The main partner of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the field of multilateral migration cooperation is the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is an international inter-governmental organization founded in 1951 and its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, IOM consists of 156 member states and 11 observer states.
The Cooperation Agreement signed on 8 December 1999 in Baku between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and IOM has made great contribution to relations between the organization and the country. In October 2000, IOM Director General Brunson McKinley has paid an official visit to Azerbaijan for the first time and met with President Haydar Aliyev. In December of the same year, the Republic of Azerbaijan acceded to the constitutive act of IOM – IOM Constitution (1953) and as a result of the cooperation, Azerbaijan became a member state of IOM in June 2001.
A variety of assistance and technical projects have been implemented in the field of migration since the establishment of IOM office in Baku in 1996. These projects included awareness-raising, legislation development, border management, return and reintegration, fight against human trafficking etc. In addition to the IOM office in Baku, the IOM's second office has been opened in Nakhchivan in 1998 and IOM's third office has been opened in Mingachevir in 2006.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev received IOM Director General Brunson McKinley on June 20, 2006. At the meeting, Director General emphasized the ongoing economic development of Azerbaijan and recalling his meeting with Heydar Aliyev during his previous visit to the country he stressed H.Aliyev’s special attention paid to the migration issues. In his turn, President Ilham Aliyev pointed out the successful development of relations of Azerbaijan with the international organizations, including IOM.
Currently, a number of projects are being implemented in Azerbaijan together with IOM, including “Solidifying Awareness on Trafficking in Persons through Education – Phase III”, “Enhancing Cooperation Measures to Effectively Combat Trafficking in Persons through Capacity Building and Technical Assistance in Azerbaijan – Phase III”, “Establishing Effective Mechanisms Safeguarding the Rights of Persons Involved in Migration in Azerbaijan”, “Migration and Higher Education: Developing Skills and Capacity (UNIMIG)”, “Kahriz Rehabilitation Project” and “Supporting the Establishment of Effective Readmission Management”.
Azerbaijan closely cooperates with IOM and regularly attends the meetings of IOM governing bodies in Geneva.
On July 4, 2014, within the framework of his working visit to Geneva, M. Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, met with W.L. Swing, IOM Director General. During the meeting, bilateral cooperation issues were discussed and IOM Director General was invited to visit Azerbaijan.