Posts Categorized: Press Releases

A Cornerstone of Peacebuilding – Addressing the Issue of Missing and Disappeared Persons

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The cross-cutting global challenge of accounting for missing and disappeared persons can be addressed effectively through a coherent international policy, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told at briefing for senior diplomats at the United Nations in New York today.

The issue of missing persons and enforced disappearances is linked to international peace and security, he said. “Appropriate legislation and adequate frameworks are needed for processes to account for the missing. Mechanisms to clarify the fate of missing persons need to be transparent and depoliticised, and the needs of the missing should be at the center of any action, including families of the missing.”

The briefing on accounting for missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other involuntary causes was organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons and hosted by the United Kingdom Mission…

Czech Republic Donation to ICMP

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The Czech Republic has donated 15,000 Euros to support ICMP’s Western Balkans program. The donation was confirmed by Czech Ambassador Jakub Skalnik during a meeting this morning with the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans program, Matthew Holliday.

“This contribution will have a practical impact on our work, as activities within ICMP’s Western Balkans program, including civil society engagement, forensic operations and DNA testing and matching, are scheduled through 2019 and securing funding for these activities is essential,” Matthew Holliday said.

Ambassador Skalnik described the donation as “an expression of the Czech Republic’s continued commitment to the work of accounting for the missing from the conflict in the Western Balkans and the solidarity of the people of the Czech Republic with the people of the region.”

Republic of Serbia Signs ICMP Treaty

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The Republic of Serbia has become the ninth country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons.

ICMP has been helping the authorities in Serbia to account for missing persons since 1996. In 2001 ICMP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the former Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and after this ICMP assisted in the excavation and identification of persons missing from the Kosovo conflict. ICMP opened an office and established a DNA laboratory in Belgrade in 2002. The laboratory was handed over to the Serbian authorities in 2006. In 2014, ICMP renewed its agreement with the Government of Serbia Commission on Missing Persons through an exchange of letters relating specifically to the provision of assistance in locating, recovering and identifying missing persons related to the conflict in Kosovo,…

Chile Signs ICMP Treaty

Ambassador María Teresa Infante of the Republic of Chile, Ambassador Elpidoforos Economou of the Republic of Cyprus, and ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger at the signing of the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons, The Hague, 14 December 2005.

Chile today became the seventh country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

In December 2014 the Agreement was signed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg; last month it was signed by El Salvador, and this morning in addition to Chile it was signed by the Republic of Cyprus. The Agreement recognizes ICMP as an international organization tasked with assisting countries in their efforts to address missing persons cases from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other causes. The Agreement does not…

More remains can be found; More identifications can be made

The review of BiH mortuaries being carried out under the jurisdiction of the relevant Prosecutors’ Offices with the full cooperation of the police, pathologists and the authorities, the Missing Persons Institute and ICMP demonstrates the determined efforts to investigate missing persons cases , 20 years after the conflict, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger wrote in a column that appeared on Sunday (13 December) in the daily newspaper Dnevni Avaz.

“It also highlights the very important fact that more than two decades after the war, with more than 70 percent of the missing accounted for, the effort to account for those who are still missing remains absolutely essential,” Ms Bomberger added.

For the last two years, the NN (no name) Working Group has been systematically reviewing cases of unidentified remains in BiH mortuaries, moving from one mortuary to the next. It has so far reviewed cases in Sutina, Nevesinje, Gorazde, Tavnik, Visoko and…

The Republic of Cyprus Signs ICMP Treaty

Ambassador María Teresa Infante of the Republic of Chile, Ambassador Elpidoforos Economou of the Republic of Cyprus, and ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger at the signing of the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons, The Hague, 14 December 2005.

The Republic of Cyprus today became the eighth country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

In December 2014 the Agreement was signed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg; last month it was signed by El Salvador, and this morning it was signed by Chile and then Cyprus.

The Agreement recognizes ICMP as an international organization tasked with assisting countries in their efforts to address missing persons cases from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other causes. It does not create new international…

Albania Seeks to Address the Issue of Missing Persons from Communist Era

A conference organized in Tirana on Friday by the Albanian Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth explored ways of implementing a strategy to account for the estimated 6,000 people who disappeared in the country during the period of authoritarian rule from 1944 to 1991.

“After adoption of the Law on opening the files from the Communist era, starting the program to find missing persons is one of the most important political decisions of the Albanian state,” said Minister of Social Welfare and Youth Blendi Klosi. “Opening the files and starting the program to find missing from the dictatorship era are parts of the same process.”

In March 2015, ICMP received an invitation from the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth to discuss potential paths of cooperation between ICMP and the Albanian authorities to address the issue of persons missing during the period of the Communist regime. An ICMP Delegation visited Tirana…

Effective Tools to Account for the Missing

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Effective tools have been developed to address the global missing persons crisis created by natural disasters, conflict and migration, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan said on Monday during a presentation at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford.

“The issue of the missing is no longer being tackled solely as a humanitarian issue and by humanitarian actors, but as a public law issue to be addressed by public institutions including domestic courts, prosecutors and law enforcement,” Queen Noor said.

Describing the evolution of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), which emerged from the post-war recovery process in the Western Balkans 20 years ago, she said ICMP could serve as a model for creating “a light but efficient modern international organization”.

ICMP cooperates with governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of conflicts, human rights…

Kosovo Forensic Agency Representatives Visit ICMP

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Three senior representatives of the Kosovo Forensic Agency, Chief Executive Officer Blerim Olluri, Director of Serology and DNA Operations Sokol Dedaj, and Head of the DNA Laboratory Fatmir Ademi, visited ICMP’s facilities in Sarajevo today, where they were briefed by Head of the Western Balkans Program Matthew Holliday, and senior ICMP forensic sciences staff.

Today’s visit is part of a four-day fact-finding trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina which has included visits to ICMP’s Identification Coordination Division and the Podrinje Identification Project, both in Tuzla, and ICMP’s laboratory in Banja Luka. In October, ICMP technical staff visited the KFA in Prishtina to assess ways in which ICMP can provide technical assistance to the KFA.

The KFA is primarily a crime laboratory. It was established in 2003 and has received extensive support from the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program.

Blerim Olluri noted that while…

El Salvador Signs ICMP Treaty

 Photo Caption: ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, El Salvador Ambassador to the Netherlands Aida Luz Santos de Escobar, and Head of the Treaties Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands  J. Damoiseaux at the Signing of the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)

 

El Salvador today became the sixth country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). In December 2014, the Agreement was signed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg. It recognizes ICMP as an international organization tasked with assisting countries in their efforts to address missing persons cases from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other causes.

Today’s signing ceremony will facilitate ICMP’s capacity to work with the authorities in El Salvador, where,…