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Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions



the Delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan

at the General Debate

of the Third Committee on agenda item 62

"Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions"



New York                                                        1 November 2011


Distinguished Delegates!


My delegation welcomes and commends the overarching Report of the High Commissioner Mr. A. Guterres on situation of refugees, stateless and internally displaced persons around the world during one and a half years period.

Today's realities with their challenges related to economic and financial crisis, international and local military conflicts, natural and manmade disasters provoke wide global and regional human movements, forcing all acting parties – countries of origin, transit and destination, international and non-governmental organizations, business and civil societies and others to unite their efforts to solve this problem.

Although mixed migratory movements are not a new phenomenon in the Central Asian region, last decade have witnessed an increase in their scale, scope and complexity. These flows include people with diverse profiles, motivations and needs. Asylum-seekers, refugees, labour migrants and victims of trafficking often move alongside each other, using the same routes and modes of transportation. These movements, especially if taking place in an irregular manner, expose those on the move to serious protection risks, and pose considerable challenges also to the governments of the region. Kazakhstan is a country of both destination and transit for asylum-seekers, refugees and hundreds of thousands of labour migrants.

The mass migration flows, including illegal migration in Central Asia place them as a priority problem for the countries of the region as well as for European and American countries, if we take into account the global consequences of this issue.

Kazakhstan, while chairing the OSCE in 2010 focused on the regulation of migration and considered it as a priority issue for international security.

As pointed out in the speech of President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the OSCE Summit in Astana in December 2010, nowadays the main sources of drug trafficking, illegal migration, human trafficking, as well as the threats of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction origin from beyond the Europe.

As the clear evidences of the fully correctness of these words we see the latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa, which directly affect the interests of all countries. Europe is now experiencing the effects of disturbances in these regions, in particular an unprecedented wave of irregular immigrants and refugees.

During our presidency in Organization of Islamic Cooperation we still continue to pay great attention to the issues of migration regulation. 

The Republic of Kazakhstan, as stable developing country in the Central Asia region is very attractive for people from neighboring states, who constitute the main mixed migration flow to our country. This is why Kazakhstan attaches great importance to close and fruitful cooperation with the relevant UN agencies, including UNHCR, with which we have a long record of excellent collaboration.

According to its international obligations on refugee matters, Kazakhstan in December 1998, joined to the Convention on the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its Protocol of 1967, on the basis of which and active UNHCR collaboration, in January 2010, adopted the Law on refugees, which regulates the legal status of refugees and asylum seekers in Kazakhstan.

The Agreement on Cooperation between the Government of Kazakhstan and the UNHCR came into force in April 7, 2011 and provided further basic conditions under which the UNHCR on its mandate, cooperates with the Government, opened its office in Kazakhstan and carries out its functions on international protection.

One of the significant joint steps made by Kazakhstan and UNHCR towards the uniting regional and international efforts is the Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration in Central Asia, which was held on 15-16 March 2011 in Almaty. We are grateful to the cosponsors of the Conference: the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Representatives of the Central Asian states, Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan took part in this event.

The Conference enhanced increasing the understanding of the nature, scale and reasons of mixed migratory movements in Central Asia and the wider region.

Participants exchanged their views and shared good practices on how to best address the complex challenges raised by mixed migratory movements.

The conference adopted a Declaration, which emphasized the great importance of further strengthening cooperation with the relevant international organizations and others to better control irregular migration, border security and counter the terrorism using the differentiated approach aiming to identify individuals who deserve international protection and assistance such as refugees, stateless persons, victims of human trafficking as well as to identify those posing a threat to security.

In addition, the Declaration as a basis for further dialogue and cooperation provides for establishment of the Regional Framework Structure, which would unite the efforts of all stakeholders – countries of origin, transit and destination, not only in Central Asia, but also in surrounding regions, international and non-governmental organizations.

As a further step towards the implementation of agreements which were reached during the Conference we propose convening international meeting in Astana to discuss the establishment of the Regional Framework Structure. We hope that UNHCR will play a role of mediator at this meeting and coordinate the efforts of Governments and NGOs, assisting them using its extensive international experience and resources.

Tags: third committee