The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, in co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, hosted an International Conference entitled “Ethnic Accommodation and Power-Sharing: 10 Years After the Ohrid Framework Agreement” to discuss this important peace settlement and its relevance for the creation of sustainable multi-ethnic societies in the Western Balkans Region and beyond.
In my contribution, I argue that in Macedonia and elsewhere, territorial self-governance has contributed to building a more peaceful and more democratic society in which different population groups can live together in dignity and mutual respect. This is only possible if institutions of territorial self-governance are carefully designed to match the specific context of a conflict situation, if the international community is ready to assist in the negotiation, implementation and operation of such agreements, and above all if local leaders are willing and able to commit credibly to peaceful coexistence. This is not an easy set of conditions to meet, but experience in Macedonia over the past decade clearly shows that it is possible to achieve sustainable ethnic accommodation. This makes the Ohrid Agreement an important example successful conflict settlement.