a A

First Results regarding the debate on the future of the ITS

The International Commission for the International Tracing Service held its 72nd Annual Meeting in Washington on May 26 and 27, 2010. It took note with preciation of the work of the International Tracing Service (ITS) over the past twelve months.

Building on the work of its Strategic Study Group,  which was tasked with working on the future mandate and organisational structure of the ITS, it endorsed the text of a new Agreement on the International Tracing Service to replace the existing two Bonn Treaties of 1955 and its amendments of 2006. This became necessary after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced in 2008 its wish to withdraw from the management and administration of the ITS. The new Agreement will formally expand the tasks of the ITS into such areas as conservation, preservation, cataloguing, historical research and commemoration, thereby enlarging the already existing main mandate of tracing.  

With the expected withdrawal of the ICRC by the end of 2012 the International Commission has identified the German Federal Archives as the new Institutional Partner that will play a major role in managing the ITS with its enlarged mandate. In the coming months the Strategic Study Group will continue its work and draft a second agreement specifying the exact terms under which the ITS will work together with the German Federal Archives. The Kingdom of Belgium has taken over the one year presidency of the International Commission from the USA, while Poland took over from The Netherlands as the chair of the Strategic Study Group.

Jean-Luc Blondel
Director ITS