15 February 2012: The Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr. Bosse Hedberg and ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger signed a donation agreement in ICMP’s headquarters in Sarajevo today. The donation was previously announced during the recent visit of the Director-General for Development Cooperation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Johan Borgstam and the Swedish Ambassador to ICMP.
The Swedish donation in the amount of 15,000,000 Swedish Kronor (1,7 million EUR) is aimed at supporting ICMP’s assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the years 2012 and 2013 in locating and identifying missing persons from the armed conflicts of the 1990’s.
“I am here today to sign a donation agreement that represents continued support for ICMP’s groundbreaking work on missing persons. ICMP’s approach to both building the institutional infrastructure and securing political commitment in Bosnia to address missing persons cases and to assisting this country with high throughput DNA identity testing, has resulted in a non-discriminatory search and identification process where almost 14,000 DNA-based identifications have been made. The authorities of BiH have also been positively engaged, through the Missing Persons Institute and the creation of the Law on Missing persons. However, the BiH Law on Missing Persons still needs to be fully implemented and the verification of the Central Records of MPI needs to be completed”, said the Swedish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr. Bosse Hedberg during the signing ceremony.
“I would like to use this opportunity to emphasize again our gratitude to Sweden for their support. The 3.8 million EUR donated bilaterally by Sweden since 2002 plus those funds Sweden contributes as part of the EU’s contribution to ICMP’s work, in addition to funds received from our other donor countries, has enabled us to help local authorities locate and excavate over 3,000 gravesites in the Western Balkans region and for ICMP to work on the collection and testing of almost 130,000 biological samples in this region, as well as help BiH authorities build strong state institutions that can carry on with these important activities that are of interest to so many citizens. We hope that the work Sweden is funding will contribute to a better future for generations to come”, said ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.
ICMP seeks to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of armed conflicts, other hostilities or violations of human rights and to assist them in doing so. ICMP pioneered the use of DNA technology to identify large numbers of missing persons. Since November 2001, ICMP has assisted in the identification of 16,554 missing individuals from the region including 13,835 from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
ICMP also contributes to institutional reform and provides assistance to judicial institutions. It works with civil society organizations, encourages public involvement in its activities, and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration and tributes to the missing. ICMP works with surviving family members to assist them in accessing legal, social and economic rights.