20 December 2004: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has donated 300,000 Euros to support the activities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), contributing to the identification of persons missing in the former Yugoslavia as a result of armed conflicts in the region.Explaining the importance of the work his country is supporting, Norwegian Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Henrik Ofstad said “This work is about truth and justice, and it will help family members who lost loved ones to know what happened to their relatives. We have to do our utmost to contribute to the identification of those who were killed in the terrible wars in this region. As we have the people and the technology to do it, nothing should prevent us helping to resolve fate of those missing persons. ICMP has done a remarkable job so far, and I wish ICMP further success in this important work.”
The Norwegian assistance is an important contribution to the peace and reconciliation process in the former Yugoslavia. The grant will be used to support different aspects of ICMP’s work, including exhumation assistance, the running of DNA laboratories, blood sample collection from family members of the missing, working with governments to develop and implement policies on missing persons, and support of family member associations.
“We are grateful for the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Jeffrey Buenger, ICMP Director of Government Relations, when the donation was announced. “Continued high-level attention from the international community can effectively support post-conflict Governments in meeting their obligation to provide answers to families of the missing, thus contributing to the peace building process. Such support is provided by ICMP, and is only possible with help of all our donors,” he added.
ICMP activities are also supported by the Governments of the United States of America, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Germany, and by the European Union, the Holy See, and the Mott Foundation.