A ceremony of opening the Diaspora Forum, which should gather 200 participants from more than 30 countries, has started yesterday in Banjaluka where topics of interest for Republika Srpska and the Diaspora will be discussed.
The Diaspora Forum gathers Serbs from the Homeland and abroad and all foreign citizens who research the Serbian language, history, and culture and are interested in the development of Republika Srpska.
The Serb member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik, Republika Srpska President Željka Cvijanović, the Speaker of the Republika Srpska National Assembly Nedeljko Čubrilović, and Republika Srpska Prime Minister Radovan Višković are attending the ceremony.
BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik stated that links between Republika Srpska and its Diaspora are extremely important for improving cooperation in all areas for the benefit of Srpska’s development.
“I am pleased that we are gathered here today to pave the way for our cooperation because we are part of one nation,” Dodik said at the opening of the Diaspora Forum.
He stresses as extremely important that the forum was going to discuss various forms of cooperation and that people from around the world were in attendance.
“It is very important we have an institutional framework for all this, the main condition for further action,” said Dodik.
He reiterated that a hard fight was being waged in Bosnia and Herzegovina to maintain the identity of the Serb people and the autonomy of Republika Srpska.
“Everything in BiH is in a crisis except Republika Srpska, which is the only viable thing in BiH,” he said.
The ceremony is also being attended by the envoy of the Serbian president, Nikola Selaković, guests from the public, business, political life of Republika Srpska, Serbia and the Diaspora, and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Prime Minister of Republika Srpska Radovan Višković stated Thursday cooperation with the Diaspora is of extreme importance for the development and prosperity of Republika Srpska and that it is the Government’s priority to boost the economy and improve the standard of living.
“Regional and international cooperation is one of Republika Srpska’s priorities. It is our diaspora that can contribute to a successful cooperation as well,” Višković said at the opening of the Diaspora Forum in Banjaluka.
Republika Srpska President Željka Cvijanović has said that the main goal of the Diaspora Forum, which is being organized for the second time in Banjaluka, is to have firmer ties between Republika Srpska institutions and the Diaspora.
“The number of participants of today’s Forum, but also of those with whom we maintain ties and realize certain activities, says that there are both interest and need to work and act together. Through our cooperation, we demonstrate readiness to jointly take care of national, economic, political, cultural and other issues of importance for Republika Srpska, of preservation of identity, but also readiness to find solutions to problems facing our people no matter where they live,” Cvijanović said on Thursday.
The Diaspora Forum participants can expect rich discussions with the participation of representatives of institutions and experts from Republika Srpska and abroad, exchange of opinions with participants from other states about ideas for cooperation with Serbs abroad, and a visit to Republika Srpska institutions, it was published on the website of the Republika Srpska president.
Participants will be able to pose questions to representatives of Republika Srpska institutions, universities, institutions, and organizations, and to businessmen doing business in a field in which business cooperation is about to be launched.
The Diaspora Forum was launched last year at the initiative and under the sponsorship of the then Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik with the aim of establishing lasting mechanisms for strengthening the economic, cultural, scientific and all other forms of cooperation between Srpska and Serbs abroad.
The 1st Diaspora Forum gathered 150 participants from 26 countries, including renowned university professors, cultural workers, businessmen, members of state, provincial and local parliaments, representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, alliances, associations and cultural, humanitarian, students and other organizations.
The Republika Srpska Government at the beginning of the year formed the Department for Institutional Cooperation and the Diaspora, as part of the Ministry of European Integration and International Cooperation, as a point of institutional cooperation with the Diaspora.