The charity Remembering Srebrenica is delighted to announce that Peter Osborne is taking over as Chair of their Northern Ireland Board.
Mr Osborne, who also chairs the Community Relations Council, has been involved in good relations, cohesion, community enablement and development work for over 20 years. In August he travelled to Bosnia as the charity took their first delegation from Northern Ireland on the ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ programme. He was joined by Caitríona Ruane MLA, Principal Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and seven other key members of the interfaith community in Belfast, including members of Northern Ireland Muslim Family Association, Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, Counselling All Nations Services and the Methodist Church in Ireland.
Reflecting on the trip, Peter Osborne said: “Only through going to Srebrenica was I able to see the true horror of what happened and understand the challenges that people face there in moving on from the genocide in a spirit of reconciliation to make a better future for all communities.”
He added: “I am honoured to be taking the role as Chair of the Northern Ireland Board so that I can further contribute to the work of Remembering Srebrenica and apply the lessons from Srebrenica to our region, as we emerge from conflict ourselves.”
Mr Osborne spoke at Remembering Srebrenica’s multi-faith memorial event at Stormont on 14th July, which featured interfaith prayers from Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Baha’i faiths and survivor testimony from a Kosovan refugee now living in Northern Ireland. The board will be organising further events to encourage people in Northern Ireland to learn from the Bosnia conflict and prevent hatred taking hold in their own communities.
Remembering Srebrenica’s Chairman, Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, welcomed the appointment of Peter Osborne, saying: “Peter’s credentials make him the ideal candidate to take on this role. His insight and experience in working with leaders from the interfaith community in Northern Ireland will be invaluable in our mission not only to remember the victims of genocide, but to take action to prevent similar atrocities happening again.
“I would also like to express my thanks to the outgoing Chair, Dr Ahmed Helmy, who has worked extremely hard to set up such a strong board representing different communities and faith organisations.
“Never has it been more important for us to learn the lessons from Srebrenica. We must take action to build better and safer societies for all, otherwise those who spread divisive messages will go unchallenged in their efforts to breed hatred and intolerance.”