IOM Member States Endorse Move to Join the United Nations System

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Member states of the International Organisation for Migration, meeting at its Special Council in Geneva earlier today, unanimously approved IOM’s entry into the United Nations system. A resolution adopted unanimously by the IOM Council approves the IOM-UN relationship agreement paving the way for IOM’s entry into the United Nations system as a related organization. This decision, which was taken unanimously by IOM membership saw and overwhelming majority recognize IOM’s operational efficiency, flexibility and cost effectiveness. 

"Today has been a watershed moment in the life of this 65 year-old organisation," said IOM Director General William‎ Lacy Swing. "The member states have approved a motion by which we will join the United Nations system. We expect soon to have a seat at the UN table and a voice in the dialogue. As you know migration is a mega trend of our time and will be for the remainder of this century. We soon expect to be officially a member of the United Nations system. We expect to be able to deepen and broaden our partnerships. And we expect the UN will soon have a truly migration agency."

Also at the Special Council the People's Republic of China became a member of IOM, bringing to 165 the number of IOM member states. China’s membership comes as two more new member states—Tuvalu and Solomon Islands—join IOM, which this year is celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Organisation’s founding.

Many millions of migrants leave home to find employment, education or to otherwise improve their lives. They may be responding to labor and skill shortages that make their contribution essential for the wellbeing of those societies. Others migrants are forced to leave, however. Record-breaking numbers of refugees and migrants are moving across international borders, fleeing conflict, persecution, poverty, climate change, natural disasters and environmental degradation.

IOM, which assisted an estimated 20 million migrants and refugees last year, is an intergovernmental organisation with over 9,500 employees and 450 offices worldwide.