Lord Ahmad will brief key members of government, religious communities and civil society representatives on the UK’s work in support of the PSVI, and will encourage Serbia’s participation at the forthcoming international conference in London and support of the initiative.
His meetings will include bilateral engagements with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, and Veljko Odalović, President of the Serbian Commission for Mission Persons.
Lord Ahmad will use a joint meeting with representatives of religious communities to discuss his role as Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence and the UK’s commitment to tackling religious discrimination and promoting tolerance. This will be a valuable opportunity to exchange views on the status of religious rights and interfaith dialogue in Serbia.
Following an address to the Regional Military Medical Conference on the role of women in peacekeeping operations, the Minister will also meet with Snežana Stanojković, War Crimes Chief Prosecutor, to discuss the continuing search for justice for the victims of war crimes.
Ahead of the visit, Lord Ahmad said:
This is my first visit to Serbia and I am delighted to be here in my capacity as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict to discuss the important work of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, or PSVI, campaign and to hear of progress being made by Serbia and the wider region on “Missing Persons”.
I look forward to discussing regional and bilateral issues with civil society representatives and Government Ministers and to deepening the UK’s bilateral and societal cooperation with Serbia.
My message will be that we must acknowledge the role civil society and human rights defenders play in building more open, inclusive and democratic societies in Serbia and the Western Balkans, and the UK stands ready to support you fully to ensure a positive future for the region.