International welcome for new forensic centre

There has been a widespread welcome from UK and international organisations for the Centre for International Forensic Assistance which was launched at the University yesterday.

Among the commendations were:

"I wish to congratulate the Centre on its launch. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has worked closely with the University in this important initiative and we wholeheartedly support the aims and objectives of the Centre. I had the great pleasure of meeting many of those involved in the British Forensic Team who worked in Kosovo last year and it is reassuring to know that the Centre will build on the skills and experience gained there. I hope that the strong ties between the Centre and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue, and take this opportunity to wish the Centre every success in the very important humanitarian role it intends to fulfil".

Peter Hain, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London

"I believe this is an excellent initiative and I hope that we will be able to assist you in some way in making it a success"

Carla Del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor, United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

"The Amnesty International Lawyers' Network congratulates the Department of Forensic Medicine & Science on this new initiative. Your work internationally in the aftermath of war crimes and human rights abuses has gained much recognition. Lawyers working with Amnesty International are well aware of the importance of the results of your work in compiling evidence of atrocities, and of bringing truth to the relatives of victims."

Andy McEntee, Chairman Amnesty International Lawyers Network

"Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have used the skills of forensic professionals to assist in analysis and reporting. The development of the Centre for International Forensic Assistance holds open the possible of increased accessibility of these skills to such ends and is to be warmly welcomed." James Welsh, Coordinator, Medical Program Amnesty International, London

"On behalf of Archbishop Tutu and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I would like to commend you for establishing CIFA and it is our sincere wish that you would be successful in all your endeavours. I am positive that CIFA will live up to its expectations and that it will play a significant role in its objectives to contribute to truth, justice and reconciliation we all yearn for".

Adv Martin Coetzee, Chief Executive Officer, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, C

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First published: 4 July 2001

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