16th generation of the ERMA Program Promoted
The 16th generation of ERMA (European Regional Master Degree Program in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe) – 26 graduates were promoted at the University of Sarajevo on Saturday, 28 October 2017.
The speeches by UNSA Rector, Prof. Rifat Skrijelj and H. E. Nicola Minasi, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to BiH opened the ceremony. The keynote speaker was H. E. Ivan Simonovic, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General from UN Office for the Prevention of Genocide and Protection. Dr. Dennis Gratz addressed the attendees as representatives of the ERMA Alumni Network (EAN). Program co-directors - Prof. Dr. Stefano Bianchini and Prof. Dr. Asim Mujkic delivered the report for 2016/2017.
In his address, Rector Skrijelj expressed his pride for the University of Sarajevo’s participation in this project where University is a host institution during the first eight months of the first semester. He emphasized the continued commitment of the University of Sarajevo to improve its academic offer through development of new interdisciplinary, international, joint, and double degree programs. In his congratulations to ERMA Master's Program graduates, Rector Skrijelj emphasized that the ERMA program is unique in its academic approach which combines lectures, visits, excursions, internships in the region and a semester at the University of Bologna during a very intensive year.
Recalling that education is a cornerstone for a harmonious and transparent society, Ambassador Minasi congratulated to the ERMA program graduates, and expressed his satisfaction that a large number of young people and professors were involved in the resolving important issues this program deals with. With gratitude to all those involved in the implementation of the ERMA program, Ambassador Minasi recalled the joint activities of the University of Sarajevo and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy, as well as the long-standing successful cooperation of the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna.
H.E. Ivan Simonovic, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General from UN Office for the Prevention of Genocide and Protection expressed the pleasure for being able to deliver an address at a ceremony involving young, ambitious people. He said “Young people, especially those who are ambitious and who can be the harbingers of change, are the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, South East Europe, Europe and the world. We are all aware of the challenges young people face in Southeast Europe, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as high unemployment and the fact that young people are looking for jobs in other countries. We are also aware of the great potential of young people to be harbingers of change, to fight with the problems in society and to positively influence the development of the country.” Within the celebration, H.E. Simonovic held an introductory presentation on the topic: Human Rights Violations, Atrocity Crimes and Responsibility to Protect.
The event, held in the UNSA Ceremonial Hall, was attended by a large number of domestic and foreign diplomats, university professors, former and future ERMA students, their friends, family members and others.
To date, almost 500 students, mostly from the Southeastern Europe, the European Union, and also beyond, graduated from the ERMA program. Students will receive a dual degree: one from the University of Sarajevo and one from the University of Bologna.
The ERMA program was established by joint efforts of several universities in South East Europe and the European Union. Since 2000, the ERMA program has been funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy through the AICS Agency. For four years now, EU funding has been made available through the Global Campus Network administered by the European Interuniversity Center for Human Rights and Democratization in Venice (EIUC). So far, the total value of the allocated funds for this program exceeded 8 million euros.