14 January 2004: Ambassador Michael Humphreys, Head of the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mr. Gordon Bacon, Chief of Staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons signed an agreement for a contribution of 900,000 Euro from the European Union to ICMP. This donation is to support ICMP’s on-going blood collection programme and to start a new blood collection programme for family members living in European countries. Also included is a publicity campaign throughout the Former Yugoslavia as well as the European Union countries where family members with missing relatives are now living.Collecting blood samples from family members of missing persons, cataloguing blood samples, entering DNA profiles into the Family Reference Database is vital in the identification process of the missing persons in the region.
Long lasting uncertainty regarding the fate of missing persons is a continuing source of anguish for their families and is a real obstacle in reconciliation and rebuilding of society. The identification process helps families find out the fate of their loved ones and allows them the opportunity to bury them with dignity.
The International Commission on Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia (ICMP) works to bring resolution to the families of those missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia through building:
• on the political will of regional governments to release information and their capacity to address the missing persons issue;
• an innovative and sustainable process for the exhumation and identification of mortal remains;
• civil society initiatives to address the missing persons issue.