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20 September 2017

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IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (seated left) and UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon at the signing ceremony at the UN HQ, New York last year when IOM joined the UN. Photo: IOM / Rick Bajornas 2016

UN Migration Agency Marks One Year Anniversary of Joining UN by Paving Road for Migration Issues at 72nd UN General Assembly

New York (IOM) – Yesterday (19/09) marked the opening of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly General Debate, a forum for world leaders to engage in diplomatic talks and tackle the most pressing global challenges.

Running through 25 September, the theme of this year’s session is ‘Focusing on People – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’. The high-level meeting will address issues including extreme poverty, climate change, modern slavery, and the migrant and refugee crisis.

Peter Thomson of Fiji, President of the UN General Assembly, said that this is a “year of firsts,” as the UNGA will see the negotiation of the first intergovernmental compact on migration and the signing of the first agreement on the elimination of nuclear weapons.

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Thatch and Bamboo: Cash-Based Programming in South Sudan

South Sudan (IOM) – Fighting since June 2016 has displaced thousands in Wau, South Sudan, to the UN peacekeeping base, where they seek protection and shelter.

With many facing more than a year in displacement, afraid to return home, IOM works with the community through a cash-based shelter programme to improve and prolong the life of emergency shelters.

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Chef Majed (centre) and others at Foodhini, an online restaurant that hires immigrant and refugee chefs, giving them a space to cook their local cuisine and sell it to Washington D.C. residents and visitors.

Taste of Home

DC Startup Uses Food to Share Stories of Displacement

Washington DC (IOM) – The taste of his mother’s cooking - this is what Majed Abdalraheem misses the most about being away from home. “Nothing compares to the taste and the smell of the food prepared by my mother,” said Abdalraheem, who is himself a chef.

Abdalraheem fled Syria to Jordan in 2013. Like millions of Syrians, he no longer felt safe and his future was compromised by the ongoing conflict.

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Fereshteh: "I learned to use the best out of anything and it has helped me until now. Opportunities will not come to you, you should create them!"
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Aware Migrants is an information campaign based on true stories told by migrants who have made the Mediterranean crossing. Read more​


2017 Global Migration Film Festival: Call for Entries. Promote the film festival and our call for film submissions. Read more


A global database tracking data on deceased and missing migrants along migratory routes.
Please visit: MissingMigrants.iom.int


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Migration in the News

  • Al Jazeera, AP, Xinhua, India’s Eenadu, Rappler, CNN, Thomson Reuters, Los Angeles Times, UPI, and USA Today reported 40 million people around the world, mostly women and girls, were victims of modern slavery last year, according to a new report by ILO, Walk Free Foundation and IOM.
  • The Daily Star reported that UN human rights investigators yesterday demanded ‘full and unfettered’ access to Myanmar to probe the situation in its conflict-affected Rakhine State.
  • Bangladesh’s New Age reported that a severe health crisis looms large as the Rohingyas are faced with a shortage of safe drinking water.
  • Telegraph Herald reported that with a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves.
  • The Jordan Times reported that the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army on Tuesday signed an agreement with IOM to strengthen security and provide humanitarian assistance for refugees on the northeastern borders with Syria.

Trending on the Internet

  • The New York Times reported that a US government study found refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost.
  • Time ran a photo essay by photographer Dar Yasin who shared his tragic encounters from the Rohingya exodus.



Media Contacts

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IOM Media and Communications team here.