Living in the unhappiest and most difficult period that the peoples in the Yugoslav geographical space had ever lived after the Second World War, the International Scientific Forum "Danube - the River of Cooperation", and myself as its founder - could do nothing else and nothing better for the sake of the common future in this region of Europe, than to continue with the activities in the same direction that we had started fives ago.
As I already have written in the Preface to the book with the papers presented at the first Conference "Danube - the River of Cooperation" – the idea remains unchanged: Regional cooperation will be the ultimate means for the fulfilment of mutual interests of all the nations living around their common natural resource – the Danube.
The fact that ethnical and religious differences were misused in my – once the most beautiful homeland, named now poorly "former Yugoslavia" - did not stop me thinking about these differences as being a gift, richness given by history, nature or maybe God.
It is obvious, that the future of the people in this very central part, as in the whole Danube region, hangs mostly on the peaceful dissolution of the terribly tragic war. But single persons are too week against such disasters.
The Appeal for Peace I gave as president of the International Scienj5c Forum "Danube - the River of Cooperation" on May 12, 1992, was sent to parties involved in the civil war - by Mass-media and Ministries of Foreign Affairs - appealing "to all those destroying human life, spiritual, economic, cultural, and other assets, as well as the nature itself - to stop their war actions immediately." This Appeal was approved by the participants of the Fourth Conference, held in September 1992.
Unfortunately, war continued and became even worse and worse and we, who are still asking for peace, began to pay for our belief and optimism that mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation among nations proved to be the only right way for strengthening peace and progress. Namely, a very difficult situation is created with the sanctions against Serbia. They hinder positive movements even those which are seeking peace and progress and stimulate arguments in favour of war. I myself, too, feel like as my hands were tied in many activities connected with the developing of the ideas about the regional cooperation in this part of the Continent.
But, the aim of our Danube Forum always was, and remains to be, engagement of scientists from all over the world to improve the international understanding and cooperation along the Danube. The four conferences held so far were a contribution to these values and proved that obtaining spiritual richness, tolerance and sustainable economic development must be the ultimate aim for all citizens living in these regions.
Scientists strongly believe, as stated in the Appeal, that those who find their interest in waging this war and who make profit out of it, will not be able to escape their responsibilities and that very soon time will come to identify those accountable for the crimes they had done. Sure, that unlike them, those who did their best to stop the tragic destroying will earn their place in history, that they do rightly deserve. And we are sure that living in peace and progress for the present and the future generations in this region could be realized.
Yet, in this moment, what a picture have we got when imagining the Danube as the river of cooperation, and there are barricades on the river, and free navigation itself is incapacitated, and even blocked.
And still, I don"t want and I cannot give up. So, I managed to publish the book with the papers presented at the first conference "Danube - the River of Cooperation" and now the book from the second conference is going into the press, too. And: marvel of marvels! Whereas for the publishing of the first volume of the book "Danube - the River of Cooperation" at the end of last year I had to use my own financial means allotted earlier to the education of my daughter Enisa, and the advertised "sponsors" gave almost insignificant help, this time, after the "ice was broken" with the first volume, there showed up other enthusiasts who want to help the struggle for the Danubian peace and cooperation within the activities of our Danube Forum. So, I would like to thank several sponsors, not many in number but good enough, for covering the costs of publication. The ads in this book will adequately show their importance. It is but necessary to em-phasize here one individual contributor, and that is Mr. Đorde Horvatić.
Being in love with Danube, and at the same time a thoughtful father who agrees with my statement that spending money on the books titled “Danube - the River of Cooperation" is in fact spending for the education of young generations thus oriented to peace, understanding and coopera-tion, hope in future and progress, Mr. Đorde Horvatić decided to become the main donator for the publishing of this very volume. Fortunately, Mr. Horvatić is a very successful businessman, born in Belgrade in 1948, the owner of a private firm "IVAN-A" dealing with international and domes- tic trade and services. The name of the firm is a compound of the names of his children, daughter Ivana and son Ivan.
Mr. Đorde Horvatić did not appear at once to be the main donator for this volume. He, with his whole family, together with his wife, Slavica, took part in all of the three "Danube Fest" performances which were the accompanying programmes of our conferences from the second one on. So, whereas we were either in session in the conference halls, or we had some intermissions to have a look at the Danube, flowing in front of the hotel "Jugoslavia", or walking along the river, we did see them perform- ing sport activities on the waves. I use this opportunity to thank them all for their support and remarkable financial donation.
Belgrade, April 1993 Edita Stojic
Ostali naslovi iz oblasti: Društvene nauke
Izdavač: Međunarodni naučni forum Dunav - reka saradnje; 1993; Broširani povez; latinica; 235 str.;