I’VE just returned from a short visit to Bosnia, organised by the charity Remembering Srebrenica, with a cross-party group of MPs led by former Commander of United Nations Forces in Bosnia, Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP.

We met survivors and relatives of the victims, as well as officials from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

For readers who may not know the background, on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladi? systematically massacred 8,372 men and boys, in the greatest atrocity on European soil since World War II. The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia have both ruled that the mass execution constituted genocide.

In 2009, the European Parliament declared July 11 as the official EU-wide day of remembrance for the victims. The charity Remembering Srebrenica organises the UK’s memorial-day events and a wider awareness-raising/educational programme.

The visit was incredibly moving, hugely informative, and meeting survivors was humbling.

I heard harrowing tales – of a man barely a year older than myself who had miraculously survived a mass execution, only to find his father and uncle had been murdered; another man who trekked 37 days through the wilderness avoiding death squads, surviving on snails and berries to reach safety; and mothers and wives of victims who are still unable to locate their loved ones’ remains.

I also heard how many of those who committed the atrocities remain free – some even still living in the communities where they committed these terrible acts.

I’ve researched the events and their consequences in depth and feel passionately that we must – as a country and as an international community – learn from the tragedy.

What happened in Srebrenica must never be forgotten; we must also remember that this was not in a far-flung land, or in another time - this happened on European soil, less than 20 years ago.

Colonel Bob Stewart MP, who led us on this visit, has spoken of “what might have been if the international community had been stronger”.

Of course we cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. Not only to ensure such an atrocity is not allowed to happen again; but also because there are hugely important lessons for British society, and it should serve as a reminder of the need to tackle intolerance and hatred here in the UK.

Much has been achieved on integration and race relations over recent years, but discrimination, the promotion of hatred, extremism and exclusion persist – and it falls to all of us to do what we can to rid them from our society.