17 embassies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Office of the EU Special Representative and the United Nations in BiH, have issued a joint statement on successful organization of country’s first Pride March.

The statement - issued by embassies of the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and the Diplomatic Office of the Kingdom of Belgium - reads that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina “came together to reject fear and hate and instead demonstrated to the world that BiH is indeed an open and tolerant country that respects the rights of all individuals”.

The Pride March is fundamentally about equal human rights for everyone. Everyone in Bosnia and Herzegovina - regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity - is entitled to all the same rights and freedoms. However, the fact remains that vulnerable groups are still suffering. It is everyone’s responsibility to support those who are marginalized and face discrimination and injustice”, the statement reads.

Furthermore, the statement reads that “now is the time to bring legislation on peaceful assemblies in line with European and international standards, in order to legally guarantee full freedom of expression and assembly”.

While challenges remain, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina took an important step in the fight for equal rights for the LGBTI and other marginalized communities. We commend you for your courage in being true to yourselves and for giving hope to others. We are proud to have walked alongside you and will remain by your side as you continue to march for equality and human rights for all”, the statement concludes.

Former Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Special Representative Lars-Gunnar Wigemark wrote on his Twitter profile that “BiH has now passed another important threshold for tolerance and human rights”.