Archive for June, 2007



Norway’s Donation to ICMP Contributes to Process

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

The Government of Norway made a financial contribution to the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) this week. ICMP received 1,500,000 Norwegian Kroner (186,000 Euros) towards ICMP’s identification project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Since its establishment in 1996, ICMP has assisted the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in addressing the issue of persons missing from the conflict. Using scientific methods, primarily DNA analysis in identification of mortal remains, ICMP has helped thousands of families to find the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

ICMP collects blood samples from relatives of the missing and receives bone samples from court appointed pathologists. These are archived and sent to ICMP laboratories for testing. Once the DNA is extracted DNA profiles are entered into ICMP’s database and matched. To date ICMP’s efforts have resulted in DNA-assisted identifications of 9,756 individuals missing from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Our work is not about the past. It is about the present and the future and I believe that addressing the horrors of the past is essential to moving on”, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director-General. “ICMP could not have existed without the political and financial support of generous governments and their openhearted citizens. I should like to sincerely thank the Government of Norway for their valuable support since 2001″, Bomberger added.

The work of ICMP is also supported by the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, the Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. The C.S. Mott Foundation provides funding to ICMP for the “Paths to Reconciliation” project.

First Meeting of MPI Governance Structures

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

The governing structures of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MPI) held their inaugural meeting today in Sarajevo. The meeting of the Steering and Supervisory Board, along with the Board of Directors, marked the start of the functioning of the MPI. It is a State-level organization co-founded by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).The MPI was inaugurated as a State-level body on 30 August 2005 and will take over all the responsibilities, staff and budgets of the current entity bodies. By creating a sustainable, state-level structure, Bosnia-Herzegovina is taking an important step forward in addressing the issue of the missing.

During a press conference that preceded the meeting, Dr Safet Halilovic, Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH said, “The start of the MPI is an important and immense contribution in overcoming problems that exist within the process of searching for missing persons.” He added that it is “good example of being able to reach common solutions even when there are many different approaches to this issue”.

The MPI will collect, process and organize information on missing persons and mass graves. It will establish a single, central database on missing persons to keep records and notify families of the missing. This central database will help address the concerns of family members and their communities about the actual numbers of missing persons and where they went missing.

“It is the hope of the co-founders of MPI and the families that the individuals appointed to the governance bodies of MPI will provide enlightened leadership in a transparent and accountable manner”, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director-General. “That they will listen to the families of the missing and continue the consultative process with civil society, governments, technical experts and the international community that has formed the basis of this unique process, which is MPI”, she added. She thanked the Minister for Human Rights and his staff for their dedication and she thanked the British Government for the unfailing financial support over to ICMP to build MPI over the last five years.

“The implementation of MPI is a process, part of the overall implementation of the Law on Missing Persons. For example, the Entities must come to agreement on the financing for the Fund for Support to Families of Missing Persons, which will provide financial assistance to those families most in need, not to mention serve as a fund to support the work of the family associations”, said Mathew Rycroft, British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He announced during the press conference that the British Government will allocate additional funds this year for activities aimed at reducing the causes of instability and potential conflicts enhancing the effectiveness of the state and assisting the transformation of the political culture.

US Deputy Chief of Mission Visits ICMP

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Judith Cefkin, and the Consul at the Embassy, Paul Boyd, visited the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today. Since its creation in 1996 at a G-7 Summit at the behest of then President Clinton, the United States continues to be one of the biggest supporters ICMP. (more…)