On November 21, 1995, the Dayton Peace Agreement was initialed, bringing to an end three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Richard Holbrooke, then the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, helped to broker the agreement. In this video from the day the Agreement was signed, Holbrooke discusses how close they came to not achieving any agreement, saying: “We went to sleep last night having closed down the talks because each side kept changing positions and we felt that the deadline had to be real, it had to be credible, and it wasn’t a bluff. We drafted failure statements, asked each side to recommit itself to an indefinite ceasefire, passed out the statements, assembled our team and sent them all to bed, except for one group of people whom we asked to go over and tell each president, and during the night they went to work with each other and came back to us early in the morning with a request that we finish it up very fast.”
The agreement was formally signed in Paris on December 14, 1995, and became formally known as the Dayton Peace Accords.