By appointing its members to the Steering Board of the Missing Persons Institute for Bosnia and Herzegovina (MPI) at today's session, the Council of Ministers overcame the final administrative hurdle that would allow the MPI to begin functioning.As the co-founder of the MPI, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes today's decision and has agreed with the Council of Ministers on the appointment of the top candidates who will now comprise of the 6 member management body for the Institute.
The German Ambassador and current Presidency of the EU in BiH, H.E. Michael Schmunk, yesterday led a delegation of representatives from EU embassies and missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a visit of the Tuzla facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).
Accompanied by the ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger, they visited three facilities, including one where the mortal remains of Srebrenica genocide victims are re-associated, another where these mortal remains are stored and identified and the ICMP center where all blood samples collected by ICMP from relatives of the missing and all bone samples received from government authorities are archived and sent to ICMP labs for DNA-led analysis.
The Steering Board of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) will be appointed next week at the latest, announced the Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Safet Halilović, today following a meeting with Her Majesty Queen Noor, Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). The members of the MPI Board of Directors joined the meeting where implementation of the Law on Missing Persons and the Fund for Support to Family Associations was discussed. Minister Halilović announced that the agreement on appointing the highest ranking candidates will be respected. “The appointment will be on the agenda of the Council of Ministers either this week or next week”, he said.
Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Her Majesty Queen Noor, met with the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Nikola Spiric today in Mostar to discuss the issue of missing persons from the 1992-1995 conflicts in BiH. She requested that the Council of Ministers implement the Law on Missing Persons without delay, in particular the provisions relevant to the establishment of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) and the Fund to Support Families of Missing Persons.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) hosted a two-day conference in Ohrid, Macedonia, which concluded with specific recommendations to government institutions and international organizations responsible for addressing the fate of the over 2,000 persons still missing from the Kosovo conflict. The Minister of Justice of the Kosovo Provisional institutions of self-governance, Jonuz Salihi, joined the conference today and stated that, “gatherings such as this one today must continue. Families of the missing need the opportunity to meet and work together.”
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) hosted a meeting today in Ohrid, Macedonia where representatives of Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb family associations of missing persons met with government institutions and international organizations responsible for addressing the fate of the over 2,000 persons still missing from the Kosovo conflict.
During a visit to the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today, the Head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Douglas Davidson, stressed that relatives of the missing have a right to know the truth about their missing loved ones. The issue of missing persons remains one of the most challenging human rights issues facing the region today. There are around 13,000 persons still missing out of estimated 30,000 at the end of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) call on the governments in the former Yugoslavia to increase their efforts to release information on whereabouts of the missing persons. Of the 40,000 persons estimated by ICMP as originally missing from the conflicts of the 1990's, there are still about 17,500 persons missing. The highest number of the missing is in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the fate of up to 13,000 persons is still unknown. There are approximately 2,100 persons still unaccounted for in relation to the Croatia conflict and around 2,200 still missing from the conflict in Kosovo.
During the visit to the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today, the Ambassador from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fahad Al-Zeid, said he was impressed with the work that has been achieved in locating, recovering and identifying missing persons from the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Canadian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, David Hutchings, led a delegation of Canadian diplomats on a visit of ICMP's facilities in Tuzla today where he used the opportunity to announce a donation of 1,356,000 CAN$ (1, 7 million BAM) from the Canadian Government's Global Peace and Security Fund for ICMP's work in the regions of the former Yugoslavia affected by the conflicts. The delegation included Canadian Deputy Head of Mission to Serbia, Patrick Hebert and Canadian Deputy Head of Mission to Croatia, Claude Demers.