12 October 2015
ICMP establishes headquarters in The Hague
The head office of the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) is coming to The Hague. This week, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, and the director of the ICMP, Kathryne Bomberger, signed the agreement establishing this fact.
‘I am delighted that this organisation is coming to the Netherlands. It is an important asset for The Hague and the Netherlands,’ the Minister said. The tasks of the commission are in line with those of other international organisations and tribunals in the city.
The ICMP works with governments and other parties in conflict areas and areas which have suffered natural disasters and humanitarian crises to highlight the problem of missing persons. The commission also provides technical assistance in locating and identifying missing persons. The current migration crisis reminds us again of the importance of the work of ICMP. ‘Among the millions of refugees and migrants fleeing conflict or persecution, thousands go missing and among them are many vulnerable groups, including children,’ says Minister Koenders.
Laboratory for DNA testing
The ICMP was set up by the US in 1996 following the Balkan War. ‘The Netherlands has supported the commission since its foundation in the wake of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The support of the Dutch government has been instrumental in the development of the ICMP and underscores the need for all governments to address a problem that affects every country in the world.’ The commission was based in Sarajevo and in the Netherlands works with the Netherlands Forensic Institute. After the establishment of the head office, the commission also plans to build a laboratory for DNA testing.