“We know that whenever you have these sort of atrocity crimes that happened here [Bosnia and Herzegovina], they’re often preceded by hate. They’re often preceded by individuals and responsibility, whether they’re political leaders, whether they’re religious leaders, whether they’re average population, putting out hate or putting out ‘the other’ so that religious community is evil, or they’re responsible for XYZ.”
Ingrid Macdonald is the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is tasked with spearheading the UN’s efforts to support development in a country still deeply scarred by ethnic divisions and the legacy of war and the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica.
Ingrid, who was raised in a small New Zealand mining town, joined the UN in 2016. But she has a long record of working in humanitarian, development and human rights jobs around the world, from Darfur to the Philippines and from Peru to Ukraine. In this insightful episode, she talks about the challenges she faced in many of those roles and her vivid memories of trying to advocate for the vulnerable, including her time helping women in Afghanistan.
Since relocating to Sarajevo in early 2020, just as COVID-19 was taking hold across the world, Ingrid has been focused on finding ways to bring divided communities together as well as tackle hate speech and genocide denial, just 26 years after Bosnian Serb forces massacred 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.