IOM Provides UN Officials, Government Representatives with Unique Glimpse into Refugee Resettlement

Posted: 
12/20/16
Themes: 
Resettlement

United States of America - On Wednesday (14/12), IOM hosted a delegation of 16 United Nations officials and high-level government representatives at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to welcome the arrival of 54 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea and Ukraine. The delegation included Ambassador David Donoghue of Ireland, Ambassador Joanne Adamson of the European Union and Ms. Stefanie Amadeo, Deputy U.S. Representative to the UN. 

For almost 40 years, IOM has played an important role in the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) as an implementing agency. IOM operates Port of Entry offices at seven airports across the United States, which facilitate refugee arrivals and processing in coordination with US Customs and Border Protection.

The event was just one of many different events organized by IOM globally to bring attention to the role IOM has played to facilitate the dignified, safe and orderly migration of refugees and migrants. It highlighted the important partners IOM works with in this effort including UNHCR, US Customs and Border Protection and various NGOs.

Speaking at the event Kelly Gauger, Deputy Director of USRAP, said: “It was a great honor to be with IOM and UN colleagues at JFK on Wednesday to welcome a group of refugees to the United States in honour of International Migrants Day and IOM’s 65th anniversary. The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration greatly values our relationship with IOM, and we are so appreciative of the efforts of IOM staff all over the world who work every day to bring refugees to the United States in safety and dignity.”

The 54 refugees were greeted by the delegation with gifts and together shared a special lunch by Eat Offbeat, a catering company that delivers authentic and home-style meals from all around the world that are conceived, prepared and delivered by refugees resettled in New York.

Director of IOM’s Office to the United Nations Ashraf El Nour said: “Today we are raising awareness not only about the important work and contributions of IOM to the lives of refugees and migrants, but also about the many positive contributions refugees and migrants make to our communities every day.” 

The event was part of the UN Secretary-General’s “Together” campaign, which aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants. Support was also provided by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Delta Air Lines.

For further information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM’s Mission to the UN in New York. Tel: +1.212.681.7000, Ext. 263, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

Delegation greets newly arrived refugees from Ukraine. Photo: UN/Michael Lopatniuk.