On Nov. 6, 2015, American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted a conference “20 Years after Dayton Implementation: Challenges and Perspectives” on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement in Dayton.
Many influential speakers came to Sarajevo to express their views on the Dayton Agreement and its prospects. Congressman Eliot Engel, U.S. Congress; Lord Paddy Ashdown, former High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dr. Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina; Jim Harff, President and CEO of the Global Communicators from Washington DC; Amb. Valerie Sluijter, former Dutch Ambassador to BiH and former Deputy High Representative; Michael Humphreys, former Head of the EU Delegation to BiH; Joe Ingram, former World Bank representative to the WTO and former World Bank representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Gallina Andronova Vincelette, Program Leader, Macro Fiscal Management Global Practice, Vienna, Austria and Renzo Daviddi, Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The welcoming speech on behalf of Dr. Denis Zvizdić, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was delivered by Ms. Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH.
President of the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr. Denis Prcić, in his opening speech stated: “20 years ago, on November 21, war in Bosnia and Herzegovina stopped, killing stopped, peace came and all people, of all nationalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are all were grateful. We must divide these 20 years of peace into 2 periods: In first 10 years a great progress was made, in security, in politics, and economically, and second 10 years were wasted.”
Former High Representative to BiH Lord Paddy Ashdown gave a keynote address at the Conference. At the end of his remarkable speech emphasized the massage to the younger generation of BiH: “This is your country. The only future you can have is here. If BiH fails, then your lives and those of your children will fail too. It’s time to get involved. The only people who can make a difference now – is you.”
Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said: “For the United States and the EU, that should start by refocusing on the region. Quite frankly, we aren’t paying enough attention. We’ve taken our eye off the ball when it comes to the Balkans, in my opinion. Right now in our State Department, Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of more than a dozen countries overseen by a single Deputy Assistant Secretary.”
Mrs. Gallina Andronova Vincelette, Program Leader, Macro Fiscal Management Global Practice at The World Bank gave a presentation on “Bosnia and Herzegovina twenty Years After Dayton: Economic Challenges Past, Present and Future”