The International Organization for Migration joins the UN

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UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and William Lacy Swing, Director General of the IOM, signed an agreement to make the IOM a Related Organization of the UN. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

A longstanding UN partner is now part of the family.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) officially joined the United Nations system during an agreement signing ceremony in New York on Monday.

Dianne Penn reports.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) was founded in the wake of the Second World War.

Its chief, William Lacy Swing, noted that IOM has joined the UN at an unprecedented time.

More people worldwide are displaced than at any other time in recorded history, and the numbers are growing, he stated.

Mr Swing made a particular appeal to journalists covering the UN summit addressing the global refugee and migrant challenge.

"We need your help in trying to address the very poisonous public narrative right now on migration: where migration has become a negative word, when in fact we're standing in one of the cities which was built on the backs of migrants and with their talent. We know that. And yet, we are now branding migrants as potentially terrorists, or criminals, or bringing in disease. We've got to get rid of those stereotypes, demythologize the narrative, and try to get back to basics."

Last year, IOM assisted an estimated 20 million migrants.

Mr Swing said the organization will now be able to share information more effectively with the UN.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08"

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