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In the program for these forum sessions, you have some biographical information on Lord Ashdown and I more or less took this from what his office sent us, but i was interested that what they sent us stopped at the point at which he took up his responsibilities as high representative. So I thought rather than repeating what you all can read, I would pick up the story a little bit and I must give some credit o the New York Times and Newsweek and The Guardian who have all published articles on Lord Paddy Ashdown in the last two weeks. And of course the Internet is always our help and guide when we're searching for information. But for the last three and a half years Lord Paddy Ashdown has been in a post that some have likened that to a colonial governor, an imperial viceroy or even a medieval pope. I didn't ask his opinion about that at lunch. I don't know which one of the three he prefers. But his powers include the ability to impose laws and fire public officials. And he of the now five high representatives in Bosnia Herzegovina has used those powers more extensively than his four predecessors to create centralized customs, defense and intelligence structures and most recently to bring parties to agreement to consolidate the thirteen separate police forces into a single police structure within the country. He also has fired fifty nine served politicians, police officers and public officials, accused of blocking the hand down, hand over, excuse me, of war crimes suspects to the international criminal tribunal in the Hague. These actions, not surprisingly, have been controversial, and he has been criticized from some quarters for doing too much, for weakening Bosnia's fledging institutions. Many would say that he is the last tie representative who will wield such extraordinary authority, hat one or more who may come after him, and he did announce that he will be stepping down in a few weeks, but he may be the last to wield the extraordinary powers that the Bonn Conference gave him, or gave the representative some years ago. Lord Ashdown has been quoted as saying that he now regards Bosnia Herzegovina as his home, he has bought a house there and five of my students and I passed by the lovely lakeside between Sarajevo and Mostar last May and were told that that's where Lord Ashdown has purchased a home. Beautiful location I must say, and that's terrific! But it is our pleasure Lord Ashdown to welcome you to Dayton, the city associated with the agreement that ended the war in Bosnia Herzegovina and the peace that you have been charged with making a long term reality for Bosnia and Herzegovina by fostering the building of conditions for the rule of law, justice, reconciliation and the functioning of a political system and an economy. I am delighted to welcome you here to Dayton, we are thrilled that you agreed to participate in these events, everyone please join me in welcoming Lord Paddy Ashdown. What an introduction. I feel as though I shouldn't come up here, I should swing through in a rope or something. When I was, when I was first elected to the British House of Parliament my election came of something as a surprise to my rather older died in the world conservative opponent, who slightly grumpily, came up to me afterwards, I was younger then and said, "my boy, my boy, I give you one piece of advice", I thought something wonderful was about to appear and he said, "never stand long between an audience and its meal." Its good advice, so I thank you very much indeed Margaret for, for um, allowing me the very civilized pattern of speaking afterwards, the French do it because they value their meals so highly. But let me tell you if you have a speaker he will value it highly too. Well I must confess, having heard the discussions you've been having in the last twenty-four hours, speaking before you today causes me a little trepidation. I'm feeling a little bit like Zsa Zsa Gabor's forth husband who when he was asked on the day of their marriage how he was regarding being married to this iconic woman said, "well I know what I have to do but I'd rather die to make it interesting", he said. Which is a bit how I feel at the moment, so let me give you or make a confession to you first. As I, since I took up my duties as the international communities high representative of Bosnia Herzegovina governor title, it seems to me its extracted from Gilbert and Sullivan. Some three and a half years ago, I've often remarked publicly that the days of the future when BIH could be discussed and decided at (unidentified) airforce base in Ohio have long since passed. I retract that completely. In this audience how could I do otherwise? That was clearly intended to be a metaphorical, rather than a literal, statement, but I can't tell you how much pleasure it is Margaret for me to be with you here in this city whose name has become so much the currency of our everyday (unidentified) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You know I think the work that was done here in Dayton ten years ago, can be judged very simply and by its results. It was work of lasting moral and practical political value. The talks ended three and a half years of carnage as of course we all know. But nevertheless I think that even the fiercest critics of Dayton and the process that it launched could not deny and do not deny that it saved lives and ended one of the most terrible wars of the second half of the 20th century. This alone if that was its only achievement, would be a single achievement. Its important here I think, that we make a clear distinction between the settlement itself and the settlement process that followed after. The settlement was negotiated, here of course, in a period of about weeks. But the process, the Dayton process, has continued ever since. The negotiations in a sense, have never stopped. And it is that Dayton process, which has sustained BIH on its long, difficult but ultimately successful journey of recovery. Do you understand just how far the country has come? Its only necessary I think to note that only ten years after that terrible war, BIH is now about to enter the process, which eventually will lead to full European Union membership, something which would have been, quite frankly, inconceivable three years ago let alone ten. This is the same country whose negotiators ten years ago, let's remember, retained as part of their strategy the option of returning to war. It is the same country whose citizens a decade had been consigned to live in deprivation and fear and did for some times afterwards. In yet here it is now, a mere ten years later, poised to enter the European Union process. Now all of us I think acknowledge the BIH age has come very much further, very much faster than most people could have possibly hoped for when the agreement was signed no far from here a decade ago. And when I think of the chief reasons for this is because the Dayton agreement is not some dead letter, which could never be changed, it is on the contrary a living agreement containing on the one hand a judicious mix of enough firmness to maintain peace, and it has, with enough flexibility to enable reform. What then have we learned from the Dayton Process in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Well I'd say that a key lesson has been that political settlements are not and cannot simply be written in stone, they won't last like that. Interpretation, implementation, modification must be part of making that kind of living agreement work, and they have made Dayton work. First phase of implementation was characterized by impressive military compliance and you might agree with me, scandalous political evasion. The inter positioning of NATO led troops along the front lines in the space of just three weeks in the winter of 1995 was a remarkable example of resolute and effective military deployment. Since the first days of that deployment, peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina has never been challenged. Let me remind you of this astonishing fact that not only, not once in those ten years has a single foreign person working in Bosnia Herzegovina for the international committee, whether soldier or civil servant, being killed in the process by any kind of hostile action. The successive reductions that have then since occurred in the peace-keeping forces themselves, reflect that steady process of consolidation. The continuously diminishing, still diminishing strong European Union force, which took over from the remarkably successful NATO forces that preceded it, that force has the capability still day at a much lower level of troops to maintain a safe and secure environment on a country where the armed forces themselves, domestic armed forces, have been massively downsized and bought under the democratic control of the state in these last few months. However the early phase of the political implementation, as we all know, was considerably less satisfactory. In the months after Dayton, wartime racketeers consolidated their strangle hold on local administration, those who had done well out of the black market during the war set themselves up as suppliers of goods of inflated prices and many of them, quite frankly, migrated into the political stratosphere in a general environment of acute scarcity. In this phase, political implementation was characterized by reluctance, incapacity and obstruction and so it took time for the international community to address that problem. The initial focus was on hold fair and free elections, perhaps you might consider holding them a little too early. But we'll leave that to one side. Three general elections were conducted in the first seven years, its not I think, inaccurate to conclude that each successive poll was fairer and fairer than the one before, but these polls took place in an environment where it was already distorted by political, social demographic and economic phenomenas. As the political parties poured energy in delivering makeshift assistance to their constituents, typically, quite frequently by diverting international aid from its intended purposes and vying for the spoils of office. The real political situation was one for too many years of status and decay and perhaps for too many years, we in the international community did not enforce the Dayton procedures in ways that we should. Perhaps this was obscured in the early stages when a volume of aid pouring into the country in those early years, but by the late 1990's it had become increasingly clear that that problem had to be tackled. So the second phase of the Dayton process, saw the introduction to the (unidentified) to which Margaret has referred at the end of 1997, enabling a high representative to cut through the thickets of obstruction by removing recalcitrant officials where necessary and acting reform and legislation, and just in case you think that high representatives like me act like some mad poltergeist throwing the furniture about whenever we do this, we consider how we use those very, very carefully. And I never used the (unidentified) and neither did my predecessors, except we believed it was the only option necessary and by doing so we admitted a failure, a failure both the BIH institutions and of the international community to persuade people to make the progress by other means. Together with this new (unidentified) there was a new focus on making the political and economic institutions work as opposed to propping them up with international largess. Deep and lasting foundations for reform had to be laid and this meant modifying some of the key, core provisions of Dayton's. So reforms agreed by the principle parties in the first case under my highly distinguished predecessor Wolfgang Petrich in April 2002, designed as they were to facilitate the implementation of the constitutional cause rulings on constituency people. That actually inaugurated the process of difficult but necessary overhaul of the Dayton process as it was first established. If you like, changing Dayton within Dayton. Difficult of course because it involved reopening issues that had proved themselves excessively, exceptionally sensitive at the Dayton negotiations. Necessary however, because this was the only way of addressing the fundamental injustices in the fabric of BIH's political structure. And the only way of preparing the country for the European Union accession process. BIH as it stood at the start of this decade was still however a long way from meeting modern European norms in regard to political representation, civil rights ease of access to legal redress and basic administrative efficiency. The model through which we have sought to deliver effective reforms within the context of BIH's particular social and political requirements has been to create the basic institutions of a light level state governing a highly decentralized country and it was to that that I set my hand three and a half years ago. Could we take the Dayton agreement, use it to create those broad outline structures of a modern light level state governing a decentralized country? Let me let you into a secret, before I started my mandate I went to see one of the authors of Dayton, Jim O'Brien who said to me, "why is it that the international community allow the obstructionists to use Dayton to obstruct, where as we who wrote Dayton put into it certain instruments which if used would allow the process of reform to continue and that is what we did. And we did it, some would say, rather fast, some would say too fast. Nevertheless, what was concerning me when I took up this job three and a half years ago, was to use the Dayton process to use those reforms necessary to get the country through the gates onto the European road before those gates began, as ndeed they have now, begun, I regret to say, to close. This is a model, which has evolved through the Dayton Process. It is a logical process corollary of Dayton and it deals with key issues that could not be dealt with in a satisfactory way in the time when Dayton was first written and I pay tribute to the wisdom of those who wrote it and placing those instruments within Dayton had allowed it to reform within the Dayton process. In constructing this model we have sought to take BIH to a destination, that let me remind you , by a huge margin, the majority of its citizens want to reach to remove irreversibly on course to effective statehood and onto the path that leads to the Brussels institutions of the Euro-Atlantic alliance, the European Union on the one hand, NATO on the other. I'm happy to say to you that as of this (unidentified) we are now firmly on that road. No one inside or now outside BIH wants to go back to the difficult and torturous path that has brought us to this point and that itself is an achievement. Its been a long struggle and a hard struggle and the people of BIH have had to put up with great hardship, enough of them have had to put up with hardship that frankly could have been avoided if some of their political leaders had shown greater imagination, greater wisdom and put the interest of the citizen first but I have to say to you that laterally the political establishment of BIH for all its faults, and I'm a politician, so all politicians have failures and all political systems have them too, and of course BIH is no exception, but for all of those, the political establishment of today has mustered, let us admit it, the necessary courage and creativity to overcome those remaining obstacles. Now I pay tribute to them for this, I seem to have one way or another, to have spent a good deal of my life fighting destructive nationalism and I'm not about to change now. Nevertheless I have to concede that the self styled nationalist parties who won the BIH elections in October 2002 have nevertheless managed with a little help from their friends to reside over the strongest period of change over reform in BIH's post-Dayton history. And some at least and I will confess appear now to want to internally reform themselves away from the old style nationalism of the war years and towards the more conventional center-right European politics, what I call standardization. I welcome this process and I hope it continues. The question now for the political nomenclature of BIH is not can they do the reforms, they've completes those, the question is can they implement them and that is the crucial for the next phase. So Margaret, ladies and gentlemen today I think we have a rather remarkable view. We can look back towards Dayton, but we can also look forward towards Brussels and the Euro-Atlantic institutions that are Bosnia and Herzegovina's natural, ultimate destination. It is the European Union and BIH's eventual accession to it that must now exercise the preponderant influence on Bosnia and Herzegovina's further progress. The peace implementation council has made it clear that once the SAA process is underway it, we are prepared to begin to phase out the bon powers and I greatly welcome that and indeed I have been recommending it for some time. Bon powers were instituted for a purpose. I believe that they have largely served that purpose and are therefore less necessary day by day. At the same time, the peace implementation council has indicated that the inauguration of the SAA process will create appropriate circumstances in which to transition, transition the position of high representative into that of European Union special representative this transition can, I believe, begin shortly and could be completed barring unforeseen circumstances by the next general election of October 2006. The evolution and subsequent phasing out of the office of high representative, which is I think, Dayton's single greatest achievement, could then be viewed as a useful administrative and diplomatic process, diplomatic footnote to the Dayton process. Now all of us are aware of the reliable capacity of organizations to perpetuate themselves, provisional bureaucracies have a habit of grafting onto the body politics as permanent fixtures, temporary positions have a habit of becoming permanent. This has not, I think, happened in the OHR where we have aggressively followed a policy of downsizing the OHR as each of our missions are completed. OHR's staff today is less than half of what it was when I took it over three and a half years ago and the budget of thirteen million is less than half of the twenty six million budget that was in existence in 2004 and we are actively and daily looking at ways in which OHR can transfer many of the functions that have fallen to us in the course of the last decade to the people who ought to have it, the properly democratically elected authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now paper objectives of course can be met on paper in judging the success of the Dayton process are we adrift from the day to day experience of the people of BIH, well Bosnia and Herzegovina is not perfect and I am the last person to pretend that there is not still a huge, a huge amount of work to be done. Poverty remains a terrible (unidentified) in Bosnia and Herzegovina; economic improvements have not yet touched the lives of ordinary people by improving them, unemployment is unacceptably high, far, far too many of the gifted young of Bosnia Herzegovina still choose immigration, No state can tolerate this massive hemorrhage of it young and its talented for long. So there's yet a huge amount of work to be done. As we start to now move BIH from the phase of Dayton into the next phase. But, but the economy is growing faster than any other economy in the Balkans albeit from a very low base, jobs are being created though not nearly fast enough to give people the prospect of reasonable chances of employment and there is an increase both in foreign direct investment and indeed in our own exports and in manufacturing, although again from a desperately low base. Public services are very, very slowly improving, but improving nonetheless, I think they will continue to improve as increased revenue arrived from a significantly more efficient fiscal system comes on stream particularly after the first of January of this year, next year, with the introduction of the AT. These improvements did not happen by accident, they are the results of those reforms that have brought BIH closer to Europe and in the coming year the pace of reform has to quicken and the delivery of it to the citizen must quicken too. We may have done things at the high level of politics in BIH but that has not yet seeped through to an understanding amongst ordinary people's lives, that their living conditions are improving, or will improve in the near future. So BIH is already, is still improving but it needs to improve at a faster pace. I visited BIH in 1992 for the first time, then it was sliding into a catechism that brought tragedy to its people and shame to the international community. I visited the country regularly throughout the war and the last three and a half years as its high representative charged with implementing Dayton have been amongst the most rewarding in my professional life. So I recognize that though things have gotten better in Bosnia Herzgovina, we still have a long way to go and they haven't got better fast enough and I'm the first to recognize that. So the job of my successor,I believe, is now to concentrate on making the country function better. Functionality, not a very nice or elegant word but it is the key word for the next phase of Bosnia's development as it moves for a full sovereign statehood. Now this means primarily, it seems to me, two things: making the state institutions we have created in the last three and a half years, work and function effectively and helping BIH itself to function better, much better. You know no state can prosper which spends in some of the areas, I'm thinking of the federation, seventy percent of its hard-pressed citizen's taxes on government and only thirty percent on its citizen's services. So BIH must now, cut the cost of government which improvishes the citizens and stifles the economy. Constitutional change now much talked about in BIH, is not an end in itself, not an intellectual exercise. It means making the state function in the interest of its citizens. It means creating a state, which puts service to its citizens before salaries to its politicians. This task, the task of making BIH work better is I believe not an event that's gonna happen one day, it's a process and I am very glad and bound to say proud to say, that that process thanks to the work of Don Hayes, Bruce (unidentified) and others has in recent weeks, now begun. I welcome that. It was something Don and I talked about two and a half years ago and it is now delivering I think an opportunity for BIH to move into its next phase. Now lets admit it, progress this far has been modest and is likely to remain modest this side of the next election. But nevertheless, it started, it started by consensus and provided there is a commitment for that to continue and that process will conform to the constitution, increasing the functionality of the state, should carry Bosnia on the rest of its journey to full sovereign statehood and a member of the European Union. It seems to me now essential to keep that process going even if we might recognize privately that the major achievements will not occur until after the October 2006 elections. So let me conclude. I said when I arrived in Bosnia Herzegovina three and a half years ago, the beginning of my mandate, that Dayton had to be our foundation, but it could not be our ceiling in Bosnia Herzegovina. Like any foundation its what you build on it that matters. But I command an applaud date for what, for delivering not just peace to a country so racked by war but also to delivering to the world arguably the words first successful post-Second World War peace stabilizing mission and my goodness me, our world needs such successes. Dayton has indeed proved our foundation, but cannot be our ceiling, so it has proved and so it must continue to prove. The agreement whose tenth anniversary that we celebrate today has I believed given this remarkable, beautiful little country and its brave and courageous people peace after the terrible ravages of war. But it has also enabled something more. Its enabled the start of a reform process that will finally complete the journey begun ten years ago by putting Bosnia Herzegovina firmly as a modern sovereign democratic state where it should be in the membership of the family of the states of the European Union and however many years ahead it might be I am very confident that this little country will become one of Europe's little jewels. Thank you very much. Closing Comments