President Coleiro Preca of Malta Supports ICMP’s Initiative To Help States Account for Missing Mediterranean Migrants

The Hague, 21 June 2018: In Attard, Malta, today, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Ms. Kathryne Bomberger discussed the issue of missing Mediterranean migrants, with particular emphasis on missing child migrants.

Ms Bomberger briefed President Coleiro Preca on the outcome of meetings organized by ICMP in Rome on 11 June to address the issue of missing migrants in the Mediterranean region. At the inaugural meeting of the Joint Process to account for missing migrants, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta agreed to coordinate their efforts and explore ways of sharing information and pooling resources systematically. At a roundtable discussion after the inaugural meeting, technical experts from the Mediterranean countries and international organizations examined how the Joint Process can be taken forward. At a “Profiles of the Missing” forum organized by ICMP at the Swiss Embassy in Rome the same evening, those who have taken the dangerous journey to Europe and have lost loved ones shared their experiences with policymakers, diplomats and representatives of organizations.

“President Coleiro Preca’s engagement and support have been inspiring and will be pivotal as ICMP moves forward, together with Malta and other countries and organizations, to implement the Joint Process,” Ms Bomberger said. “The Joint Process will help countries exchange information and utilize scarce resources more efficiently. We understand the efforts that Malta and neighboring countries are already making and we want to help them share that burden so that they can fulfil their obligations. We have stressed that while the scale of the challenge is huge, there are effective steps that countries can take to reduce the level of human suffering.”

President Coleiro Preca is a patron of the Missing Children Europe organization and has publicly called for “a single European strategy that can produce sustainable and consistent results” in relation to the huge number of missing children in Europe. The Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017 prioritized discussion of migration, and President Coleiro Preca has called for “an EU action plan, at the highest possible level, to make sure that all children receive the care that is their due”.

In addition, the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, which was established by President Coleiro Preca in 2014, has developed a framwork within which migrant led NGOs in Malta are working on migrant issues.

ICMP is a treaty-based international organization with headquarters in The Hague. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating and identifying missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.