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Safe and regular migration on the agenda as regional director…

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Safe, regular migration on agenda as regional director makes second visit to Western Balkans

Regular routes took center stage during a visit by Regional Director Manfred Profazi to IOM operations in the Western Balkans last week. The five-day visit took Profazi to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo* and included high-level meetings with ministries, authorities, civil society organizations, United Nations officials and the media.

Mr. Profazi highlighted IOM’s commitment to outreach, meeting with community, youth and women’s groups, as well as representatives from academia. The visit included a field trip to temporary reception centers where he held discussions with migrants and listened to their hopes and concerns.

Mr. Profazi emphasized his appreciation for the continued collaboration. particularly with local authorities in areas affected by irregular migration, such as the northwest of the country. “Our collaboration has proven to be decisive in effectively managing migratory flows in the region and in responding to the challenges posed by the sudden increase in migratory movements,” underlined Mr. Profazi during his meeting with the Prime Minister of the canton of Una Sana, Mr. Mustafa Ružnić, who also addressed crucial issues such as disaster risk reduction and climate change.

In line with IOM’s mission to support the transition to a long-term state-led migration response in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Profazi highlighted the need to move from reactive emergency measures to sustainable and solution-oriented.

“Recognizing the increasing number of people on the move, IOM remains committed to providing essential services and helping the government address migration challenges. Together, we are seeking sustainable solutions, including regular pathways to enable safe migration,” Mr. Profazi stressed.

In Kosovo*, Mr. Profazi met with Prime Minister Albin Kurti to discuss the transformative role of migration, with a focus on inclusiveness, regional unity and mutual prosperity. Both sides committed to working together to address the challenges of migration and harness its potential for collective growth, with a focus on promoting inter-ethnic dialogue and facilitating the integration of minorities and the reintegration of returnees .

“IOM is committed to promoting the participation of minority communities by empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds through livelihoods, non-formal education and economic empowerment, thereby laying the foundations for more diverse communities. inclusive,” Profazi told Kurti.

Mr Profazi and Mr Kurti also discussed IOM’s engagement with the diaspora, recognizing their contribution to development beyond remittances, as well as the importance of tackling youth unemployment.

During his meeting with the Minister of Interior, Mr. Xhelal Svecla, Mr. Profazi spoke about sustainable migration governance and ongoing collaborative efforts to maximize the benefits of migration during a discussion on strategies for safe, orderly and regular migration.

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