Izmir, 27-28 September 2012: The first out of four preparatory meetings preceding the 5th Budapest Process Ministerial Conference “A Silk Routes Partnership for Migration” was held in Izmir, Turkey on 27 - 28 September 2012.
The meeting gathered 68 participants from 35 countries and 7 international organisations and received strong interest and involvement from the participating countries. Many countries of the Silk Routes participated - Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan - several of them with high-level delegations. The aim of the meeting was to have a first discussion on priorities within the five substance pillars identified for the Ministerial Conference: 1) legal migration, including mobility, integration, racism and xenophobia, 2) migration and development, 3) irregular migration, including return and readmission, as well as smuggling of migrants, 4) trafficking in human beings and 5) international protection. The discussions also covered the topic of migrants' human rights, which was identified as a further topic for the Ministerial Conference.
In three active working group discussions chaired by 1) Afghanistan and the United Kingdom 2) Hungary and Pakistan and 3) Switzerland and Uzbekistan, priorities, recommendations and ideas for further collaboration were identified. There was a general call for increased knowledge transfer between countries, training activities, capacity building measures in the Silk Routes region and concrete actions on all substance issues and practical follow-up after the Ministerial Conference. To ensure the active participation of all participating states, a wide basis for cooperation was laid for the 5th Ministerial Conference.