The Hague, 7 May 2019: Germany’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dirk Brengelmann, has accepted an invitation to become a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Ambassador Brengelmann will take up his position forthwith and will participate at the annual meeting of the Board of Commissioners at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague in mid-June.
“I am very honored by and accept the invitation of ICMP to participate in their work as Commissioner.
I have had a chance to observe ICMP activities for quite some time now and I am impressed by their engagement and commitment. I am looking forward to cooperating with my fellow Commissioners in this important endeavor,” Ambassador Brengelmann said.
“We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Brengelmann,” the Chair of ICMP’s Board of Commissioners, Thomas Miller, said today. “ICMP has worked with the German Government on a number of programs around the world and engages on a range of issues with the diplomatic community in The Hague. Ambassador Brengelmann’s experience will be a tremendous asset as we continue to implement our mandate from our Headquarters in the City of Peace.”
In Iraq, Germany has supported ICMP’s technical assistance efforts to enable Iraqi stakeholders to conduct mass graves excavations and empower families to participate in the search for and identification of their missing relatives; in Colombia, the German development agency, GIZ, provided initial funding that enabled ICMP to prepare for a comprehensive EU-funded program to help Colombia address the issue of missing persons following 50 years of conflict. Over the years, Germany has also supported ICMP’s DNA laboratory in the Western Balkans, which has played a major role in accounting for more than 70 percent of those who went missing in the conflicts of the 1990s.
In December 2018 ICMP organized a major conference on missing persons at the European Union Representation in Berlin, with a focus on the issue of persons going missing as a result of the conflict in Syria. At that event, Rudiger Konig, Director General, Humanitarian Assistance, Crisis Prevention Stabilization and Post Conflict Reconstruction, at the Federal Foreign Office, said Germany is supporting ICMP’s work in relation to the Syrian crisis and in other areas, because “it plays an important role in bringing about peace and justice.” He added that because of its history “in German society, we know what it means if you have missing persons, and how important it is to support other countries and states to help them find those who are missing as a result of conflict and how important this is for peace and reconciliation.”
Before being appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands in 2016, Ambassador Brengelmann served as Special Representative for Cyber Foreign Policy at the Federal Foreign Office and then as Ambassador to Brazil. From 2010 to 2013 he was NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, where he advised the Secretary General on political issues, including NATO’s partnership relations and interaction with other international organizations.
Ambassador Brengelmann joined the German Foreign Service in 1984. He served as the Private Secretary of Jürgen Möllemann, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, and then became Deputy Chief of Mission at the German Embassy in Port-au-Prince. He subsequently served as Political Counsellor at the German Embassy in London, Deputy European Correspondent in the Federal Foreign Office, and Political Counsellor at the German Embassy in Washington DC.
ICMP is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating and identifying 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.