Donation Agreement signed between EU and International Commission on Missing Persons

The Head of the EU Delegation to BiH/EU Special Representative, Ambassador Peter Sorensen, and the Director General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Kathryne Bomberger, signed  a new Donation Agreement today in Sarajevo.

The agreement delivers EUR 2 million through the project ‘Support to the Forensic Sciences Department of the International Commission on Missing Persons’. The EU has allocated this funding from its 2010 Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. The donation shall provide support to the ICMP’s work in Bosnia and Herzegovina from December 2011 to December 2013. Technical assistance is also being given to the governments in the region for the process of recovering and identifying missing persons from the armed conflicts of the 1990s.

Ambassador Sorensen stated, “I welcome this agreement above all because it is essential in bringing closure to missing persons’ family members. We are dealing with basic questions of human dignity and human rights here.  Indeed, the victims here are not only the missing persons, but also their family members who want to, and are entitled to know the fate of their loved ones.”

“The European Union is very impressed with the work that ICMP has accomplished so far and has since 2004 supported their work with over 3 million Euros.  For the European Union, finding and identifying missing persons is a high priority.”

Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director General, noted that the EU support is of extreme importance for the continuation of work on recovering and identifying missing persons, not only for BiH but for the entire Western Balkans region.

“A great number of persons, two thirds in fact, who were missing in the Western Balkans have been found hitherto, which is a success having in mind the progress in the rest of the world in dealing with the same problem. We still need to recover about 10 thousand missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Therefore, we hope and invite the governments to remain actively involved in the issue, because we need to find as many persons that went missing during the conflicts as possible. I thank the EU for the continuous support to BiH and the entire region.”

The Central Records of Missing Persons was completed in February 2011. 14 000 cases have been closed with the help of DNA analysis.