THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release July 30, 1999 FACT SHEET Building a Durable Peace in Bosnia: Implementation of the Dayton Accords
President Clinton's trip to Sarajevo today for the Southeast Europe Stability Pact Summit comes 3 years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Implementation of the Dayton Accords has largely proven successful, as the peace has held, ethnic reconciliation has begun, moderate political leaders have risen to power after free and fair elections, and civil society is taking root.
Particularly this year, as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) descended into ethnic warfare in Kosovo, Bosnia has remained a point of contrast in offering an alternative of multiethnic life and economic recovery. Nevertheless, more works needs to be accomplished to fully implement the Accords and achieve a durable, democratic peace in Bosnia.
Multi-ethnic Democracy in Bosnia
Functioning institutions of interethnic government and cooperation have been erected, including the Joint Presidency, the Council of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Standing Committee on Military Matters, and the Central Bank. The Sarajevo Summit, hosted by the Presidency and Council of Ministers, testifies to the growing effectiveness of these new institutions. Other signs of progress include the following:
Economic Growth and Development in Bosnia
After three and a half years of assistance, Bosnia has made progress towards economic reconstruction and economic recovery. Annual economic growth has averaged about 40 percent in real terms since 1995, and GDP reached $4.1 billion in 1998, equivalent to roughly 40 percent of its pre-war level. Other indicators of economic growth in Bosnia include the following:
Although considerable progress has been achieved, serious economic reforms are still required to promote and sustain growth in Bosnia.
Refugees Returning to Bosnia
Refugees displaced by the Bosnia conflict five years ago are returning their homes in increasing numbers. Showing how times have changed, Bosnia received and cared for over 70,000 refugees from the FRY during the Kosovo crisis.
story. 5,000 Serbs have returned due to concerted efforts by international and local authorities.
Restoring Stability and Security to Bosnia
The Dayton Accords are not yet self-implementing, and the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) is still needed to keep the peace. But the return of normalcy to Bosnia has permitted significant reductions. Originally deployed at a strength of 60,000, including 20,000 Americans, the force is now down to 31,000, including 6,200 Americans. Implementation of the Dayton Accords has thus allowed U.S. participation to decrease by more than 60 percent. With continued progress, it is anticipated that NATO will be able this fall to direct further substantial reductions in troop strength.