Meeting with representatives of the Interreligious Council of BiH held during the 8th session of the Commission on 8 May 2003.
Since the Inter Religious Council of BiH had notified the Commission that IRC members Jakob Finci, president of the Jewish Community of BiH, Dr. Mustafa Cerić, reis ul ulema of the Islamic Community of BiH, Cardinal Vinko Puljić and dabrobosanski Metropolitan Nikolaj, the Commission resolved to hold the meeting as a preparation for the meeting with the religious leaders, and that Executive Officer Mirela Mulalić Handan, deputy Executive Officer Branka Mekić and qualified staff member Mirzah Fočo would represent the Commission at the meeting. The meeting was attended for the IRC by Danilo Nikolić, Ifet Mustafić Josip Senjak and Vanja Jovanović. The meeting with the religious leaders constituting the IRC membership should be held as part of the Commission's next session.
The IRC representatives were provided with information about the status and jurisdiction of the Commission deriving from Annex 8, the Decision of the Presidency of BiH on the Commission, the implementation of the Law on the Implementation of the Commission's Decisions, the Commission's campaign to preserve monuments, the procedure for submitting petitions and adopting decisions to declare properties as national monuments. The IRC representatives were interested in the way in which the Provisional List of National Monuments had been drawn up and the possibility of submitting requests to delete individual monuments from the list.
The importance of cooperation between the Commission and the IRC in the proceedings prior to the adoption of a decision to declare a property as a national monument was highlighted, and agreement was reached in principle on the modus of future cooperation. Mirela Mulalić Handan referred to the most typical example of a property (the Atik mosque in Bijeljina) and poor cooperation between the Commission and representatives of religious communities, and requested that the IRC intervene in cases of refusal to cooperate (the Catholic church in Zavala in the case of the archaeological site of Petkovica, the Islamic Community in Bihać in the case of the Fethija mosque).
The representative of the Jewish Community was of the view that it was not enough to publish the Provisional List; in addition, the owners of properties on the list should be notified of the rights and obligations deriving from the fact that a property owned by them has the status of national monument. He also raised the issue of the preservation of the Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo and securing funds for this purpose. The representative of the Orthodox Church raised the issue of the preservation of the Orthodox Cathedral in Sarajevo and of the collections in the Church.
The representative of the Islamic Community was of the view that it was not necessary to submit petitions and that in declaring individual religious buildings as national monuments the Commission should cooperate directly with the religious communities, who are generally the owners of such buildings.