Lviv Hosts International Conference on Integrated Management of Common Border
On 15 March, 2017, Lviv has become a platform for the international conference on integrated management of common border «Border Security in Action. Success in Partnership».
Apart from promoting of coordinated approach to border management, the purpose of the event is to mark the successful completion of SURCAP-2 project*, aimed at strengthening the security in the region in general, but more specifically along the common Belarus-Ukraine border.
The necessity of this conference is determined by the migration situation in Europe, as well as unstable political and economic situation in several regions, which causes the increase in the number of irregular migrants and the need in good migration government management for the benefit of both the society and migrants themselves. Therefore, Anatoly Lappo, Head of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus, pointed out the following: “Unfortunately, today we observe tendency of increasing risks at borders which are related to cross-border illegal activities, which tend to acquire characteristics of organized crime”.
This fact confirms the necessity in establishment of partnership relationships and cooperation among involved border guard agencies and competent international organizations that provide expertise, and technical and financial support. Outa Hermalahti, Representative of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Belarus, highlighted the fact that “for the EU, border management is a priority within the Eastern Partnership”.
Ms. Hermalahti mentioned that within the framework of SURCAP-2 project border agencies of Belarus and Ukraine were handed over the equipment of the amount of 4 million euros to strengthen border control, but at the same time “enhancement of the work of border guards all over the world requires not only technical equipment, but also cooperation and experience exchange with their colleagues in neighboring countries”.
In his turn, Zeynal Hajiyev, Chief of IOM Minsk Mission, paid attention to the fact that “SURCAP-2 project is a proof that Belarus and Ukraine are moving in the right direction, strengthening bilateral cooperation to ensure secure and humane migration for the benefit of all”.
Mr. Hajiyev also touched upon the forthcoming launch of Pinsk-Zhitomir Common Contact Point at Belarusian-Ukrainian border, which will allow specialists to exchange operational information fast and efficiently 24 hours a day and will facilitate the implementation of integrated border management concept in the region. In this regard, Victor Nazarenko, Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, pointed out that “the system of integrated border management is the basis for the ability to combat cross-border crime, terrorism and other threats. At the same time, we do our best to ensure that ordinary citizens cross our borders safely”.
Within the framework of the conference, representatives of border agencies from 8 countries – Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Estonia – shared their best practices in the field of integrated border management and border security. Among the participants were also representatives of the leading agencies in the field of border management and combating irregular migration – IOM, FRONTEX, the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and others.
*The international conference is organized under the EU-funded project “Strengthening surveillance and bilateral coordination capacity along the common border between Belarus and Ukraine, SURCAP Phase II”, implemented by IOM Missions in Belarus and Ukraine, the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.