The UN Migration Agency (IOM) organized a technical workshop on sharing expert experience countering irregular migration in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (Republic of Azerbaijan) on November 16-17.
The event was organized within the framework of the ‘Consolidation of Migration and Border Management Capacities in Azerbaijan (CMBA)’ project, implemented by IOM in close partnership with the State Migration Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Border Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population. The project is funded by the European Union and co-funded by British Petroleum and their co-ventures and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (U.S.).
During the opening session, the head of the State Migration Service of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Shahin Nabiyev, stressed the importance of the workshop. He emphasized that development within the migration sphere was one of the top priorities of the high-level cooperation established on a multilateral basis between Azerbaijan, the European Union and IOM. He also praised the good results achieved so far as a result of this cooperation.
Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, underlined the successful implementation of the project. He expressed his assurance that the two-day training, with the participation of high-level international experts, would contribute to the work of the various migration bodies’ employees. He emphasized that, for the EU, the fight against trafficking in human beings remains a priority and it stands ready to continue to fight jointly in order to eradicate this crime. He said that the broad nature of the stakeholders, brought together in this workshop to discuss issues regarding irregular migration, was testimony to the nature and scope of migration. According to the Ambassador, migration management is rightly regarded as one of the most complex and resource consuming issues that we are confronting today. Ending his speech, Ambassador Jankauskas expressed his appreciation of the current cooperation with the IMO office in Azerbaijan.
Chief of IOM Mission in Azerbaijan, Serhan Aktoprak made clear the necessity for a high-road approach to the Global Compact negotiations, which respect the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status; facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration; and reduce the incidences and impact of forced and irregular migration. He emphasized that there was also a good opportunity for Azerbaijan to be a part of the Global Compact on Migration, which is expected to be approved in 2018. He also hoped that Azerbaijan would actively participate in the upcoming meeting in Mexico. The Chief of Mission strongly called for the unity of all countries in countering irregular migration, especially now that the world is witnessing tragic events related to the movement of people from one region to another.
The participants from the various national institutions from the Republic of Azerbaijan, country representatives from the France, Romania, UK, Belarus, Indonesia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and the IOM experts from the Headquarters, Global Migration Data Analysis Center and Regional Office in Vienna held discussions on challenges, new approaches, and shared their experiences in responding to the irregular migration including smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings.
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