The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has granted UCLG observer status at the 107th Session of its Governing Council, taking place from 5-8 December, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. This Session marks the 65th anniversary of IOM’s founding on 5 December 1951 and is the first since the agency entered the United Nations.
In a Statement delivered to the IOM Council on Monday 5 December, Emilia Saiz, Deputy Secretary General of UCLG, welcomed this new partnership, saying that it will be “instrumental to change the narrative on migration. We are convinced that the answers generated within urban settlements and territories will pave the way for global solutions, and we are committed to undertake our responsibility to improve conditions for a better future for all. We are therefore honored to take part in the work of the International Organization for Migration and to be able to contribute as observers to the meeting of this Council.”
UCLG and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have been in contact to discuss a possible partnership addressing migration and mobility and the role of local and regional elected leaders since 2015. In July of 2016, the IOM was granted the status of UN Related Agency for migrations.
Due to successive crises, the topic of migration and the refugee crisis have gained momentum in the United Nations General Assembly. In September 2016 a debate between states, partners and local and regional leaders took place for the first time at this level.
The General Director of IOM and the Secretary General of UCLG met in the framework of the Habitat III negotiations in Quito in October 2016. On this occasion both leaders decided to establish a partnership agreement to work on the topic of migration and mobility at local level and, especially, to change the narrative so that migration is seen as an opportunity rather than a hurdle.
The Observer Status granted to UCLG at the IOM will reinforce the cooperation and partnership between the two organizations.
- Read the full Statement of UCLG to the IOM here
- UCLG Interview to Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean of the IOM