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09 June 2017, 13:43

Belarus calls for joint OSCE-CEI efforts to tackle migration challenges

VIENNA, 9 June (BelTA) – Belarus calls for joint OSCE-CEI efforts to address migration-related challenges, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko said during the High-Level Panel Discussion “Beyond the Emergency: Improving the International Response to large Movements of People” organized as part of the Austrian Chairmanship of the OSCE and Belarus' CEI Presidency in Vienna on 9 June, BelTA has learned.

“The Central European Initiative, that we have the honor to preside over in 2017, unites 18 countries in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe. All these countries make part of the OSCE family. Being the largest regional security arrangement, the OSCE has a natural vocation to serve as a platform for cooperation with other regional and sub-regional organizations on the issues where they have similar or overlapping competences, and migration is certainly one of them,” the Belarusian diplomat noted.

Oleg Kravchenko emphasized that the CEI has already established promising cooperation with the OSCE in a number of areas such as labor migration and promotion of self-employment of women and youth. The CEI member states have a long history of dealing with cross-border movements. In recent years, they have been facing new migration challenges.

The diplomat stressed that the OSCE has a vast expertise and a well-developed toolbox in areas such as border management, combating trafficking in human beings, cooperation among law enforcement authorities, and ensuring the rights of migrants. The good practices established in the OSCE can be used to solve a wide range of issues associated with migration.

“The Hamburg 2016 Ministerial Decision on OSCE's role in the management of large movements of migrants and refugees encourages the participating states to regard the OSCE as a platform for further work on migration ensuring complementarity with other relevant international organizations and agencies. This is why we deem it natural and more than relevant that the two organizations, the OSCE and the CEI, join their efforts in looking for synergies in addressing the complex and multifaceted challenges posed by large movements of people in Europe and beyond,” Oleg Kravchenko added.

He said that this aligns well with the priorities of Belarus' CEI Presidency, which include promoting partnerships with other international organizations.

Oleg Kravchenko thanked the Austrian Chairmanship of the OSCE for supporting the idea of holding the high-level meeting and for providing the venue for the discussion that involved a wide range of stakeholders.

The high-level event has been initiated by the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Belarus to the OSCE with the support of the Permanent Representation of Austria, and the OSCE Secretariat. The discussion is attended by Belarus' Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Belarus' Ambassador to Austria Alena Kupchyna. Taking part in the event is Austrian Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs Michael Linhart, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, CEI Alternate Secretary General Margot Klestil-Loffler, heads the International Center for Migration Policy Development, the International Organization for Migration, and OSCE representatives.

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