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Janice HahnAugust 12,2014.
“US Representative Janice Hahn (D-CA) Introduces H. Res. 705 in the US Congress Calling for a Special Envoy for Bosnia and Herzegovina to Review the Successes and Shortcomings of the Dayton Peace Accord”

The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) highly commends US Representative Janice Hahn of California for her introduction in the US House of Representatives of legislation to appoint a Special Envoy for the Balkans, in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).  
H. Res. 705, a comprehensive and fair outline regarding the need to evaluate the successes and shortcomings of the Dayton Peace Accord and that treaty’s affect on the ‘frozen conflict’ in BiH, was introduced on July 31.  It follows the earlier introduced S. Res. 131 by Senator Mark Begich in the US Senate and continues the push for these needed reforms.  H. Res. 705 is attached for immediate review. 

The legislation may also be seen at:
http://www.gpo.gov:80/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hres705ih/pdf/BILLS-113hres705ih.pdf

The NFCA in Washington has pressed relevant foreign policy decision makers on these important security matters in Southeast Europe for many years and for plentiful reasons.  NFCA President Paul Tonsetic-Kunder noted regarding the introduction of the ‘Hahn Resolution’:  “After prolonged debate and ineffective action on Bosnian progress in Washington and internationally, this Resolution introduced by Congresswoman Hahn highlights the need to address the current political and economic difficulties now so that there are no further setbacks in BiH - or elsewhere in the Balkans.  We cannot afford to allow hard won western progress in Southeast Europe to erode further.  A return to the turbulence, conflict, and aberrant conditions that we have not seen since the end of the Homeland War in the mid-90s is unacceptable, especially since we have ample opportunity to correct course at this time in BiH.

NFCA President Tonsetic-Kunder invited and hosted Bosnian Croat political leader Martin Raguz to speak at the NFCA’s 21st Delegates Assembly in Steelton, PA during May.  During his visit, which also included a speech at Washington’s US Institute for Peace, Bosnian Parliamentarian Raguz provided a valuable contribution toward renewed interest in the US Congress for maintaining constructive pressure in Washington on his region.  “Regardless of the many distracting crisis around the world,” Raguz noted, “it is extremely important - crucial in fact - for the US to remain involved and further promote economic and political liberalization in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It is also time for a new page in our national life.  We must build, with the US and other multilateral organizations helping, a common vision that fully respects the diversity of the underlying identities in my country.  The people of BiH must reject the policies that have devastated the economy and continue to strongly divide our people.  A Special Envoy and full analysis of current conditions will provide important guidance so that we can solve the problems of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The time is now.”

On the introduction of the ‘Hahn Resolution’ in the US House of Representatives, Congresswoman Hahn noted in the Congressional Record:  "While the U.S. has demanded that the Bosnian people initiate these revisions themselves, we have witnessed a nation-state with great political and economic potential fall back into violent patterns.  As the Representative of the 44th district of California, an area steeped in Croatian culture, I have heard firsthand the concerns arising from growing political instability in the Bosnia-Herzegovinia region. This region is integral to the future success of our interdependent international community.  We have an obligation to support the democratic and free market progress that has been hard won in this new nation-state over the last two decades."

The intentions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) were lofty, and certain success has been achieved because of the important contribution of the Accords towards ending the Bosnian homeland war.  However, a political stalemate has been reached in BiH that directly affects the economic benefit of Bosnia’s three constitutive peoples and the future political success of this new nation-state.  NFCA firmly asserts that the future treatment of Bosnian Croats in BiH is not a self-serving concern but one that will be a key to resolving the current political dilemmas created by Dayton.

President Tonsetic-Kunder further noted:  “The treatment and condition of Bosnian Croats has dramatically deteriorated over time.  A domestic path forward in BiH for an equitable political and economic treatment of Bosnian Croats is not easily seen in the midst of this ‘frozen conflict’.  The NFCA strongly believes that the future treatment of Croats in BiH is emblematic of any return to national progress and eventual success for this new nation.  The Special Envoy’s report back to the US Congress will be an instrumental means for achieving sound guidance.  An accurate and comprehensive report to the US Congress will greatly contribute towards the construction of an improved future path for the entire Balkans region.  We thank Representative Janice Hahn and her hard working staff for this forward-looking view on these important international matters.  The text of her Resolution provides an impressively thorough and objective outline of the current problems and needed solutions for these persistent roadblocks in BiH.  I encourage all to review the Hahn Resolution in detail.”


sent by: Joe Foley for HIC

The NFCA is the national umbrella organization established in 1993 for Croatian Americans, related professional associations, and the many fraternal lodges that collectively represent approximately 130,000 members. For individual membership and chapter information, recent newsletters, opportunities to donate to the NFCA, and for other Croatian American news please visit our web site:  www.nfcacf.org.  You may also contact NFCA Public Affairs Director Joe Foley in Washington regarding this press release via:  info@foleycoinc.com.



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