WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement marking the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords:

“I’ve visited Bosnia a number of times in the last 20 years.  I’ve seen a society that has pulled itself out of the depths of a brutal war, begun to establish democracy, and taken the first steps toward integration into a Europe whole and free.  There is no doubt that the peace that flowed from the Dayton Accords set the stage for that progress. But the absence of war—even the presence of peace—is not the same as the progress and prosperity of a country.  A peace treaty is not a charter for freedom, justice, and democracy.  So, while acknowledging what it accomplished, it’s time be clear-eyed about Dayton, take a hard look at what comes next, and set a course toward a brighter future."

Earlier this month, Rep. Engel delivered a keynote address at a conference at the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina addressing the country’s path forward 20 years after the Dayton Accords.