Seminar for Regional Migration and Border Guard Officials
A seminar for regional border guard and migration service officials was held in Vilnius on 28-30 April 2002 within the context of the Four-Country Cross-Border Co-operation Enhancement (Söderköping) Process. The seminar aimed to raise awareness of international standards, enhance capacity building and cross-border co-operation, identify gaps and needs to be filled, and facilitate planning of future training events.
Regional migration and border guard officials from Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as representatives from UNHCR, the SMB, IOM and the EC participated in the event.
UNHCR gave an overview of the Söderköping process and objectives of the Vilnius seminar. Country representatives briefed on functioning of their border management and asylum systems and interaction with neighbouring states. General principles of the international protection of refugees in the context of combating irregular migration and EU legal standards related to the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees were presented by UNHCR and the SMB respectively.
Active discussions on the identified issues took place in thematic working groups during both days of the seminar. The participants identified many gaps and reached certain agreements regarding future mutual training on capacity building and cross-border co-operation aimed at consistent application of international standards in this field. Latvia expressed its interest in joining the process.