A hybrid meeting hosted by Turkmenistan and attended by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations (UN), and UCLG was organized on 17 March 2023. The meeting highlighted the support of governments in the context of the Central Asian states in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Systematic Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCM and GCR). It also marked the official launch of IOM’s regional project in Turkmenistan.

The meeting was held under the auspices of Batyr Volsahatov, Chairman of the State Migration Service in Turkmenistan. Katherine Barwise, Senior Program Manager, UN Migration Network; Monami Maulik, Civil Society Liaison Officer UN Migration Network; Kristin Eitel, IOM Coordination Officer for Migration and Sustainable Development; Zeynal Hajivey, IOM Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia, IOM Chief of Mission in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and Yehia Ibrahim, Global Task Force on Migration (GTFM) Focal Point, participated in the online meeting as stakeholders.

To support the implementation of the GCM, IOM, with the support of the Government of Turkmenistan, launched a regional project on “Supporting Governments of Central Asian States in Implementing the GCM” in March 2023. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of Central Asian governments and relevant stakeholders to advance the implementation, follow-up, and review of the GCM goals in line with the guiding principles ahead of the GCM Regional Review in 2024.

The project also aims to enhance international cooperation on migration in the Central Asian region and convey to stakeholders the importance of supporting governments and stakeholders to actively and meaningfully engage in high-level forums where migration can be promoted as a contributor and accelerator to development.

The launch event sensitized national governments and relevant stakeholders on the importance of GCM implementation and set the stage for the implementation, follow-up, and review of the GCM goals in line with its guiding principles and ahead of the GCM Regional Review in 2024.

UCLG-MEWA participated in the meeting as a representative of local authorities on migration and refugee issues. Yehia Ibrahim from UCLG-MEWA addressed the meeting on the link between “Migration and Sustainable Development and shared some local initiatives in the context of GCM and GCR implementation. These initiatives are the Marrakech Declaration (2018), the Gaziantep Declaration (2019), the Lampedusa Charter (2022), as well as the ‘Call to Action for Migrants and Refugees of the Mayors’ Mechanism “Call to Action for Migrants and Refugees implemented by UCLG, IOM, and The Mayors Migration Council (MMC).

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