28 May 2013: The Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson visited the headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo today as part of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Accompanied by ICMP’s Director-General Ms. Kathryne Bomberger and the Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Bosse Hedberg, Ohlsson was briefed on ICMP’s assistance to governments worldwide and also toured the organizations’ main DNA laboratory.
“I have come to see in person the work of ICMP and to observe the assistance that the organization provides to governments in accounting for missing persons from armed conflict and human rights abuses. In the context of the Western Balkans ICMP has helped the governments in the region account for more than two thirds of those missing from the conflicts of the 1990’s. ICMP’s efforts to ensure that governments in the region take responsibility in resolving missing persons cases through a rule-of-law based process that incorporates the use of scientific identifications is key to accounting for the missing and meeting the needs of truth and justice. It is my great honor that Sweden has been a strong supporter of ICMP for years.”
“I would like to thank Minister Ohlsson for her visit and the support of the Government of Sweden. The support of Sweden and other governments has been instrumental to ensuring the political will of governments to address this painful issue. We are grateful for this support, said ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.
Sweden has provided financial and political support to ICMP since the year 2002. The total amount of financial support provided is 4,719,251 USD.
Since its creation at a G-7 summit in 1996 ICMP has engaged in resolving the issue of persons missing in wars, human rights violations and natural disasters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Colombia, Chile, the Philippines, Thailand, the Maldives, Norway, South Africa, the United States and Cyprus. ICMP is based in Sarajevo and is the only specialized international organization that addresses the issue of missing persons in all of its facets.
Of the 40,000 people estimated missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, ICMP has identified 16,970 since 2001 using DNA-assisted techniques, in Bosnia alone 14,063.