Discussing the Diaspora in Sarajevo

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 Jun 19, 2018

Representatives from IOM’s Vienna Regional Office took part in a conference on the Importance of the Diaspora for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo last week.

Participants emphasized the importance of the role of the diaspora in the socio-political life in Bosnia and Herzegovina through participation in the creation of public policies, investment, and transfer of knowledge, and stressed the importance of cooperation with both national and local government authorities.

IOM’s Chief of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Van Der Auweraert (pictured) noted “Building trust and enhancing dialogue between the government and diaspora associations is a critical element in building further collaboration be it in trade, investment, skills exchange, or even return to Bosnia. Through this project and this conference, we are helping to establish this trust between different institutions, but also looking forward and discussing concrete ideas on what can be achieved together”.

The conference was part of the Diaspora for Development project of the Government of Switzerland and the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, in partnership with UNDP and IOM.

Michael Newson, Senior Labor Mobility and Human Development Specialist (IOM) addressed the topics of diaspora networking and interaction, citing best practices from Kosovo and Ukraine and  Financing and Self-Sustainability of Diaspora Associations in Destination Countries, presenting four models of financing.

The gathering was attended by over 100 participants, which included diaspora from Bosnia and Herzegovina, diplomats, international organizations, national and regional institutions and non-governmental organizations.