Czech government continues support to ICMP

Czech Republic Euro 2009

4 June 2009: The government of the Czech Republic has further demonstrated its commitment to The International Commission on Missing Persons and to reinforcing stability, security and democracy in the Western Balkans by making a further grant to ICMP of 50,000 euros.

This grant comes at a key period for the Czech Republic, which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union, and the donation of the funds is in line with its government’s ongoing commitment to ICMP and its activities aimed at promoting justice and reconciliation in the Western Balkans in general and in Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular. Since 2008 the Czech Republic has given more than 70,000 euros to ICMP.

“The operations of The International Commission on Missing Persons are crucial to the ongoing promotion of justice and reconciliation, both regionally and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and without justice, without reconciliation there can be neither effective and sustainable stability nor real democracy in the Western Balkans. ICMP’s operations are grounded in an examination of the past but their benefits are laying the cornerstones for Bosnia’s future,” said H.E Jiri Kudela, The Czech Republic’s Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“Since 2008, the government of the Czech Republic has donated a total over 70,000 Euros to our work and we are not only very grateful for their support to ICMP, but for their unwavering commitment to the families of the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for supporting their right to know,” said ICMP’s Director-General Ms.Kathryne Bomberger.

ICMP’s DNA-assisted human identification programs have lain at the heart of its considerable and ongoing successes in dealing with the question of some 40,000 missing persons in the former Yugoslavia, and since November 2001, ICMP has led the way in using DNA as a first step in the process of identification.

ICMP has collected genetic information from 87,070 relatives of an estimated 28,769 missing people, along with 29,289 bone samples taken from human remains exhumed from mass graves throughout the former Yugoslavia. By matching DNA from the relatives’ blood with DNA from victims’ bone samples ICMP has been able to identify 14,811 out of the estimated 40,000-plus missing individuals from the region.

In addition to its technical support, ICMP is the co-founder of the Missing Persons Institute of BiH. ICMP also contributes to transitional justice activities, provides legislative support and helps in the development of networks of civil society organizations which advocate for truth, justice, and for the rights of family members of missing persons.

The work of ICMP is also supported by the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the United States and the European Union. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation provides funding to ICMP for the ‘Paths to Reconciliation’ project.