Semina Alekić, Chairperson of Regional Coordination of Families of the Missing from the Former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On leadership:

“What makes me a good leader is that I take on tasks responsibly and dedicate myself fully to them. Also, my deep knowledge of the issues I represent makes my work easier in the sense that I’m better committed to their solution. My willingness to adapt to challenges, political or other challenging circumstances both in my country and in the region also makes me a good leader. I am always ready to accept both positive and negative criticism. I am always ready to work in a team, to share ideas and information. I am driven by self-confidence, optimism, tolerance, communication, respect and appreciation of other people and the differences, ethics, morality and humanity.

A leader must be responsible and be ready to fulfil the undertaken obligations on time, even to her own detriment. She must be well acquainted with the issue, the political and legislative structure for resolving that issue. She must be brave when faced with challenges no matter how big they may be. She must be communicative and ready to exchange ideas, knowledge and skills and, if necessary, tasks with the team. She should be empathetic, i.e. understand the people she collaborates with. She should be ethical and moral and work for the common good of the population she represents and societies in general, and not for her personal interests.”

On achievements:

“I am most proud of my contribution to the inclusion of the issue of missing persons in the Berlin Process, presenting the report of families at the Berlin Process Summit in Poznan in 2019, and at an online meeting within the Berlin Process on the issue of missing persons, held in December 2020. I’m also proud of my partnership with international organizations – ICMP and ICRC – and with domestic institutions involved in the process of resolving the fate of missing persons in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. I’m proud families’ unified position when it comes to resolving the fate of missing persons, regardless of religious, ethnic or any other affiliation.”

On challenges:

“Challenges include the slowness of the process and the question of the sustainability of addressing the missing persons issue both in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and in the EU, and the world. Maintaining a unified stance in a team whose members come from different states, different ethnic and religious groups who were on opposite sides during the conflicts of the ’90s is another challenge. Different language areas, degrees of tolerance, willingness to compromise and different levels of willingness to meet obligations and responsibilities also are challenges.”

Advice for female leaders:

”Be brave, communicative, optimistic, committed, fearless, ready for lifelong learning, moral and dignified.”