Sweden will continue to fund the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the years 2012 and 2013 through a grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This announcement was made during today’s visit of the Director-General for Development Cooperation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Johan Borgstam and the Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Bosse Hedberg to ICMP’s headquarters in Sarajevo.
ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger met with Director-General Borgstam and Ambassador Hedberg to discuss ICMP’s current activities in the Western Balkans and the other parts of the world where ICMP operates. The delegation also toured ICMP’s main laboratory in Sarajevo where ICMP conducts the DNA extraction and genetic profiling of samples of mortal remains and of blood samples from surviving relatives of the missing.
“We are pleased that our support to ICMP has contributed to bringing answers to the families regarding the identity of over 16,000 persons missing from the conflicts in the Western Balkans”, said the Director-General during the visit.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular, has benefited greatly from ICMP’s assistance which emphasizes the critical need for governments to take responsibility in addressing the issue. The combination of ICMP’s political and scientific work has helped Bosnia and Herzegovina account for 70 percent of the estimated 30,000 persons who were missing and Sweden is very proud to have supported this process. However, in order for the process to remain sustainable, the Missing Persons Institute, which ICMP co-founded, must continue to receive support from State and Entity authorities and the process of searching for the missing should continue in a non-discriminatory manner,” said Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Bosse Hedberg.
“We are very grateful for the continued support of the Swedish government, which now amounts to over 3.8 million EUR since 2002. The support of the Swedish Government and others from the international community has been instrumental to ensuring truth, justice and reconciliation in the region,” said ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.
Since November 2001, ICMP has assisted in the identification of 16,548 missing individuals from the region including 13,830 from Bosnia and Herzegovina.