Friday October 21, 2005

Dayton Peace Accords a Decade Later

Dayton Peace Accords architect Richard Holbrooke, retired Gen. Wesley Clark and Lord Paddy Ashdown, the international community's high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will come to Dayton to reflect on the Dayton Peace Accords 10 years later.

Dayton Peace Accords architect Richard C. Holbrooke; retired Gen. Wesley A. Clark, who headed the U.S. military team during treaty negotiations; and Lord Paddy Ashdown, the international community's high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will travel to Dayton Nov. 17-18 to participate in an international policy forum on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the historic treaty.

"Holbrooke and Clark played such key roles in negotiating the Dayton Peace Accords, and Ashdown is continuing the implementation and preparing the way for the international community to scale back its presence and involvement," said Margaret Karns, president of the Dayton Council on World Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Dayton. "Ashdown is the most powerful person in Bosnia and Herzegovina today."

As part of Dayton: A Peace Process, Karns co-chairs the "Looking Back and Where are We Now?" forum with John McCance, vice president for government relations for the Wright Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association. Today -- exactly a month before the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords at the Hope Hotel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base -- Karns and McCance used the historic setting to announce plans for gathering U.S., Bosnian and European scholars and policy analysts in Dayton to assess the status of the peace treaty and compare peacebuilding challenges in the Balkans with those in Iraq and other post-conflict situations.

Judge Amir Jaganjac, president of the Supreme Court, and Beriz Belkic, former chairman of the presidency, are some of the notable participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"It's fitting that we announce this forum at the Hope Hotel. We are exactly one month away from the date on which the accord was initialed in the ballroom 10 years ago. This facility, the nearby visiting officer quarters and the adjoining 'Peace Walk' are all historic icons for what occurred," McCance said. "But the real history was made by the people of Wright-Patterson, the Miami Valley and the diplomatic community. In many ways this will be a homecoming."

The policy forum is open to the public, with Nov. 17 sessions at the Hope Hotel and Nov. 18 workshops at the Dayton Convention Center. The cost is $35 the first day and $50 the second day, including lunch. Students may attend for either $5 or $10 per session, with $25 for lunch. The Nov. 17 Peace Prize banquet at the Schuster Center, featuring a ceremony to award the 2005 Dayton Peace Prize to Holbrooke, is $125. A Nov. 18 gala dinner at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, featuring an address by Clark, is $100. For those attending all events, the cost is $300. For registration information, call (937) 229-2319 or e-mail

"Members of councils on world affairs and interested citizens along with scholars of conflict resolution, the Balkans and peace processes will find the forum of particular interest," Karns said. "To my knowledge, there's no other example of a community where a major peace agreement was negotiated and that community took ownership and organized a series of people-to-people initiatives."

Here's the slate of events over the two days:

Thursday, Nov. 17 (Hope Hotel)

Noon, Opening luncheon, "What Links Dayton and Bosnia?" Speakers include Bisera Turkovic, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United States, and U.S. Rep. Michael Turner (invited).

2:30-3:15 p.m., "Getting to Dayton: Lessons Learned from the Dayton Process," chaired by John Kornblum, former assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs and former U.S. ambassador to Germany. The panel includes Robert Frowick, former deputy special adviser to the president and secretary of state for implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords; German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, who participated in the negotiations; and James Pardew, U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria and former U.S. special envoy for the Balkans (invited).

3:30-4:45 p.m., "Scholars Perspectives." Donna Schlagheck, chair of political science at Wright State University, will moderate the panel, which includes professors from American University, University of London and University of Belgrade.

7:30 p.m., Peace Prize Banquet (Schuster Center). Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and chief negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, will receive the Dayton Peace Prize and offer an address. Farida Musanovic, member of the executive board of Women for Women International, will receive the Dayton Peacemaker Prize. Women for Women International helps women in war-torn countries rebuild their lives.

Friday, Nov. 18 (Dayton Convention Center)

9 a.m., Welcome, featuring Rhine McLin, mayor of Dayton, and Semiha Borovac, mayor of Sarajevo.

9:30-11:45 a.m., three concurrent workshops focusing on the theme, "Peacebuilding: Where are We Now in Bosnia and Herzegovina?" Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph will moderate a session on "Economic Development and Reconstruction, European Union Integration." Dirk Reinermann, country manager for the World Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will be one of the panelists. A "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation" session will feature the former permanent representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations and the registrar for the war crimes registry in the country. A "Constitutional Change and the Rule of Law" session includes Ambassador Donald Hays, former principal deputy high representative, and a number of high-profile leaders from Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the president of the Supreme Court, the former chairman of the presidency and the speaker and two deputy speakers of the House of Representatives.

12:15-1:45 p.m., lunch, featuring an address by Ashdown, "Then and Now: Peacebuilding Challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

2-4:30 p.m., Harold H. Saunders, president of the Institute for Sustained Dialogue and former assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, will moderate a roundtable on "Lessons from Bosnia for Other Conflict Situations."

7:30 p.m., Gala dinner and public address by Clark (National Museum of the U.S. Air Force).

Dayton: A Peace Process is a community collaboration involving the Dayton Council on World Affairs, Central State University, city of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton, Wright State University, Wright Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association, Dayton Daily News, Friendship Force and Sister Cities, as well as other regional organizations. DAPP operates under the Dayton Council on World Affairs.

For more information, click here.

Contact John McCance at (37) 306-3087 or Margaret Karns at (937) 229-3538.