IOM Marks Two Decades in North Macedonia

Regional Director Argentina Szabados addresses an audience of ministers, UN officials, academia and IOM staff to commemorate the 20th anniversary of IOM in the Republic of North Macedonia. Photo: IOM

Skopje – Streamlined migration management is key, IOM’s Regional Director stated at a highest-level event in the capital of the Republic of North Macedonia on Monday (13 May). 

Argentina Szabados made her remarks at a celebration to mark 20 years of the International Organization for Migration in the Republic of North Macedonia. The event was co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by ministers, ambassadors, heads of UN agencies, diplomats, academia, donors and civil society representatives.  

“The Republic of North Macedonia is moving forward with the EU accession agenda, where streamlined migration management is an important condition within the justice, freedom and security sector,” she noted, adding that IOM’s close partnership with the Government over 20 years showed the commitment of the Republic of North Macedonia to being “a strong and important global player on migration management.” 

Szabados and Minister for Diaspora Edmond Ademi signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will establish a wide and effective cooperation with the country’s diaspora, firmly based on mutual interest and trust.  

“To be a migrant is not a crime,” declared Minister Ademi in his speech. “It is a call for greater commitment to human dignity.” 

He thanked IOM for its strong support during the creation of the first National Strategy for cooperation with the Diaspora. “IOM made a significant contribution by giving us expertise which significantly contributed to the quality of this document. We recognize in IOM a strong partner in the field of migration and the diaspora, and today, by signing this Memorandum of Understanding, we formalize it.” 

For IOM, Szabados said, “We applaud this policy approach of the Government which is in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. It also conforms to the EU Development policy that stresses the importance of the nexus between migration and development to create conditions for migrants and diasporas to contribute to sustainable development.”  

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrej Zernovski reinforced the Government’s commitment to migration management based on human rights. “Human rights are central to us as a country, and we guarantee the protection of rights and freedoms for all, including migrants. We thank IOM and count on their inputs and support in the development of new strategic documents and action plans related to areas of migration aligned with EU Acquis.”  

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at the IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43 660 3776404, Email: