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21 September 2016

President Obama speaks at the High Level Leaders Meeting on Refugees on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 20th 2016. Photo: Brendan McDermid / Reuters.

Obama: 50 Countries to Take in 360,000 Refugees this Year

United Nations - US President Barack Obama has announced a pledge by 50 nations to take in 360,000 refugees from war-torn countries this year, according to the BBC.

He told the United Nations General Assembly that world leaders, notably Germany and Canada, have vowed to double the number from last year.

"We are facing a crisis of epic proportion," Mr Obama said.

About 21 million refugees have been forced to flee their countries due to conflict or persecution, the UN says.

Nine million people alone have been displaced by the six-year conflict in Syria, while more than four million others have fled the war-torn country.

"We cannot avert our eyes or turn our backs. To slam the door in the face of these families would betray our deepest values," he added.

The US has agreed to take in 110,000 new refugees in the 2017 fiscal year - which begins on 1 October- compared with the 85,000 refugees it expects by the end of September.

Read on | Read about IOM’s role in refugee resettlement here


Central American migrants and refugees travel north through Mexico in search of better opportunities in the USA. File photo: Keith Dannemiller / IOM

Migration: A Crucial Force for Development and Global Integration

United Nations - The evolution of humanity has been shaped around the migration of people between regions and continents, writes Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in a blog for the Huffington Post.

Therefore, I am honored to participate at this year’s United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants, where we can coordinate more effective multilateral efforts for the protection of migrants and for the recognition of their contributions to development. This is a historic meeting that embodies the sensitivity and the political will of the international community to agree on a globally and comprehensive approach to migration, guided under the principle of shared responsibility.

Migrants symbolize the force that moves humanity forward. Their culture, their traditions and their knowledge enrich the cultural heritage of the societies where they decide to settle, contributing to a merging of cultures and to building new vibrant and prosperous nations. Migrants also embody our resilience to overcome adversity since time immemorial.

Today, it is with great concern that we witness that migrants and refugees face rejection, discrimination and abuse. These threats are further aggravated by the stigmatization in their countries of destination, being easily targeted for the issues and challenges those countries face, because of ignorance, racism or mere political opportunism. That is why I am convinced that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has done well to promote a better protection of migrants rights and in policies that address the causes of migration.

Read on


Migration in the News
  • CNN reported that around 4,000 people were evacuated from a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Monday evening after a fire ripped through the site.

  • Devex interviewed IOM Director General William Lacy Swing on IOM’s entry into the UN on the sidelines of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants at the UN in New York.

  • The White House released a joint statement by Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Mexico, Sweden and the US on the outcome of the leaders’ summit on refugees. They commended IOM and UNHCR for their role in creating the new Emerging Resettlement Countries Joint Support Mechanism.

  • Voice of America reported that September has been one of the busiest months for the arrival of refugees in the US, where almost 79,000 refugees have arrived since October 2015.

  • Huffington Post reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s refugee policy was hailed at the UN Summit as an “example” to the world.

  • Thomson Reuters reported that a guilty verdict for a British activist in Thailand charged with defamation for alleging ill-treatment of migrant workers at a major fruit company sets an alarming precedent in the fight against labour exploitation, according to rights groups.

  • Entrepreneur ran an Op-Ed by the founder of Concordia, a co-host of the Private Sector Forum on Migration and Refugees with IOM and others.  It argued that it is ultimately up to businesses to integrate refugees into economies and to work with governments and civil society to assimilate them into society.

Trending on the Internet

  • New York Times ran an Op-Ed by the mayors of New York, Paris and London rejecting the characterization of migrants and refugees as radicals and calling for an inclusive approach to resettlement to combat the growing tide of xenophobic language around the globe.

Media Contacts

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