EP Backs Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus
The European Parliament has backed the work carried out by the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) in a declaration which recognises the organisation's post-conflict role in promoting truth, remembrance and reconciliation.
The CMP locates and identifies the remains of Cypriots who went missing during the 1963-64 intercommunal fighting and the 1974 invasion by Turkey.
In comments on the declaration, MEP Ioannis Kasoulides said that it "supports seamless financial aid from the EU to the CMP, which amounts to 7.5 million in the last 4 years, with the amendments of ex MEP P. Demetriou and mine and my German colleague Mr. Reimer Boege. Today, once again, the European Parliament shows real sensitivity to the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus."
The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) has recently intensified its search for people who went missing during Cyprus conflicts in the 1960's and 70's, boosting the number of teams to seven in the north and two in the south.
The CMP has retrieved the skeletal remains of 760 people and by DNA testing has identified and returned the remains of 209 Greek Cypriots and 54 Turkish Cypriots to their families.
There are 1600 Cypriot families who are still waiting for information on their loved ones who have been missing for decades, said the CMP.
The text of the declaration - an initiative by Marina Yannakoudakis, Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg, Françoise Grossetête, Charles Tannock, and Cecilia Wikström is below:
"A. whereas during the 1963-1964 intercommunal fighting, and thereafter with
the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, around 2000 individuals from both the Greek and
Turkish Cypriot communities were reported as missing,
B. whereas the whereabouts and fate of many of these individuals are still unknown,
C. whereas the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), which is supported
financially by the United Nations, the European Commission and other donors, works to
establish the fate of those reported missing,
1. Fully endorses the work of the CMP and recognises its post-conflict role in promoting
truth, remembrance and reconciliation in Cyprus;
2. Calls on the European Commission to continue to allocate sufficient resources to the CMP
to enable it to fulfil its important mandate;
3. Calls on the Governments of Turkey and Cyprus to continue to support the CMP's work,
to redouble efforts to account for those individuals still listed as missing and to ensure that
all information that could facilitate the mission of the CMP is made freely available to it;
4. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the
signatories, to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States and the
Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus."