22 May 2007: Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Her Majesty Queen Noor, met with the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Nikola Spiric today in Mostar to discuss the issue of missing persons from the 1992-1995 conflicts in BiH. She requested that the Council of Ministers implement the Law on Missing Persons without delay, in particular the provisions relevant to the establishment of the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) and the Fund to Support Families of Missing Persons.In August 2005, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Council of Ministers and ICMP signed an Agreement establishing the MPI at the level of the State. The mandate of the MPI is to search for missing regardless of their national, religious or ethnic background.
“Today, almost two years after the signing of the agreement between ICMP and the COM establishing MPI and despite the fact that the Directors of MPI have been appointed and the budget approved, the Institute is still not fully functional”, said ICMP Commissioner, Her Majesty Queen Noor, expressing her disappointment with the fact that the persons have not been appointed to the management bodies of the MPI.
During the meeting, Dr Nikola Špirić stated that, “I will undertake all necessary measures to resolve this issue as soon as possible”, underlining that MPI should be free from political manipulation. The Chairman Špirić informed Her Majesty Queen Noor that the work of MPI will be discussed at one of the next Government sessions. He expects the MPI to be fully functional soon.
Non-implementation of the Law on Missing Persons represents violation of both the Law and the Constitutional Court decisions, which could damage Bosnia and Herzegovina in the long run.
Establishing the MPI and fulfilling the State obligations towards the families of the missing represents not only a much needed confirmation of a commitment from the government, but also the most effective tool in resolving the fate of almost 13 thousands those still missing.