International Organization for Migration to Open 110th Council Session Tuesday

IOM Director General António Vitorino addressed a gathering of the Organization’s 173 member states today in Geneva, noting the Organization assisted over 30 million beneficiaries in 2018, and still more in 2019. Photo: IOM

Geneva – IOM Director General António Vitorino addressed the Organization’s 173 member states at the annual IOM Council Session which opened in Geneva today (26/11).

“It is a privilege to lead this Organization…at a time when our work is ever more important and central to our collective endeavour to ensure that migration is safe, well-managed and for the benefit of all,” DG Vitorino said. “I count on your support for this.”

In a wide-ranging speech, Vitorino highlighted IOM’s response to acute new – and long-standing – humanitarian situations, pointing out that the Organization assisted over 30 million beneficiaries in 2018, and still more in 2019.

Migrants need to be seen “as empowered partners in establishing new futures and contributing to sustainable development,” he stressed.

He noted that across the world, crisis situations are emerging or remain unresolved, displacing millions from their homes, with few prospects for swift resolution.

“Migrants also continue to suffer from tremendous abuse and hardship in some key contexts,” he said.

In the first half of this year, IOM provided training and technical assistance to more than 45,000 government, civil society and private sector partners and local community leaders to strengthen the protection of migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse, such as victims of trafficking.

However, “many countries lack the basic reception and support capabilities to manage new arrivals or cater for specific needs, particularly in very acute cases such as those of unaccompanied minors,” he noted.

The four-day Council Session includes panels on three topics including Wednesday's launch of IOM’s flagship publication the World Migration Report 2020, a discussion on Building Peace and Creating Conditions for Development: Internal Displacement Stabilization and Reintegration of Migrants, and another, Mobility Dynamics in the Sahel.

At the opening session the IOM Council also accepted the Lebanese application for membership.

For more information, please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Tel: +41 79 285 7123, Email: