The newly appointed Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and former US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Thomas Miller paid his first visit to the international headquarters of the ICMP today as part of a three-day visit.
Ambassador Miller also met with representatives of the BIH Missing Persons Institute and spoke with members of the MPI Advisory Board, who represent the families of missing persons within MPI, about their needs and issues that can be improved in the search for missing persons. He also met with members of MPI’s Board of Directors, MPI Steering Board and the BiH Prosecutor’s Office.
“I am honored to take over as Chairman of the ICMP from Mr. James V. Kimsey following his decade of exceptional service. 15 years have passed since ICMP was established as a small organization with a mission to secure the co-operation of governments in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of armed conflicts. With an unprecedented two thirds of the missing accounted for in BiH it is clear that ICMP’s mission here has been an extraordinary success and that the model it has developed is of immense value to other parts of the world including Colombia and Iraq where ICMP has operations. However, much work still remains to be done in this country and in other parts of the former Yugoslavia and despite the success of the process so far we must not forget the thousands of families throughout the region who are still searching for their loved ones. I have come here to encourage ICMP’s staff to continue its extraordinary work and to seek assurances that the authorities in BiH remain vigilant in their search for missing persons”, ICMP Chairman Ambassador Thomas Miller said.
“As a former US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina and US Special Coordinator to Cyprus, Thomas Miller has a clear insight into the importance of the missing persons issue to states dealing with a legacy of conflict. ICMP will benefit immensely from Ambassador Miller’s experience and his commitment to human rights.”, ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger said.
ICMP is currently headquartered in Sarajevo and has a worldwide mandate to assist countries facing the issue of missing persons following conflict, human rights abuses or following disastrous losses of life. Ambassador Miller takes over as chairman from Mr. James V. Kimsey, founder and Chairman Emeritus of AOL.
Ambassador Miller’s visit today also included a trip to two excavation sites, one in Bravnice near the town of Jajce and exhumation site Zlatarica near the town of Bugojno where teams of ICMP forensic archeologists and anthropologists are assisting members of local institutions, including the Missing Persons Institute in excavating mass graves from the armed conflicts in the 1990s. The mass grave in Bravnice is believed to contain the bodies of several persons from Jajce who were killed in 1995 while Zlatarica may conceal victims from Bugojno.