8th senior officials’ meeting of the Almaty Process, chaired by Azerbaijan, held in Baku

Within the Almaty Process, a regional platform with consultative status on international migration, asylum, and refugee issues in the Central Asia region, the 8th senior officials’ meeting was held in Baku, on October 12. It is worth noting that the Almaty Process brings together 10 states and 3 international organizations. The meeting was attended by authorized representatives of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Iran, Italy, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan as the participating states of the Process, as well as high-ranking officials of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the Secreteriat of the Process.

In his opening remarks, the Chief of the State Migration Service, Vusal Huseynov, welcomed the guests and noted that for over a decade, the Almaty Process has successed in uniting the countries of the region and implemented consistent and successful activities in the direction of identifying and meeting the needs of the participating states in various directions of the regulation of migration processes. Within the chairmanship of Azerbaijan, it is planned to promote regular migration, support the application of international progressive practices in this direction at the national level, realize activities towards deepening cooperation with the countries located on the historical Silk Road and on the migration routes specific for the citizens of the countries participating in the Process, as well as with other consultative platforms on migration.

Vusal Huseynov pointed out that Azerbaijan's migration policy focuses on ensuring comfort for migrants, minimizing administrative procedures in the migration field, and promoting digitization, and conditions were created for foreigners to comfortably reside, get education, engage in employment and entrepreneurship activity.

Afterwards, opening remarks were delivered by Mr.Mehmet Nasir Uchan, representative of Türkiye, the previous chair of the Almaty Process, Mr.Zeynal Hajiyev, IOM Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia, and Mr.Dumitru Lipcanu, the representative of UNHCR Office for Central Asia.

Later, Vusal Huseynov, Chief of the State Migration Service, made a speech on the topic of "Heydar Aliyev - Development of migration dialogue and people-to-people relations between the Almaty Process countries" as a sign of special respect to the legacy of the National Leader within the "Year of Heydar Aliyev". During his speech, Vusal Huseynov spoke about the Great Leader's tireless work for the people of Azerbaijan both when he was respresented in the leadership of the Soviet Union and after our country gained independence. The Chief of the Service emphasized that the National Leader cooperated closely with the states participating in the Almaty Process at the bilateral and multilateral levels, and that his activities have made great contributions to the establishment of such cooperation platforms. Vusal Huseynov mentioned that the course founded by the Great Leader was successfully continued by his worthy successor, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In accordance with the agenda of the event, as the next stage, a presentation was delivered by the State Migration Service on the priorities of Azerbaijani chairmanship of the Almaty Process. At the same time, representatives of the participating states and organizations exchanged views on the role of the Almaty Process in utilizing advanced practices and development opportunities.

Later, Irada Baghirli, the representative of the State Migration Service, presented the establishment of the Regional Training Center on Migration in Azerbaijan, a joint initiative of the IOM and Azerbaijan, and discussions were held on strengthening the capacity of the Center within the Process and using it as a common platform for research.

Anna Prokhorova, the researcher also delivered a presentation on "Migration and Remittances as a Means of Development in the Almaty Process Region".

At the end, an Outcome Protocol was signed. According to the Protocol, consent was expressed on the directions and priorities set by the Republic of Azerbaijan as the chair of the Almaty Process for 2023-2024.

Following the 8th senior officials’ meeting within the Almaty Process, hybrid discussions were held on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) dedicated to "Capitalising on Human Mobility for the Advancement of Regional Cooperation and the Development of our Societies" regarding. At the event jointly organized by Azerbaijan, in its capacity as a "Champion Country" regarding the implementation of GCM, and the UN Migration Network, views were exchanged on strengthening collaboration on human mobility, contribution of the successful integration of migrants to filling the gaps of the labor market and economic development.

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