Over 100 senior officials from 37 countries and selected international organisations gathered online for the annual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Budapest Process.
Deputy Director General Ramazan Seçilmiş from Turkey’s Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) opened the SOM, representing Turkey as Chair to the Dialogue. Head of Department for European Cooperation Gábor Tóthi from the Ministry of Interior of Hungary provided an opening statement as Co-Chair to the Dialogue, followed by Silvena Pesta as Deputy Head of Unit responsible for International Strategy 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 cooperation is vital for joint solutions to the challenges which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, while thanking the BP Secretariat for their continued support and concrete results in 2020.
Presentations of results in 2020 were given from colleagues on the lead of the Silk Routes Projects under the umbrella of the dialogue funded by the European Union (“Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Region” and “Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes Countries”) with a focus on policy, awareness-raising as well as institutional and capacity building.
In the tour de table, countries and organisations presented their work and priorities in line with the six priority goals and how their initiatives or projects fall under the action points of the adopted Call for Action. The European Commission and EU Member States also underlined the importance of the new pact on Migration and Asylum, and highlighted the how crucial international cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination; solidarity and burden-sharing; increased legal pathways and the strengthening of the external dimension.
Plans to increase reporting on results achieved were presented, as well as the desire to hold further thematic meetings and Silk Routes regional working groups in 2021 in line with the endorsed Implementation Plan of the Call for Action.