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25th Anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords

Dayton at 25: Creating a New Path Forward for the United States and Bosnia- Herzegovina

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the DPA, the Human Rights Center and City of Dayton assembled a group of Balkans policy scholars and active citizens from Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) to offer the Biden administration consolidated advice regarding the U.S. relationship with BiH. Distilled from the two-day discussion, the following paper presents high-level policy recommendations for how the Biden administration might initiate and drive progress toward a functioning Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first year of its first term.

Dayton Peace Accords


This is an online policy dialogue in partnership with the City of Dayton and the Dayton Peace Accords Committee

Dayton Accords

The Peace Agreement was reached on Nov. 21, 1995, at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base

Proposals for the Future

Monday, November 30, 2020

9:40 am to 10:00 am

The Forum will begin with a welcome message from Mayor Nan Whaley, City of Dayton, followed by opening remarks from Ambassador Maureen Cormack, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Before the first discussion, Shelley Inglis, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center, and Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph will define the goals and ground rules for the Forum. 

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10:00 am to 11:15 am

This panel will lead off our two-day dialogue with an examination of the current state of BiH's Political Economy. We expect panelists to discuss and analyze current trends, the drivers of these trends, and to offer advice as to what policy or other changes the US should make in the short and medium-term to improve the situation. 

This discussion is moderated by Adnan Huskić, Lecturer and CSSP Chair at Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (BiH). Participants include: Dr. Kurt Bassuener, Democratization Policy Council (Scotland), Ms. Amna Popovac, Director, Branch Office, Dedalus BiH (BiH), and Mr. Ben Slay, Senior Economist, UNDP, Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS (USA).

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11:30 am to 12:45 pm

This panel will examine the daunting challenges of the lack of accountability, corruption, and other misuses of authority by current BiH leadership. The impact of state/party capture on citizens' faith in democratic institutions will be considered. Panelists can also discuss their recommendations for changes in US policy or programs that could contribute to change. 

This discussion is moderated by Dr. Raffi Gregorian, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (USA). Participants include: Dr. Valery Perry, Democratization Policy Council (BiH), Ms. Leila Bičakč, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Journalism (BiH), and Dr. Svetlana Cenić, SHL Academy for Young Leaders. 

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1:15 pm to 2:30 pm

Panelists will discuss their own experience in encouraging citizens to act, to call for change and build constituencies in support of advocacy and policy reform. Panelists are invited to identify discrete successes, to ponder chances for spillover, and to utilize lessons learned to more successfully engage in the future. If citizens are uniformly frustrated, how can a sense of solidarity be cultivated? What recommendations can be made to the US in terms of policies and programs that should be put in place in 2021 to assist?

This discussion is moderated by Dr. Aida Hozić, University of Florida (USA). Participants include Mr. Dean Šajinović, Journalist, Nezavisne Novine (BiH), Ms. Velma Šarić, Post-Conflict Research Center (BiH), and Mr. Ivan Lupis, United Nations Political and Development Advisor.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

10:00 am to 11:00 am

Following the screening of Looking for Dayton, creators Mr. Pavle Fukarek and Dr. Valery Perry will provide comments on making the film. 

Visit Looking for Dayton Website

11:15 am to 12:30 pm

This panel will go off the beaten path, and explore visions and scenarios for the future governance of BiH that go beyond the "Dayton straitjacket". We will ask panelists to present their functional, efficient, inclusive, (some might even say 'normal'!) visions for BiH's governance. What constructs do they propose as potential governance systems that could challenge the status quo? What has prevented such visions from being realized until now? And finally, what actions could the US government take in the short term to help make these a reality?

This discussion is moderated by Dr. Dan Serwer, John Hopkins SAIS (USA). Participants include Dr. Senada Šelo Šabić, Institute for Development and International Relations (Croatia), Hon. Dr. Sanela Klarić, President and Founder, Green Building Council (BiH), Mr. Reuf Bajrović, Co-Chair, US-Europe Alliance, and Mr. Srdan Šušnica, JD, Cultural Studies Expert (Europe). 

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12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

This panel will look at the current relationships between BiH and her regional neighbors, and discuss the implications for US engagement with these countries, with the EU, NATO, and the UN, as well as with more liberal actors (Russia, Turkey, China, the Gulf states, etc.). How can US policy encourage more constructive regional relationships? How can a more coherent policy among the liberal west counteract illiberal moves in the region? Why does this matter, for the region, and for the US?

This discussion is moderated by Ms. Valerie Hopkins. Participants include Mr. Bodo Weber, Democratization Policy Council (Germany), Mr. Sead Turčalo, Dean, School of Political Science, University of Sarajevo (BiH), Mr. André De Munter, Desk Officer, Enlargement, Western Europe and Northern Cooperation Unit, European Parliament (Belgium), and Mr. Edward P. Joseph, JD, John Hopkins SAIS (USA). 

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2:00 pm to 2:15 pm

Shelley Inglis, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center, and Matt Joseph, Dayton City Commissioner, will bring the Forum to a close.

Closing remarks are included in the Regional Relationships Panel Video

Past Events and Resources

United States President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Dayton Peace Accords at 20 Conference held November 19-20, 2015 at the University of Dayton.

Watch Video
Flyer news covered the 20th-anniversary conference of the Dayton Peace Accords in 2015. Full keynote speech by U.S. President Bill Clinton and a statement from Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley are included. 

Read the Article

This report covers then U.S. Senator and ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden's address at the second-anniversary forum of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1997. 

Read Report
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, the Dayton International Peace Museum has launched a free online version of their innovative exhibit, depicting the story of the war and the struggle for peace. 

Visit Exhibit

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