12 June 2009: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is delighted to announce the implementation of a major donation of software from the Microsoft Corporation, with a commercial value of $162,000. This donation will enable ICMP to upgrade its operating systems, thereby improving and continuing its vital work of assisting governments to clarify the fate of missing persons including the use of DNA techniques to assist in the identification of the remains of tens of thousands of people missing from wars, human rights abuses and natural disasters worldwide.“Microsoft’s operating systems and software are critical to every aspect of our work. This generous donation will assist in all aspects of ICMP’s work. Microsoft’s support of non-for-profit, educational and other such organizations is quite exceptional,” said Adam Boys, ICMP’s Chief Operating Officer.
The Microsoft Global donation, totaling US$161,743, came as part of its Unlimited Potential Initiative to bring technology to the next five billion people, as Microsoft seeks to reach the first billion by 2015.
“We are really glad that Microsoft corp. recognized the significance of ICMP’s mission on both, a local and a global level, and through its Unlimited Potential initiative donated software for this good cause. We sincerely hope that this donation will help ICMP improve the efficiency of its work and that we were able, at least to some extent, to contribute to finding out the truth about the fate of missing persons.” Said Lejla Zukić-Krivdić, Microsoft B&H Country Manager
Microsoft’s generous software donation will provide vital assistance to ICMP at three different and equally important levels. Firstly, by providing support for the computerized systems used in ICMP’s Identification and Coordination Division in Tuzla, northern Bosnia where advanced techniques are employed to match blood-samples taken from living relatives of missing persons with samples from exhumed remains. This has enabled the identification of over 14,800 persons missing from the wars in the former Yugoslavia.
The revolutionary systems in Tuzla enables ICMP to cross-reference, to a 99.98% accuracy level, blood-samples from relatives with bone-samples extracted from exhumed remains, and other data. Microsoft’s donation will also improve the performance of ICMP’s DNA laboratories in Sarajevo, where work is carried out on identifying the remains of the victims of the wars in the Balkans, but also those who went missing in Chile in the 1970s and from the recent ferry disaster in the Phillipines. ICMP has also assisted in the aftermaths of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, and has signed an agreement with Interpol to assist in the event of large-scale natural disasters and international security incidents.
Thirdly, the donation will enhance and improve the day-to-day functioning of ICMP’s staff in its offices and facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in other parts of the world.
ICMP is engaged in efforts to clarify the fate of persons missing from wars, human rights abuses and natural disasters in such places as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Iraq, Colombia Chile and the Philippines.