Congressional Hearing on Human Rights, Peace and Reconciliation Process in Bosnia and Northern Ireland

On September 16, 2010, the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing titled "Fulfilling the Promise of Peace: Human Rights, Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and Bosnia." The Chairman of the Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Bosnia, Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO), said in his remarks that Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has outgrown the Dayton Accords and that in order for BiH to join the EU and NATO it needs to look at reforming its constitution and government institutions. Rep. Carnahan also highlighted that while the challenge is left up to the Bosnian people, the United States and EU should play an important role in supporting BiH towards this goal.

Joining Representative Carnahan were Ranking Member, Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN). Testifying on BiH specifically, Ambassador Kurt D. Volker (Senior Fellow and Managing Director of the Center on Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies), Daniel Serwer (Vice President of the Center of Innovations at the United States Institute of Peace), and Ivana Howard (Program Officer for Central and Eastern Europe at the National Endowment for Democracy) urged BiH towards constitutional reform and an educational system that does away with its current "separate but equal" state. The panelists also stressed the need for continued support for BiH from the U.S. and the EU.