The Hague, 5 December 2021: – Ambassador Thomas Miller, Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), on Sunday paid tribute to former ICMP Chairman Bob Dole, who died on Sunday at the age of 98.
Senator Dole, who succeeded former US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance as ICMP Chair in 1997 and served until 2001, helped to steer the organization in the years immediately after it was established to assist the countries of the former Yugoslavia in accounting for 40,000 people who had gone missing during the conflicts of the 1990s.
“Bob Dole took the helm of ICMP near the start of a trajectory that would see it develop a model for accounting for the missing that is now being applied throughout the world,” Ambassador Miller said. “During his chairmanship, ICMP embarked on preparations for a process of mass DNA-based identification that had never been tried before. It was a radical and ambitious approach and many were skeptical, but the result was a huge rise in the number of identifications. Two decades later, 75 percent of those who went missing in the conflicts of the 1990s have been accounted for. Bob Dole played a significant role in that.”
“Senator Dole brought to ICMP a remarkable combination of shrewd political judgment and energetic commitment,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said. “His own experience of being wounded and left for dead during World War Two undoubtedly furnished him not only a prodigious resolve but with a capacity to empathize with the families of missing persons. That resolve and empathy early on became woven into ICMP’s culture.”
Ambassador Miller and Ms Bomberger expressed condolences to Senator Dole’s family on behalf of the Commissioners and staff of ICMP.