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Visit to Romania by Mr. Brunson McKinley, Director General of the International Organization for Migration

From 21 to 23 May, Mr. Brunson McKinley, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, has paid an official visit to Romania. On May 21st, Mr. McKinley has attended the "Regional Consultative Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration", which took place in Bucharest. On this occasion he addressed the participants on the issue of establishment of a comprehensive approach to the prevention of trafficking and to the protection of victims through strengthened coordination at the national, regional and international levels.

During his visit in Bucharest, Mr. McKinley met with the President of Romania, Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase, MPs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mircea Dan Geoana, and Minister for Interior, Ioan Rus.

The discussions with the Romanian side have focused on a wide range of issues pertaining to the development of a strong partnership with IOM, the participation of the Organization to the implementation of the national policies and strategies related to migration, taking into account the comparative advantages and the solid expertise of IOM in this field.

It was agreed that IOM could bring its valuable contribution and support for carrying out the Governmental programmes and initiatives intended to: · the creation of an overall mechanism gathering Romanian governmental and nongovernmental organization to strengthen their institutional capacity to develop effective counter-trafficking measures · the establishment of a national framework for delivering direct assistance to identified victims of trafficking, by creating safe shelter for the temporary protection of and support for returning and transiting victims. · fostering awareness of the consequences of trafficking through a nation-wide information campaign

The issue of Romanian preparation for the EU accession was also approached. It was underscored that, in the context of Romanian participation to the PHARE Horizontal Programme on Justice and Home Affairs for asylum, a close co-operation between Romania and IOM could be envisaged in order to implement the National Action Plan. The Plan foresees the legal harmonization, institutional building, training of all the actors involved in the asylum and refugee determination procedure, and logistical aspects, in accordance with the EU Acquis provisions.

The meeting with Mr. Mircea Dan Geoana, the Romanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, has provided the opportunity to address the institutional co-operation between IOM and OSCE. Both sides have decided to work together to ensure a closer co-ordination, especially on the field mission levels, so they could mutually reinforce the specific areas of operation of the two organizations.

On the last day of his stay in Bucharest Mr. McKinley signed the Agreement of Cooperation between IOM and the SECI Regional Centre for Combating Trans-Border Crime.

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