On 22 February 2018, a delegation of IOM senior officials visited the International Training Centre (ITC) on Migration and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. The delegation, composed by Mr. Manfred Profazi, Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia, Mr. Amr Taha, Senior Regional Liaison and Policy Office at the Regional Office Vienna and Mr. Zeynal Hajiev, Chief of Mission for Belarus, had the opportunity to explore and discuss further ways of cooperation.
ITC was inaugurated in 2007 as a result of the large cooperation on counter trafficking between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and IOM that started over 20 years ago. The centre, based at the Academy of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Belarus, offers trainings on Counter Trafficking to law enforcement representatives and other specialists and is recognized by its CIS neighbours as a centre of excellence.
Mr. Vladimir Bachila, the Head of the Academy recalled that
During 2011-2018 the ITC together with IOM Belarus organized 36 seminars and trainings. More than 1,100 participants from 10 countries took part in the training courses aimed at advancing trainees’ skills and sharing best practices in the fields of migration development and counter-trafficking.
During their visit to Minsk, the IOM delegation partook in the first high-level Regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Coordination Leaders Forum on that took place on 21 and 22 February. The event, was attended by H.E. Mrs. Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, providing an opportunity to bring experts together to discuss common challenges, sharing of best practices and the most effective and efficient ways to incorporate global goals into national policies.
The Senior Regional Adviser affirmed that
the Republic of Belarus has a long migration history which contributes to its development; however, irregular migration and human trafficking are also migration realities to be addressed. IOM is committed to further strengthening its cooperation with the Centre in the years ahead
Moreover, he highlighted the importance of the ITC in relation with the SDG:
The SDGs provide us with a broad range of issues to be addressed jointly, ranging from eradicating poverty, enhancing access to healthcare and education, etc. Improving migration management remains on the top of countries’ agenda as well as reflected in the SDG’s goal 10.7. To this end, the way in which the ITC contributes to improve migration management through capacity building directly contributes to this goal
Mr. Hajiyev highlighted of the continued efforts of the Government of Belarus to advance on migration governance.
IOM and the Government of Belarus have been working together on various issues, and the latest initiative aside from the SGDs are two roundtables on the Global Compact on Migration in 2016 and 2017, reaffirming IOM’s excellent partnership with the Government of Belarus.
Specifically, on the excellent cooperation with ITC, Mr Hajiyev remarked IOM’s ambition and intention to broaden the cooperation with ITC beyond counter-trafficking to include other migration trainings.