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World Refugee Day 2003: Serbia and Montenegro

World Refugee Day 2003: Serbia and Montenegro

20 June 2003

Young refugees in Nis enjoying the World Refugee Day shows. © UNHCR/A.Mahecic

In Belgrade, an NGO fair was held with UNHCR partners in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The refugee agency screened documentaries on and exhibited artworks by refugee youth in the country. Young refugees also gave musical and theatrical performances on an outdoor stage.

An outdoor concert in Belgrade.

The town of Nis marked the day with a concert, as well as a special reception and handicraft fair for 200 refugee children from collective centres in southern Serbia. There was also a roundtable discussion on the theme, "Integration of Refugee Families and IDPs in a New Environment - The Position of Refugees in 2003".

Kraljevo in central Serbia held two concerts, including one featuring refugee rock bands and theatre groups, and an art exhibition by refugee painters.

Another roundtable was organised in Novi Sad on common perceptions of refugees. In addition to an art exhibition and stage performance by refugees, there were also several public events aimed at raising awareness of refugee issues.

In Podgorica, a musical concert was held at the Montenegrin National Theatre. World Refugee Day leaflets were also distributed in the Montenegrin capital, as well as towns like Niksic, Hercog Novi and Bar.

In Kosovo, UNHCR organised a screening of films on multi-ethnic relationships, including "Kosova/o" and "Welcome to Plementina" on June 24. Also featured were documentaries like "Peace of Mind" (filmed among Israeli and Palestinian teens), "One Family" (about 12 refugees in the United States) and "Postcards from Peja" (filmed among teenagers from Peja/Pec in the summer of 2000).

The crew and cast of some of these films were present to discuss their experiences and the role that similar projects can have in building confidence and tolerance among communities.

Happy beneficiaries of UNHCR's book donation to the recently-rehabilitated youth centre and library in Suva Rehë/Suva Reka.

Other activities included games and a painting competition at the Elektrokosvo Collective Centre in Strpce, where Croatian refugees and displaced Serbs live. In Suva Rehë/Suva Reka, UNHCR donated 300 books to the recently-rehabilitated library.

Sport activities in Zitkovac, the Roma camp in Zvecan, where hundreds of displaced Roma have lived since the end of Kosovo conflict.

Pejë/Pec celebrated with a multi-ethnic painting competition, concerts and dancing performances. There were also games and sports events among displaced people and mixed communities in Zvecan, Leposavic and Kodra e Minatorve/Micronaselje.