Malaysian Post-Graduate Students Visit ICMP

A group of post-graduate students of the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations of Malaysia (IDFR) on Wednesday visited the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) facilities in Sarajevo and Tuzla. The students are pursuing Masters Program in Social Science at IDFR and came for an educational visit to ICMP from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Laos, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Yemen.
The post-graduate students visited the ICMP headquarters in Sarajevo where they were briefed on ICMP efforts to secure the co-operation of Governments and other authorities in locating and identifying missing persons.
“This is not the first time that ICMP has been visited by postgraduates from around the world. It shows that future world’s leaders can learn from methods that ICMP uses in assisting Governments to address the issue of persons missing from armed conflicts on political, technical and social level”, said ICMP Deputy Chief of Staff Andreas Kleiser.
To learn about ICMP’s scientific efforts to locate and identify missing persons, Malaysian delegation visited ICMP’s facilities in Tuzla, where forensic anthropologists and pathologists examine, store and make final identifications of mortal remains of thousands of missing persons. They also visited ICMP’s center where collection teams bring together blood samples from family members to obtain DNA profiles. During their visit to ICMP, students learned how the dissasociated bodies are put back together using a combination of traditional forensic archaeology and anthropology, as well as DNA methods. Students were impressed with DNA matching on the mass scale which ICMP performs by its matching program that is used to match DNA extracted from the blood samples of family members of the missing and DNA profiles from bone samples exhumed from grave sites.
The students were pleased to learn that ICMP helped in the identification of persons who have gone missing during the tsunami in 2004. ICMP staff who traveled to Thailand briefed the students on technical aspects of the DNA-led identification applied for tsunami victims. ICMP issued more than 800 DNA reports in relation to tsunami identification efforts.
“I am impressed with the success of ICMP in identifying victims despite the difficult circumstances they are faced with. ICMP is doing an important job of establishing the truth about missing persons and ending the uncertainty of their family members”, said a post-graduate student from Indonesia, adding that ICMP is “a unique organization of this kind in the world which uses both science and cooperation with governments to resolve the fates of the missing”.