Event to be held to mark European Union contribution of €2 million to the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus

Release Date: Nov 16, 2009


(Nicosia, 16 November 2009) – In recognition of the € 2 million contribution made by the European Union to the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), a public event will be held at the Ledra Palace Hotel on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 beginning at 12:30 p.m.  All members of the media are welcome to attend.

The event, jointly organized by the European Commission and the CMP, will be attended by the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities who will deliver statements acknowledging the EU contribution, which supports the CMP in advancing its important work in establishing the fate of persons reported missing in the inter-communal fighting as well as in the events of July 1974 and afterwards.

Announcing the contribution early last month, Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement, said, “the Commission is aware of the urgency of the issue of missing persons in Cyprus. For the families concerned it is crucial to determine the fate of their loved ones.  The CMP is the only institutionalized, bi-communal committee in Cyprus and one of the most successful confidence building measures”, he added.

This donation, which follows a specific request of the European Parliament, is the second contribution the EU has made to the work of the CMP; the EU previously granted €1.5 million to the CMP in 2007. This grant will be a major contribution to the costs of the CMP for the next 24 months, allowing the Committee to speed up its work by hiring additional archaeologists and anthropologists.

“This donation is crucial for the work of the CMP and brings us a step closer to healing the wounds of the past for people of both communities”, stated Christophe Girod, UN representative of the CMP.

The work of the CMP is locally driven and facilitated by the UN; it is done for all people of Cyprus.  The mandate of the CMP 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.

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