On August 3rd, 2009, Senator John F. Kerry (together with Senator Richard G. Lugar) introduced a Bill (S.1559) in the U.S. Senate titled ˝NATO-Western Balkans Support Act of 2009.˝ This Act supports the accession of the Western Balkans countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Senators Kerry and Lugar are leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina supports this Act and hopes that it will pass both chambers of the U.S. Congress as soon as possible. NATO membership will bring much needed security umbrella to the whole region of the Western Balkans. We commend Senators Kerry and Lugar for their initiative.
RESOLUTION 1559 SUMMARY
DECLARATIONS OF POLICY
Supports the commitment to further enlargement of NATO to include Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, as European democracies, that are able and willing to meet the responsibilities of membership.
Encourages United States allies in NATO to utilize the opportunity of the ongoing Strategic Concept review to reinvigorate and transform NATO's approach to its commitment to the peace, stability, and democratic success of the Western Balkans.
Endorses cooperation with representatives of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to determine a realistic timetable and plan, constructed in conjunction with other NATO allies, for Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet the criteria for NATO membership, with the goal of improving the functionality of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina through the achievement of the commonly accepted political, military, economic, and social standards.
Declares that United States support for Bosnia and Herzegovina's membership should be contingent upon thorough achievement of these exacting requirements, and that NATO membership criteria must not be compromised.
SENSE OF CONGRESS
It is the sense of Congress that:
The existing position of political advisor within the NATO Mission in Sarajevo should be filled by an ambassadorial-level United States diplomat as ‘senior civilian representative’ to the NATO Mission in Sarajevo.
This senior civilian representative should have primary responsibility for defense and security sector reform and NATO/Partnership for Peace integration.
The substantial credibility in Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoyed by the United States should be harnessed to facilitate the fulfillment by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina of NATO membership criteria.
The Secretary of State should provide a regular briefing, not less than annually, to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on the progress of the efforts required under this Act.
DESIGNATION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA AND MONTENEGRO AS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are designated as eligible to receive assistance under the program established under section 203(a) of the NATO Participation Act of 1994.
Full text of the Bill: thomas.loc.gov