STATEMENT BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF VICTIMS OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES
On the occasion of the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK Zahir Tanin reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting efforts to determine the fate and whereabouts of persons still missing in Kosovo.
While noting that 70 percent of cases related to missing persons in Kosovo were solved within the working group on persons unaccounted for in connection with events in Kosovo, he called on all competent authorities to redouble their efforts until the last missing person is found and identified.
UNMIK shall continue supporting this process, through the working group, the Missing Persons Resource Centre and others, so that all those families desperately searching for their missing loved ones can exercise their right to know and close a long period of anguish and uncertainty.
“The healing of these old wounds is key to making progress towards reconciliation among communities in Kosovo,” SRSG Tanin said.
As of August 2019, there are 1653 persons still unaccounted for in connection with the events in Kosovo in 1998/1999. UNMIK continues supporting families through the Missing Persons Resource Centre it helped establish in 2017, as well as through its programmatic activities and provision of a ground-penetrating radar to the working group on persons unaccounted for in connection with events in Kosovo, a technological tool that enables more accurate and less invasive searches of mass grave sites. In June 2019, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2474 (2019), its first-ever resolution dealing specifically with persons reported missing in armed conflict. The Council called upon parties to armed conflict to take all appropriate measures, to actively search for persons reported missing, to enable the return of their remains and to account for persons reported missing “without adverse distinction”.
Read more about UNMIK’s support for the families of missing persons here.
Read the joint statement by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances here.
Read more about the Security Council adopting the first-ever resolution on persons reported missing during armed conflict here.
See the text of the UN Security Council Resolution 2474 (2019) here.