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International Organization for Migration

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration with 165 member states, 8 states with observer status and offices in over 100 countries. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. IOM joined the UN as “the UN related organization” on September 19, 2016 in New York at the 71 session of the UN General Assembly. IOM’s headquarters are placed in Geneva, Switzerland. On 14 June 2013 Ambassador William Lacy Swing of the United States was re-elected on his second five-year as Director General of the IOM.

The Republic of Kazakhstan joined IOM as a full member in December 2002. However, the Office of the International Organization for Migration in Kazakhstan has been opened in Almaty five years earlier, in 1997. In 1999, for closer work with the Government of Kazakhstan, an IOM Liason Office also opened in Astana. The IOM Office in Almaty served as the IOM Regional Office for Central Asia till 2009 when it has been transferred to Astana. Since 2012 Dejan Keserovic serves as the IOM Coordinator for Central Asia and the IOM Head of Mission for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The fruitful cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the IOM is based on Kazakhstan national priorities in the migration field. The key IOM programs implemented in Kazakhstan are therefore: capacity building and technical assistance in migration management, including management of mixed migration flows and border control, counter-trafficking and assistance to migrants, migration and development, operation movements (including refugee resettlement and assisted voluntary return programmes), assistance in emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction and immigration health assessment.

IOM Director General Brunson McKinley visited Kazakhstan in August 2008 to take part in the Third CICA (Conference on interaction and confidence-building measures in Asia)  Foreign Ministers Meeting. Other IOM high officials including Deputy Director General Laura Thompson paid several visits to Kazakhstan as well.

IOM has also been actively cooperating with the Government of Kazakhstan in the framework of the so called “Almaty Process”- regional consultative process on migration which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Turkey. The First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Almaty Process took place on March 15-16, 2011 and resulted in the adoption of the Almaty Declaration calling for a joint and coordinated efforts and dialogue in the management of regional mixed migration flows. The Third SOM of the Almaty Process on “Adressing mixed migration flows in Central Asia: human mobility, rights of vulnerable migrants and refugees and regional cooperation” took place in Astana on September 19 and 20, 2016.