The principal mandate of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus is to establish the fate of the people that went missing as a consequence of the tragic events of 1963-1964 and 1974 and to provide answers to anguished families. One important aspect of this work is to exhume, identify and return remains of missing persons. This process enables the relatives of the victims to recover the remains of their loved ones, arrange for a proper burial and provide closure to a long period of anguish and uncertainty, thereby promoting a process of reconciliation, healing and dialogue between both communities. This project also aims to strengthen the capacity for civil society to engage in sustained cooperation and reconciliation, through the important participation of bi-communal scientific teams in all stages of the process. This bi-communal cooperation will strengthen civic participation toward an issue that is critical for the healing of old wounds, and will sustain partnerships of cooperation and trust between both sides.
The CMP Project includes the following phases:
- (Phase I) Investigative Phase: related to the compiling of information on possible burial sites of missing persons.
- (Phase II) Archaeological Phase: related to the exhumation of the remains of missing persons,
- (Phase III) Anthropological Phase: related to the analyses of the recovered remains in the anthropological laboratory,
- (Phase IV) Genetic Phase: related to the comparison of blood samples collected from the victims’ families, with samples from the remains, in order to identify them
- (Phase V) Return of Remains: within the framework of reconciliation programme, aiming at helping families of both communities cope with the difficult task of healing and coming to terms with their loss.
Faced with increasing difficulties to locate new burial sites, the CMP urgently needs to broaden efforts to obtain information that may lead to the discovery of burial sites. This includes the review of archival material of international organisations, state actors and domestic authorities that were present during the events of 1963/4 and 1974. To this end, the CMP is creating an archival research team.
The United Nations Development Programme Partnership For the Future (UNDP PFF) in Nicosia, Cyprus, seeks to contract on behalf of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) an information management professional with extensive experience in archival research, hereinafter referred as the “Archival Research Coordinator” (ARC), to coordinate the work of this team. The primary role of the ARC is to lead a team of two Cypriot researchers in an effort to access, analyse and manage information from relevant archives. While some of these archives are publicly accessible, others, including certain UN archives, are not.
The ARC reports to the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus, a 3-Member Committee whose Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot Members are appointed by the leader of their respective community and a United Nations (Third) Member, selected by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (for additional information visit www.cmp-cyprus.org). Considering the sensitive nature of the material under review, with regards to the review of classified UN Archives, the ARC reports exclusively to the Third Member of the CMP. On all other matters the ARC reports to the three CMP Members.
Duties and Responsibilities
The ARC will lead a team of two Cypriot CMP researchers and oversee and coordinate the process of archival research and information management. The team will be responsible to collect information from relevant archives, analyse and share this information with CMP Members and their offices, including through the creation of an appropriate information management system. He/she will personally conduct research in the not publicly accessible UN archives under direct supervision by the Third Member. For all other tasks, the ARC will coordinate closely with all three CMP Members.
The ARC will lead efforts by the research team to:
- Create an inventory and volume estimates of relevant archives (including UN archives in Nicosia and NY, ICRC, UK, and relevant UN troop and police contributing countries);
- Set out a research plan with time-lines and develop an appropriate research and analysis methodology;
- Conduct on-location research, inter alia, at UN archives in Cyprus, UNHQ New York, ICRC Geneva, and the UK. With regards to publicly accessible archives, research will be carried out with the two Cypriot researchers. In the case of restricted archives research will be carried out without the Cypriot researchers, unless an agreement is reached to indicate otherwise;
- Create a searchable database system to catalogue all relevant documents/information;
- Integrate information obtained from research with existing investigative files/databases held by the CMP and its respective offices;
- Liaise with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot investigative teams to ensure effective exchange of information and prioritization of cases and inclusion of information found on burial sites into excavation schedule;
- Regularly report to and brief the CMP Members on research progress;
- Prepare and submit reports to the Third Member on the findings from the classified UN archives;
- Perform other duties as assigned by the three CMP Members.
He or she will liaise closely with all relevant CMP counterparts, including CMP Members, their Assistants and the CMP investigative teams.
The research carried out by the team deals with politically and emotionally sensitive matters and will require a high degree of experience and sensitivity in dealing with such information in a post-conflict environment.
The ARC is expected to spend significant time conducting archival research abroad, e.g. in NY, Geneva, or the UK.
- Weekly reports to the CMP Members on relevant findings and progress of archival research;
- Reports to the Third Member on findings from the classified UN Archives;
- A searchable database populated with relevant archival documents and/or information;
- Timely provision of relevant information obtained through archival research to CMP Members and their investigative teams.
Location: CMP, Nicosia, CYPRUS
Application Deadline: 18-Sep-16 (Midnight New York, USA)