United States Statement at the 112th Session of the IOM Council
Delivered by Margaret Pollack, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
Although IOM’s 70th anniversary celebration this year may be muted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of IOM as an operational and strategic partner has never been more apparent.
Since early 2020, IOM has helped member states respond to and mitigate the effects of the pandemic while also urging them to be strategic and forward looking by ensuring that national recovery plans and policies include migrants.
In August 2021, IOM quickly pivoted its programming in Afghanistan to provide assistance to displaced persons and migrants, while also working to reunite Afghan children separated from their families. IOM’s comprehensive regional appeal underscores its commitment to respond immediately while planning strategically.
IOM also reminds us that migrants are people, they are not weapons, and as states we should work to promote migration that is safe, orderly, and humane. IOM provided invaluable input to the United States as we worked this year to develop our Collaborative Migration Management Strategy, providing helpful analysis of the complex factors influencing migrants in our region.
The United States recognizes that to realize the goal of safe, regular, and humane migration, we must come together as an international community to meet the challenges of irregular migration, to address climate-related displacement, to meet the needs of vulnerable migrants, and to recognize the benefits of regular migration. IOM plays an important role bringing states, UN entities, and experts together to find practical ways forward to achieve these goals.
While we mourn the passing earlier this year of former IOM Director General Bill Swing, we welcome the arrival of the two new Deputy Directors General and look forward to working with the Director General and his new leadership team in our collective pursuit of an IOM that is both the preeminent international migration entity and the premier international migration thought leader.
The United States continues to stress the importance of IOM’s efforts to strengthen management and oversight functions of the organization through implementation of the Internal Governance Framework. This needs to remain the top organizational priority for the IOM administration.
In conclusion, the United States has been a strong supporter of IOM since it was established in 1951. We look forward to active leadership from you and the IOM Council Bureau to help facilitate a dialogue in the coming year on how we can better support the organization so we can achieve our shared goal of building a stronger and more enduring IOM.