FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2000



INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE OF EMINENT PERSONS


The Independent Committee of Eminent Persons, chaired by Paul A. Volcker, held its seventeenth and last meeting in Zurich today. At this meeting, the Committee reviewed the recommendations made in its final Report, including those on a centralized archive for the documentation of the investigation, the publication of the accounts that have the highest probability of a relationship to victims of Nazi persecution, and the use of the existing Claims Resolution Tribunal to adjudicate the ownership of claims of these victims or their heirs to accounts in Swiss banks from the 1933-1945 period.

As part of its reaffirmation of its recommendations at its current meeting, the Committee considered the review, authorized in its Report, of the accounts identified by the Committee's auditors as probably or possibly related to victims of Nazi persecution. The resulting analysis of the accounts that were determined as both probably and possibly related to victims has resulted in the identification of accounts that can be eliminated from this list because they are duplicates of other accounts or because of the technical factors. This will reduce the total number of accounts from 53,000 to between 45,000 and 50,000.

This review also identified a modest number of accounts that should be included among those that the Committee recommends for publication. These accounts will increase the total number of publishable accounts from about 25,00 to somewhat over 26,000.

In concluding its meeting, the Committee resolved to request the parties responsible for implementing the ICEP recommendations to take all necessary steps to do so as soon as possible and to initiate the claims resolution process promptly.