CNAB Letter to Ms. Alice Hecht, U.N. Chief of Protocol and Liaison Service

Ms. Alice Hecht
Chief of Protocol
UN Protocol and Liaison Service
Organization of United Nations

Dear Ms. Alice Hecht,

Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) is the umbrella organization representing the interests of American and Canadian Bosniaks and Bosnian immigrants. CNAB wishes to express dissatisfaction of Bosniaks in North America with respect to the treatment of the Bosnian cultural issues within the Organization of United Nations. To that end the Congress of North American Bosniaks calls upon you to act with the proper authorities within the Organization of United Nations and prevent recurrence of the “misinformation” about State of Bosnia-Herzegovina, by drawing your attention to the incidents to which to this day we, CNAB, have never received a proper answer and official apology.

In November 2006 our attention was drawn by one of our esteemed members to the fact that Bosnian language as such was not listed among some 393 world languages on your web pages and available documentation. However, Serbian, Croatian languages were there. Even now dead Yugoslavian and so called Serbo-Croatian language were listed but not Bosnian. Our request was well justified as the Bosnian language is one of the official native languages of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also citizens of other countries, over 7 million people declared the Bosnian language to be their mother tongue. The Bosnian language is a linguistic, cultural and historical fact and as such is beyond any discussion or denial.
Using proper channels, on January 5, 2007, CNAB had sent an official request through the proper channels – Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina at UN in NYC – for correction of the mistake we then genuinely believed it to be. However, the error remained published. It was visible and present all through the following months and it was still there by the end of April 2007. To this day we never received any reply or apology from your administration for this neglect.

In December of 2008 CNAB noticed the following huge blunder: on your web page listing the national holidays of member states, Bosnian National holiday is listed as November 21. This is not true, as this date marks the unsuccessful attempt to secession and beginning of the Bosnian genocide. Bosnian official holidays are: Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Statehood Day on November 25 and its Independence Day on March 1.

CNAB is aware that erroneous data is based on the United Nations Protocol’s Blue Book “Permanent Missions to the United Nations No. 295”, April 2006, while the current version is Blue Book “Permanent Missions to the United Nations No. 299” dated March 2009.

However on the web page in question ( says: “Last updated with ST/SG/SER.A/295/Add.5 (3 October 2006)”, despite new and we do hope revised protocols.

As these mistakes are of very serious nature, we ask you to check your sources and revise data accordingly.

The Congress of North American Bosniaks hopes to receive a positive response at your earliest convenience.

Respectfully yours,

Haris Alibašić
President, Congress of North American Bosniaks

cc. His Excellence Sven Alkalay
Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
Musala St. 2, 71000 Sarajevo,
Bosnia and Herzegovina

His Excellence Ivan Barbalić, Ambassador
The Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Organization of United Nations
866 UN Plaza, Suite 585
New York, NY, 10017, USA

Ms. Anna JANOWSKA, Senior Protocol Assistant
Mr. Hans GROHMANN, Protocol Assistant
(Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Protocol, Website/IT focal point)