Director General Visit Boosts UN Migration Agency, China Cooperation

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Beijing – Ambassador William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, this week visited China at the invitation of the Government of China. The five-day visit on 20–24 August marked the one-year anniversary of China’s membership of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

During the visit, DG Swing met with the State Counsellor, Yang Jiechi, to discuss ways to further enhance bilateral relations between IOM and China. Topics included the migration implications of initiatives including the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

He also held meetings with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Security, Civil Affairs, Commerce, and the National Health and Family Planning Commission. During the visit, he also signed a new Country Agreement and witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the health and development of migrant populations.

At a meeting with Hu Chenjie, Alibaba Group Vice President, he discussed private sector partnerships and possible future cooperation with the IT giant, especially regarding facilitating international travel for Chinese nationals.

Yesterday (24/8), DG Swing joined Minister Li Bin at the opening of the 1st International Forum on New Urbanization, Health and Social Integration organized by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission in cooperation with IOM. WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus participated by video link.

China hosts the largest migrant population in the world and its rapid urbanization has had a profound and lasting impact on local and national public health services.

Speaking at the Forum, DG Swing highlighted the importance of partnerships and coordination in addressing challenges relating to the health and well-being of migrants. “We need to work together to better understand the health aspects of mobility, to develop complementarities and to strengthen multi-sectoral collaboration,” he said. “Health is an essential component of sustainable development and, like migration itself, is not a problem to be solved but an opportunity to be managed.”

For more information, please contact Pär Liljert at IOM China, Tel. +86.13466385492, Email: pliljert@iom.int

UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing meets with China State Counsellor Yang Jiechi. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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