UN chief welcomes China joining the International Organization for Migration

1 July 2016

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed China’s decision to join the International Organization for Migration (IOM), saying that the country will make a “valuable contribution” to IOM.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretary-General noted that the timing is “crucial” given the urgent needs of migrants and refugees.

The announcement comes just one day before IOM member states decided to join the United Nations system as a related organization.

“Today [30 June] has been a watershed moment in the life of this organization, which is celebrating its 65th year,” IOM Director General William Lacy Swing told a meeting of its Special Council in Geneva on Thursday, in which “Member States approved the motion by which IOM will join the United Nations system.”

“We expect to soon have a seat and a voice at the UN table and the UN will soon have a dedicated migration agency,” he added.

The UN Secretary-General is expected to receive the official notification soon. The decision will then be submitted to the UN General Assembly for approval. It is expected to enter into force, upon signature of the agreement, during a UN Summit on migrants and refugees on 19 September.

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