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19 September 2016

Summit on Refugees and Migrants Begins as IOM Joins the United Nations

United Nations, New York – The United Nations Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants which took place on Monday in New York, provides a singular opportunity for the global community to forge a greater consensus on managing the world’s movements of migrants and refugees. IOM considers migration to be a mega-trend of the 21st Century representing unprecedented human mobility with one of every seven persons worldwide living or working somewhere other than their place of birth.

“We are gathered here today for an historic Summit—the first ever to assemble Heads of State from around the world to address the question of refugees and migrants,” said International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing in opening remarks for Monday’s events.

Read more | Watch the signing ceremony here



IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (left) and UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon at the signing ceremony at UN HQ, New York, 19 September 2016. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas 2016

Migration is Our History, Reality and Future

United Nations, New York - Migration is not a catastrophe, nor is it an invasion, writes IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. Often, it is not even an emergency. Throughout human history it has mostly been, simply, one thing: inevitable. Migration is history’s oldest and most effective.

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Women migrants face unique challenges that must be addressed. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

IOM, UN Women Call on World Leaders to Make Migration Policies that Work for Women

United Nations, New York - Today, the UN General Assembly will bring together Heads of State and Government from across the world for the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, write Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

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'Educating the Future': Advocating for the Education of Young Migrants

Switzerland - On the eve of this UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants in which we place our hopes, we, young migrants of the world studying in Geneva, confirm to the gathered Heads of State that education is our future and the future of the democracies who welcome us. We want the right to education for all children, regardless of their status.

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Migration in the News


  • Huffington Post published a blog by Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson, noting the need for improved cooperation and greater burden sharing ahead of today’s UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants.  He cited IOM’s entry to the UN as an important step. IPI Global Observatory also commented on the summit.

  • Pravda reported a joint call by UN Women and IOM on world leaders ahead of the Summit to make migration policies that work for women.

  • IRIN reported on a new study by the UK Overseas Development Institute showing that asylum claims in the European Union far exceeded migrant and refugee arrival figures in 2015 and 2016. This suggests that people are still arriving undetected, despite massive sums spent on fences and cooperation agreements with third countries.

  • Reuters reported that Libyan patrols intercepted some 1,425 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

  • Inverse reported on how a smartphone posed a risk for a Syrian refugee family at home, but proved essential for their eventual resettlement from Egypt to the USA and their subsequent integration in Michigan.

Trending on the Internet


  • Thomson Reuters asked the heads of nine humanitarian agencies what outcomes they want to see from the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants at the UN in New York.

  • USA Today reported that according to the White House, the Obama administration’s plan to admit 110,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017, which begins on October 1st, up from 85,000 in 2015, won't be sidetracked by governors who oppose resettling refugees in their states.

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