(Nicosia, 21 January 2011) - CMP CONTINUES ITS EFFORTS IN 2011 TO BRING CLOSURE TO THE FAMILIES OF THE MISSING PERSONS.
The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) started 2011 by intensifying its work with an even higher number of teams than in 2010 – seven in the northern and two in the southern part of Cyprus.
Since the inception of its exhumation program, the CMP has retrieved skeletal elements which relate to more than 760 persons and has identified and returned to their families the remains of 263 individuals (209 Greek Cypriots and 54 Turkish Cypriots). The exhumation and identification work of the CMP is guided by scrupulous scientific processes and is based on internationally accepted standards and practices. Valuable advice is given by the Argentinean experts of EAAF and the ICRC.
The investigations of the CMP are conducted in the sole interest of the families whose loved ones are missing (article V.1 of its Rules of Procedures) and whose pain and sensitivities must be respected by all. Its mandate is purely humanitarian: to establish the fate of missing persons. The Committee does not attempt to establish the cause of death or attribute responsibility for the death of missing persons (article 11 of its Terms of Reference). In order to respect the interests of all stakeholders and partners, the decisions at the CMP are taken by consensus of its three Members.
To succeed in its mission, CMP needs the help of all concerned and especially those who possess relevant information or are in a position to secure it. The CMP appeals to anyone, at all levels and places, who has any information on possible burial sites, to come forward. The CMP guarantees strict confidentiality on the origin of the information and absolute protection of identity. The CMP also wishes to thank those who have provided information so far.
Today, the families of over 1600 missing Cypriots from both communities are still waiting to learn the fate of their loved ones. Their pain is the pain of all Cypriots, their tragedy is the tragedy of the entire Cyprus, and all involved must join together to heal the wounds of the past, to do everything possible to bring closure to the families of the missing persons. Towards this end, CMP will strive very hard to expedite the whole process, in all its phases, so that we can produce even more results, without of course compromising on the quality of scientific analyses.
The CMP would like to thank all donor countries, especially the European Union, and to express the hope that this support will continue in the future, so that together with the contributions originating from Cyprus, our work will continue without interruptions or delays.