Dear Friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
On behalf of the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) Board of Directors, Honorary Board Members, Board of Trustees, volunteers, and staff, I would like to thank you for supporting ACBH in 2016, and we wish you and your loved ones a joyous and prosperous 2017.
ACBH reflects on 2016 as another successful year of advocacy, steady and informed leadership, outreach, and diplomacy. We are appreciative of your support and interest in our work. In 2016, your partnership enabled us to make a difference and achieve important results. We are deeply grateful to our supporters in the Bosnian American community and all friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) who promote the mission of ACBH and contribute to its work.
Save the Date: On February 25, 2017, ACBH will be hosting a Tenth Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C. The Gala will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the U.S. recognition of BiH’s independence and is expected to draw over 170 guests from throughout the world, and include high-level officials from the United States and BiH.The Gala will honor friends of BiH and will include special guests such as retired Bosnian Army General, Jovan Divjak and renowned journalist Senad Hadzifejzovic, among others. We hope that you will decide to sponsor this event by deciding to join us. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here: ACBH Gala or please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions that you may have.
Looking back at 2016, with your help, ACBH:
- Organized and attended numerous events, panels, policy briefings and roundtable discussions in Washington, D.C. and conducted diplomatic meetings with various policymakers in Washington, D.C., New York City and Sarajevo in advocating for the importance of continued U.S. and EU engagement in BiH.
- Ensured that the former Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic was not selected as the UN Secretary-General. Apart from sending letters to various UN member states, ACBH also met with the U.S. Mission to the UN informing them that during his time as President of the 67th UN General Assembly (UNGA), Mr. Jeremic consistently used the UN as a platform to spread Serbian nationalist agenda by organizing highly inappropriate and controversial events.
- Increased the membership of the Congressional Caucus on Bosnia to 31 members of the U.S. Congress. The Congressional Caucus on Bosnia, co-chaired by two longstanding friends of BiH, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) consists of members from both political parties and is working to shape U.S.-BiH relations.
- Commemorated 21 years since the Srebrenica Genocide in the U.S. Congress by organizing an annual event that serves as a day of remembrance and aims to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of genocide denial and the revision of history. Joining ACBH were Dr. Mirsada Hasanovic, Adisada Dudic, Mujesira Dudic and Zumreta Dudic – survivors of the Srebrenica Genocide who spoke about the importance of combatting genocide denial and highlighted that BiH entity Republika Srpska (RS) spends millions of dollars on genocide denial efforts that stifle any meaningful chance at reconciliation. Joining the Dudic sisters was Dr. Michel Gabaudan, President of Refugees International who spoke about the promise of “never again” and the need for the international community to act regarding the humanitarian crisis and genocide in Syria. Zumreta, who was born in a refugee camp in Slovenia after her pregnant mother and sisters survived the Srebrenica Genocide stated “I spoke my first words in a refugee camp. I took my first steps in a refugee camp. Being a refugee is all I’ve ever known. I had nothing to compare it to as the refugee camp was filled with other women and children living the same reality…I hope we put pressure on our governments to see the human beings behind the world events. I hope we demand that we don’t isolate ourselves because of our geographic location and borders between us. I hope we create paths for the refugees to continue their lives in their adopted homes. Their children become our children, and as a citizen of this great nation, I know our world is improved by the diversity and harmony in our differences.” ACBH President Mirzeta Hadzikadic attended a commemorative event in Charlotte, NC while Board Member, Benjamin Tikvina and ACBH Executive Director, Ajla Delkic attended a Peace March organized by the Bosnian American Association of Richmond, VA.
- Urged the U.S. government to undertake more robust measures against BiH entity RS’s illegal actions and grave violations of the Dayton Peace Accords. The illegal referendum that was held on September 25, 2016 was much more than a vote about a national holiday; it set the stage for RS’s long-term goal at secession from BiH. ACBH believes that if grave breaches of international agreements such as the one that was committed by RS go unchecked, and without stringent consequences, the reality of a near future armed conflict within BiH and the region will soon become inevitable.
- Met with Dr. Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH and Fadil Novalic, Prime Minister of the Federation of BiH in Washington, D.C. and discussed the importance of BiH’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
- Engaged with Bosnian American communities throughout the United States in spreading the ACBH mission. ACBH is profoundly grateful to all Bosnian American communities that showed support for the work of ACBH in 2016.
- Co-Sponsored “Immigrant Heritage Month” event in U.S. Congress and helped honor members of the Bosnia Caucus, Senator Dick Durbin (whose mother is Lithuanian American and father Irish American) and Congressman Mike Honda (third generation Japanese American). They emphasized the importance of diversity and the valuable contributions that immigrants have made to the U.S. Also joining them were Congressman Brendan Boyle (Irish American), Congresswoman Judy Chu (first Chinese American elected to U.S. Congress), Congressman Bill Pascrell (grandson of Italian immigrants) and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
- Represented the Bosnian American community at the 2016 White House Heritage Day event.
The financial strength of ACBH is the most important catalyst for effective results. To help us continue our work, please donate TODAY! All donations are tax deductible and will help ACBH remain the premier voice for Bosnian Americans in Washington, D.C. for years to come!
Did you know that your donation to ACBH could be matched dollar for dollar? Many companies offer matching gift programs that will double, even triple a donation’s value. Please check with your company to find out if your company will match your charitable contribution to ACBH.
Thank you once again for your continued support.
With sincere gratitude and best wishes in 2017,
ACBH is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of Bosnian Americans and works to improve relations between the United States and BiH. ACBH advocates for a united, democratic, multiethnic, and indivisible BiH with a primary goal of advancing the integration of BiH into the EU and NATO.