UN sanctions move to strengthen relationship with migration body

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This photo from November 2014 shows IOM providing transportation assistance in South Sudan, moving vulnerable refugees on a UNHCR helicopter. Photo: IOM

The heads of the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are being urged to sign an agreement which aims to establish a closer relationship between the two bodies.

This follows the unanimous adoption on Monday of a UN General Assembly resolution supporting the move to make IOM an official part of the United Nations system.

Dianne Penn reports.

The resolution calls for the UN Secretary-General and the IOM Director-General to sign the agreement at a high-level meeting on refugees and migration set for this September.

The agreement defines the terms under which the two organizations will "strengthen their cooperation and enhance their ability to fulfil their respective mandates in the interest of migrants and their Members States."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed hope that the relationship agreement will contribute to a more effective global response to the challenges posed by migration.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr Ban said "with growing levels of migration within and across borders, a closer legal and working relationship between the United Nations and IOM is needed more than ever."

IOM last year assisted approximately 20 million migrants, according to information on its website.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 58"

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