New York, July 26: The United Nations welcomed the relationship agreement between the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) by General Assembly on Monday. It is declared that upon signature of the agreement on 19 September 2016, IOM will become a related organization of the United Nations system.
Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The Secretary-General believes that the approval of the agreement by the governing bodies of both organizations marks a major milestone in the longstanding and close relationship between the United Nations and IOM. The relationship agreement not only formalizes this partnership, but also sets out even closer cooperation between the two organizations while preserving the mandates and responsibilities of other United Nations organizations and subsidiary organs and agencies in the field of migration.”
He also stated that migration is at the heart of the new global political landscape and its social and economic dynamics. At a time of growing levels of migration within and across borders, a closer legal and working relationship between the United Nations and IOM is needed more than ever, he added.
Ban Ki-moon said, “He trusts that the relationship agreement will contribute to a more effective global response to the challenges posed by large and sudden population movements. It will help to strengthen the support provided by the United Nations system to Member States in implementing the migration-related elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
“The General Assembly’s decision to approve this Agreement shows the growing strength of the relationship between IOM and the UN,” said Ambassador Swing. “IOM has worked closely with the UN since our foundation at both operational and policy levels. IOM Member States recognize IOM as the global lead agency on migration. And now, becoming a part of the UN family will give IOM a vital voice at the UN table to advocate for migrants and their rights worldwide.”
The Secretary-General then conveyed sincere thanks to William Lacy Swing, the Director General of IOM, for his efforts and cooperation in making the relationship agreement a reality. He now looks forward to signing the agreement on the occasion of the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants.
IOM, which assisted an estimated 20 million migrants in 2015, is an intergovernmental organization with over 9,500 staff and 450 offices worldwide. Founded in the wake of the Second World War to resettle refugees from Europe, IOM celebrates its 65th anniversary in December of this year.