The Hague, 18 December: Representatives of states and organizations that support the work of the International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP) gathered today at ICMP’s headquarters in The Hague for the second meeting of the ICMP Conference of States Parties (CSP). The first CSP meeting was held in October 2015, just under a year after ICMP became a treaty-based intergovernmental organization.
At today’s meeting, Chile assumed the presidency of the CSP, taking over from the United Kingdom. The meeting was chaired by Chile’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Maria Teresa Infante. Ambassador Infante opened the meeting by asking colleagues to observe a minute’s silence to commemorate the contribution of the late Wim Kok, to ICMP and to the global effort to account for missing persons. Mr Kok, a former Dutch prime minister, became an ICMP Commissioner in 2002 and was an active proponent of the organization and its work right up until his death in November this year.
ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger briefed the CSP on ICMP’s evolution in the course of the last three years, citing a significant expansion of operations, including major new programs related to Syria, Colombia and missing Mediterranean migrants, as well as existing programs in Iraq and the Western Balkans, and work with partners in countries such as Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. “One of our major objectives is to have more states accede to the ICMP Treaty,” Ms Bomberger said, “to ensure that the issue of the missing remains at the center of the global policy agenda.”
ICMP Director of Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser reviewed aspects of ICMP’s governance, and ICMP Director of Corporate Services Simon Short reviewed ICMP’s operating methodology.
States Parties, signatory states and observers participated in today’s meeting. ICMP States Parties are Chile, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Serbia, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. El Salvador is a signatory state, and Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States are observers as well as the EU and the International Criminal Court.