you are still looking for outsiders to fix your problems because the constitutional situation forces that. You want to have a society where you actually have self-determination, in all its perils and difficulties, which is that you decide your fate.
So I would put the emphasis on politics here. Nobody here has to be any different, but you need better institutions. Better institutions will give you a chance to have the kind of future your children want.
I'm sorry to go on so long. I think I'm only saying things that I have been told by Sarajevans. I'm not telling you anything you don't know and haven't said better than I've said.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you, Dr. Ignatieff. We know all of this, but we like when somebody comes from outside and tells us what we know. We like it. So thank you very much.
Also, I appreciate very much this advice for the politicians. I don't know how many politicians we have here. I wish that they can hear you. But I want to make sure that I will pass your message to them one day or the other.
Dr. Rosenthal, thank you very much for taking time to come here and to bless us. I would just follow up on the end of this statement, about self-determination. I think you emphasized in your speech this idea of self-determination. What can you tell us in Sarajevo here about it more?
JOEL ROSENTHAL: Thank you.
I just want to emphasize something that Michael said. We come here very humbly to learn. So I hope that the spirit of these remarks are accepted in the spirit of mutual learning.
I'd also just like to say a word about your opening remark about remembering, thinking, and dreaming. This was really the formula of Andrew Carnegie himself. He believed that you shouldn't really separate those functions and, particularly on this theme of leadership, that leaders should be capable of all three and be able to help society in that regard.
A final comment in terms of self-determination: self-determination is a very incomplete principle. I think it's something that we do agree on in universal terms, that that's a goal. But it has to be implemented in certain contexts in certain societies. No simple formula.
I think that the answer, to the extent that there is one, is for this society to become more itself. It shouldn't be looking elsewhere for answers. We were treated to a tour of the city, where we saw the ecumenical history. So perhaps the answer is right here and it's not outside.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you very much for this humbleness, which makes us stronger in our view that it was the right decision to have you in Sarajevo.
Mr. Rupp, as you talked about religion, religion is more about remembering than thinking and dreaming, except that you dream about paradise or heaven. So what do you think? Where does religion fit in these three categories, especially for Sarajevo?
GEORGE RUPP: I certainly agree with what Joel has just said and what you implied, namely remembering is a base, and thinking builds on that, and dreaming, in turn, builds on remembering and thinking.
We had the pleasure of a tour of Sarajevo yesterday. Among the sights that we saw were the Grand Mosque, the Jewish Synagogue, the Catholic Cathedral, and the Orthodox Church. That is a kind of architectural testimony to the ways in which Sarajevo has historically—points that are very important to remember—been what I called this morning an inclusive community.
My dream for Sarajevo is that you once again embody that concretely, that the diversity that was prized and treasured in those past years can be rehabilitated, and that that kind of inclusive community can flourish here.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you.
Professor Roberts I think has more memory than any of us because he is emeritus. But his speech was not about remembering. I think he was giving us some prospect for the future.
How do you see Sarajevo in 100 years? I just want to tell you that the last century started with war in Sarajevo and ended with war in Sarajevo. The 21st century started without war in Sarajevo. Can we send a message to Europe that they can be calm and safe, that Sarajevo is at peace?
ADAM ROBERTS: I would just say one thing, which, first of all, does relate to memory. The first time I came to Yugoslavia was at the time of Tito's 80th birthday—I didn't come for his birthday; that was coincidence—in 1972.
I was very struck then, particularly when I visited Zagreb, at the ways in which there was still some desire for separation. I overheard a conversation in a café in Zagreb about Bangladesh and its secession from India, and it was quite clear that they were thinking about Croatia. Already then, I remember detailed discussions about the complexity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was at the time of constitutional revision in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
All of this and other impressions at the time—I was doing research on Opštenarodna odbrana ("total people's defense"); remember that of many years ago?—all of that left me with a strong sense of the worrying, continued power of the different ethnic and confessional divisions in the former Yugoslavia.
When in the 1990s the break-up of Yugoslavia began with the Slovene War of Independence, I worried terribly for Bosnia and Herzegovina. I thought, "This is excellent for the Slovenes, but what will it do to a place with such divisions of the population as Bosnia and Herzegovina have?" That worry is still with me today.
That is the one difference I have with the comment that you heard from Michael Ignatieff. I agree on the importance of going toward a simpler and more direct form of politics, where there is a real power in the voters and in assemblies to kick out a government that is bad and where there is a closer connection between the voters and those in office. I am not disputing that side of what he said at all.
But, granted that, I have a degree of pessimism still about some of the fundamental divides in this society, and particularly about the risk that is there as a permanent temptation that the Serb population might at some future date want to secede or set up a separate state or whatever, I believe that a continued international role in Bosnia and Herzegovina is important as a demonstration that Europe is committed to an outcome of democratic politics but without this continuous threat of possible changes of frontier.
This may seem very old-fashioned of me, but I think the risk is sufficiently serious that a continued international presence is valuable. And, after all, the continued international presence that we have at the moment is not one that is very obtrusive, it is not one that affects everybody's day-to-day activities, but it is a sort of guarantee.
The only thing I would add to that is that this does not mean I am a pessimist about the development of democratic politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I served as an election observer in Brčko in the 2002 election, and I was very impressed that all communities in that region took the business of conducting an honest election very seriously, all of the communities—Serb, Croat, Muslim, as well—and I had occasion to watch them all. So it's not that I doubt the strength and the attraction of democratic politics, but I think some commitment to holding the ring from outside is still valuable.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you very much.
I have a follow-up question. We live in Europe, and Europe was torn up by two theses in the 19th century, before the First War and later. That is that the war legitimized the state, and that was Hegel's idea, that the war is the rule of the state; a state comes with the war and a state is maintained by the war.
Kant was the opposite to that. He thought that it is possible to legitimize the state by the rule of law, domestic and international. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina is suffering from structural discrimination. Unfortunately, this structural discrimination is imposed on the citizens of Bosnia by the internationals who are the masters at the moment of our fate. We know this very well.
So I would like to ask you: How can we get out from this structural discrimination, where people in Bosnia, just because of their race, cannot be a candidate for any political post—like gypsies or Jewish people; only Croats, Bosniaks, and Serbs—and how can we together come closer to Kant rather than to Hegel?
ADAM ROBERTS: I am more on Kant's side than Hegel's, and I certainly do not believe that the only justification for a state, the only way in which it can demonstrate success, is through war. Think of some of the most successful states in Europe, which have indeed managed to maintain the loyalty of their citizens. They include Switzerland and Sweden. Sweden has now kept out of international wars for 199 years, and nobody suggests that it has failed as a state just because it hasn't had a good old war once in a while. So I think that that kind of generalization about the state is somewhat dated.
What is true is that the provision of security is an important function of the state, and that may be achieved sometimes in bad circumstances through war. Sometimes it may be achieved through policies of neutrality that may be questioned by others. But at least the state has earned the support of its citizens through maintaining security in that way.
Now, when it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am convinced that the first thing that has to be done—and we are still in that phase—is a successful demonstration that the society can get beyond war and that the vision that some outsiders presented of the history of these societies being one continuous story of inter-ethnic/inter-religious violence is simply a simplistic version of the past, and this certainly is something that can be overcome in the present.
So I do think that there is possibility, simply by effective running of the system in the present, that you can then persuade outsiders to let the society move on.
You are quite right. The rules drawn up in an Air Force base at Dayton, Ohio, are not rules that must permanently govern this society. There are discriminatory elements in those rules that were established for understandable reasons at the time but cannot last forever. I am not in doubt that over time there will be a willingness on the part of outside powers to amend those rules because, after all, there is something profoundly un-American about some of those provisions. They were an emergency set of measures to help end a conflict. As the society demonstrates that it has gotten beyond the conflict, those rules will have to be changed.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you. I hope that those who have ears will hear what you said.
Now I just want to ask David to tell us how it is possible to have ethics in war. My experience is that in the time of war there is no law except force. So how can we have any ethics in the war?
DAVID RODIN: Thank you.
Before I come to that, let me just briefly come back to the question that you posed at the very beginning about whether Gavrilo Princip was a terrorist or a patriot. To me the crucial thing there is that those are not mutually exclusive.
A terrorist, to my understanding, is somebody who kills someone who ought not to be killed, who attacks a target that ought to be immune from attack, and that can be done by a patriot, by a freedom fighter, and also by a state, and whenever that happens it ought to be condemned. I think that is an important point.
How can there be such a thing as ethics in war? It does seem to many people like an oxymoron. But not, I think, if we understand ethics and the activity of ethics as the activity of making judgments. I think that we cannot but escape making judgments about right and wrong within war.
We have to remember that to condemn activities—activities like terrorism, like indiscriminate action, like the killing of civilians—is to make an ethical judgment. In that sense, there not only can be ethics of war and ethics in war, but there has to be; it has to be the beginning point.
Just to connect that with the other very nice question that you posed at the outset about remembering, thinking, and dreaming, as somebody who has made his career in philosophy, and is very much committed to the endeavor of thinking and to the possibility that by thinking about hard problems in a way that is honest and rigorous and pursued to the best of our abilities can be a very powerful way of making progress—but the important thing for me is that that process of thinking can sometimes lead to very, very powerful dreams.
Because you mentioned him, I want to use an example of Immanuel Kant. Immanuel Kant famously published a pamphlet called "Perpetual Peace," which was a philosophical dream if ever there was one, and which for centuries after it was published was seen as a kind of crazy fantasy. I think Kant himself was aware of how it would have been—and it was indeed —perceived in that way. And yet, after the Second World War, the conditions were there for the creation of a European Union that in almost every major respect is the living political institutional embodiment of that philosophical dream that Kant put forward all those centuries before.
So by all means dream, by all means remember, but have it supported and undergirded by honest, rigorous, detailed thought.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you, David. So you encourage us to dream that one day in Bosnia we will have a constitution based on citizenship rather than ethnicity and national groups. Thank you very much. I think we have the right to dream that.
Now I would ask our neighbor professor, who brought up this conflict between Cain and Abel—if I may ask you, will ever Cain come to Abel and say, "Sorry"? I lived in Chicago for five years. I think what we Europeans have to learn from Americans are two words, "thank you" and "sorry." These two words we don't know how to use. Is it possible that in the Balkans we will learn one day to say to others "Sorry, I will not repeat my crime"?
IVO BANAC: I cannot say, obviously. But I think that that is certainly one way out of the situation in which Bosnia and Herzegovina finds itself. That is why I think every voice that comes from those communities that are particularly responsible for what happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina that departs from the national crowd and is critical of responsibility of one's own country, political leadership, whatever, is something that should be supported—not in a way that makes them in a certain sense apart from their native base, because that would not be particularly helpful; but in a way that would encourage others to think critically. I think that can be done in various ways.
In that sense, returning to your earlier question about can there be any guarantees that genocide will not be repeated in Bosnia and Herzegovina, again the same pattern. Of course there are no guarantees. But the best way to prevent any such future occurrences is to lessen tensions wherever they are present. That means basically the policy of the politics of restraint. I am not going to give you any examples. I think we all understand what I am referring to—perhaps not some of our visitors from abroad.
There are a number of things that have recently happened in Sarajevo that could have been avoided, that serve no particularly useful purpose. Why must one have a particular statute, a particular this, a particular that? That we can do without.
So it is terribly, terribly important to award those who are breaking from the crowd, and it is terribly important within one's own community to practice restraint. That would be an investment in coexistence with others.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: Thank you very much.
I hope that the audience got enough inspiration for their own questions. Now I open the floor for those who want to ask.
QUESTION: Thank you very much. My name is Osman Softic. I studied at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo and international relations in Australia. I have been back in Bosnia for the last five years and currently I am coordinating research activities between Al Jazeera Balkans and Al Jazeera Center for Studies in Doha.
My question is not particularly directed to any of the speakers, so feel free to answer if you feel that you would like to give an answer to it. My concern is that we here in Bosnia live in a multi-ethnic society which is often praised as "the Jerusalem of Europe." At the same time, Bosnia is cited internationally as one of the most successful examples of successful international humanitarian intervention.
At the same time, for the last 20 years we have been held back and ethnic relations have not much improved. So I don't know if we can call it a real success, because most of us here feel that the war has been going on in this country for the last 20 years by other means. Do you feel that you would like to give some explanation to what I have just mentioned? So it is not a question but it is a comment.
MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: Just very briefly, I think the comment is a very interesting one, particularly the last provocative sentence about war has been going on for the last 20 years. I understand those feelings. I just think that it is important to be careful about the use of language. No one is dying in Bosnia at the moment. That is different. That various groups within Bosnia are seeking to dissolve the precarious peace, that various groups are seeking to get advantage over others, that some groups are even wishing to separate and secede, all this stuff is not good. But no one is dying here.
I think it is a bit ridiculous for an outsider to counsel patience. Why should you be patient? But I think on a day when we are celebrating a century of change it is important to remember how long things take and how important it is to acknowledge simple facts, like the fact that people are not dying, not killing. That is very precious. And a politics of restraint is just so important here, and to build on what is positive somehow is terribly important, and to refuse every pretext/provocation/invitation to go back to war or violence of any kind. It really matters not just for Bosnia but for the world. Every time a country like Bosnia succumbs back into war, every time there is an incident in Northern Ireland where people get shot, the whole world feels that the possibility of multi-ethnic and multi-religious confessional/constitutional settlements take a step back. God knows we need some steps forward.
I think the thing in Bosnia is you often feel abandoned, as it were. But part of the reason to come here today is to say, "There are a lot of people out there"—I'm one of them, and I think everybody on the platform and thousands of other people—"who really care about what happens here. It really matters that a politics of restraint wins here over time." I've got all my fingers and toes crossed.
QUESTION: My name is Refik Hodžić. I come from the International Center for Transitional Justice, but more importantly from Prijedor in northwestern Bosnia, where the dynamics that you are talking about are playing out I would say much more than in Sarajevo itself, because there is no international presence there such as in Sarajevo.
But my question has to do with something else. That is, in your opinion—and I would pose this to Professor Banac and Professor Ignatieff first, but also to everyone else—how much does the economic transition that we are undergoing, that I would equate with outright plunder, that has co-opted politics for its dynamic, and the international context, especially what is happening now in terms of realignment that we can see in Ukraine of international relations, but also the challenges to the international law that we have that we can see in Syria, have to do with the stalemate and the absence of progress in Bosnia?
IVO BANAC: On the first, I really could not give you anything that would be particularly valuable, except the obvious: If the situation were better, possibly it would have political implications.
On the second, that is something that I take very, very seriously. It really did not start with the Crimean crisis, Ukrainian crisis. We have had a process of realignment in the works for quite some time. I suppose you sense it better in Prijedor than in many other places. It is, I think, very fortunate for Bosnia, for Croatia, for Kosovo, that Yeltsin was in power during the 1990s rather than his successor Putin, because I am quite certain that things would have been far worse.
There is a cold war that is being played in the only area of Europe where Russia can play the role of a major power. This is Southeastern Europe. This business of creating clients, which is sometimes successful, sometimes not successful, is something that is significantly changing the face of the region.
The fact that Mr. Dodik is apparently tied with the current Russian leadership, to the point of being practically a client, I think is very significant. This, for those who follow it closely, is in evidence every day. Just a couple of days ago, there was an unveiling of a statute of Nicholas II in the presence of the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bosnia and Herzegovina with Mr. Dodik. What's the point of that?
There are a number of these things that of course are tied in with one fluid which gives Russia influence, and that of course is oil and gas, energetics. You know perfectly well to what extent Russian investments in these elements, in particularly Republika Srpksa is significant today.
I will give you one example that shows how these influences transcend borders. You know perfectly well that a refinery in Bosanski Brod, which is owned by a state company from the Russian Federation, is a cause of enormous pollution across the Sava River in Slavonski Brod in Croatia. They couldn't for the devil of it understand why the Croatian government is so passive on this, because the oil that is being refined in Bosanski Brod comes via Croatian territory to Bosanski Brod. They could simply say, "No, we are not going to allow this, put in a different, cleaner refinery and the you can continue with your business." But nobody could give an answer to this. I talked to the mayor of Slavonski Brod; he doesn't have an answer.
Finally, I decided to talk to somebody who was very close to the minister of environmental protection. You got actually a very authentic and actually perfectly predictable answer. He said, "Of course, please, this is something that we cannot discuss. But we do not wish to offend Moscow. We do not wish to have bad relations with Russia over this."
So this is the type of a dynamic that is at work in the whole Balkan Peninsula—sometimes very direct, as in the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina; I would say the same for Bulgaria; perhaps less so in some other countries. In Serbia it is a mixed bag, this way, that way. In Montenegro they have bolted against it to the point that pro-Russian churchmen in Montenegro have condemned Vujanović to eternal fire. But it is a dynamic that I think has an enormous influence for the development in the region.
A couple of days ago, I was discussing something with a very prominent historian over what was wrong with the Dayton Conference. He said, "You know, the problem with Dayton was that no power took direct responsibility for each given community. For example, Germany should have claimed protection over the Croats, France over the Bosniaks, Russia over the Serbs."
Frankly, I think that is a terrible idea. We do not wish to have such client relations in this part of the world because, should that happen, I think that we would be farther away from any sort of solution than we are today.
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: If I might add before I allow Professor Ignatieff to answer this or any others, this is a very good answer from a professor who is known to be very straightforward and very truthful.
But I would then ask the question: Why should we blame Russia? Russia is fighting for its spheres. I would ask Europe, what is Europe doing, divided about Bosnia—and Americans are busy with many other issues in the world. But I would like to remind you that Sarajevo is not a local issue. It has been, it is, and it will be all the time a global issue. The proof is the First World War and the Second World War. Tito's partisans won the Second World War in Bosnia, not anywhere else. So I am asking you: What message would you send to the European leaders, to let Russia do its business that it is doing or they will do something about its house? We are in the house of Europe.
MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: I thought Ivo did a masterful job of showing the Russian influence here. I think your question is about what the comparable action from Europe has been.
I think the dimension of this that needs to be added—and which is discouraging, frankly—is that Europe's strategy in Eastern and Southern Europe was enlargement, or offering the prospect of enlargement. But the domestic backlash against enlargement inside Europe is just a political fact that Bosnians have to understand. Large amounts of the German public are very unhappy that Bulgaria came in, that Romania came in, not so crazy about the idea of Serbia coming in, not terribly happy about Croatia being in. I mean there is a backlash.
So when you say, which I think is right, that Bosnia is an international issue, it is an international issue because, just as in 1992-1995 it became the test case of what Europe believes in, it is once again the same test; that is, is this one continent or isn't it? This is the fundamental issue.
If you don't have a route towards Europe that is clear, definable, sets up criteria that mean you have to clean up your political system and you have to get rule of law working and all the stuff that an accession process puts you through, you haven't got a future.
The one hypothesis I might advance is that as the Russians begin to take the actions that they are taking, it may simply force Europeans to prise de conscience (the realization), as the French say, and decide strategically that it is time to make this one continent. Because if it isn't one continent, then what does it become? It starts to fall apart. Bosnia becomes a source of instability, potentially again a source of terrorism. The nightmare scenarios are very easy to spin out here. So the geostrategic prise de conscience that Europe has to take about Bosnia is a more general prise de conscience about what is Europe for, where is it going, is this one continent or two? It is one continent.
The whole logic of Dayton—Dayton has been much criticized, and entirely justly so—is that, frankly, Dick Holbrooke understood what Europe was better than the damn Europeans, and I don't care who knows it. That is, he understood strategically that unless the war in Bosnia was ended, the whole UN security project was jeopardized.
As you point out, America has now stepped back from this, leaving this Dayton architecture which was never supposed to last more than a couple of years and has now lasted 18, but must be fixed and must be changed. It will only be changed by action from below, by Bosnian citizens saying, "Enough! We've got three times too many politicians, we've got three times too many levels of government, we are forced into ethnic divisions which make no sense, that make it impossible for us to create a post-conflict society. The whole operation is an instrument for skimming and corruption. It's got to change."
So there has to be pressure from below, and then there has to be this prise de conscience from the top that says "We can't leave this the way it is." Maybe the geostrategic motive is Russia is on the march. I don't like that as a motive. I like a much more positive motive, which is "We are proud of this continent; it is one continent, not two. We don't have divisions in the house; there is one European house, not two houses." That's where it needs to evolve.
But I think that moments like this, this kind of gathering, and many others, should be part of a political process in which the message is very simple: Wake up!
MUSTAFA CERIĆ: I am sure that you would like that we continue this discussion. But time is not on our side. I think we are coming to the end.
But, because I am privileged here, I will try to sum up and thank you for your patience.
And also, just to follow up on what you said about whether we are part of the continent, what is Europe, and where is Bosnia, I would answer to this, Bosnia is a miniature of Europe. So as Europe cannot stand alone without Euro-Atlantic associations, Bosnia cannot stand alone without Euro-Atlantic association.
First of all, NATO: security-wise, we must solve this problem. I talk to many people in Bosnia. You know what they say? "If Brussels doesn't want to do anything, if Washington is not willing to do anything, we should go to Moscow and ask the Russians. Probably they have the key for our solution. So why are we waiting on the door for NATO?"
We know that all the politicians signed the full membership of NATO: "We need here peace and security—yesterday, not today." This negligence of the Bosnian problem, I am afraid, will come as a boomerang to Europe and to the West.
Because of that, I think your coming on this occasion to highlight the issue of 100 years of the First World War and what we hear from you—I just want to pass you the voices of people that I meet, and they are many—that they appreciate your coming.
I hope this is not the first and last time. I hope that the Carnegie Council will open an office in Sarajevo to teach us how to make ethics not in war but in peace, and also to make our relationship inside and outside better, as Andrew Carnegie dreamt to do so.
Thank you very much for your coming. Thank you for your patience. You are a very nice audience. May God bless you. Come again to Sarajevo. Sarajevo is a nice, peaceful, loving city. Thank you.