Igman Initiative Conference on the occasion of a quarter of a century since the signing of the Dayton Agreement
On December 14, 2020, the day the Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed in Paris a quarter of a century ago, the Igman Initiative organized a conference called “Dayton – while there is a world and a quarter of a century”. In the first panel of the conference called The reflections of the Dayton on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region the panelists were Nerzuk Curak, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, Srdjan Darmanovic, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Podgorica, Dejan Jovic, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb and Ivo Viskovic, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade. In their presentations, the panelists spoke about the situation in BiH and the region a quarter of a century after Dayton, as well as the challenges they face.
In the second panel on the topic of The European perspective of BiH and the countries of the region in the light of Dayton the panelists were the members of the Igman Initiative leadership – Vehid Sehic, Co-President for BiH, Branislav Radulovic, Co-President for Montenegro, Eugen Jakovcic, Co-President for Croatia, Milan Antonijevic, Co-President for Serbia and Zoran Pusic, President of the Igman Initiative Council for Croatia. You can watch the recording of the whole conference via the link.
The conference participants also adopted a Statement previously signed by 127 prominent intellectuals and public figures from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia. The text of the Statement is attached.
We, the participants of the Igman Initiative conference “Dayton – while there is a world and a quarter of a century” held on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH, adopt the following
S T A T E M E N T
We estimate that the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH (hereinafter “the Agreement”), which was agreed after, unfortunately, the belated actions of the most influential countries, enabled the end of the three-year terrible war in BiH and offered the basis for strengthening peace and security in BiH and the neighborhood. However, the compromising nature of the Agreement and its solutions did not provide the necessary preconditions for the progress of BiH as a complete, functional, civil, social, secular state, a society governed by the rule of law, which will enable all its citizens equality, while respecting their ethnic and religious differences, which in the past 25 years manifested as an obstacle to its overall social and economic development, as well as progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
We encourage BiH political actors, the OHR and the Peace Implementation Council to create the conditions for constitutional change in BiH, so that BiH becomes a functioning state and an exemplary “civic service” for all people living in it. We believe that the constitutional framework of the state should be harmonized not only with the requirements necessary for maintaining lasting peace, but also European standards and values, and most of all the living needs of BiH citizens, regardless of their national, religious and all other differences, and in accordance with basic principles, rule of law and democratic organization of society.
We emphasize that it is necessary for all factors of BiH as a society to engage to achieve the necessary reforms, in accordance with European standards, and especially the implementation of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which will inevitably lead to constitutional and electoral reform in BiH. The responsibility lies with the politicians of the governing structure in BiH, so that the state of BiH can respond to the living needs of its citizens today and in the future. At the same time, we emphasize the irreplaceable role of NGOs, associations and call on them to fully engage in strengthening the components of modern European society and point out the obligation of state institutions to support such engagement.
We request from the current authorities of Serbia and Croatia, as neighboring countries and signatories of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH, to start behaving constructively towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and to stop treating parts of BiH as their protectorates. Instead of declarative expressions of respect for territorial integrity, we ask Serbia and Croatia to show respect for the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its institutions in practice. Unfortunately, such a relationship has not been manifested in the past period.
We call on the institutions of the international community and its most influential members to take joint, or at least coordinated actions in order to remove obstacles to the successful functioning of BiH as a state and accelerate its progress in integration processes.
We propose to hold an international conference on BiH, which would be attended by witness-states of the Agreement signing, the EU, BiH, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia as signatories, and members of the Peace Implementation Council, in order to create conditions for building lasting peace, a functional and prosperous state, with the special engagement of the USA as the creator of the Washington Peace Agreement and the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH.
Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb, Podgorica, December 14, 2020.
SIGNATORIES OF THE STATEMENT
Aleksandra Đurić Bosnić
Ana Stanković Mugoša
Branka Dragović Savić
Dubravka Valić Nedeljkjović
Marko Antonio Brkić
Tea Gorjanc Prelević