14 December 2015: Chile today became the seventh country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).
In December 2014 the Agreement was signed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg; last month it was signed by El Salvador, and this morning in addition to Chile it was signed by the Republic of Cyprus. The Agreement recognizes ICMP as an international organization tasked with assisting countries in their efforts to address missing persons cases from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other causes. The Agreement does not create any new international obligations for signatory States, financial or otherwise. ICMP remains a voluntarily funded organization.
ICMP has worked with the authorities in Chile for many years in order to help relevant institutions address the issue of missing persons. Today’s signing will facilitate further cooperation between ICMP and Chile.
ICMP participated in the work of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Human Rights established in May 2006 to improve the pace and efficiency of work on resolving missing persons cases from the 1973-90 period. In June 2008, ICMP signed an agreement with Chile to provide technical assistance in identifying victims of enforced disappearance.
ICMP has assisted with DNA testing of 2,671 reference samples and 255 post-mortem samples from missing persons, and has provided extensive assistance with DNA matching and consultation.
Chile’s ambassador to The Netherlands María Teresa Infante said signing the Agreement “Is a demonstration of the seriousness with which the issue of missing persons is taken by our national institutions.”
“Today’s accession will make it possible for ICMP to build on the work it has already done in Chile,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger. “It is also a sign of the determination by the authorities in Chile to bring every instrument to bear – legal, political, social and scientific – to address the legacy of missing persons from the period of military rule. We hope that many more countries will follow the example of Chile and the other signatories – by acceding to the ICMP Agreement they will send a powerful message of intent.”
ICMP was created in 1996 at the G-7 Summit in Lyon, France. It is the only international organization exclusively dedicated to helping governments and others account for those who go missing as a result of conflict, crime, migration, human rights violations and natural disasters.
For more information about ICMP’s work in Chile please visit http://bit.ly/1UnCl7s