Push to improve search for missing people at Dead Sea meeting

Amman, A meeting to discuss ways to improve the search for missing people, including victims of forced disappearance, kicked off Tuesday on the Dead Sea shores.

The two-day meeting is organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Bern-based organization Swisspeace.

Over 50 experts and representatives of victims from around the world will discuss the United Nations’ Guiding Principles for the Search for Disappeared Persons, and how key points, such as the importance of starting the search immediately, can best be put into practice.

Caroline Douilliez, head of the ICRC’s Missing Persons Project said: “This meeting comes at an opportune moment, given the adoption by the United Nations Security Council in June of Resolution number 2474 on missing persons in armed conflict, co-sponsored by 69 States.”

“Together we can work towards improving the search for missing people by sharing best practices and creating better guidelines and technical recommendations,” she added.

Lisa Ott, head of Swisspeace’s ‘Dealing with the Past’ program said: “The Guiding Principles represent a significant step towards clarifying obligations around the search for people who have been forcibly disappeared. Determining how the principles can be implemented and identifying best practices will be key to improving search procedures in different contexts.”

“In the Middle East, the burgeoning number of missing people is the result not only of the more recent conflicts in Syria and Yemen, but also of the unsolved cases from past conflicts,” said Jurg Montani, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Jordan.

“Less than a week after the International Day of the Disappeared, the Jordan meeting is a reminder that we should spare no effort to make progress on this issue for the sake of their [the missing persons] families,” he stated.

The meeting in Jordan follows workshops hosted in Antigua, Guatemala, in May and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in July.

Source: Jordan News Agency