WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced a resolution today commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. Negotiated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Dayton, the Dayton Peace Talks ended years of ethnic warfare in which thousands were killed and left more than two million displaced in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia.
“Fifteen years ago, Dayton was on the world stage. The success of the Dayton Peace Talks has had lasting global implications,” Brown said. “Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the Ohio National Guard, and the people of Dayton facilitated and supported the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and promoted the peaceful democratization of two deeply divided countries. I hope that efforts to commemorate this anniversary will reinvigorate the parties to continue the long road to peace and prosperity.”
The Dayton Peace Talks began on Nov. 1, 1995, and concluded on Nov. 21, 1995, with the Dayton Peace Accords. The agreement, signed in Paris on Dec. 15, 1995, created two sovereign states: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was chosen to host the peace talks because of the security and the community support. The community has continued to embody this spirit of cooperation and unity through the opening of the Dayton International Peace Museum in 2005 and one year later, the establishment of the Dayton Literary Peace prize – the only literary peace prize in the United States. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-03) introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives in September 2010.
The text of the full resolution is below.
Whereas on December 14, 1995, the Dayton Peace Accords established peace and ended the war on the Balkan Peninsulain which more than 2,000,000 people were displaced and thousands were killed;
Whereas peace treaty negotiations began November 1, 1995, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and concluded there on November 21, 1995, when Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia agreed to settle all war conflicts;
Whereas after 21 days of negotiations, the peace treaty negotiations successfully concluded with a peace treaty that was accepted by all parties;
Whereas the Dayton, Ohio, community provided outstanding security during the peace treaty negotiations;
Whereas the conclusion of the Dayton Peace Accords was a successful effort of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization led by the United States, with outstanding cooperation from the Russian Federation, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom;
Whereas the Dayton Peace Accords were the result of, and showed the success of, strong joint North Atlantic Treaty Organization efforts to promote and establish peace, security, and prosperity;
Whereas the signatories to the Dayton Peace Accords made a commitment to fully respect human rights and the rights of refugees and displaced persons;
Whereas the Dayton Peace Accords transformed Bosnia and Herzegovina from a country mired in a war based on ethnic and religious differences into a country engaged in an intense, but peaceful, struggle over the manner by which to form an independent and stable country;
Whereas the United States Agency for International Development and other bilateral and multilateral agencies and organizations made large investments to build a strong and independent media in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Whereas the Dayton International Peace Museum honors the Dayton Peace Accords and offers nonpartisan educational programs and exhibitions featuring the themes of nonviolent conflict resolution, social justice, international relations, and peace;
Whereas the people of the State of Ohio and the Dayton region facilitated and strongly supported the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords, as well as promoted the peaceful democratization of the deeply divided country of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Whereas stability and prosperity were fostered by the State of Ohio through the establishment of an exemplary relationship between the Ohio National Guard and the Armed Forces of Serbia;
Whereas the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, established in 2006, remains the only literary peace price in the United States and follows the legacy of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords by acknowledging writers who advance peace through literature;
Whereas the city of Dayton and the city of Sarajevo have built a solid relationship as Sister Cities, and many other organizations in the region, such as the University of Dayton and the Friendship Force, have built strong relationships with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina through programs and exchanges; and
Whereas while progress remains to be made in refining the governance structures of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dayton Peace Accords successfully established peace, restored human dignity, and laid the foundation for future progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes the 15th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords;
(2) acknowledges the challenges Bosnia and Herzegovina still face and commends the socioeconomic and political progress that is being made in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
(3) encourages the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to adhere to the membership requirements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization so that Bosnia and Herzegovina may join the alliance without delay;
(4) encourages the further integration and cooperation of European countries with the goal of establishing peace and economic prosperity for all of the people of Europe;
(5) renews the commitment of the United States to support the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
(6) urges the continuation of constitutional reforms, market-based economic growth, and improved dialogue between the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the elected Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and
(7) encourages the United States Air Force to take appropriate measures to provide historical interpretation of the site of the Dayton Peace Accords to educate the public on the historical significance of the Dayton Peace Accords and the importance of negotiation in world peace.