Press Releases

President Clinton Announces First Clinton Global Initiative Commitment of 2011

February 09, 2011

Announcement made at Event Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Dayton Accords

Contact: Clinton Global Initiative Press Office, [email protected]                

New York, NY
 - Building on his long-standing support in Bosnia, President Clinton today announced that City Year has committed via the Clinton Global Initiative to host a delegation of community, civic, and youth leaders from Bosnia with the goal of educating and inspiring Bosnia's youth to become involved in shaping the future of their country through service. The delegation will be exposed to key U.S. leaders in philanthropic, non-profit, and government institutions. 

The commitment will result in open and on-going dialogues between members of the delegation and the networks they forge, as well as applicable knowledge of a range of service models for citizens of different ages and backgrounds. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is contributing financial support for this commitment.

"I am so pleased that our first CGI commitment of the year is focused on a region that holds great significance to me and America's foreign policy, made by an organization near and dear to my heart," President Clinton said. "Fifteen years after the Dayton Accords ended the violence in Bosnia, City Year's commitment to  connect young Bosnian leaders with their counterparts here in the United States will help strengthen the capacity of Bosnia's civil society to address the challenges that remain in building a more prosperous, more stable Balkan region and a better future for us all."

The announcement was made during "America at a Crossroads: The Dayton Accords and the Beginning of 21st Century Diplomacy," a two-panel discussion on the Dayton Accords place in history and Bosnia's prospects for continued economic development and integration with Europe. 

The first panel featured Madeleine K. Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State; Wesley K. Clark, General, U.S. Army (Ret.); and Peter W. Galbraith, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia. Ronald Brownstein, Editorial Director of the National Journal Group, moderated the panel discussion, which explored not only the success of the Dayton Accords in establishing lasting peace in Bosnia, but also the transformative role these negotiations played in re-orienting U.S. foreign policy after the Cold War and amid the emergence of a highly- interdependent world.

The second panel, involving current leaders from the region, examined how economic development and further integration with Europe can help create jobs and enhance prosperity for all households in Bosnia, thereby further enhancing the peace established 15 years ago by the Dayton Accords. Bakir Izetbegovic, member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivo Josipovic, President of the Republic of Croatia, Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, James B. Steinberg, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour participated in the second panel discussion. 

The Dayton Peace Accords were signed in December 1995, ending a war that displaced almost 250,000 people and claimed the lives of over 100,000 others, and establishing a peace that endures today. Upon their signing, and despite domestic political opposition, President Bill Clinton ordered the deployment of 20,000 U.S. troops as part of a joint NATO-Russian mission.  The peace agreement, and the success of the mission which enforced them, marked an end to what Richard Holbrooke once described as "the greatest collective security failure of the West [in Europe] since the 1930s."  By ending the violence, the Clinton administration re-oriented American foreign policy to the challenges of the global age, and set the standard for successful 21st century diplomacy.






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