Sarajevo, 7 March 2019: In an interview published today by Buka.com, a news portal in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), stressed that “accounting for the missing is an investment in peace”, and she highlighted the paramount importance of regional cooperation.
“Bringing governments together to address common challenges, and working with them to arrive at solutions together is important for trust building,” Ms Bomberger said. She said that while more than 70 percent of the missing have been accounted for, there are still 7,000 missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 12,000 missing across the region, so “the effort to account for the missing must be sustained”.
Ms Bomberger noted that in London in June 2018, Western Balkan heads of government signed a Joint Declaration renewing their commitment to cooperate in the effort to account for those who are still missing. She described this as a “significant – and very encouraging – step”, adding that in November, at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague, representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia agreed on a Framework Plan to implement the Declaration and have now established a regional Missing Persons Group.
Ms Bomberger held a series of meetings this week with political leaders and senior diplomats in the Western Balkans to discuss next steps in implementing the Framework Plan and supporting the MPG.
The full text of Kathryne Bomberger’s interview for Buka can be accessed at http://bit.ly/2tTq0m0