Dayton Peace Agreement Panel discussion held at IUS

International University of Sarajevo hosted a Panel discussion by eminent lecturers, professors and experts in the field of international law and political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday, November 19, 2015. The Panel discussion titled “20th Anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement” was organized by Balkan Studies Centre (BSC) and held in the main amphitheater of the International University of Sarajevo.  Honorable invited speakers at the Panel were: Prof. Dr. Hadi Shalluf, visiting professor at IUS and a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Prof. Dr. Zarije Seizović, Professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, Dr. Selmo Cikotić, President of the ''BIGMEV'' Foundation in Sarajevo, Assist. Prof. Dr. Mirsad Karić, Vice Rector for Academic and Student Affairs and Emir Hadžikadunić, Secretary General of the IUS and lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Administration (FBA). At the Panel session, distinguished speakers primarily tried to offer extensive and adequate answers to questions such as: 

  • The Dayton and Human Rights Situation;
  • Military Aspects of the Agreement;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina from Dayton to Brussels;
  • Annex 4: Safe and Secure Framework for Discrimination. 

During the introductory speech, IUS Rector, Prof. Dr. Yücel Oğurlu welcomed the distinguished guests and stressed the importance of two very important events that occurred during the past 20 years in BiH, namely the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the genocide in Srebrenica. ‘’It is affecting an all structures of the county. Today the Dayton is highly involved in constitutional law and law in general in Bosnia what is reflected in everyday life. In one hand, it brought peace, but on the other hand it is obstructing further development of the country’’ - said Rector Oğurlu. During the discussion, the panelists talked about one of the most important dates in modern BH history, the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war in 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ''As a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), I would like to point out that the Court was created to be protector of human rights, to prevent violence and it was intended to complement existing national judicial systems which is still crucial part of Dayton Peace Agreement implementation’’ - said Prof. Dr. Hadi Shalluf. 

''The city of Dayton was chosen because it was ''isolated'' enough for peace negotiations, but still close enough to the political center of USA, the city of Washington. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has rich historical heritage, so the political analysts of that time believed that is the main reason for having these negotiation here at Dayton so important’’ – said Selmo Cikotić. ‘’What does Dayton represent here? It represents the end of the bloody war, Dayton Peace Agreement. It symbolizes a peace that was established and compromise that was reached. It is associated with Dayton constitution on which we still debate. Is it federal or not?’’ – said Emir Hadžikadunić. ''When it comes to Dayton Peace Agreement, I must state that we can only change or ''update'' Annex 4 (Constitution of BiH) and I believe that it is necessary for further development, well being and prosperity of this country. But for that, we need to have strong will of all political elites from all three constitutional people of BiH and to be determined to act accordingly. I am one of the few people who believes that we will never have a functional state'' – said Prof. Dr. Zarije Seizović. 

The Dayton Peace Agreement is a legal act of consensual character initialed in Dayton (USA) to officially end the war in Bosnia, which lasted from 1992 to 1995. The signing was preceded by a conference which lasted from 1 to 21 November 1995. The Dayton negotiations were very long and hard, and at times dramatic. The negotiations were led by the US diplomat Richard Holbrooke with support of the Secretary of State Warren Christopher and former US President Bill Clinton, as well as the highest representatives of the Contact Group. The agreement was officially signed in Paris on December 14.