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The International Organization for Migration(IOM)
2004/04/19
I. Background Information

    The International Organization for Migration derived from the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME) established in US in 1951 and became the International Organization for Migration (IOM) upon the amendment and ratification of its Constitution in 1989. The headquarters of IOM is in Geneva.

    The purposes of IOM are as the following: IOM shall help concerned States make arrangement for the organized transfer of migrants and provide migration services at the request of and in agreement with the States concerned. IOM shall also provide similar services as requested by States, or in cooperation with other interested international organizations, for voluntary return migration, including voluntary repatriation.

    The States that have ratified the IOM Constitution can apply for the Membership of IOM with a demonstrated interest in the principle of free movement of persons. The member states shall make a financial contribution at least to the administrative requirements of the Organization, the rate of which will be agreed to by the Council and by the State concerned.

    Non-member states or international organizations related to the issues on refugees and migrants can apply for the observer status of IOM and is determined by the IOM Council according to the rule of procedure. Observers do not need to pay membership fees and can participate in meetings of the Council in its review of relevant issues without the right to vote.

    The IOM has three organs: the Council, the Executive Committee and the Administration.
    The Council is composed of representatives of the Member States. Each Member State has one representative and such alternates and advisers as it may deem necessary. Each Member State has one vote in the Council. The Council shall determine the policies of the Organization, review the reports, approve and direct the activities of the Executive Committee. The Council shall also review the reports, approve and direct the activities of the Director General and review and approve the programme, the budget, the expenditure and the accounts of the Organization.

    The Executive Committee is composed of the representatives of nine Member States. This number may be increased by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council, provided it shall not exceed one third of the total membership of the organization. Members of the Executive Committee are elected in the Council for a term of two years and eligible for re-election. The Executive Committee shall hold its meeting at least once a year.

    The Administration comprises a Director General, a Deputy Director General and such staff as the Council may determine. The Director General and the Deputy Director General are elected by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council and may be re-elected. Their term of office is normally five years. The Director General is responsible to the Council and the Executive Committee. The Director General can be present, or be represented by the Deputy Director General or other designated official, at all sessions of the Council and the Executive Committee without the right to vote. The present Director General, Mr. Brunson Mckinley (US) assumed office for a 5-year term on October 1st, 1998. Deputy Director General Mrs. Ndioro Ndiaye (Senegal) assumed office in September 1999.


II. The Relationship between China and IOM

    In recent years, IOM has expressed the wish to establish and develop cooperative relations with China for many times and China has also reacted actively. The relations between China and IMO developed smoothly in 2000.

    From October 2nd to 3rd, Chinese Delegation formed by Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the Symposium against Illegal Migrants and Stowing Away Activities in the South-east Asia (also called the fourth meeting of "Manila Process"). Chinese Delegation introduced the efforts and achievements made by Chinese Government in preventing and striking illegal migrants and stowing away activities and elaborated China's principles and positions to the concerned issues.

    From November 6th to 7th, the Director General Mr. Mckinley visited China by invitation. This is the first ever visit to China by the Director General of IOM. During his stay in China, Mr. Mckinley and his companions made a courtesy call to Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Guangya. They also held talks with the officials of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, the Consular Department of China's Foreign Ministry and officials in charge of entrance and exit administration of the Ministry of Public Security. Vice Minister Mr. Wang introduced China's principle positions on the issue of illegal migrants, stressed that China attached great importance to the cooperation with concerned countries and international organizations and the positive effects made by IOM on migrants issues. China is willing to develop the friendly cooperative relations with IOM. Mr. Mckinley's visit enhanced the mutual understanding between China and IOM, promoted the cooperation between both sides on concerned issues and laid a foundation for the development of cooperative relations between both sides in the future.  

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