The Honorable Dragan Mektić, Minister of Security, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The session was part of the ICT's 16th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism: "Unpuzzling Terrorism". Mektić highlighted the multi-ethnic council that has been established in Bosnia and Herzegovina which works in collaboration with religious leaders to fight radicalization. Mektić also noted that the country faces the challenge of disrupting the illegal arms network in the region, describing the actions the country has done to counter such actions and noting that international cooperation is needed to further fight this phenomenon.
Minister Mektić spoke about the uniqueness of the challenges Bosnia and Herzegovina faces regarding terrorism, and the advantages they have in this fight. Mektić claimed that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very multicultural and multi-religious state and therefore it could have easily given into the temptation of discrimination and hate, but instead chose to work together for tolerance. Mektić also discussed the creation of a multiethnic council that works in collaboration with religious leaders to address the needs of communities and to fight hate speech and radicalization. He also emphasized the impressive will of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s citizens to create tolerance, to co-exist, and to have zero tolerance for hate and extremism.
On the other hand, like other post conflict states, Bosnia and Herzegovina has the difficult task of disrupting the illegal arms network in the region. Criminal and terrorist groups use weapons and explosives from the war period for attacks, as well as utilize the illegal arms trade as a source of profit. Bosnia and Herzegovina recognizes the need for international cooperation to disrupt this network and to find and seize any and all illegal weapons and explosives in the region. Mektić argues that although the country has had success in this endeavor, many weapons remain missing. Minister Mektić noted that the state has also been involved in drafting new strategies to combat money laundering and to suppress terrorism in the country. He concluded his speech by reaffirming the commitment of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fight terrorism and to fight ISIS.