Yearly Archives: 2018

ICMP Workshop in Iraq Highlights Impact Of Missing Persons Issue on Women

Baghdad, 26 July 2018: Baghdad Mayor Thikra Alwash joined participants today at a workshop organized in Baghdad by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Cross Sector Task Force on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Most of the 18 ministries from the Kurdish Regional Government and Federal Iraq that are members of the Task Force participated in the workshop, which examined the impact of the missing persons issue on families and communities, and the implementation of Iraq’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325. Dr Alwash, who is the Head of the Coordinating Committee on UNSCR 1325, welcomed future collaboration between the Task Force and ICMP to ensure that the missing persons issue is fully integrated in the agenda on women, peace and security.

Today’s workshop was a follow-up to a conference organized by ICMP in Baghdad on 2 May together with the US Bureau…

ICMP expresses condolences on the death of Hatidža Mehmedović

The Hague, 23 July 2018: The Commissioners and staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons have expressed their condolences to the Association of the Mothers of Srebrenica following the death on Sunday, after a long illness, of the Association’s President, Hatidza Mehmedovic.

“Hatidza represented the strengths that have made the Mothers of Srebrenica a powerful moral force and a model for survivors groups throughout the world,” Ms Bomberger said today. “She responded to the crime against her family by embarking on a life-long pursuit of justice. She mixed compassion for victims with a resolve to pursue the truth.”

Hatidza’s husband, two brothers and two sons were murdered in the 1995 genocide. ICMP assisted in identifying one of Hatidza’s brothers in 2004, and her husband and two sons in 2010. Hatidza returned to live in Srebrenica in 2003.

Since 2001, when it introduced mass DNA matching, ICMP has identified 6,940 of the…

Lord Peter Carrington – 6 June 1919 – 9 July 2018


Lord Peter Carrington, who died on 9 July, served as an ICMP Commissioner in 1996 and 1997, when the organization had just been established following the 1996 G-7 Summit in Lyon. Lord Carrington brought an unparalleled understanding of the Western Balkans, having chaired the European Peace Conference on Yugoslavia in 1991. As a former British Foreign Secretary, he was able to raise the profile of the missing persons issue, arguing eloquently and effectively that – with 40,000 people unaccounted for – efforts to achieve postwar stability would be severely undermined unless a systematic program was undertaken to account for those who were missing, regardless of religion, political affiliation or role in the conflict. Long after he ceased to be a Commissioner he continued to assist ICMP and to support efforts to account for missing persons around the world. He has been remembered, following…

ICMP and Government of Albania sign Cooperation Agreement

Sarajevo, 18 July 2018: Albania’s Deputy Minister of Interior Rovena Voda and the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program Matthew Holliday signed a Cooperation Agreement in Tirana today.

The agreement defines the co-operation between the Republic of Albania and ICMP to locate persons who went missing during the 1944-1991 period, as well as in other circumstances for which the Council of Ministers may seek ICMP’s assistance. It also defines ICMP’s legal status and functions in Albania in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

“The agreement reflects a desire on the part of the Albanian authorities to protect the rights of family members of persons who went missing, in particular by ensuring that the whereabouts of the missing and the circumstances of their disappearance are investigated effectively,” Matthew Holliday said today.

He added that it also represents “a demonstration of political will on the part of the…

Luxembourg Supports ICMP

The Hague, 18 July: The International Commission on Missing Persons has expressed its appreciation to the government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which this month made a financial contribution to fund operations at ICMP headquarters in The Hague and around the world.

Luxembourg has been a long-standing ICMP supporter, diplomatically as well as financially. It played a key role, along with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Belgium, in establishing ICMP as a treaty-based international organization, and it was one of the five original signatory countries to the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons in December 2014.

“It is because of the goodwill and targeted practical support of partners such as Luxembourg that ICMP has been able to develop its advanced forensic and data systems capability and roll out a growing number of country programs,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today. “We…

Srebrenica Genocide 23 Years Later Truth and Justice the Only Way Forward

The Hague, 11 July 2018: Twenty-three years after the Srebrenica Genocide, it is crucial to uphold a truthful narrative of what happened, and to continue efforts to account for those who are still missing and to bring those who were responsible to justice, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

“Today, ICMP stands with the families who are burying their loved ones,” Ms Bomberger said. “ICMP stands with the families of the disappeared and with all those who are fighting for truth, for justice and for reparation.”

The murder of 8,000 men and boys after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 is the only recognized genocide on European soil since World War Two. ICMP introduced a DNA-led identification process that has made it possible to account for 6,940 victims of the genocide, almost 90 percent. Today, 35 victims identified in the last 12 months were laid to rest at the Potocari…

EU and Western Balkan Countries Sign Joint Declaration Citing Efforts to Account for Missing Persons from 1990s

London, 10 July 2018: The Prime Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Slovenia and Poland signed a Joint Declaration in London this afternoon which, among other things, reiterates their commitment to supporting efforts to account for 12,000 people who are still missing as a result of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.

“The Joint Declaration is a crucial document because it upholds the rights of all families of the missing to truth, justice and reparations,” the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, said after the signing ceremony at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Before the signing of the Joint Declaration today by the heads of government, Ms Bomberger and the UK’s Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, met at the FCO with the heads of the national institutions from Montenegro, Serbia,…

President Coleiro Preca of Malta Supports ICMP’s Initiative To Help States Account for Missing Mediterranean Migrants

The Hague, 21 June 2018: In Attard, Malta, today, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Ms. Kathryne Bomberger discussed the issue of missing Mediterranean migrants, with particular emphasis on missing child migrants.

Ms Bomberger briefed President Coleiro Preca on the outcome of meetings organized by ICMP in Rome on 11 June to address the issue of missing migrants in the Mediterranean region. At the inaugural meeting of the Joint Process to account for missing migrants, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta agreed to coordinate their efforts and explore ways of sharing information and pooling resources systematically. At a roundtable discussion after the inaugural meeting, technical experts from the Mediterranean countries and international organizations examined how the Joint Process can be taken forward. At a “Profiles of the Missing” forum organized by ICMP at the Swiss Embassy in Rome the same evening, those who…

ICMP Brings International Organizations And European Countries Together to Enhance Cooperation in Accounting for Missing Migrants

Rome, 12 June 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) convened a meeting in Rome on Monday afternoon to ensure cooperation between international organizations and European countries in addressing the issue of missing Mediterranean migrants.

The roundtable with international organizations followed a meeting earlier in the day at which government representatives from Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta asserted their intention to develop a Joint Process to coordinate efforts to address this issue. The government representatives agreed that ICMP would help facilitate this process.

Representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Frontex, Interpol, Europol, OHCHR, the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI), and the ICRC participated in the roundtable, which was designed to ensure that the Mediterranean countries receive support in addressing this issue.

The issue of missing migrants concerns those who have died as well those who have disappeared but who may still be alive.  In 2017, more than…

ICMP and the Swiss Embassy Highlight Plight of Families of Missing Migrants in “Profiles of the Missing” Event

Rome, 11 June 2018: Families of missing migrants in the Mediterranean region participated in an event titled “Profiles of the Missing: the Journey to Europe and the Rights of Missing Migrants,” organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons and hosted by the Swiss Embassy in Rome today.

The families, together with policymakers and international organizations working on the migration issue, shared their experiences and developed recommendations on effective efforts to account for missing migrants. They also called for the rights of families of the missing to be upheld.

Family members described their experiences, and their response to personal loss, as well as their continuing efforts to find their relatives. They also spoke of…