Your Holiness, the respected priesthood,
Dear Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska,
Respected Serb member and BiH Presidency Chairman,
Dear Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska,
Deputy Speakers of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska,
Respected deputies, Honorable Ministers,
Honorable Head of the Republic of Srpska Representation Office in Serbia,
Mayors, representatives of the institutions of Serbia and Srpska,
Dear friends and guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Under the organisation of the Republic of Srpska Representative Office in Serbia, we have gathered today in Belgrade to mark the two most important dates in the process of creating the Republic of Srpska. One of them is January 9, 1992 – the day when the Republic was born and the other on February 28, the same year, when the Republic of Srpska got its Constitution, and on the basis of constitutionality and its legal, political and administrative functioning.
Today, we can say with certainty that we are proud of every step Srpska has made during 27 years of its existence and development, making all of us together simultaneously proud – both of those who created it and those who subsequently developed it, those who were already born in the time of its creation, but also those who were born after that or those who will be born in the future.
The fact that the Republic of Srpska was internationally verified by the Dayton Peace Agreement further confirms its legitimacy and strengthens its legal, constitutional and political capacity.
Unfortunately, the Dayton concept, which brought peace and established constitutional and political-legal system in BiH, was often defeated by the part of the international community, primarily the High Representative. Furthermore, many times this system has been blocked internally by political Sarajevo in order to prove it was dysfunctional and should therefore be changed. It is an environment in which we operate, live and work all these years.
But, no matter how our developing path was burdened with injustice, stereotypes, double arches and persistently followed by fictitious and false accusations, and as much as we were pressed by various problems, there was always happiness, pride and satisfaction during the past 27 years because of the fact that Srpska is moving forward, builds itself, develops, loves and protects its freedom, solves problems and challenges.
That is why today, when we live in peace, we must not lose sight of the fact that not so long ago war broke out in our region and took many lives thus causing enormous sufferings. It is our obligation not to forget the victims and to always show respect for those who gave their lives or parts of their bodies for freedom by defending the Republic of Srpska.
It is our duty to tirelessly open the path for the new generations and not to let go, not to lose power, energy, will or conviction.
It is our obligation not to get tired while defending the interests of the Republic of Srpska, and it is our duty to talk to everyone, to seek solutions, to lead a dialogue, to have a rational approach and to be pragmatic, but to love and respect simply as much as we are loved and respected.
It is enough to look at our 20th century history in order to understand why people in the Republic of Srpska are so deeply and inseparably linked to it. It is a symbol of our survival, a guarantee of our security and the presupposition of our development and prosperity. That is why our most important task is to protect the Republic of Srpska, its institutions, competencies and the constitutional order.
The foundation of its constitutionality, which was established on this day 27 years ago, obliges us further to preserve and nourish the values on which Srpska rests and develops as a modern democratic society in which rights and freedoms of both individual and collectivity are respected.
We understand the world in which we live and we know that our environment is an “unsettled yard”, unfortunately, it is still burdened with numerous problems, even hatred. We know that there are still many challenges ahead of the Republic of Srpska. The pressures that have lasted, practically, since its foundation to date, as well as numerous disputes and deprivations of jurisdiction, oblige us to seriously defend national interests and the ability to get out of the tight party frames and gather around the status, political and economic issues that are important for survival and development of the Republic Srpska.
I am proud of the fact that, in almost impossible circumstances, we have managed to ensure the full institutional, political and financial stability of Srpska. We can safely say that the Republic of Srpska today is the only self-sustaining community within BiH. Those who try to challenge the name of our Republic, its constitutional position and institutional capacity should have this in mind.
However, we have to do much more to strengthen it. Our people need more work, better salaries and pensions, better roads, schools, hospitals and everything else that is necessary for the life of the individual, family and our society as a whole to be better arranged.
That is why I am happy that this time as well, after the elections, we have formed the Government as soon as possible and continued to increase salaries and pensions and we have implemented numerous infrastructure projects. And, while developing Srpska, we must gradually exclude bad habits. Today’s world does not tolerate inertia and lack of initiative, therefore, it is necessary to develop an atmosphere and awareness that mobility, initiative and action are imperative not only for success, but for survival as well. Likewise, we need to preserve those values and habits by which we differ from the alienated and mentally robotised societies. We are a small community, and this is possible, despite global trends.
I am often being asked how I see the Republic of Srpska in five or ten years. And, of course, I always say that I see it improved, more developed, more advanced, built, able to adapt and keep up to date with the demands of the new age, aware of itself and the importance of its preservation.
But, I also see it as a community in which we will not lose humanity, solidarity and interest for those who live around us, and need help, and where it will always be important the news of how much babies were born in our or some other city in the Republic of Srpska or where we are able to experience one’s individual success and mark it as a success of the community. These are good habits that we must never give up.
I am often being asked, especially by strangers, what our ambitions and political plans for the future are, while losing both our time and their time to meaningless conversations they came up with prejudices, prematurely incapable or unwilling to understand the place they came to work. Our plan is peace, stability, development, and the goal is the strong Republic of Srpska.
Our goal is to work on better understanding with everyone within BiH and build partnerships, but our intention is to defend ourselves against provocations and attacks with a strong institutional response. Therefore, there is no hidden plan.
Let me once again express my satisfaction with the fact that this year we have gathered in Belgrade marking the Day of the Republic of Srpska and the day when the foundations of its constitution were established. And in this way, we confirm our close and fraternal relations that greatly exceed the legal link established through the Agreement on Special and Parallel Relations, based on the Dayton Agreement.
Serbia is the backbone of our efforts in preserving and strengthening the Republic of Srpska, and through the financial support for the implementation of various projects in municipalities throughout Srpska, it also affects the improvement of the lives of our citizens in practical terms, and on this occasion, I would like to thank the leadership of Serbia on behalf of the citizens and the institutions of the Republic of Srpska.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of you for your presence at today’s event with the desire to reinforce our strength and to retain the perseverance and commitment to the further development of the Republic of Srpska.
Long live Serbia, long live the Republic of Srpska, proud and eternal!