The Hague, 30 October 2019: The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has acceded to the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). This makes Afghanistan the eighth country to become an ICMP State Party in addition to Chile, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Serbia, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Belgium and El Salvador as Signatory States.
Since 1980, Afghanistan has experienced almost continuous conflict, which has resulted in large numbers of missing persons. ICMP stands ready to help the authorities in Afghanistan to develop an effective, impartial and long-term missing persons process.
After today’s ceremony, at which the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the Netherlands H.E. dr. Mohammad Homayoon Azizi formally deposited the instrument of accession at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands as depository of the Agreement, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said that by becoming a State Party, Afghanistan has affirmed its commitment to accounting for the missing. “This is a key element in the country’s long path towards recovery from conflict,” she said. “Societies cannot recover without establishing and fostering the rule of law, and enabling survivors and families of the missing to access their right to truth, justice and reparations, is fundamental to upholding the rule of law.”
“Afghanistan has suffered from war since as early as 1980 and since then many Afghani persons have gone missing and their family members are still waiting for information about the whereabouts of their loved ones. The accession of Afghanistan to the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons is a step forward for the Government of Afghanistan to establish a separate institution addressing the issue of missing persons in Afghanistan and to take responsibility as a State for securing the rights of families of the missing”, said the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the Netherlands H.E. dr. Mohammad Homayoon Azizi.
ICMP is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization with Headquarters in The Hague. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.