Monthly Archives: September 2013

Iraqi families of missing persons decide to form a joint organization

At a three-day networking conference in Erbil more than 50 Iraqi women whose family members were forcibly disappeared reaffirmed their wish to establish and officially register “The Arc of Life” network as a mechanism to better lobby for their rights.

The conference, organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), in cooperation with Martyrs Foundation and Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal affairs, brought together more than 50 Iraqi Kurdish and Iraqi Arab women whose family members are missing in Iraq.

During the discussions the participants defined the main objectives of the network. Participants decided the “The Arc of Life” organization will work to ensure the truth about missing persons, help locate and identify missing persons, demand justice for perpetrators, strengthen the ties between family associations, improve the financial…

Ambassador Sørensen and senior diplomats visit major excavation sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU Special Representative, Ambassador Peter Sørensen, together with the EUFOR Commander, Major General Dieter Heidecker, and senior diplomats accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) visited two major excavation sites in Sarajevo and Prijedor today. During this visit they were briefed about the results of the work so far and reiterated their support for this important process.

The visit was organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) which is providing technical assistance to BiH authorities in locating, recovering and identifying persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990s. The delegation also included:

• Ambassador Ulrike Maria Knotz, Embassy of Germany
• Ambassador Vibeke Lilloe, Embassy of Norway
• Ambassador…

Norwegian Diplomat Knut Vollebæk Becomes ICMP Commissioner

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is honored to announce that H.E. Mr. Knut Vollebæk has joined ICMP as a commissioner. Mr. Vollebæk is a distinguished Norwegian diplomat and politician.

From 2007 to 2013, Mr. Vollebæk served as the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Prior to that, he served as Ambassador to the United States between 2001 and 2007 and Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 2000. He was Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 1999. Mr. Vollebæk’s diplomatic career includes assignments to New Delhi, Madrid and Harare. He was Norwegian Ambassador to Costa Rica in 1991-1993.

Mr. Vollebæk joins ICMP’s group of distinguished Commissioners, including Her Majesty Queen Noor; Mr. Willem Kok, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Mr. Rolf Ekeus former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ms. Carolina…

Chairman of the UK’s “Remembering Srebrenica” Initiative visits the International Commission on Missing Persons

The Chairman of the newly established British charity “Remembering Srebrenica” Dr. Waqar Azmi OBE visited the headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo to discuss how to incorporate ICMP’s approach to addressing the issue of persons missing from armed conflict and human rights abuses into his initiative, “Lessons from Srebrenica”.

“I am impressed with the work of ICMP and its efforts in assisting governments of the region of the Western Balkans in accounting for over 70% of the estimated 40,000 persons who went missing during the conflicts of the 1990s, including almost 90% of those missing from Srebrenica. Our aim at “Remembering Srebrenica” is to encourage people in the UK to learn about the consequences of hate and discrimination. We would…

Canadian authorities reach out to ICMP for disaster victim identification

Following the derailment of a train that happened in Lac Mégantic, in the Canadian province of Quebec, on July 6th, 2013, the Quebec authorities have reached out to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) for assistance in their disaster victim identification efforts. The Lac-Mégantic accident was the fourth deadliest rail accident in Canadian history that took more than 40 lives.

Although most of the Lac-Mégantic victims’ bodies were heavily damaged by an explosion and fire associated with the accident, several of them have been identified by the Quebec coroner’s office and the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (LSJML). The LSJML has been able to use DNA identification techniques on less damaged cases, but a few cases were too heavily burned to achieve positive identification. Because of ICMP’s extensive experience with DNA testing of highly degraded skeletal remains, ICMP will attempt to extract DNA profiles, in line…