The International Commission on Missing Persons, which has been working globally since 2003, will be able to intensify and expand its international operations following the signing of an ICMP treaty by the foreign ministers of the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg, ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger said today.
Ms Bomberger was joined at ICMP headquarters in Sarajevo by Dutch Ambassador Jurriaan Kraak (also representing Luxembourg), UK Ambassador Edward Ferguson, Swedish Ambassador Fredrik Schiller and Mr. Jean-Pierre Biebuyck representing Belgium, at a press conference to explain the significance of the treaty, which was signed in Brussels on Monday.
“This agreement reflects a new international awareness of the scale and seriousness of the global missing persons problem,” she said. “And it recognizes the success of ICMP’s approach to this problem – which combines an emphasis on building rule-of-law institutions, fostering civil society engagement and applying modern forensic methods and standards, and utilizing advanced databases and protections.”
Countries outside the region where ICMP has helped to address missing persons challenges arising from conflict, political instability, natural disasters, trafficking and other kinds of crime include Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, the Maldives, The Philippines, Thailand, Albania, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Ukraine, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Canada, the US, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti and Mexico.
“ICMP will continue to provide assistance to the countries of the Western Balkans through at least 2016,” Ms Bomberger said.