ICRC Envoy on Missing Persons arrives in the Caucasus region

23 March 2021

Geneva (ICRC) -- The newly appointed ICRC Envoy on Missing Persons in the Caucasus, Mr Daniel Mac Sweeney, the first person to hold such a position at the International Committee of the Red Cross, has arrived in the region.

Mr Mac Sweeny's mission first focusses on the future of the work to clarify the fate and whereabouts of the over 2,300 people that remain unaccounted for after the conflicts of the 1990s and 2008. Those missing people fall under the mandate of the two coordination mechanisms, gathering Abkhaz and Georgian participants on one hand, and Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian participants on the other hand.

To date, the remains of 192 missing persons have been successfully identified and handed over to their families. The families of missing persons have also received significant support. At a later stage, his work will look at good practices and lessons learned from this experience and consider their application to the thousands of persons still missing as a result of other armed conflicts elsewhere in the Caucasus.

The creation of the position of the Envoy demonstrates the importance of efforts to support and provide answers to their families. It also confirms the willingness of the ICRC to facilitate the engagement of the concerned sides and to help them in finding effective and efficient ways forward in the best interests of the missing persons and their families.

Mr Mac Sweeney will visit Tbilisi, Sukhum/i, Tskhinval/i and Moscow between March and June.

The Envoy reports to the Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia in Geneva.