Effective Tools to Account for the Missing

HM Queen Noor 1

Effective tools have been developed to address the global missing persons crisis created by natural disasters, conflict and migration, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan said on Monday during a presentation at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford.

“The issue of the missing is no longer being tackled solely as a humanitarian issue and by humanitarian actors, but as a public law issue to be addressed by public institutions including domestic courts, prosecutors and law enforcement,” Queen Noor said.

Describing the evolution of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), which emerged from the post-war recovery process in the Western Balkans 20 years ago, she said ICMP could serve as a model for creating “a light but efficient modern international organization”.

ICMP cooperates with governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, organized violence and other causes. It supports the work of other organizations encourages public involvement and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration and tribute to the missing. It is the only international organization exclusively dedicated to the issue of missing persons.

Queen Noor, who has been an ICMP Commissioner since 2001, noted that the processes and capacities developed by ICMP over the years are now being applied throughout the world, from Iraq to Chile to Canada.

“The fundamental human rights work of ICMP is not only palliative, it is preventative,” Queen Noor said. “The healing and recovery it affords victims, as well as the process of accountability it helps to foster with governments, are absolutely integral to the process of reconciliation, justice and ultimately conflict prevention.”

“The development of ICMP presents a new approach towards creating a modern, light international organization,” she said, adding that “a new approach cannot take root without corresponding changes in the traditional consultation and funding mechanisms of governments, and other common aspects of bureaucracy. Reforms are needed at both ends.”

The full text of HM Queen Noor’s speech can be accessed here.