Barbados Becomes 175th Member of International Organization For Migration

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Matthew Wilson (left) and Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino, pose for a photograph in Geneva, today. (GP)

The Barbados delegation, led by Ambassador Wilson, at the 113th Session of the IOM Council in Geneva, today. (GP)

Barbados was unanimously admitted to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), this morning in Geneva as its 175th member.

Representing Barbados at the 113th Session of the IOM Council is Barbados’ Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Office and other International Organisations in Geneva, Matthew Wilson.

In his statement of acceptance on behalf of Barbados, Permanent Representative Wilson stated: “On behalf of the Government and People of Barbados, I thank you all for the positive decision taken to admit Barbados to the membership of the International Organization for Migration. 

“Barbados is pleased by your action today, to become the IOM’s 175th Member. That this decision comes during the week when Barbados is commemorating its 56th year of Independence and its first anniversary as a Republic, is not lost on us as a country.” 

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration is part of the United Nations System as the leading inter-governmental organisation promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all, with offices in over 100 countries. 

The IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration; promote international cooperation on migration issues; assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems, and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.  It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

Mr. Wilson noted that the IOM has shown its commitment to partnerships for a purpose and Barbados has benefitted from a number of areas of cooperation. 

He thanked the regional office for being “a consistent and reliable partner” to the region as it faces climate change and economic crises, that have had pervasive and fundamental impacts on the movement of people, within and outside, of the region. 

The Ambassador highlighted that assistance was received with data collection and analysis to help better understand migratory trends; to strengthen partnerships with key actors in the region such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency; support with Caribbean migration consultations and work directly with Barbados on assessing issuance of e-visas.

“As Barbados and the IOM enter this new phase in their relationship, we will look forward to further collaboration on the interface between climate change and migration and addressing the human element of migration: both the challenges and the opportunities.

“We pledge to contribute to discussions important to the global commons, share knowledge and experience and work with all members to ensure IOM delivers on its mandate and on the expectations of the citizens of the world that we as Member States represent,” Mr. Wilson affirmed.

The Director General of the IOM, António Vitorino, welcomed Barbados’ membership and pledged his support to increase the IOM presence in the Caribbean region as well as to work with Barbados on issues related to migration and climate change, in particular.

The 113th Session of the IOM Council takes place from Tuesday, November 29, to Friday, December 2. 

Author: Sheena Forde-Craigg/BGIS


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