12 September 2013: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is honored to announce that H.E. Mr. Knut Vollebæk has joined ICMP as a commissioner. Mr. Vollebæk is a distinguished Norwegian diplomat and politician.
From 2007 to 2013, Mr. Vollebæk served as the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Prior to that, he served as Ambassador to the United States between 2001 and 2007 and Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 2000. He was Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 1999. Mr. Vollebæk’s diplomatic career includes assignments to New Delhi, Madrid and Harare. He was Norwegian Ambassador to Costa Rica in 1991-1993.
6 September: The Chairman of the newly established British charity “Remembering Srebrenica” Dr. Waqar Azmi OBE visited the headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo to discuss how to incorporate ICMP’s approach to addressing the issue of persons missing from armed conflict and human rights abuses into his initiative, “Lessons from Srebrenica”.
2 September 2013: Following the derailment of a train that happened in Lac Mégantic, in the Canadian province of Quebec, on July 6th, 2013, the Quebec authorities have reached out to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) for assistance in their disaster victim identification efforts. The Lac-Mégantic accident was the fourth deadliest rail accident in Canadian history that took more than 40 lives.
30 August 2013: Around the world there are millions of reported cases of missing persons from armed conflict and human rights abuses. In addition, thousands of persons go missing every year as a result of disasters, human trafficking, organized crime and other causes.
When persons go missing as a result of state actions, these persons can be regarded as missing as a consequence of the crime of enforced disappearance. In such cases, uncertainty about the fate of missing persons can obstruct peace processes, the full implementation of the rule of law and can weaken confidence in democratic and political institutions. Effective measures to address these types of disappearances may also help prevent future atrocities.
29 August 2013: On the International Day of the Disappeared, the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU Special Representative and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) highlighted progress made and areas for improvement in efforts to account for the approximately 30,000 persons missing from the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
28 August 2013: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the Citizen Association “Pravo Ljudski” and the Sarajevo War Theater SARTR are organizing a series of events to mark August 30th, the International Day of the Disappeared, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The events are intended to raise public awareness in Bosnia and Herzegovina about the issue of missing persons from armed conflict and human rights abuses, not only from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, but from other contexts around the world.
23 August 2013: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that it has created an Online DNA Elimination Database (EDB). DNA consumable manufacturers and DNA laboratories will now be able to use the EDB to eliminate unknown external contaminants and protect persons working in the forensic analysis supply chain.
5 June 2013: A process initiated by the BiH Prosecutor’s Office to undertake a review of all mortuary facilities throughout BiH, started its activities at Gradsko Groblje ‘Sutina’ mortuary in Mostar. The review whose main actors will be the BiH Missing Persons Institute, Brčko DC and BiH Prosecutors’ Offices, will take stock of these facilities, i.e. it will inventory all unidentified remains in the 12 facilities within BiH.
28 May 2013: The Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson visited the headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo today as part of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Accompanied by ICMP’s Director-General Ms. Kathryne Bomberger and the Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Bosse Hedberg, Ohlsson was briefed on ICMP’s assistance to governments worldwide and also toured the organizations’ main DNA laboratory.
26 March 2013: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) together with the Martyrs Foundation’s Basra branch organized a four day visit, between 23 to 26 March, of eight women from Iraqi Kurdistan to Basra. Participants of this event are survivors of the Anfal Campaign, the bombardment of Halabja and other crimes committed by the former regime.
As part of the visit, the participants met representatives of the local authorities, visited different historic monuments and paid tribute to the victims of the Shi’ite insurgency of 1999 at the Martyrs Monument in Basra City. This event followed the visit organized by the ICMP in June 2012 for 14 women from Basra to the Kurdish region.