Mr. Speaker, I call upon all members of the House to join me in welcoming to Canada Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo, Bosnia--Herzegovina. Born in Banja Luka, Bosnia, he became archbishop of Sarajevo in 1981 and cardinal in 1994. Cardinal Puljic's archdiocese once included half a million Croatian Catholics. However as a result of the war that engulfed the region, only some 125,000 remain there.
Since the signing of the Dayton peace accords he has worked tirelessly to encourage the United Nations and the U.S. government to take decisive and credible action to prevent further fragmentation and violence in the region. For his outspoken efforts for a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and his opposition to partitioning of the country along ethnic and religious lines, Cardinal Puljic received the 1998 Notre Dame award for international humanitarian service.
I applaud Cardinal Puljic for his ongoing peace building efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and I wish him success as he discusses circumstances there with Canadian parliamentarians.