Posts Categorized: Press Releases

EU Supports ICMP Program in Kosovo

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Following the signing of a grant agreement with the EU today, International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will receive support for its program in Kosovo. ICMP has been providing assistance in locating and identifying missing persons from the Kosovo conflict since 1999. The EU grant, which totals 400,000 Euro, will help enhance ICMP’s efforts.

ICMP has been working to address the issue of persons missing as a consequence of the Kosovo conflict since 1999. Since 2003, ICMP has been assisting Kosovo through DNA-based identifications, first with UNMIK and since December 2008 with EULEX Department of Forensic Medicine. ICMP has also assisted the Government of Serbia since 2001, in locating, recovering and identifying the missing. ICMP has empowered several dozens of associations of families of missing persons to claim their right to truth and justice and to lobby the authorities to fulfill their obligations to account for the missing. ICMP has…

Justice and Truth Will Prevail

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Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan today commended the “strength, compassion, trust and tolerance” of the Mothers of Srebrenica, whose conduct she said is testimony to “the power of faith and humanity to triumph over evil.”

Her Majesty, who is a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), was speaking at the commemoration in Srebrenica marking the 20th anniversary of the genocide. ICMP Chair Thomas Miller, and Commissioners Wim Kok, Knut Vollebaek and Alistair Burt also participated at the ceremony, which was attended by world leaders and 50,000 mourners.

“We do not stand with you only to mourn, but to continue the long and steady process of seeking – and securing – truth and justice,” Queen Noor said.

She noted that almost 90 percent of around 8,000 who went missing from Srebrenica in July 1995 have been identified and buried with dignity. “Accounting for the missing has been indispensable in…

Authorities Will Sustain Search for the Missing

2015 10 07_Commissioners metting with BiH PM Zvizdic

The Commissioners of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) met with the Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers in Sarajevo today.

The Commissioners noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina has accounted for more than 70 percent of the missing – around 23,000 people. No other country has matched this. ICMP has helped to identify more than 14,500 of the missing using DNA.

The Commissioners assured Chairman Zvizdic that while ICMP will move its headquarters from Sarajevo to The Hague this year, it will maintain a program in the region and continue to support the effort by the BiH authorities to account for 8,000 people who are still missing. The Commissioners briefed Chairman Zvizdic on key steps that ICMP believes need to be taken in order to sustain this effort.

Commending the authorities for signing the Declaration on the Role of the State in Addressing the Missing Persons Issue, along with Serbia,…

Commissioners Discuss ICMP’s New Global Role

2015 10 07 Commissioners in Sarajevo

In Sarajevo today, the Commissioners of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) held their 17th plenary meeting since ICMP was founded in 1996, and their first meeting since the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden and Luxembourg signed a Framework Agreement in December last year establishing ICMP as a treaty-based international organization.

In the period 2015 to 2018, ICMP’s core objective will be to strengthen the capacity of the global community to address the problem of missing persons, by defining the nature and extent of the challenge and formulating and applying effective strategies to meet it. ICMP will move its headquarters to The Hague in 2015, but will continue its Western Balkans program at least until the end of 2016.

After their plenary meeting, the Commissioners met representatives of the Regional Coordination of Associations of Families of Missing Persons from the former Yugoslavia. Congratulating the Regional Coordination on their successful…

Latest Facts and Figures on Srebrenica

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ICMP’s Srebrenica infographic provides details about work done during the last 20 years to account for the estimated 8,000 missing, including numbers of victims who have been identified by different means, and statistics on Srebrenica-related war-crimes cases.

The Srebrenica infographic can be found at:   http://bit.ly/1JzSmFy

 

Iraqi Road Map on Missing Persons Issues

2015 05 05 Iraqi Road Map on Missing Persons Issues

Representatives of family associations and government ministries, along with legal experts and civil society activists came together in Baghdad and Erbil this week to explore ways of facilitating an effective, fair and modern missing persons process.

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) organized the roundtable meetings (29 and 30 April in Baghdad, and 3 and 4 May in Erbil) as part of an extended consultation on a sustainable missing persons process that can realistically be developed amid severe political and security challenges in Iraq.

At the opening roundtable session in the Parliament Building in Baghdad on 29 April, Speaker of the Parliament Salim Al-Jabouri called on participants to draft a “road map” on accounting for missing persons through legal and judicial means.

Dr. Al-Jabouri expressed his appreciation for the role ICMP has played in helping the Iraqi authorities address the issue of missing person. He called for the Law on Mass…

Holy See representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina visits ICMP

2015 04 30 Apostolic Nuncio visits ICMP

H.E. Apostolic Nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina Msgr. Luigi Pezzuto and ICMP Director- General Kathryne Bomberger met today in ICMP’s Headquarters in Sarajevo. H.E. Pezzuto was briefed by Ms. Bomberger on ICMP’s programs in the Western Balkans and the rest of the world. A significant segment of the meeting was also dedicated to a discussion about the Mediterranean Migration Crisis and how to deal with missing persons cases from these horrific events.

Msgr. Pezzuto was impressed by today’s visit to ICMP, not only by the amount and the scope of work this organization is doing but by the scientific methods and approaches being used as well. “ICMP’s engagement is human above anything, but important and useful as well. In the world that we live in, the world full of chaos and problems, it is of crucial significance to have an organization such as this one,“ said Apostolic Nuncio in BiH…

BiH Day of Remembrance for All the Missing

Forum representative Ema Cekic in front of National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Forum representative Ema Cekic in front of National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Members of the Forum on the Memorialization of Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina today presented a petition to the BiH Council of Ministers, the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, and the BiH Parliament.

The petition calls on the authorities to proclaim 30 August as the “Official Day of Remembrance of All the Missing.” It also calls for full implementation of the Law on Missing Persons – which stipulates, among other things, that the authorities have an obligation to support memorialization of the missing. And it calls on the authorities, from this 30 August, to begin presenting an annual report on implementation of the Law.

“The initiative to make 30 August the “Official Day of Remembrance of All the Missing has the support of a broad cross-section of family associations from every part of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Forum representative Ema Cekic. “It is inclusive, appropriate and long overdue….

Systematic, Professional and Impartial Effort to Find the Missing Must Continue

ICMP International Commission on Missing Persons - Day 1

The authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina must maintain a systematic, professional, and impartial effort to account for the missing, even though nearly 20 years have passed since the end of the conflict, Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic said today.

Mr Zvizdic was speaking during a meeting in Sarajevo with Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of the International Commission Persons (ICMP). At the meeting Ms Bomberger briefed the Chairman of the Council of Ministers on ICMP’s Stocktaking Report, which describes in detail the efforts that have been undertaken over more than two decades to account for the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He stressed that the key institutions responsible for addressing the missing persons issue, the Missing Persons Institute and the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, must be given the political, administrative and financial support that they need in order to do their job, and all available methods should be deployed to locate…

A Joint Effort to Account for the Missing

Banja Luka RT participants discussing about ICMP's Stocktaking Report
Banja Luka RT participants discussing about ICMP's Stocktaking Report

Participants at a Roundtable organized by ICMP in Banja Luka today stressed the need to continue the joint effort to account for the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina leads the world in the ratio of missing persons it has been able to account for following the conflict of the 1990s: more than 70 percent – around 23,000 of roughly 31,500 reported missing.

This has been possible because the work of accounting for the missing has been undertaken in a coordinated, systematic and science-based manner.

Since ICMP first pioneered the use of DNA in 2001, almost 15,000 DNA identifications have been made in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sophisticated database technology developed by ICMP to match blood samples given by family members with DNA extracted from human remains is now used all over the world. In addition to a dedicated software program, this technology has required a major outreach effort to…