Tajikistan hosted the Second Meeting of the Technical Experts’ Group of the Almaty Process, a regional inter-state initiative, in Dushanbe, 14-15 May 2019. Government officials from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan, as well as UN experts, have gathered to continue dialogue and exchange views on mixed migration flows, including refugee protection and migration issues in Central Asia and the wider region.
The Almaty Process on Refugee Protection & International Migration is a regional consultative platform to cooperatively address challenges arising from the complex migration dynamics in Central Asia. This is the second consecutive meeting in 3 months hosted under Tajikistan’s chairmanship of the Almaty Process 2019-2020.
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan are members of the Almaty Process, with Iran and Pakistan observing. The International Organization for Migration – the UN Migration Agency (IOM), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), are providing organizational, logistical and expert support to the process.
Saidasror Saidov, Head of the Department for Migration of Population in Tajikistan’s Ministry of Labor, Migration, and Population Employment, says: “Migration is a fast changing phenomenon and the Almaty Process offers the right forum to discuss our response to new challenges”.
“States have a sovereign right to control their borders and manage the conditions of entry and stay of any persons on their territory; at the same time the humanitarian principle of protection of those in need should not be undermined. Commitment of States is paramount for an effective management of mixed migratory flows and maintaining humanitarian asylum space”, highlighted Vito Trani, the UNHCR Representative in Tajikistan.
The UNHCR presented legislative practices regulating issues of refugee and asylum in the countries of Central Asia, as well as the importance of data management along with an update on the first Global Refugee Forum which will be convened at the ministerial level in Geneva in December 2019. Migrants’ status and systems accounting for their presence in participating countries were presented by government representatives.
Victoria Kasabyan, Head of the IOM Almaty office in Kazakhstan, expresses her confidence in the Almaty Process: “This is a young ambitious platform. Its members are working on strategies for the coming years to address different migration issues in the region. IOM supports the Almaty Process and will assist in all those migration management areas of interest to its Member States”.
Cristina Tranca, Chief of Mission of IOM Tajikistan: “The Almaty Process brings together migration professionals towards coordinated action for safer and orderly migration. At this meeting, IOM presented its Global Migration Data Portal and Migration Governance Indicators, and informed on a new research initiative on youth migration from Central Asia.”
The Second Technical Expert Group Meeting of the Almaty Process is organized within the framework of the IOM project “Asia Regional Migration Programme”, and is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM USA).