European Union Special Representative and Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark visited the Identification Coordination Facility (ICF) of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla, together with the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, Matthew Holliday.
Identification Coordination Facility (ICF) has the function of linking the identification programs of ICMP and it is responsible for receiving and storing biological samples from all across the globe, which are prepared for DNA testing in the laboratories of ICMP. Moreover, it also manages the process of matching DNA profiles and creation of an archive, which is submitted to the authorities in order to help them in the process of identification of missing persons.
Since the laboratory system of ICMP became available online in 2001, ICMP helped to create 20,000 identifications through DNA. ICMP has the capacity to work on 10,000 cases annually. This capacity is available to all countries, in order to help them in the identification of missing persons.
“Work of ICMP is helping people and communities that are affected by conflict or human rights violations throughout the world. The European Union is impressed with the work that ICMP has done so far, mostly in preserving the dignity of the families of missing persons. The remaining missing persons in BiH need to be found and identified by collecting all available funds and resources. For this purpose, we recently renewed our support to ICMP. European Union will continue supporting the efforts in order to solve this important issue,” said the Ambassador Wigemark.
“Thanks to the renewed financial support from the European Union and political support, ICMP will continue to assist BiH authorities to fulfill their obligations towards the families of missing persons in the process of locating and identifying missing persons from the conflicts in 1990s,” said Matthew Holliday. “Over 70 % of the missing persons have been found, which is a success unrivaled in the world, but we are still searching for 8,000 missing persons in BiH and the efforts should be continued in order to find this people.”
ICMP is an international organization that strives to ensure the cooperation of governments, civil society organizations, judicial institutions, international organizations in locating and identifying persons missing from the conflicts, human rights violations, natural disasters, organized crime, migrations and other causes. ICMP has a leading laboratory for simultaneous analysis of a large number of DNA samples for the process of identification.