New year, new Project Manager

Alfred Woeger has taken on the role of MIEUX Project Manager as of 01 January 2019. For the previous three years, Mr. Woeger had acted as the Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), overseeing the rapid rise in requests that have positioned LAC as the second world region in terms of activities (accounting for 36% of our work in 2018 alone). Mr. Oleg Chirita remains as the overall Programme Coordinator for Global Initiatives, overseeing MIEUX and the Mobility Partnership Facility. For this edition of MIEUX Reflections, Mr. Woeger shares with us a few thoughts about his experience in the LAC region and an overview of what is to come during the year ahead.

What impressed you the most about the way governments in LAC deal with migration and asylum?

There would be many things to mention, but I would like to focus on one that has always interested me: Latin America’s specific approach to protection for asylum seekers. Basing themselves on the Geneva Convention and its 1967 Protocols, 14 Latin American countries expanded the definition of a refugee with the adoption of the Cartagena Declaration in 1984. This regional instrument states that persons who have been threatened by massive violations of human rights can also qualify as refugees. To uphold this broader regional commitment to protect human rights is remarkable, especially in times when increasing conflict and violence in specific countries of the region have contributed to large numbers of individuals in need of international protection.

What are you most looking forward to during 2019 with MIEUX?

2019 will be the continuation of the analytical work which started in 2018 with Regional Knowledge Sharing Round-tables, organised to mark MIEUX’s 10 years of operations. We were able to bring together the focal points of our partner countries in each region to reflect collectively on MIEUX’s achievements and to collect good practices that the initiative has helped to build. At the same time, the exchange also helped to discuss several areas of assistance that should be strengthened in the future. This year, I am looking forward to incorporating this feedback into our commemorative 10-year publication and to the series of events we will organise to share these good practices and recommendations with our main audiences.

What do you consider to be the highlight of 2018?

Last year, MIEUX accomplished a great deal across many countries in the region. As highlights,  I would first of all cite, the increased involvement of national capacity-building and training schools, academies, and departments in our activities. Their keen involvement increases our chances of creating long-term sustainable practices that outlast our limited timescale for Actions. Secondly, as exemplified by the Actions in Costa Rica and Peru, I would highlight the role of the experts in working more closely with the local-level authorities, especially in border regions.

Finally, adding to these, I would like to mention returning to ICMPD’s Brussels Mission in late December to take over this new position as a wonderful highlight. I bring with me all the memories of the people I worked with in LAC throughout the past four years, many of whom have evolved from professional contacts into close friends.


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