UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants 19.09.16

On 19 September 2016 a historical Summit was held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Representatives of almost two hundred nations joined to discuss ‘Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants’, providing a single opportunity for the global community to forge a greater focus on managing the world’s movements of migrants and refugees.

At the very start of this Summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing signed a document formally linking IOM to the United Nations. This entails that IOM will officially join the United Nations’ family with explicit official migration mandate. Ambassador Swing reacted as follows: “For the very first time in 71 years, the UN now has a ‘UN Migration Agency” adding that “This is a singular honour for our Organization – and a genuine success for migrants and Member States and indeed for this Summit.”

Furthermore, the Summit will also set into motion a Global Compact that focuses on safe, regular and orderly migration that upholds the human rights of migrants and their families, irrespective of their migration status. IOM’s Director General also noted that the world is witnessing an unprecedented level of human mobility, with more and more refugees and migrants leaving their homes and travelling alone. He added that the challenge of addressing large movements of refugees and migrants is not insurmountable, if the international community shares the responsibility.

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