IOM Director General: Interaction with Uzbekistan allows us to achieve our common priority goals
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan in Geneva Ulugbek Lapasov met with the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Antoniu Vitorin, Dunyo reports.
IOM, established in 1951 with headquarters in Geneva, is a leading international body in the field of migration, works with governments and civil society organizations to enhance understanding of migration issues, promote social and economic development through migration processes, protect human dignity and well-being of migrants.
Since 2018, the Director General of IOM has been Antonio Vitorino, who previously held the posts of Minister of Defense and Vice Prime Minister of Portugal, as well as the EU Commissioner for Justice and Internal Affairs.
Application for membership in Uzbekistan was approved in December 2018 at the 109th session of the IOM Council, and the republic became the 173rd member state.
In Uzbekistan, 12 IOM projects have been implemented that have helped more than 5,000 victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants, as well as supported relevant information campaigns in the country.
During the meeting, priority issues of bilateral cooperation were discussed.
In particular, the parties exchanged views on the implementation of national and regional IOM projects in Uzbekistan, as well as activities with the participation of our republic in the Global Strategic Plan for Preparing and Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis.
Some areas of interaction with IOM were examined in detail, including the establishment of a pilot center to improve skills for potential working migrants of Uzbekistan, establishing fruitful interaction with the diaspora, combating trafficking in human beings, protecting migrant children and improving transport infrastructure.
In a positive vein, measures were taken under the leadership of the President of Uzbekistan to protect socially vulnerable segments of the population, paying attention to streamlining labor migration, including through the establishment of the post of adviser to the Prime Minister on foreign migration.
Antoniu Vitorin informed about the decision taken by the Organization to expand its presence in our country by increasing the number of employees in its country office.
In addition, the schedule of upcoming joint events in Geneva and Tashkent was considered.
Following the meeting, an agreement was reached on further enhancing cooperation on issues of mutual interest and expanding contacts between IOM and relevant departments of Uzbekistan.
In an interview with the Dunyo news agency, the IOM Director General noted that the international organization was pleased to see Uzbekistan joining IOM and that it was possible to achieve very close cooperation in ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration.
- From our point of view, this interaction allows both parties - both the Organization and the government of Uzbekistan - to achieve their priority goals, including labor mobility, effectively combating human trafficking, and protecting the most vulnerable categories of migrants, especially women and young children, he said. - I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership of Uzbekistan for creating a humanitarian corridor that allowed 250 Tajik migrants stuck due to quarantine and restrictive measures in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic on the border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to return home safely.
In the field of migration, we attach great importance not only to the regulation of migration flows, but also to issues of guarantees of protection for the most vulnerable categories of migrants.
In this regard, we are proud to have participated in assisting 500 Uzbek migrants in the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, who, unfortunately, have experienced a significant decline in income due to the pandemic. They needed operational humanitarian assistance. I am convinced that we have successfully completed our task regarding these migrants.
Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great concern globally. For our part, we assist all Member States in their efforts to contain the epidemic. Our programs and projects in Uzbekistan and the UN are also aimed at supporting the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus, monitor possible cases of infection, and treat citizens and migrants regardless of their legal status.