The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
Established in 1961, JBANC has represented the Baltic-American communities and its three parent organizations, the American Latvian Association, the Estonian American National Council, and the Lithuanian American Council. Our goal has been to help coordinate their activities in Washington, DC with the U.S. Congress and administration and its related agencies in conjunction with issues related to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. We have taken great pride in over half a century in joint Baltic cooperation and in being able to help coordinate and consolidate our common interests.
JBANC helped to support the Baltic countries as they sought membership in NATO, an issue that closely united the activities of Americans of Baltic heritage. That goal was achieved in 2004.
Since then our mission broadened to take on new and more diverse issues related to the security and stability of the Baltic countries, ranging from supporting democracy, civil society and human movements in other regions of Europe to advocating for continued strong U.S. engagement with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, whether via military, civilian, or economic ties. We have not forgotten the tragedies of foreign occupation and oppression of the Baltic countries and peoples, or the need to remain vigilant in an era when energy is ever more used as a weapon for political gain, cyber warfare has emerged as a reality, and international economic worries are a continuous concern.
JBANC actively supported legislation to sanction those responsible for the murder of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia, and more broadly against other human rights offenders. The initial Magnitsky Act was signed into law in December 2012, and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in December 2016. Since then, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have enacted similar Magnitsky-inspired legislation between 2016-2018.
During the 112th and 113th Congresses, JBANC helped lead efforts to pass a Black Ribbon Day resolution, supporting the designation of August 23 as a day to commemorate victims of both Soviet and Nazi crimes. Similar legislation has passed earlier in Europe and Canada. The U.S. House passed the resolution in May 2014, introduced by long-time House Baltic Caucus co-chairman Rep. John Shimkus.
JBANC has also closely engaged on legislation and activities in support of democracy and freedom in Ukraine, particularly following the Russian invasion in 2014. Those efforts including the bolstering of reassurances for the Baltic countries and other affected NATO members. The increase and continuation of funding for the European Deterrence Initiative, launched in 2014, remains an important issue of advocacy for JBANC.
JBANC is also a member of both the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) an umbrella organization uniting 18 national organizations, and representing over 20 million U.S. citizens, and the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, with headquarters in Prague. For more information: http://ceecoalition.us and http://www.memoryandconscience.eu/
JBANC, 400 Hurley Ave.,
Rockville, MD 20850