South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SEEECA)

IOM has been active in South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia from the early 1990s, when it established presence in most of the countries in the region to help governments address the highly complex mix of migration and displacement challenges which had emerged following the major political changes of that period. As the migration trends in the region continue evolving, IOM remains committed to providing comprehensive support to governments in refining their policies, frameworks and practical mechanisms for migration management at national and multilateral levels, and ensuring protection and assistance to migrants in need. After more than 20 years of working in the region, IOM is now better positioned to do so than ever before. It has a large footprint in the region with offices in 19 out of the 20 SEEECA countries and territories and a vast variety of activities covering the full range of migration management issues. With a few exceptions, the States in SEEECA are IOM members or observers. Furthermore, the establishment of the SEEECA Regional Office in Vienna in 2011, which was carried out as part of the global structural reform of the Organization, brought IOM’s extensive migration management expertise closer to all beneficiaries and enabled better coordination and cross-fertilization. The regional structure facilitates further improvement in quality and diversification of programmatic activities at country level, promotes regional initiatives and enables IOM to provide better support to interstate dialogue and cooperation.

IOM Regional Office in Vienna and Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna

The Regional Office in Vienna is one of nine IOM Regional Offices worldwide and is tasked with providing strategic guidance and programmatic, administrative and technical support to IOM missions in South-Eastern Europe, including Turkey, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as Israel. It is responsible for project review and endorsement, policy development and also for formulating regional migration strategies. This is done in partnership with governments, development partners and civil society organizations within the region. The Regional Office employs technical experts in project development and thematic fields of migration management, including Migrant Assistance, Labour Migration and Human Development, Immigration and Border Management, Operations and Emergency, as well as Migration Health. It also deals with various cross-cutting issues and provides support in the field of resource management.

The Regional Office in Vienna additionally has a function of the IOM Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna, and in this capacity is responsible  for the global liaison with the United Nations Office in Vienna and other Vienna-based organizations. Vienna is one of the four UN Headquarters locations worldwide. The UN Vienna-based organizations include the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In addition to the UN, Vienna is also home to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA).

Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and IOM Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna

The Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna is led by Argentina Szabados. Prior to assuming her post in Vienna, she headed the IOM Mission in Germany from 2010 to 2016. Previously she was the IOM Regional Representative for Central and South Eastern Europe in Budapest and between 1999 and 2004, Chief of the IOM Mission in Hungary with responsibilities towards the Balkan Stability Pact.

From 1990-1998, Ms. Szabados held various humanitarian response positions at the World Council of Churches dealing with emergency aid which included responsibility for former Yugoslavia, Daghestan and Chechnya.

Argentina Szabados is a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for International Humanitarian Cooperation and a visiting senior lecturer and examiner at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University in New York.