For Immediate Release
November 17 , 2006
Contact: Daniel J. Johnson
IFFAMPAC President Addresses United Nations Working Group on Persons Who are Unaccounted for in Connection with Events in Kosovo
Rockford, Illinois. Jane Durgom-Powers, President and Founder of IFFAMPAC, International Federation of Family Associations of Missing Persons from Armed Conflicts, was invited as an observer to the 31 May 2006 session of the United Nations Working Group on Persons Unaccounted for in Connection with Events in Kosovo.
The Working Group’s primary mandate is to provide support for the process of tracing persons who are unaccounted for in connection with events in Kosovo and to inform their families accordingly. The Working Group may also address the legal and administrative needs of the families of persons who are unaccounted for.
Durgom-Powers has had dialog with members of the United States Congress; officials at the Departments of Justice and Defense; presidents of several international human rights non-governmental organizations; and officials of the United Nations. Since this session, Ms. Durgom-Powers has continued to keep the issue of missing family members foremost in the minds of the United States government and governments everywhere.
In Ms. Durgom-Powers’ 31 May 2006 address to the Working Group, she stated:
“The question of peace cannot be separated from the question of human dignity and human rights. The human spirit cannot be at peace unless there is truth, justice, love and freedom. No one disappears alone. The answers are out there. In the end, justice for the missing and their families is not about political, economic or governmental structures – it is about people…. We believe these acts of mutual respect and cooperation will result in strong solidarity between the countries of the Balkan Region.”
Ms. Durgom-Powers plans to meet with members of the Working Group, Family Associations, and government officials of Kosovo and Serbia between 13 November 2006 and 29 November 2006.
IFFAMPAC focuses on helping the surviving families of armed conflict who face tremendous social, economic, legal, and cultural challenges when a primary economic provider of the family vanishes and cannot be accounted for as a result of conflict.
IFFAMPAC is working in a joint effort with the International Humanitarian Law Subcommittee of the International Human Rights Committee of the International Section of the American Bar Association to develop a new model international law and to develop best practices guidelines to address the issue of the missing.
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