Archive for ?????, 2005

The Netherlands Continues Support for Identification of War Victims in BiH

??????, ????? 15th, 2005

The Royal Netherlands Embassy made a contribution of one million Euros yesterday to support the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the identification of victims of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The Netherlands Embassy has requested that the funding be used to assist in the identification of victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in particular of the 1995 fall of Srebrenica.Identification of the estimated 8,000 Srebrenica victims is complicated by the fact that many of the mass graves in which they were buried were dug up and the bodies moved, sometimes more than once, in efforts by the perpetrators to hide evidence of the killings. As a consequence, victims’ remains have been commingled in secondary mass graves; in some cases, the remains of a single victim are found in two or more grave sites.

“As we approach the tenth anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica, it is especially important that we assist ICMP in identifying as many victims as possible as quickly as possible,” said the Netherlands’ Ambassador in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rob Bosscher, when the donation was announced. “In clarifying the fate of the missing,” he added, “we can help the society as a whole to resolve some of the extremely painful issues of the past and ultimately look towards the future.”

The Netherlands has long been a valued supporter of ICMP’s work, providing the second largest contributions to the organization after the United States. Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Willem Kok has been an ICMP Commissioner since June 2002.

Rolf Ekéus Joins ICMP Commission

??????, ????? 7th, 2005

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that Swedish Ambassador and High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Rolf Ekéus has joined the ICMP Commission.Ambassador Ekéus has a distinguished career in international diplomacy, with a strong focus on arms control, disarmament and conflict prevention. As well as representing Sweden for many years in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Ambassador Ekéus was, from 1991 to 1997, Director of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), the UN body charged with overseeing Iraqi disarmament.

Ambassador Ekéus’ dedication to conflict prevention, his experience in working with national minorities and his background in Iraq will be valuable assets to the mission of ICMP. Through its work in exhumation and identification of victims of violent conflict, as well as its policy advocacy with governments and support of families of missing victims, ICMP contributes to providing truth and justice for family members and for post-conflict societies as a whole, creating a more stable peace and helping to avoid further conflict.

“The issue of persons missing from armed conflicts, from abuses of human rights and from other crimes against humanity is a global concern and ICMP is the only organization in the world that specifically addresses the complexities of this problem on a political, human rights and technical level”, said Ambassador Ekéus when his appointment to the ICMP Commission was announced.

ICMP’s pioneering work in the use of DNA technology to make identifications on a mass scale has made it possible to locate, identify and commemorate thousands of victims of the wars in the former Yugoslavia. As a result of its successes, sponsoring governments have asked ICMP to apply its expertise in other parts of the world and ICMP has recently begun to work with the authorities in Iraq, where at least 300,000 persons are believed to be buried in mass graves around the country.

James Kimsey, Chairman of the Kimsey Foundation and Founding CEO and Chairman Emeritus of America Online, is the current Chairman of the ICMP Board of Commissioners. The other current members of the Commission are Willem Kok, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; and Michael Portillo, former British Secretary of Defense.