FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, February 14, 2003
Contact: Scott Milburn or Kelly Fitzhugh 202-224-7784
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH) says that his ethnic heritage and involvement with Ohio’s ethnic communities will strengthen his ability to contribute to the work of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Voinovich is the descendant of Slovenian and Serbian immigrants and was appointed to the committee in January for the two years of the 108th Congress.
“America is facing many international challenges from Iraq to North Korea to the Middle East to the Balkans. As someone who is very proud of my ethnic roots and who maintains close ties to Ohio’s nationality groups, I’m looking forward to bringing my understanding and perspective to the Committee’s work as we try to work through this difficult time,” said Voinovich.
Voinovich visited the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in May 2001 in conjunction with his participation in the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. He was joined by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) for the NATO meeting. The delegation spent time with high-ranking government officials in the Baltic nations also traveled to Poland to discuss issues facing the NATO Alliance.
In the Senate, Voinovich has been active in foreign affairs, even before his appointment to the Foreign Relations Committee. He has been a strong advocate of NATO expansion, having served as a delegate to the NATO Interparliamentary Group and being appointed by President Bush to his official delegation to last November’s NATO summit in Prague at which seven Eastern European countries were invited to join the Alliance. He also served as a member of the Helsinki Commission, which monitors international compliance with human rights agreements.
The Foreign Relations Committee’s jurisdiction includes oversight of U.S. foreign policy, treaties, U.S. participation in the UN, international laws, and, foreign economic, military, technical, and humanitarian assistance.