On the occasion of the CEI Summit held in Sarajevo, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the CEI and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was signed by CEI Secretary General, Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri, and IOM Senior Regional Advisor for Europe, Pasquale Lupoli.
 
This cooperation agreement comes at a particularly critical moment for the region. The CEI countries represent both transit and destination countries, but they are still countries of origin for migrants, whereas the migration management represents a structural challenge facing Europe.
 
There is a need for more effective cooperation among public and non-governmental stakeholders. The MoU aims at providing a better knowledge of what causes migration flows, at disseminating skills for better assistance and integration of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants in the transit and destination countries and at rebuilding confidence and trust of civil society and the public opinion in the potential of migrations for resilience and growth of the communities concerned.
 
The MoU represents a further implementation of the already existing collaboration among the operational staff of the two Organisations.
 
In the framework of the agreement, both Organisations will cooperate to promote the principles and objectives of good migration governance as set out in the Migration Governance Framework (adopted by Resolution 1310 of the IOM Council on 26 November 2015) and support their implementation. Special attention will be given to institutional capacity building to ensure adherence to the international standards and the fulfillment of migrants’ rights.
 
Transnational contacts among the relevant stakeholders dealing with migration will also be encouraged and facilitated to enable a better exchange of experiences and good practices, among national, local and regional administrations as well as non-governmental actors.

“The CEI is extremely encouraged by the signing of this agreement, since the IOM, which has just recently become a UN system Organisation, has a leading experience with migration many CEI countries are facing”, said Caracciolo di Vietri.
 
“The migrant crisis of 2015 highlighted the need for stronger cooperation and responsibility sharing at all levels” remarked Lupoli who is confident the agreement would be useful both for the citizens of the CEI Member States and for the “moving people” in need.
 
The signing of this MoU is part of the overall action carried out by the CEI Secretariat on behalf of the Ministerial Conference in Ohrid in June 2015. Through an Extraordinary Call for Proposals of the CEI Cooperation Fund, 15 events bringing together hundreds of public and private stakeholders have taken place. They have covered various aspects of the migratory crisis, such as the role of local authorities, health care, migrants’ entrepreneurship, unaccompanied children, brain drain and diaspora, protection of human rights and European values, training for youth and security issues.
 
The lessons learned and recommendations stemming from this CEI campaign - implemented by the beneficiary organisations and supported by other partners as well - are feeding the dissemination of knowledge, networking and new partnership agreements even more.
 
The MoU between the CEI and the IOM is paving the way for strengthening the multiplier effect of this experience, for increasing tangible joint actions in the region and enhancing cooperation between the CEI and the UN system, of which the IOM has recently become part, as the oldest organisation dealing with migration worldwide.


From left: Lupoli and Caracciolo di Vietri (Photo by: BeITA)

 

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development