Istanbul: Over 80 senior officials from 37 countries gathered for the annual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Budapest Process to jointly finalise the Budapest Process Strategic Document and Implementation Plan ( based on the Call for Action – a five year plan for 2020-2024). This document provides a direction and framework for the next years of activities and remains a living document, which will be updated as needed.
Director General Abdullah Ayaz from Turkey’s Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) opened the SOM, representing Turkey as Chair to the dialogue. Deputy State Secretary Ferenc Dancs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary provided an opening statement as Co-Chair to the Dialogue, followed by Silvena Pesta as Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission and Martijn Pluim, Director for Migration Dialogues and Cooperation at ICMPD in charge of the Budapest Process Secretariat. The Chairmanship, alongside Senior Officials from other countries agreed that the Strategic Document and the Implementation Plan provided a very good basis for cooperation and a planned way forward.
Presentations from the Silk Routes Projects under the umbrella of the dialogue funded by the European Union were held including on specific components of the “Improving Migration management in the Silk Routes Region” project such as the Silk Routes Facility, Migrant Resource Centres, Protecting Migrants’ Rights and the “Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes Countries” project. The European Commission as well as UNODC and ILO shared information on relevant projects with and in the Silk Routes Countries including the GLO.ACT project implemented by IOM and UNODC and funded by the European Union. Several participating states informed the Chairmanship on their willingness to host meetings and provide expertise on activities listed in the Implementation Plan. The calendar of activities for 2020 was discussed and will be finalised ahead of 2020.